The word “collectivism” sounds old-fashioned today. It’s supposed to. It’s supposed to sound like a label from a bygone age when people were combing US government offices for hidden Soviet spies.
Collectivism is tied to other obsolete slogans like “Better dead than Red” and “America, love it or leave it.” In other words, we’re supposed to think collectivism was simply a trendy idea that ran out of steam. You know, a bunch of crazy paranoids were scrambling around warning everybody the sky was falling, but it wasn’t. They yelled COLLECTIVISM IS COMING, WATCH OUT, but nothing happened.
Well, the truth is, collectivism won its war. It absolutely won. So it changed its name. It became a thousand names behind a thousand masks. So now we’re the spies. We’re the spies for freedom, and they’re profiling us and trying to marginalize our influence.
Think back to the war of 1776. The Colonists came together, some of them. They banded together to fight the British. They were a group, and ultimately they won. But what did they do after that? They somehow managed to frame founding documents that established freedom of the individual, not the group, as the primary building block of the new Republic.
If we win this fight to preserve freedom in America, will we have the same understanding of what The Individual means? Or will we be so brainwashed that we’ll preach and teach freedom for The Group? If we take the latter path, we’ll fall right back into the trap of collectivism.
Consider the actions and words of the last few presidents. Have any of them made The Individual the basis of their rhetoric?
The answer, of course, is no. And Obama has been the worst of them in that regard. Obama is, you might say, the natural evolution of the eradication of The Individual. He’s focused all his attention on groups.
He bemoans the unemployment rate in “the public sector,” which is the drone-core of the collective. He emphatically demeans the individual entrepreneur (“you didn’t build that”), and claims that the infrastructure of the country, built by the public sector (?), is more important than The Individual.
Under Obama, the collective has become a messianic force. As if, in its vague and undefined way, it will save us all. We’ll become crusaders for that cause.
Yet, for every significant enterprise in human history, the individual vision comes first. It is the launching pad. The energy and inspiration of one person is the thing without which nothing happens.
Where is this taught in our schools? Where do we hear this in churches? What corporations explain this? How many parents make this clear to their children?
The idea has been lost. It is so lost that the majority of Americans don’t even understand what it means.
This should be a blood-curdling fact. But it isn’t. The major media certainly don’t bother with it. Psychologists don’t study it or comment on it. Who is funding studies on the power and vision of the free individual? What politician is running for office based on that idea? In what district anywhere in America would such a campaign score a victory?
No, The Individual is passe.
That’s where we are.
We’re in the dark.
Even when alternative journalists cover the dying out of freedom, they almost always discuss how “all of us” are being swamped by repressive forces. They don’t cut to the core:
Freedom is dying out for The Individual. That’s the stark essence of what is happening in America. But it’s easier to talk about “all of us,” because we have been brainwashed into believing that freedom or slavery is a collective issue.
An overwhelming number of Americans, in what is still the freest nation in the world, can no longer conceive of themselves as free and powerful individuals.
So I can tell you this: even if we win the fight to preserve the Bill of Rights and the Constitution, what we’ll do after that will still miss the mark, until we resurrect The Individual. And that job is Herculean. Most people don’t want to hear about it or think about it.
I, for one, think about it every day. It is a North Star that allows a person to navigate his life. It’s a standard and a measuring rod.
In uncountable ways, we are being drawn into the orbit of The Group. One group or another. We are told, directly or subtly, that everything we do is connected to others, and that connection is the defining impulse that shows us what we are. We are THAT and nothing else.
Why did George Orwell write 1984 about Winston Smith, one individual? Because he wanted to show the effect of the all-consuming State on its primary target: one person. Is that the way the book is read and taught now? Or are we supposed to believe that Winston Smith, the rebel, was merely a symbol and a metaphor for what was happening to everyone?
It doesn’t matter what is happening to everyone, when the irreducible essence of freedom, one person, is no longer present in consciousness.
When people think about Aldous Huxley’s novel, Brave New World, can they recall an individual hero, or has the State, in the book, taken over existence to such a degree that the one person is irrelevant?
Operation Mind Control, or collectivism, has triumphed so fully in our time that most people can’t imagine themselves as distinct and separate and free and powerful individuals. Nor do they want to. They feel guilt when they try. They feel they are betraying the Mass. They feel they are breaking the law. They feel they must retreat back to a position of safety. They feel that, if they step out in front of The Group, they are losing their innate “religion.”
Through devious means, the media twists individuals into “lone individuals,” a phrase we’re all too familiar with. These are the mysterious psychopaths who commit vicious crimes. The implication is: if they only had been part of some community, they might have learned community values and taken a different path. They might have realized they were part of the whole “human family.” They might have been saved.
Because, according to collectivism, to be saved IS to recognize that one is a cell inside an interdependent collection of cells. That is the premise. That’s the trendy thing to believe.