Thinking Reasonably Part 3

Marxist_communist_collective_unityAbout Collectivism

Collectivism is defined as the practice or principle of giving a group (the collective) priority over individual members.  Individualism is belief in the primary importance of the individual and in the virtues of self-reliance and personal independence for society to succeed.  The terms social justice, fairness and equal rights are also a part of collectivism.

Collectivism believes that society is some type of super-organism that exists over and above the individual members and must be considered the primary unit of reality and standard of value. Socialism, communism, and fascism forms of government can all be described as collectivism.  Each form requires the subjugation of the individual to a group, whether it is a race, class or state.  The individual must sacrifice himself for the alleged good of the group.  The individual is only a tool to serve the ends of others.

Pure democracy is also a form of collectivism because it readily sacrifices individual rights to majority wishes.  History is strewn with the failures of collectivist societies including the atrocities in Soviet Russia, Germany and China.  More than 100 million people have died because of collectivism.

Americans have been in a 100+ year war to resist the transformation of our republic into a democracy, then to socialism.  The American shift to socialism has reached an alarming stage with the move to a powerful centralized federal government.  States rights have been surrendered. During the past 50 years, we have watched socialism increase with the federalization of education, environment control and  adoption of national health care with the addition to ObamaCare.  (A more appropriate name might be DemocracyCare!) Individualists, particularly freedom loving Americans, learned the importance of a republic from their Founding Fathers who insisted on maximum freedom and limiting government to its most basic functions.

Today, the state has become more powerful while allowing a large role of big corporations with central planning and crony capitalism.  Coercion plays an increasing role in ensuring individuals is control by, and serve the will of the state. Nationalization of health care, for example, has forced people to buy health insurance.  Big government has invaded every aspect of our lives.

Federal control of the educational system has provided the necessary dumbing down of the citizen that has increased surrender of individual freedoms.  Individualism is best characterized by freedom of the individual while control is the key focus of collectivism. Many people wonder if the fate of America is destined to collapse as every collectivist societies that have gone before it.  The risks associated with this change are huge.  A massive effort to stop this collapse would be costly and take decades to achieve if even possible.

Each citizen should study the contrast between individualism and collectivism.   There is extensive information available about collectivism on the Internet.  A good starting point is:

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Dale Pflug is a U.S. Air Force veteran, retired engineer, program manager and business entrepreneur that lives in Central Florida. A graduate of the University of Pittsburgh, Plug now spends his time teaching the constitution as an Institute on the Constitution Instructor, as a Co-host on the Barry Foster show in Central Florida, and his weekly column on Thinking Reasonably.
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  • retiredday

    The idea of individualism is often misunderstood by Christians. I have heard it said that individualism goes counter to God’s will, in that he has designed us for relationships, not to live or stand alone. But individualism is not the opposite of relationships, and certainly not the opposite of community. Individualism is the expression of human value in every individual. Each of us as individuals should be accorded equal value, dignity and respect under the law. The ideal of individualism presumes the responsibility and accountability of each individual to his or her family, community and nation. And the greatest reason for freedom is the opportunity for achievement and fulfillment for each individual. That doesn’t mean separateness. It implies we belong to and seek to benefit the very communities that nurture us. It also means that individuals can’t sit by and expect the state to take care of them. If we want to be free as individuals, we must be responsible as individuals.

    The greatest expression of individuality is seen in the body of Christ. We all have our own different gifts and callings, and we all serve in our own individual ways — the ways God has made us. We serve our communities as God calls us because that’s how we are created. God creates each individual uniquely and each one of us deserves the freedom to develop and express our uniqueness to the glory of God.

    Society then, is the aggregate of individuals. We are not a hive or a herd or a flock or a school. God did not create us to sacrifice our individualism on the altar of the state. God creates individuals, saves individuals and matures individuals for ministering each in his own way. It is not the community or nation he has created, for which we must sacrifice our lives. Collectivism crushes the individual. Elevating the state above the individual always results in slavery, because it always boils down to someone in authority ordering you to do what they have determined is right, without regard for your individual personhood.

    God’s love for his family is the only real deal. Socialism is a counterfeit substitute.