Skip to comments.Collectivism Decivilizes When Government Grows
Posted on 01/26/2012 10:24:49 PM PST by gabriellah
The recent NDAA Bill has been decried as an act of governmental tyranny. This is true, but the implications are much more than just a mere overstep. It is, in reality, a further step in the direction of decilivization.
The word collectivist is sadly absent from the popular language of politics. Collectivism, in short, composes the political viewpoints that are focused on the collective, or the whole. This is starkly opposed to individualism, which is focused on the individual. Some of the political philosophies that are considered collectivist are Communism (and its various varieties), socialism, modern liberalism, and anarcho-syndicalism.
The reason for the deranged nature of collectivism is due to one important element of it. This is a violation of the non-aggression principle. This principle is of great importance to classical liberalismtrue Conservatism, Libertarianism, and other schools of thought. The non-aggression can be stated as that any act of aggression initiated on another, when not in the case of self-defense, is wrong. This unjustified use of force on others is characteristic of collectivismas it is concerned with the good of the group. The NDAA Bill is an unjustified use of force.
Humans natural state is anarchy. No matter how much order is establishedwhether through iron fist or constitutionit is natural that societies will tend towards anarchy, if untouched by the works of those who love liberty. Civilization is something that takes this natural state (anarchy) and improves upon it, slightly. In this case, it is very limited governmentof the noted classical liberal tradition. The downsides of anarchy all stem from the mass violation of the non-aggression principle. James Madison summed these downsides well:
If all men were angels, no government would be necessary.
Yes, there are some benefits to anarchy, but these are outweighed both by limited government and the point made by Madison.
If taken to the extreme opposite of anarchy, overreaching government authority and control, still violates the non-aggression principle. If we are to take Frederic Bastiats definition of the law as collective force, then actions of a government may also violate the non-aggression principle in this way.
From this, we have determined several things. First, that the definition of decivilized is unjustified aggressionas all evils can be traced back to this. Second, anarchy is the natural state of mankind. Third, civilized is something that takes on this anarchy and improves it. Limited government (such as the republican ideas of the Founders) is the only system that is the epitome of civilization.
I realize that, to the reader, all of this may seem to be restricted the realm of the academic and the thinker, but this is not the case. It is now time to show some examples of policies that are collectivist, with the idea of arming the reader with the knowledge to oppose collectivism in all areasbut not writing a long, complete list of grievances.
Take for example the event cited at the beginning of this essaythe NDAA Bill. In short, this bill allows the government to take private citizens and hold them indefinitely in military detentionwithout a charge or warrant. As the government uses force in any law established (i.e. the government does not nicely suggest that income taxes are paid), this bill empowers the government to use vast amounts of unjustified force.
There has very recently been a great push of anti-free market sentiments, and these are of the greatest concern, considering the extreme importance of economics. I mentioned that anything the government does is through the use of force. Thus, any action taken against the free market, no matter how fair it may sound, is a use of force against parties that did not use forceand is a violation of the non-aggression principle.
Along with anti-free market ideas, the philosophy of wealth redistribution has also gained much force in recent times. Wealth redistribution cannot be called anything besides robbery, except that it is perpetrated by the government. Since robbery involves some use of force or threats, this is also a violation of the non-aggression principle.
Property rights have been under siege for quite some time now, and the destruction of such can be called nothing except collectivist. When examined, any violation of property rights must be collectivistand thus also a violation of the non-aggression principle.
Man dreams of utopias, but they are either attemptedwith bloodbaths being the common outcomeand failed, or they are realized in works of fiction. By taking the philosophies that represent the truest form of the words just and moral other men created a severely limited governmentthe greatest personification of civilized. In the two hundred and thirty years since our founding, this nation has strayed from the original path of liberty, into Progressivism and collectivism, with the rest of the world doing the same at a faster pace. Each step in this direction is an eroding away of the great pillar of civilizationone that has been nearly a thousand years in the making.
Excellent essay. People foregt that regulation is the collective use of force against the individual. The more the regulation, the less liberty.
You need to create your own ping list!
If you do, please add me!!!
In furtherance of the decivilization of collectivism argument:
In a truly free society, citizens are motivated to respect others for fear of ostracism or retribution. You wouldn’t go around banging at the doors of prosperous and hard-working citizens demanding “give me some of your wealth or suffer the consequences.” If you did, you’d quickly be ushered out of town and staked to an anthill.
In a collectivist society there is little motivation to get along with the usual providers of sustenance and comfort: one’s family, friends, neighbors and workmates. Boorish behavior has no consequence because the government guarantees a paycheck even if you’re an angry loner that can’t get along with anyone.
Keep that in mind the next time some liberal whines about the “level of discourse.”
One of my greatest frustrations with our supposed conservative leaders is that they will not address the issue of the general acceptance in the USA today of collectivist premises. These premises are interrelated with the whole liberal utopian obsession, in which there is this delusional fantasy that it is possible to create a virtually no-risk society in which everyone achieves relatively the same wealth and success.
Acceptance of these collectivist premises end up serving the liberals very well in inoculating the politicians against having to actually cut spending on social welfare programs of any kind. Let some politician propose cutting some program-education or welfare, for example-and the statists will immediately raise a hypothetical hard luck case, and ask if America is going to let that happen, as if only the government can address that particular issue.
One example that just recently was raised in one of the recent debates, having to do with repealing Obamacare, was the situation in which “children” can now stay on their parent’s insurance until age 26. So, now we can’t repeal Obamacare because some 25 year old would not be able to stay on their parent’s insurance, and how horrible and unAmerican that would be.
Until this issue of collectivist thinking is turned around, the future course of America cannot be turned around, because a risk-free society and individual liberty are mutually exclusive.
One of my greatest issues is that NOBODY knows what my tag-line is about.
Not so fast...
You’re not making sense. A “Bong” might be your problem, but don’t you mean “banging your wife?”
Maybe I missed something, but I don’t see anything in mtrott’s post for you to object to. His/her statement is one way of illustrating what is and contrasting it with what ought to be. You two probably agree on what ought to be.
Bastiat was a great thinker and more of us ought read his Law, and our law ought to more closely reflect “The Law.”
A facile answer in ethics classes is “*Is* does not imply *ought.*” meaning that because we see a state of affairs in nature or the world doesn’t mean that the condition is moral or something to promote or accept.
However, we do have to deal with what *is.* in order to correct the state of affairs and work toward what we *ought* to do.
From dixiechick2000’s link, it sounds like Bastiat had similar frustrations to mtrott’s:
“There are people who think that plunder loses all its immorality as soon as it becomes legal. Personally, I cannot imagine a more alarming situation.”
“Everyone wants to live at the expense of the State. They forget that the State lives at the expense of everyone.”
raygun has been banned.
You are a GREAT American!
I love the way you think. ;o)
I was enjoying lecturing him.
You did a grand job of it, too!
Thank you, and kudos!
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