Collectivism means force, no matter which way you slice it

The Venezuelan people marched through the streets of Caracas this last weekend, banging empty pots, in what is called the “empty pots march,” because the country is running out of food. The march, accompanied by many violent protests over the last month, are a symptom of the socialist regime lead by President Nicolás Maduro.

What should we call this amazing social blight?

The Cato Institute’s Daniel Mitchell rehearses all the names: statism, liberalism, socialism, fascism.

I have a list of my own:

  1. Socialism: nationalization of the means of production.
  2. Communism: socialism plus death camps.
  3. Racism: government by and for “our kind.”
  4. Fascism: racism plus death camps.
  5. Corporatism: conspiracy of big business and big government.
  6. Liberalism: conspiracy of best and brightest and big government.
  7. Progressivism: liberals in the 1 percent that think they are the 99 percent.
  8. Obamacare: liberalism plus death panels.

What is the point of boiling down names of left-leaning movements?

The point is that all these “isms” reduce to one idea: the embrace of collectivism. And collectivism requires force.

Liberals don’t like to be called “liberals” any more. And certainly not “socialists.” Give it another ten years and they won’t want to be called “progressives” either.

But all along, the word “collectivism” maintained a scent of Kumbaya consensus between mild-mannered librarians. Collectivism is altruism, they would have you believe.

Rubbish, says George Gilder in a recent Prager University piece. The entrepreneur is the real altruist, because he has to think of other peoples’ needs before his own. If atruism means, per Wikipedia, “the principle or practice of concern for the welfare of others,” then Ayn Rand is wrong to say that individualism celebrates the virtue of selfishness.

Individualism is the idea that the individual is responsible for finding his way in society.  He or she must find how to contribute, and then do it. The individual must always be thinking about “alter” — the other.

Collectivism is the idea that the individual is not responsible. Society is responsible for supplying food and shelter and work. People work when they must and march on the food ministry when the food runs out. To heck with the other, what about “me?”

When everyone is thinking about how they can contribute to society, people prosper. Entrepreneurs think up products that others will want to buy; workers interview for jobs by selling an employer on how their skills can contribute to the success of the firm.

Collectivism is the opposite. It means unionized teachers that demand a salary and pension, but take no responsibility on how to improve their work produce, and how to improve education; it’s up to “them.”  Because, justice.

Don’t believe me? Let’s talk Obamacare. Obama sold it as cheap affordable health care for all. If you like your doctor you can keep your doctor, and costs will go down an average of $2,500 per family per year.  Nothing but fluffy bunnies and earnest collective consensus.

In fact the whole thing is based on force. Everyone is forced to buy health insurance, forced to buy policies with government-ordered benefits. All backed up by penalties to follow.

But the joke is that Obama can’t face the truth of his collectivist dream, that Obamacare means force. He can’t face the backlash at the polls from people forced to buy insurance they don’t like at a price they can’t afford to pay.

And now, the Wall Street Journal has discovered that the White House secretly rescinded the “individual mandate” for two years.

Collectivism means force. That’s what’s wrong with Venezuela; that’s what’s wrong with Obamacare. Tell that to your liberal friends.


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