Collectivism, Individualism & Freedom
Collectivism, Individualism & Freedom– “…persons are considered to be only cogs in a collectivist wheel.“
by Bill Lockwood
ObamaCare specifically, but collectivist socialism generally, is not only unconstitutional in America, but immoral. This does not mean that we have not or do not practice socialism via the redistribution of wealth. America has become a leading fascist or socialist nation. The Affordable Care Act is a perfect illustration. But it is at root level, immoral, and goes a long way in explaining why our streets are exploding with violence.
Think about a few concepts, then an illustration.
Consider first, individualism. As a political philosophy, America is to be a nation in which individuals, not the collective, is emphasized. Translated, this means that it is “individual freedom” which is stressed in our Constitution and other founding documents. As a concept it is rooted squarely in biblical teaching whereby “individuals” are held accountable before God—not families or societies.
“For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of God, for it is written, ‘As I live, says the Lord, to me, every knee shall bow, and every tongue shall confess to God. So then each one of us shall give account of himself to God” (Rom. 14:11,12).
Connected with this is the worth of each individual. We are crafted by God “in his image” (Gen. 1:27). “I am fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14).
The biblical doctrine of individualism is the dominant feature of western civilization precisely because our society is founded upon God-given rights, per the Declaration of Independence. This means that the interests of individuals and the rights of persons are held paramount. This is where morality lies.
Turn attention to its opposite: collectivism.
Collectivism is any species of political and economic system in which the government, or people, as a group, own land, factories, and other means of production. It flows from philosophy where de-emphasis is upon individuals and “classes” or “groups” of society are dominant. Various species of this include socialism, communism, and fascism.
The key element here, however, is that the moral worth of the individual is counted as very little and persons are considered to be only cogs in a collectivist wheel. The “greater good” of society rules. In practice this means that whatever group or powerful politician needs to sustain his office-holding is favored. Collectivism or statism is a moral stance that removes worth of the individual. This is how America has become not only immoral but that immorality is actually encoded into our system.
I illustrate it with the story of one of my friends, named Carl.
The Story of Carl
Carl is a great Christian friend. He is self-employed as a housing contractor, builder, welder, and pretty much a doer-of-everything kind of guy. Hard working by nature, his integrity is outstanding, laboring many over-hours to accomplish his tasks.
Carl comes from the old-time school, as thousands of other Texans, where one’s word is your bond. If he tells you he will do a certain project; it will be done—under budget. It is not that Carl is slower than corporate executives that he has a blue-collar job, but because he loves to work with his hands in the great outdoors. He needs no overseer because he is conscientious about his work.
Frugal by nature, my friend saves his money. When traveling, for example, he sleeps on the side of the road in a tent to avoid paying hotel costs. A self-made man that could survive if lost on the prairie. When his truck breaks down, he fixes it; when his roof needs replacing, he does the work; when the fields need mowing, he does them.
He now has a wife and daughter. Providing for his family in a God-ordered manner is his joy. Part of this provision involves health insurance—which cost him—prior to the arrival of Barack Obama on the scene, about $300 per month. This included the entire family. Enter ObamaCare. Carl’s insurance premiums sky-rocketed to over $1000 per month.
“We must take from” the workers, said Obama, and distribute to those who are not as “fortunate” as Carl. Carl was forced to drop his own insurance in order to purchase it for his wife and child. So now, he himself is without.
He continues to work just as hard as ever, laboring as a private contractor for different people. But no health insurance for himself—it is too expensive. Where is Carl’s money going?
One can witness it in a thousand neighborhoods. Free health care clinics; what used to be called Section 8 housing; free education to many children who could not care less if they were there; free medical care including costs of having children for unwed mothers; babysitting, and medical care for the children. Then, to sweeten the pot, there is the Earned Income Credit for teenagers and others who bounce around through society on a continual marijuana high and who wait for that big EIC check at the first of the year so they might purchase another car, or spend it at the Casino.
The real workers of America, such as Carl, are not the Forgotten Men of America, they are The Exploited Men. This system cannot continue; nor should it.