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Archive for the ‘Collectivism’ Category

Something we observed starkly in the past century is that the fruits of collectivism are ~always~ poverty, want, and gross inequality between the “planners” and the “masses”. In the early 90’s everyone remembered the example of East vs. West Germany. Today it seems like hardly anyone does. North Korea and South Korea provide an example today, and they are hardly ever presented in terms of the fruits of collectivism vs. the fruits of individualism.

Arguably California, Michigan, Illinois and New York contain today’s examples of the farthest governments have gone towards collectivism in the U.S. and the examples are not pretty. Detroit, a town which hasn’t had a Republican mayor since 1961 and which has been politically ruled by the labor union the UAW, has fallen into decline even though the past two Presidential administrations have given billions of taxpayer dollars in corporate welfare to reward businesses which should have failed naturally and/or been restructured.

Look at these pictures of some sections of Detroit. Look through all five pages of the blog.

http://goobingdetroit.tumblr.com/

THIS is the fruit of following collectivism. With no choices and diminishing resources most people resolve to wanting to be rewarded for failing or unproductive behavior and many want someone else to do the work. Goods and services are consumed by government and union employees and by people receiving wealth redistribution, and none of these three groups is producing goods and services that society can consume in turn. It is a net drag on the economy and impoverishes everyone. And it’s reaching a tipping point in some governments across the U.S., especially with national debt now at $55,000 per ~individual~ in the U.S. And progressives in Congress and the various states show no sign of stopping the unsustainable behavior.

Don’t let progressives turn our nation into a large version of Detroit.

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Gavin Seim who is running for U.S. Congress in the Washington State 4th Congressional district had a great quote on his Facebook page the other day.   He wrote:

To deprive man the right to protect their person and property from any who without due process assault them, is both despotism and anarchy combined to destroy the foundation of liberty.  Such evil must be given no space. We must press it back and those who practice it must be removed from any office in which they can assault liberty with such vile intents.

The Constitution of the European Union begins with the words, “His Majesty, King of the Belgians…”  Under the charter of the E.U. it is assumed that all rights belong inherently to government, who then dictates to individuals what they can and cannot do.  Almost every government in ~human history~ has made this same assumption.

The Constitution of the United States is radically different.  It beings with the words, “We the People…do hereby ordain and establish…all…powers granted…”  In our form of government is was – until 100 years ago – assumed that all powers lay with individuals who dictate to government what it can and cannot do.

That started to change under President Woodrow Wilson in the progressive era when it started becoming popular to have a “living document” view of the Constitution, a view which says leaders can do whatever they want in the style of European Monarchs.  But the ~letter~ of the U.S. Constitution is still there and many still believe in it today.

Words matter.  In a European style government, the civil authority can claim to nullify the God-given right to defend one’s self and one’s property.  But never under the U.S. Constitution and Declaration of Independence.

We are a “delegated powers” government where the people delegate what government can do.  The Bill of Rights does not ~give~ us our rights.  It simply acknowledges them and was put in place just in case later generations (like Wilson’s) ignored the plain wording of the Constitution, which they have.  That’s why the fight over the Second Amendment (bearing arms), the Fourth Amendment (honoring of private property and liberty) and the Ninth and Tenth Amendments (acknowledgment of individual and State sovereignty) are so important.

Government has slowly over the last 100 years began to act as if all powers reside with itself and not with the People.  This used to be an occasional occurrence and mainly happened with laws made in wartime and decisions made by activist judges on a range of issues.  But in the past 20 years progressives have become shameless, openly advocating communism, wealth confiscation and systematic government elimination of religious expression, private property and the traditional family.

These voices are still a minority, but they are very vocal and they have targeted absolute control over education and social issues.  They are raising a generation of students who don’t know any better than to sympathize with progressive positions.  The students are being taught a caricature of history and are conditioned to question or dislike individualism, equality of treatment under law, equality of opportunity, traditional values and people reaping the consequences of their own choices.  In a word, they are being taught to dislike America.

The answer for this is to read – read the U.S. Declaration of Independence.  Read the U.S. Constitution, you can read it in one or two hours easily.  Read some of the Federalist Papers, the debates that resulted in the ratification of the Constitution.  Read ‘The Law’ by Frédéric Bastiat.  Read ‘The Road To Serfdom’ by Friedreich Hayek.  Read ‘Ameritopia’ or ‘Liberty and Tyranny’ by Mark Levin. Listen to anything audio you can find from Milton Friedman on Youtube (you can listen to it in the background while you do other things).  Or go to LearnLiberty.org and listen to some of their four minute presentations.

Understand why Individualism always leads to freedom and prosperity, while collectivism always leads to tyranny and poverty.  Just look at North and South Korea, or East and West Germany of 30 years ago.

Or look at daily life in the U.S. just 20 years ago, and compare it to today.  It’s time to vote in some people who truly understand liberty to roll back government and bring us back to America.

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Recently progressive comedian Bill Maher expressed the view that progressives have won the culture war, and took the same opportunity to refer to the Bible as a “dumb book”:

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/05/23/bill-maher-tells-twitter-liberals-to-calm-down-the-culture-war-is-over-and-we-won/

Here’s the reality:  Judeo Christian values have been winning the culture wars for 2,000 years and show no sign of stopping.

The Christian church is, “an anvil that has worn out many hammers,” and Judeo Christian values (the Ten Commandments) are the basis of the modern Western understanding of ethics and law.  If you don’t believe that, try going out and killing someone in the U.S. for any reason other than self defense.

The Roman Empire tried to redefine marriage.  It didn’t last.  I mean the Roman Empire.

Every generation rejects the values of previous generations and thinks, “Ah, this time, we’ve finally gotten it right!”  But the only consistent value systems that have lasted over centuries are systems directly tied to major world religions or religious philosophies.  And only one of those value systems gave birth to the highest level of individual liberty and prosperity in the history of the world.  It eliminated slavery.  It gave women power to vote and represent themselves legally.  It wound up saving Europe and the world from expansionist tyrannies on three separate occasions.

I’m not talking about enlightenment Humanism – on the contrary, Humanism originally sought to eliminate some “races” through eugenics and to this day tries to divide people into arbitrary groups, plundering one for the profit of another, but really taking the money to enrich it’s own leaders.

No, what led directly to a 5,000 year leap was the idea of constitutional republic grounded in Judeo Christian values.  It was Christians who believed that God is separate from creation and that nature could be looked at and studied objectively apart from myth.  It was Christians who popularized the radical idea that secular governments should not impose a state religion.  It was Christians who led the effort to abolish slavery.  It was Christians who won women the right to vote (the fight was led by the Women’s Christian Temperance Union).  And it was Christians who led the civil rights struggle of the 50’s and 60’s.

Everywhere Humanism and subsequent collectivism has been tried, it has led to servitude and poverty.  Individualism and Judeo Christian values have led to freedom and prosperity.  Most people who grow up in the U.S. simply cannot appreciate how special and rare this is in the history of the world.

Sadly, progressives like Maher want to muzzle free speech and attack people who don’t agree with them.  They have declared war on America and American values.  They want to enforce collectivism and uniformity of thought under the threat of law.  They want to put their fellow citizens in tyranny under social planners that wield the atheist equivalent of “Divine Right of Kings”.

They are the ones trying to drag this country backwards.

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Just read a tragic story about police tasing a father who was simply trying to get into a burning building trying to save his three year old son:

http://freedomoutpost.com/2013/11/la-police-taser-father-attempting-rescue-3-year-old-son-house-fire-boy-dies/

Here is why this happened –

In the mind of enlightenment thinking in general, and Marxist socialism in particular, people are simply “the masses”.  They are only products of evolution and genetics because there can surely be no God (after all, we’ve never seen evidence of Him!  We’ll accept a binary radio signal from space if we find it but we’ll discount a quaternary programming language capable of programming a human being!).  Therefore all powers reside with the State, period.  The State allows people to have rights or not.  In this world view, nobody is guilty of crimes because they are the product of society.  So all of society must pay for crime, not the criminal.  In the same way, people are not allowed to perform heroics or acts of self defense, because that is only the role of the State.  If people try to resist crime, or defend themselves, or be heroes, they MUST be prosecuted and thrown in jail.  After all, they are bucking the system, and that’s dangerous!  Meanwhile, people die as victims of crime, they die from not being able to protect themselves, and they die waiting for police and fire responders who, if a situation looks remotely dangerous, will many times just wait on the sidelines and sort out the bodies afterwards.  In a very real way, it’s like playing God. You know the old phrase, “Let God sort them out”?  If pure humanism and naturalism is all that informs one’s belief of an original cause and decision making,  and is the only  standard for one’s ethics, then they are in effect worshipping mankind and nature.  That is what functions in the place of religion in their life.  So it’s only natural that they would believe the State gets to play God.  Many people in positions of leadership in the government these days effectively do believe government is equal to what we would consider God, having all assumed powers and rights over individuals, as well as having assumed responsibility for imposing morality over people.  There couldn’t be a more stark contrast between this view and the Judeo Christian values our nation was founded on, that,  “…all men are…endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights…among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness …”  People should have liberty to oppose criminals, defend themselves and try to protect others.  If the current logic of the police were played out in the situation with the burning house and the three year old, on 911 the police would have stood outside the World Trade Towers and tased the people trying to go inside as first responders.   Think about that.  When the State plays God, people are coerced into a role of standing by and watching other pepole die.

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A friend of mine posted a quote by Peter Singer on Facebook recently and I composed a response.  I thought it would be a good idea to share both here.

The quote from Peter Singer was:
“The capitalist economic system, regarded by the classical economists as natural and inevitable, is an alienated form of human life. Under capitalism workers are forced to sell their labour . . . to the capitalists, who use this labour to accumulate more capital, which further increases the power of the capitalists over the workers. Capitalists become rich, while wages are driven down to the bare minimum needed to keep the workers alive.”

My response was:
“Ever wonder why the same people who believe Capitalism will sell them the rope to hang itself (Vladimir Lenin) also believe that religion is the opiate of the masses (Karl Marx)?  Ever wonder why everywhere you have communism and collectivism take root you also have persecution of the church?  Herb Titus, famed lawyer, graduate of Harvard Law, and head of a couple of law schools himself, addresses the logic behind Peter Singer’s quote about Capitalism in his book ‘Biblical Principles of Law’.  In the section on Fault, he talks about Lincoln Steffens, a man [a century ago] who would go around to major cities in the late teens and early 20’s lecturing to civic leaders about corruption.  Steffens would teach that church leaders are wrong, because in the Bible Adam blamed the woman, the woman blamed the serpent and church leaders stop there.  ‘The devil made me do it.’  But the real problem, Steffens would share, was the apple of temptation.  Remove the temptation and you would remove the problem.  Capitalism with it’s economic incentives, he believed, was the problem.  Lincoln had visited the young Soviet Union and praised it because he believed it would produce the most general prosperity and be the least corrupt system of any on the earth.  He famously wrote, “I have seen the future, and it works!”  Of course we know the Soviet Union became one of the least prosperous, most corrupt systems on earth.  The problem wasn’t the apple of temptation, and good church leaders don’t blame the serpent.  The problem is mankind and sin nature.  In the same way, the problem with economics is not the incentives of Capitalism, it’s the corruption of mankind.  The idea that mankind is flawed and needs checks and balances is classically called the concept of Natural Law, or to put it differently, the law of mankind’s nature.  Natural Law and the English Common Law both looked to Biblical Law as the rule for controlling mankind.  The final six Ten Commandments were considered the rule for keeping mankind in check.  Inherent in this was also the idea of just rewards – each man is individually responsible for their actions, and reaps blessings or curses as they exercise individual liberty.  The Enlightenment – Marx, Freud, Darwin and Kant – turned this idea on it’s head.  They believed man was simply and only a product of genetics and his environment.  Mankind doesn’t really have freewill because everything we do is pre-determined by chemicals and stimulus.  As such, individuals are not responsible for their actions, society is.  All of society must pay for the wrongdoing of each individual.  And so Enlightenment thinking embraces the concepts of societal insurance, central [social] planning and the idea that good of the collective takes precedence over individual life, liberty and property.  At the heart of this is the belief that if we can just change mankind’s environment, we can change mankind.  If we can just remove the apple of temptation, we can experience Eden once again.  It’s the age old lie, ‘ye shall be as God’.  But the problem is not the environment, the problem is sin.  The problem is us.  And to the degree that secularists stop holding individuals accountable for individual actions and instead try to deal with society as a collective, a nation experiences increasing uncertainty and injustice both in the economy and in the courtroom.  Herb Titus’ treatment of this subject is brilliant, and is online at:  http://www.lonang.com/curriculum/5/s51.htm

The exchange reminded me of President Regan’s Address before the Assembly of the Republic of Portugal in Lisbon on May 9, 1985

President Regan said:
“…Yes, democratic Portugal has faced political problems and social problems and economic problems, and, no, democracy, particularly in its earlier years, does not always go smoothly.  But this is true of any nation and especially any democracy. In my country, we’ve learned over and over again that democracy can only work when it is judged not in the short run but over the long term, when we keep in mind the principles upon which it is based and remember how right Winston Churchill was to remind us that democracy truly is the worst form of government, except for all the others.  The essential truth at the heart of Portuguese and American democracy is our belief that governments exist for the sake of the people and not the other way around. And this belief is based on an essential insight of our civilization—the dignity of man, the value of the individual. My own nation’s forefathers justified our revolution with these words in the Declaration of Independence: ‘… all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.’  Well, it is this trust in the individual—the right to speak, to assemble, to publish, and to vote, even to walk out—that is the meaning of democracy. Our democratic governments are not built on the proposition that the people are always right; indeed, within the structure of our governments there are safeguards against the whims or passions of the majority. But democratic government is built on the proposition that there resides in the common people an uncommon wisdom, that over the long run the people and their right to political self-expression are the best protection against freedom’s oldest and most powerful enemy—the unchecked growth and abuse of the power of the state…”

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