Individualism Versus Collectivism
Today, in America and around the world, we are being challenged as never before. Once again, we are being asked to accept a failed ideology and political system that our predecessors, the “greatest generation”, rightly rejected. We are being asked to accept the “greater wisdom” of elite central planners and to subject ourselves to their will and whim. We are being asked to believe a fairy tale that, in reality, economically, historically and politically, has been proven a nightmare.
Although you likely will never hear proponents of this ideology use its name, and will more often hear it couched in seemingly harmless and beneficial phrases such as “greater good”, “social justice” and “equality of outcome”, this nightmare cannot be hidden from the light of truth. This nightmare is collectivism.
What is collectivism? Collectivism is the over-arching ideology that is common to socialism, communism, fascism and hybrids of these. It is the common-denominator that defines the core difference between these failed ideologies and individualism, individual liberty, free-markets and capitalism in which the individual, vs. the state, is at power over, and responsible for, their own destiny, choices, and outcomes. Collectivism emphasizes the state’s usurpation of all individual’s natural rights to enable state-determination of human action and latitude in this action.
“Collectivism means the subjugation of the individual to a group—whether to a race, class or state does not matter. Collectivism holds that man must be chained to collective action and collective thought for the sake of what is called ‘the common good.'” Ayn Rand (1)
“We’re going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good.” Hillary Clinton (2)
“We understand only the individual’s capacity to make sacrifices for the community, for his fellow men.” Adolf Hitler (3)
“Comrades! We must abolish the cult of the individual decisively, once and for all.” Nikita S. Khrushchev (4)
What is individualism? Individualism emphasizes the individual’s unalienable right to self-determination. Individualism is the only ideology that is able to perpetuate liberty, freedom, free-exchange, freedom of religious belief, and the entrepreneurial environment necessary to sustain optimal human prosperity and opportunity. The pursuit of happiness can only be sustained within the concepts of individualism, and can only be suppressed within the concepts of collectivism.
“The majority, oppressing an individual, is guilty of a crime, abuses its strength, and by acting on the law of the strongest breaks up the foundations of society.” Thomas Jefferson (5)
Our generation’s challenge is simply to reject the nightmare that is collectivism and to sustain individualism and the pursuit of happiness.
David M. Chaney (C) 2013 “Thoughts on Liberty”
(1) “The Only Path to Tomorrow,” Reader’s Digest, Jan, 1944, 8.
(2) Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, June 28, 2004
(3) Adolf Hitler, October 7th, 1933
(4) Soviet Premier Nikita S. Khrushchev, addressing the 20th Congress of the Soviet Communist Party, February 25th, 1956
(5) Thomas Jefferson to Pierre Samuel Dupont de Nemours, 1816