Individualism vs. Collectivism Header

The "Us" vs. "Them" Mentality

    Throughout history there has been a consant battle betwen the individual and those who practice collectivism. Individuals are viewed by collectivists as a barrier to accomplishing their collective goals. They view individuals as something with which they need to deal - a burden to be borne, and yet, also something that, if controlled, will enable their plots and plans to meet with success. Democracy, in which individuals have a voice and Republicanism, which is a government ruled by the people, are not compatable with Collectivism.

    It so happens that these are the two forms of government upon which America was founded and, therefore, the American ideal is opposed to collectivism. Americans, by nature of their historical upbringing (and the Declaration of Independence), are opposed to control - we are accustomed to decide for ourselves, individually, what is best for us, our children and our future. However, more and more each day the government is introducing measures that limit the freedom to decide for ourselves what "we think" is best. We are told that we do not understand or appreciate the danger(s) that we face and, therefore, cannot be allowed to determine, for ourselves what is best.

    Collectivism, itself, is made up of a collection of individuals. However, in a collective structure only a few individuals rise to the top. At that position, they relegate, delegate and subjugate (enslave) the masses — other individuals, who are not fortunate enough to be one of the few. There are different levels or types of "individuals" within the collective structure - corporate, financial, military, political, religious etc., and each (most often, unknowingly) play their part in the collective scheme(s).



    These first two paragraphs contain what Wikipedia, has to say regarding Individualism and Collectivism.

Individualism

    Individualism is a term used to describe a moral, political, or social outlook that stresses human independence and the importance of individual self-reliance and liberty. Individualists promote the exercise of individual goals and desires. They oppose most external interference with an individual's choices - whether by society, the state, or any other group or institution. Individualism is therefore opposed to holism, collectivism, communalism, statism, socialism, totalitarianism, and communitarianism, which stress that communal, group, societal, racial, or national goals should take priority over individual goals. Individualism is also opposed to the view that adherents to tradition, institutions of religion, or any other group or authority should be empowered to limit an individual's choice of actions when those actions do not violate the rights of other individuals. [View the Wikipedia article on Individualism.]


Collectivism    

    Collectivism is a term used to describe any moral, political, or social outlook, that stresses human interdependence and the importance of a collective, rather than the importance of separate individuals. Collectivists focus on community and society, and seek to give priority to group goals over individual goals. The philosophical underpinnings of collectivism are for some related to holism or organicism - the view that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Specifically, a society as a whole can be seen as having more meaning or value than the separate individuals that make up that society. Collectivism is widely seen as the antipole of individualism. [View the Wikipedia article on Collectivism.]




    I find it impossible to speak of individualism, without discussing unalienable rights, because they are bestowed upon every individual at birth.. One of the major reasons that it is relevant to this discussion, is that collectivism and those who have surrendered to its principles, will, if at all possible, subvert the unalienable rights of all individuals — not only Americans, but all babies, male or female, across the globe. This is the mindset of the collectivist — This is what they have accepted as their lot in life. Many of them feel that they are destined, obligated to control the feeble-minded masses (that's most of us, in their minds), who, if left to decide things for ourselves, would self-destruct.

    I don’t believe we need a "New World Order" or an imposed "One World Government," we have a worldwide community — a "One World Community," if you will, that could funciton quite well, if "government" (as in entities promoting a "One World Government") would surrender its insatiable desire to to control individuals. It is made up of all the individuals who were bestowed with unalienable rights at birth. When a child takes its first breath, These rights already exist, waiting to be exercised. The first of these three rights — the right to life — is exercised at birth. We already have a country that is established on principles that guarantee us our unalienable rights and I don’t think we should abandon it or relinquish our rights.

America's Declaration of Independence States:
    "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness." — DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE

    "Men are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights,-'life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness;' and to 'secure,' not grant or create, these rights, governments are instituted. That property which a man has honestly acquired he retains full control of, subject to these limitations: First, that he shall not use it to his neighbor's injury, and that does not mean that he must use it for his neighbor's benefit; second, that if he devotes it to a public use, he gives to the public a right to control that use; and third, that whenever the public needs require, the public may take it upon payment of due compensation." — BUDD v. PEOPLE OF STATE OF NEW YORK, 143 U.S. 517 (1892)
    Individualism is not listed as one of our unalienable rights, but those unalienable rights that are bestowed upon all of us as a nation, are bestowed upon each of us as individuals. Howerver, it is only in the exercising of these rights that we actually possess them. In the 10th Edition of Merriam Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, unalienable is said to mean: incapable of being alienated, surrendered or transfered. Our Constitution also says we have an inalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Please understand, these rights are "unalienable" — they cannot be taken away. We can choose to surrender them. We can give up our liberty, in exhange for security. We can submit ourselves to the fact that, in the current state of affairs, happiness is unattainable and, therefore, cease to pursue it. Conversely, one can choose to live their life to the fullest, doing what you please, when you please, with whom you please, as long as it does not infringe upon the unalienable rights of other individuals.

    Some Points to Consider in regard to the Declaration of Independence:
  1. Not only are we endowed by our creator with certain unalienable rights, all men and women are created equal. None of us have any more rights or any less rights than any other. Both men and women, regardless of skin tone or color, nationality, culture, income level, et al, are created equal. We all have the same Creator, Who has endowed each of us, as individuals with "certain" unalienable rights.


  2. We hold these truths are to be self-evident. Wow! . . . No further comment needed!


  3. "...to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men..." — "to 'secure,' not grant or create, these rights, governments are instituted." The government (any government in the world) cannot take these unalienable rights away — they did not create them, they have no power regarding them, including the power to grant them. To attempt to take them away, would be to declare that it (the government) is more powerful than god, Who bestowed them upon us.


  4. Whenever any form of government fails to secure these rights for its citizens or becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and institute new government that will most likely effect their safety and happiness. George W. Bush declares, "If your are not with us, you are with the terrorists." This is a far cry from protecting the rights of the individual American citizen. In the scenerio being painted by the Bush administration, to disagree with him and his abject foreign policy results in being labeled as "unpatriotic" and/or an "enemy combatant."

        If anyone were to attempt to alter or abolish our current government, it would be considered and act of subversion and they could be whisk away to some far region of the globe, held in violation of due process without the opportunity of a fair and speedy trial, and denied access to an advocate — all of which are guaranteed by the American Constitution. In addition, we could be tortured and murdered, no relative would be contacted regarding our situation and it would be touted as necessary to secure the safety of those who continue to submit to illicit government practices.


  5. For many years, through both legislative channels and by means of the many recent presidential Executive Orders, the Declaration of Independence has been subverted. The unalienable rights that are guaranteed within it have been diminished and, consequently, American independence has been relinquished and independent thinking has been determined to be adverse to the intent of those who govern, while dependence upon government has increased. In response to the “War on Terror,” the government is trying to lure us into surrendering our rights, liberties and freedoms and allow “it” to protect us — “Just trust us...” they say. The problem for me is that I have committed my trust to One, Who is much more powerful than they are, ahd I am assured that His ability to apply judgment and mercy far exceeds that ability as it has been recently manifested in in the government that solicits our trust. To trust my entire being to the limited security of government would be to negate my trust in a much higher Power.


  6. Our Declaration of Independence establishes the fact that both the writers and the signers or this document, not only believed that God, the Creator, bestowed these unalienable rights upon us as a nation, but also comfirms the fact that they believed in God. Many argue that this nation was not established as a Christian nation. Nonetheless, it cannot be successfully argued that it was NOT established upon Godly principles, which includes our unalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Upon leaving office, in 1796, George Washington stated. “Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness...” In commemoration of the framing of the Constitution and First Amendment, he declared; “It is the duty of all nations to acknowledge Almighty God, to obey his commandments...” Many are aware of the fact that our first president was a Freemason, as were many of America's founding father's. Nonetheless, each of them espoused biblidal principles and Godly virtues as being important to the wellbeing of America's future.


  7. How do Athiests and agnostics view these unalienable rights, when the Declaration of Independence declares that God, Who they claim does not exist, is the One who has bestowed these rights upon them? Do they, then, deny these rights and, thereby, lose them? It is enlightening to discover that athiests, humanists and secularists are the ones who are, most often, seen crying out loudly, asserting that these rights be protected.


  8. A preamble is an introduction that establishes the basic belief(s) upon which the declarations that follow are based. That being the case, how do atheists, humanists, secularists and all of those that are attempting to undermine negate the sovereignty of the United States of America address the Constitutional preambles of each of the sovereign States.


    Here are a few articles and documents that I found helpful in understanding this issue:

    This article, by Tom DeWeese, titled, “THE PRINCIPLES OF FREEDOM vs. PUBLIC/PRIVATE PARTNERSHIPS” provides a good perspective, with a little broader scope — very insightful.

    Here is a great document that discusses the difference between INalienable and UNalienable. It is, for the most part, a compilation of legal cases that ensure us of our basic rights. I found it to be packed with very helpful information.

    Here is a link to an article on Atheism and unalienable rights



    The two terms, Individualism and Collectivism, can be used to desribe many of the ideologies that exist in the world, today.

    In the statement from Wikipedia, above that says in regard to collectivism, “communal, group, societal, racial, or national goals should take priority over individual goals.” This is to say that, in the collective mindset, individuals must submit to collectivism and individual freedoms must be surrendered for “the greater good of the greater number.” What they fail to realize is that we are all individuals and that the collective is nothing more than a “group” or collection of individuals — and they are nothing more than individuals attempting to control other individuals.

    President Bush stated in a recent speech, “You are either with us, or you are with the terrorists.” This is evidence of his collective mentality. Who is he referring to when he says “us?” He is saying that if you don't agree with him and his cohorts, you are a terrorist. Take a look at his latest Executive Order and you will see that he is not just talking about it, he is “acting” upon it. In short, what it says is that you will either adhere to his “New World Order” plot (and that of his father - Remember?), or you will be considered as posing "a significant risk" to his efforts in Iraq. This is unAmerican, totally undemocratic and has no place in a republic. By the way, for those who do not know this or have forgotten, this is supposed to be a republic. We used to say, in the Pledge of Allegiance, “I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the REPUBLIC for which it stands, one nation under God, with liberty and justice for all. Amen.” I always felt somewhat disassociated when expected to make this pledge. I always felt, “This is kinda wierd.” In the days of my youth (which are far spent), I had no idea what it meant to “pledge allegiance,” yet, there I stood, every morning, pledging. I now pledge allegiance to God only, the creator of the Universe, which transcends all national ties an alliances.

    Today, I understand what it means and I have come to realize that we should all think long and hard before pledging allegiance to anything. Once you pledge your allegiance, you are bound to that pledge, seemingly, even if you come to realize that the cause or ideology to which you willingly pledged yourself, no longer represents that to which you pledged. I still pledge myself to the democtratic/republican ideal, but it seems that it is only that — an ideal and the “American Dream” was exactly that — a dream.

    I could never pledge myself to support George Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Alberto Gonzoles, Barrack Hussein Obama (Barry Soetoro) or any of their other conspiritorial comrades in their plot for world dominance. It seems that George W. Bush's way of “securing” our safety is best accomplished by abandoning the ideal of American sovereignty, thereby negating the liberties, freedoms and rights of the average American citizen.