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From the Lehigh Valley Project 9/12 Tea Party–Individual Rights Action Committee, Part 1

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COLLECTIVISM: THE DEATH OF INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS

WHAT IS COLLECTIVISM?

COLLECTIVISM is the ideology that claims that the group, the race, the tribe, the community, the proletariat, the nation is the ultimate social unit ane that an individual member, therefore, is forced to surrender his personal interests for what has been deemed “good” for the group. Since a group is not a living, thinking entity, but just a number of individuals, the only way a group can determine “the good” is by majority vote, or by the dictates of the individuals who are in charge.

In a society where individualism is the dominant ideology, membership in a group is voluntary and no group gets any special privileges from the government.  This is the society the founders attempted to give us in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

In a nation where a mixture of individualism and collectivism is the ideology governing a country (the USA today), collectivism takes the form of pressure group warfare. This consists of various groups trying to gain special favors from the government at the expense of the taxpayer, e.g., unions, environmentalists, blacks, women, farmers, the disabled, public/private partnerships, etc..

When Collectivism becomes the political and economic ideology governing a country, it is called STATIST and consists of one group dictating policy which favors them at the expense of everyone else. Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union are modern examples of this.

DOES COLLECTIVISM VIOLATE MAN’S BASIC NATURE?

Man’s basic nature requires that he must think in order to survive. This is a unique characteristic to man and survival is not automatic as it is in other living things, like plants and animals.  To be successful, people must first learn how to think by using information gained through their senses and then choose to use reason to acquire the knowledge necessary to produce the things they need.  However, people can make mistakes when making decisions.  They must utilize a moral code to determine what is in their best interest and must be free to make that choice.  No one has the right to force someone else to make any decisions.  If man’s basic nature is violated either by an individual failing to choose to do what is in his own rational self-interest, or if they are forced to choose against it by another person or a government, then they will be incapable of living a full, successful, human life.

Collectivism violates man’s basic nature because it does not allow individuals to think and act for themselves. Under collectivism, the individual may be forced to act against his own rational self-interest by a majority decision for the purpose of the “greater good”.  Collectivism demands that an individual’s life and work is not his own and that the group can determine what will be done with them (for example see any wealth redistribution program).  Individual rights including property rights are not respected in collectivism.  The final result of collectivism is tyranny, misery, and death as seen throughout history in the collectivist societies of China, the Soviet Union, Cambodia, Cuba, Venezuela, and elsewhere.

DOES COLLECTIVISM VIOLATE INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS?

Under collectivism, the individual is stripped of the unalienable rights which protect him from domination by the group. Those unalienable rights are:  The right to life, liberty, property and the pursuit (not guarantee) of happiness.

COLLECTIVISM DENIES:

Your right to your life  because, under collectivism, the purpose of your life is to serve the “common good” as determined by the group (collective) which is in power.  If you can’t choose your own (rational) actions, you don’t own your life and you will obey.

Your right to your property  because, under collectivism, all property is either owned (socialism), or controlled (fascism) by the collective and you are a slave of the state.

Your right to your liberty    because under collectivism you must obey the group or collective in power.  That is not individual freedom or liberty.

Your right to the pursuit of your happiness  because under collectivism, it is the happiness of the collective that is the goal or the standard to be pursued.  You are the slave to the happiness of the collective.

Your right to religious freedom  because only the collective determines the good.

Your right to free speech  because the collective, not you, decides what can be said.

Your right to free trade  because there is only controlled production and distribution when there is no private property.

For more details read: “Collectivized Ethics”, “Collectivized ‘Rights’”, “Man’s Rights” and “The Nature of Government in Ayn Rand’s “The Virtue of Selfishness” and “What is Capitalism?” in Ayn Rand’s “Capitalism, The Unknown Ideal”

PREPARED BY: The Individual Rights Action Committee of the Lehigh Valley Tea Party.

July, 2014

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