Last week, as I was enjoying a cigar at my favorite shop, the man next to me was talking about mandating health care for everyone. He said we all pay for everyone already; society is built on everyone sacrificing his or her interests to the group. This logic sounds reasonable, right? But examining the philosophy behind this very statement will uncover its fallacious nature.
At center stage, collectivism arises as the primary vehicle that fundamentally drives tyrants to power. Veiled by good intentions, the collectivist virus spreads though our economic and political system injected by those who lust for power.
But in order for it to survive, it has to keep changing and adapting to modern ideas. With excuses and explanations to spare, this philosophy is practiced under the banners of security, good will and utility.
Listening to the rhetoric of politicians and reading founding documents from history makes it seem like every action that government or those in power take is in society’s best interest. It implies a continuous improvement. But what is society? What is the “public good”?
A group is just a bunch of individuals coming together. Everyone has different needs and aspirations, and everyone is unequal. This is natural. Margaret Thatcher understood this when she said, “When all the objectives of government include the achievement of equality — other than equality before the law — that government poses a threat to liberty.”
Think about it.
The Patriot Act, the war on drugs and social security were passed under the guise of general welfare. Do you feel safe, healthy and protected? All of these have slated more power to the ruling elite and taken more money and liberties from the people. At the same time, free markets, personal responsibility and choice have been blamed for the problems we face.
It would be unreasonable to assume that people can survive without groups or relying on one another. Communities are essential. But the difference between government action and free market action rests on one term: coercion.
In the market, individuals choose the groups they want to be a part of, buying and selling from and to whom ever they want. In the state, people are mandated — through the threat of force — to give money and rely on our politicians or the votes of the majority to make the right choice.
The relationship between business and government was meant to keep a balance and act as protection from too much power. Granting this relationship is like telling children to stay out of the cookie jar. Corruption is the product of this relationship and the culprit for our financial and social catastrophes.
Last week, my colleague Jonathan Fortner championed taxes and government force in his column. He stated that living in a geographical location (the U.S.) subscribes you to regulation and submission to the state. Collectivism clings to this conclusion and fosters a place where your interests and well being are less important than “the public good,” which is defined by a ruler.
Each modern generation has faced the possibility or threat of some perceived tyrant mandating the lifestyle of the individual. Collectivism has given those who see themselves as more knowledgeable, educated or moral a tool to bring the rest into submission. Break the tribe, rebel against your rulers and be an individual.
Reach the columnist at email@example.com