(Original Work) The individual makes the collective.

The more I study politics and the dissemination of ideas, the less inclined I am to believe there is as much “grey” in the world as I used to believe. Now, depending on your worldview, your opinion of that statement may differ- I respect that. I believe that respect is the only legitimate form of governance, If there is such a thing.
All political philosophy seems to boil down to one of two foundational principles. One belief is that power resides in the people, the individual. The other is that power resides in the collective or the group. The former maximizes liberty and freedom for each individual but is essentially anarchy. The latter provides security at the cost of liberty to those that accept the rule by force. Simultaneously, collectivism removes liberties from certain individuals or groups to protect the others involved in the “social contract”.
It is upon these ideas (for that is all politics really is- the practicing of philosophy) that all manner of rules and laws exists. So before a truly critical mind can attempt to deal with the inherit contradictions of governance, they must first realize that all laws are creations. The state itself is nothing if not a creation of men.
With the realization that there is no group which is not comprised of individuals (certainly a group derives its power from the individuals comprising it) then it should stand to reason that the needs of the individual outweigh those of the group. This is not the general consensus of culture today, as the idea of collectivism is actively being taught throughout the public education system. However, when one looks at the mathematical concept of “democracy” or majority rule, we can see almost immediately that the system is inherently unjust.
A group of 10 split into groups of two, making five groups, provides the perfect example. Should three of the groups decide that the other two should be absorbed into the “collective” there is no recourse for the two. For if the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few and there was “justification” to conquer the smaller groups, what would be wrong? What would be immoral or unjust about the majority forcefully imposing their will on the minority? More succinct to say, the “rights” of the collective outweigh the rights of the individuals.Now that there are only three groups, what is to stop two from absorbing the one?
How can there be anything resembling freedom, or liberty, if one group is allowed to dictate to the individual. Surely that was the problem with slavery. The powerful group determined that other groups where not people, or “partial persons”. Scholars and presidents, intellectuals and priests all agreed that the “white” group was better than the “black group”. The same would hold true for women, gays, religious minorities, dissenting political figures. It is a common tactic to demonize the opposition and what better way than to declare someone “Sub Human”. Once demonized it is easy to discredit and shrug away all those that oppose your agenda, to justify aggression as an act of preservation of society.
If, however, the rights of the individual reign supreme, then infringing upon those natural rights becomes unacceptable. The choices of the individual are sovereign in so much that they do not infringe on the rights of others. No rights of force are given to any, only the right to defend. In no way do I wish to make light of the disagreements which will arise, but if the foundation of society is that the individual is sovereign- not the state or group- than it becomes the duty of the people to provide for their own needs. This may sound selfish or callous to some, but shouldn’t everyone be responsible for their world? Then there is no one to blame for ineffectiveness. There is no one else that is going to come along side those in need, except for me. Except for you.
The safety net of government has helped millions of people, but at what costs? Social Security is bankrupt, same with medicare, medicaid, and in point of fact so to are many municipalities and even the federal government itself. And while the reality may be that there is more than enough money to provide benefits, and social services, the bigger question is- should one group require another to support it? Is it just or moral that all of the services in the United States are paid for by around fifty percent of the population? I am all for charity and believe that being of service is the highest calling, but I loath to help those who have no desire to help themselves. I have met so many people that refuse to work simply because to return would mean a “pay cut”.
Surely there are those that need help, but have you ever been to the medic-cal office? It is so disorganized and unproductive that even the most patient people will throw up their hands in frustration. In trying to be “fair” the policies become more and more stringent, disenfranchising more and more people. New rules are implemented to discourage cheaters and leeches and the system becomes increasingly more complicated. The biggest irony of the whole system is that we must apply and wait for approval to claim the monies we have invested over years of service. Should anyone be denied federal benefits if they are a paying “customer”? Should those who succeed in life be denied the opportunity to utilize the money invested in the system?
I am not trying to write a novel here so I will close with this. There are only two beliefs in the political world and we all fall somewhere on the spectrum. The first belief is that because individuals are the basis of society, their sovereignty and protection is the basis for all justice. The other side believes that the state is sovereign,and the protection of the group supersedes that of the individual- making the state the arbiter of justice. One belief requires cooperation, voluntary service, and constantly critical and vigilante people. The other requires obedience, ignorance and frankly immorality.
You may think that is a strong choice of words but when should any group be allowed to take from another? Does good intention make up for bad actions? As the old saying goes “The road to hell is paved with good intention” and history certainly confirms that. In theory many things sounded good, but in practice they were devastating. Communism in Russia, Fascism in Germany, both where attempted to better the lives of the citizens, both were abject failures. People are unique and as such cannot be placed into “one size fits all” categories. There is no such thing as “Public Opinion” because each individual has a different opinion. Even if the end idea is the same there are numerous ways to achieve any idea. Your ideas are different and unique from my own and for this fact- the only limitation on ideas should be the extent to which they can forced onto others. Discuss, tease, antagonize, demonize, these things are inevitable in discussion, but one should never force acceptance. The only reason we perceive justice, is because we first experienced injustice. The test of any law is its universality and surely a group cannot have more liberty than the people that comprise it- for who in the group will exercise that power?

I welcome discussion of this topic and dissent from my opinions. We all grow together or fall apart and I never wish to become pompous or “out of touch” with reality. This is the opinion I have come to in my research and would cede that either philosophy is far reaching and both have negative and positive consequences. My contention is that individualism will produce much better results in the long run than collectivism will or can.

(If I missed any grammar or spelling please let me know… I have spent to much time here already)


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