Submitted by Brandon Smith of Alt-Market blog,
Mankind has faced a bewildering multitude of self-made catastrophes and self-made terrors over the past few millennium, most of which stem from a single solitary conflict between two opposing social qualities: individualism vs. collectivism. These two forces of organizational mechanics have gone through evolution after evolution over the years, and I believe the long battle is nearing an apex moment; a moment in which one ideology or the other will become dominant around the world for well beyond the foreseeable future.
The assumption often made amongst academia is that the philosophy that appeals most to our “natural survival imperative” and caters to our desire for innovation will eventually win the day. That there is no “right or wrong” side; only the effective, and the less effective. The advanced and the outmoded. The transcendent, and the archaic.
It should come as no surprise then that most academics and prominent mainstream talking heads often sing the praises of collectivism as the inevitable champion in the war between cultural engines. Collectivism always presents itself with the flair and sexiness of the “new”, or the progressive, while individualism tends to wear the unpleasant battle scars of hard earned principles and heritage. Collectivism is the hot looking but mentally unstable bombshell blonde making promises of excitement and long term comfort she has no intention of keeping. She is so seductive not because she has any profound inner qualities, but because she has a knack for letting you believe she is exactly what you fantasize her to be. Only when it’s too late do you realize she’s a psychopathic pill popping man-eater…
Collectivism is, in fact, a bastardization of a more useful human condition; namely community. Inherent in all people is the need for meaningful connection with others, and thus, the world around them, without being forced to sacrifice their own identities and their own souls in the process. The best representation of this model is the idea of “voluntary community”, where individuals seek out each other and facilitate their own connections. However, if they can’t find meaningful connection, many people will settle for whatever they can get.
Collectivist structures thrive by shutting down free cultural avenues, manipulating public media, encouraging fear, repression, and bias, and destroying our ability to relate to others in a natural and voluntary way. Collectivism’s first goal is to distract and ISOLATE individuals from one another, so that honest community is difficult to build. Its second goal is to then offer a false community; a cardboard cutout or proxy that entices the public with fabricated and superficial connections that barely satiate our inner hunger for relationship with our fellow man (Facebook, anyone?). It uses our thirst for understanding against us, and lures us into a system of psychological enslavement where no understanding will ever be found.
Karl Marx is famous for stating that “religion is the opium of the people”, a belief that communists like Mao Zedong adopted. But, Mao was not opposed to “opiates for the masses” per say, only citizen organizations that could not be control. Mao simply replaced the various deities of the Chinese people with the religion of the collectivist state.
Like any opiate, collectivism instills addiction. The feeling of belonging to something bigger than oneself (even if it ends up being false) creates ecstatic euphoria, a euphoria that weakens as time passes unless the addict commits himself even deeper into the hive mind. Soon, every original aspect of the person’s character is forgotten and replaced entirely by his hyper-obsession with the collective. The whole of his identity becomes a shallow product of the state and he may even defend that state, no matter how corrupt, to the death. He now treats any criticism of the system as a personal attack on himself, because everything he is has been given to him by the collective. If the collective is a sham, then so is he.
Collectivism as a philosophy is a perfect tool for oligarchy. The men who dominate such systems rarely if ever actually believe in the tenets they espouse. They sell the idea of single-minded society as a nurturing light that will create group supremacy, prosperity, and perfect safety. But the truth is, they couldn’t care less about accomplishing any of these things for the masses. They are only interested in exploiting the promise to galvanize the population into a fraudulent community, a dystopia in which the citizens police each other in the name of the state, giving the elites total dominance.
The most vital aspect of the collectivist process is convincing the public that the individual citizen is not sovereign, but is actually the property of the group. Many readers have already witnessed this argument first hand in the statements of MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry, who believes your children are not yours to raise, but products of the collective to be molded:
But this is only a taste of collectivist zealotry at work. Here are just a few of the most prominent disinformation tactics and methodologies used by centralization cultists to twist the fabric of nations and enslave individuals…
1) The Blank Slate
Blank slate theory stems from the Freudian model of psychology and has been adopted and refined by modern mainstream clinical psychiatry. The theory contends that all psychological processes and character traits of an individual are merely products of repetition and memory derived through environmental experience. Psychiatry extends the theory into biology in the belief that all human behavior is nothing more that a series of reactionary chemical processes in the brain that determine pre-coded genetic responses built up from the conditioning of one’s environment. The foundational assertion of blank slate theory is that human beings are born empty. That we are bio-computers; soft machinery, just waiting to be programmed.
The blank slate argument is essential to the philosophy of collectivism. If every person is born without inherent characteristics or spirit, and all people are manufactured by environmental conditions alone, then, collectivists contend, there is no such thing as true individualism. Programmed people cannot act, they can only react according to their conditioning. Therefore, they have no inherent ability to choose, or to determine their own destinies.
If a society can be convinced that this theory is fact, then the inner self (the source of individualism), no longer bears any meaning. The environment is then seen as the only determinant that people should care about. Environment becomes the sole master of their lives, and whoever controls the environment, controls them.
The problem is, blank slate theory has been proven time and time again to be absolutely false. From the work of MIT professor Steven Pinker, to the psychological studies of Carl Jung, to the linguistic studies of Noam Chomsky, as well as numerous studies in mathematics, quantum physics, and anthropology; every field of science has produced more than ample evidence that human beings are not born as blank slates. Rather, they are born with the very building blocks of thought, language, mathematics, and even predispositions towards certain personality traits.
The most important of all of these discoveries though is attributed to Carl Jung, who found that moral conceptions are in fact inborn. The existence of “psychological dualities” at birth (including an unconscious sense of good and evil) means that all people come into the world with the ability to CHOOSE. Environment only determines our lives if we allow it to. This is why the worst of men sometimes come from the most sheltered and safe environments, while the best of men often come from broken and terrible homes.
Collectivists have struggled desperately for ages to deny or destroy the concept of inherent individualism. They want us to believe that everything that we have was “given to us” by them. As long as we know they have given us nothing, they can never truly win…
2) Individualism Is The Same As Selfishness
Collectivists repeat this lie Ad nauseum. The suggestion is simple – even the smallest individual actions “affect everyone”, thus, everyone is culpable for the problems of the whole. And, if everyone is responsible for the problems of the whole, then everyone must take responsibility for everyone else. The job of society then, at least in the opinion of collectivists, is to keep every individual member of that society in line. One unruly cog could bring the entire machine to a halt. Anyone who refuses to submit to the directives of the group is bound to hurt the group, and is, therefore, selfish, or even criminal.
The insanity of this way of thinking should be obvious. First of all, it assumes that the directives of the group are always logically and morally sound. It assumes that because the majority of people have come to a particular conclusion, that conclusion must, by default, be correct. The fact is, history has shown that at any given moment the majority is wrong about something, if not most things, and these mass trespasses against reason and conscience always end up being stopped by a minority of individualists. The greatest social achievements of mankind are the result of the ingenuity and courage of individuals who in turn inspired others.
Perhaps the best possible thing is for the machine to be sabotaged at times by “selfish individuals’. Perhaps individuals are actually more necessary to the survival of the group than the group is to the survival of individuals…
3) The Family Unit Cannot Be Trusted To Raise The Next Generation
In the quest for a collectivist system, all competing interests must be debased. The individual must have nowhere to turn for guidance or comfort but the system itself. Children become a highly sought after target, because their inborn personalities are easier to oppress, and because they are always dependent on someone for their survival already. The collective (usually in the form of government) desires to be that “someone” the child depends on, and so, the role of the parents has to be diminished.
Collectivists in the U.S. use the “It Takes A Village” approach in order to marginalize the family unit and paint parents as secondary figures in the development of their own offspring. Under this philosophy, each subsequent generation is seen as a kind of “commodity”, a resource that belongs to the group and that must be “protected” from the damaging ideologies of the parents. One has only to examine the extreme politicization of American public schools today to see this process in action. The goal is to push the idea of family into obscurity, while forcing children into indoctrination factories that instill specific behaviors through fear, shame, and propaganda.
No one, and no entity, however, has the capacity to care for any child more than that child’s own parents. Some parents do fail in their responsibilities, but what kind of role model does government really make in their place? Governments lie, cheat, steal, rape, murder, and mass murder in order to get what they want. Government has nothing worthwhile to teach anyone, including our children.
4) Global Problems Will Be Solved By Collectivism
I find in my examinations that the opposite is true. Most global problems are CAUSED by collectivism, not solved by it. The greater good is always subjective. The group will always be an abstract illusion held together by nothing more than the whims of the individual. And, in the grand scheme of things, only individuals make any difference in the course of human cultural development. The collectivist strategy requires the suppression of individualism, otherwise, they cannot obtain power. That means, the very bedrock of their philosophy is a threat to the security of the future. In their obscene quest to control tomorrow, they ensure that tomorrow dies.
They promise community, and they give you isolation. They promise prosperity, and they give you servitude. They promise safety, and they give you a land of perpetual terror. They promise purpose, and give you insignificance. They promise peace, and they foment war after war after war, reaping turmoil all around us, as well as within us.
Our only hope is to maintain the integrity of our heart, and our will. The proclamation that the individual is subject to the necessities of the collective is a con. There is no such prerogative. In the end, there is no power over us but that which we give away. The state doesn’t matter. The group doesn’t matter. The “greater good” doesn’t matter. All that matters is the life of the individual. Each individual. For when all men rediscover their individualism, only then will we be able to move forward as a whole.