If you are a leftist and your immediate reaction is you are not intolerant of individuality — keep reading, make yourself available to learn something new about yourself.
If you find your emotions rising up, especially anger, that is called convictions — which means you have two choices: run from them as you usually do or face them, work on them, learn and discover why you are angry
And no, those on the right are not exempt from convictions — when it comes to convictions, we are talking human reactions.
We don’t have dwell too long on the intolerant tolerance’s the left has played in the past – a Christian Bakery shutting down after being sued for not making a lesbian wedding cake yet Muslim bakeries get a free pass should be enough to start the mental list you need.
They say they are tolerant — their actions are anything but… yet they don’t see a conflict nor hypocrisy in any of this.
There is a principle that explains their blindness but not their behavior — no one ever sees what they are really doing when they are being told they are doing something different.
It’s one of the reasons political correctness is embraced so much by the left leaders and not so much by the right — it waters down the true definition and meaning of words and phrases.
For the most part, the left loves being told what to think — some believe they know how to think and some do… but most don’t.
The right? There are many that love being told what to think as well — with some believing they know hot to think and some do… but most don’t.
We needed to get that out of the way to focus on the difference…
Perspective of government and people — the role of government and the role of the people, and the left is completely opposite of the right in this matter today.
In general, the left for the most part loves large government, lots of social programs – the right for the most part loves small government, more power in the peoples hands and not the governments (meaning fewer social programs among, other things)
Wasn’t always this way as in the past it mostly was policy issues — but that changed more than 50 years ago.
The left has kissed policy issues goodbye in favor of something more personal to them as well as to those they eventually want for themselves – control.
The Importance of the Individual
“The simple step of a courageous individual is not to take part in a lie”
~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
Belief in the power of the individual, not only to combat tyranny, but also to maintain the health of a society, was shared by many great thinkers of the past few centuries…
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
- Friedrich Nietzsche
- William James
- Carl Jung
We’ll get into what they had to share in due course…
The Anatomy of Collective Action
Collective action is ineffective at bringing freedom to an unfree world if people do not first strive to set themselves right .
That means the people have to forego setting others straight so they can focus on themselves — this is something that is inherently wrong to any collectivist as they see everyone focusing on all others, not focusing on themselves.
That is much akin to trying to pour tea from an empty kettle – they haven’t filled the kettle enough (themselves) in order to give to those around them.
Even when the teapot is empty, it is expected something should still be coming forth.
I’m not going to get into the wisdom of that perspective as anyone with reasonable discernment can see there isn’t any.
Commonalities of Collectivist Leaders
“The antidote to this abuse of formal government, is, the influence of private character, the growth of the individual.”
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Castro, Sun — all brutal dictators of the 20th century, all with a commonality.
They all stressed the importance of the collective over the value of the individual.
Those who desire to rule over others do not espouse collectivist ideologies because they believe it will benefit those whom they rule — they do so because it provides them with a secure source of power.
The immense benefits of collectivism for those who desire power arises from the fact that collective ideologies are amorphous – that is they can be built around innumerable possible factors.
In the past, that ideology involved race, ethnicity, wealth, religion — today, it is the country in which one resides.
Exploiting the Most Basic of Human Desires
“There is no uniform collectivist ideology, but many collectivist doctrines. Each of the doctrines extols a different collectivist entity and requests all decent people to submit to it. Each sect worships its own idol and is intolerant of all rival idols.”
~ Ludwig von Mises
We yearn for community as well as desire to attach ourselves to some form of a collective – it is our sense to belong to someone as well as be part of something.
However those that desire to rule over others do not want people to attach themselves to just any collective – they have, after all, an agenda that the people unwittingly could fulfill for them.
What those with a desire to rule want is for people to elevate to the position of superiority, a specific collective – this fulfills the need of importance those people are going to want, as with importance they have purpose.
For the past 50 or so years, that supreme collective has been designated as the Nation State by those who desire and seek to rule over others.
It has not been a spontaneous process as it lacks indoctrination and heavy exposure to propaganda as there is a logistics problem.
People identifying more with their local communities and with others of whom they have more intimate connections than that of large collectives spread over a large area.
This is why the European Union has been able to do what it has as the individual areas are smaller than the United States — but even then, they are running into problems.
Indoctrinating the people to worship the supreme collective of one’s nation is extremely valuable for politicians as they end up being viewed as the leaders of these collectives.
Thus, the more people who identify with the nation state, the more minds those in power have in their control.
While offering many benefits to the elites of a nation, this form of collectivism is, overall, the seed for tyranny…
Sheep In Wolves Clothing
“The increasing dependence on the State is anything but a healthy symptom; it means that the whole nation is in a fair way to becoming a herd of sheep, constantly relying on a shepard to drive them into good pastures. The shepherd’s staff soon becomes a rod of iron, and the shepherds turn into wolves.”
~ Carl Jung
The ability to indoctrinate people to believe in the premise of a certain collective and thus to be turned into what Carl Jung called a herd of sheep is crucial for a tyrannical regime in order to maintain control over a population.
This is evidenced by the fact even in countries such as North Korea, during the famine of the 1990’s, or the Soviet Union, during Stalin’s reign, where the populations were starving, mostly unarmed, and where the rulers had at their disposal massive police forces, spying networks and prison systems, these tyrannical regimes still found it necessary to make use of massive amounts of propaganda to glorify the collective of their nation.
What does this show?
It shows that brute force is not enough to maintain tyranny.
A tyrannical regime can only maintain power if they can control the minds of their subjects.
When one realizes that gaining control the minds of the individuals is the most vital means for controlling the population, it becomes clear that the first step in encountering tyranny is to undergo the difficult process of freeing one’s own mind.
The Individual Is the Threat to Collectivism
As the psychologist Jordan Peterson wrote in his book Maps of Meaning…
“Our petty weaknesses accumulate, and multiply, and become the great evils of state. As our technological power expands, the danger we pose increases — and the consequences of our voluntary stupidity multiply. It is increasingly necessary that we set ourselves – not others – right, and that we learn what that means.“
Concentrating first and foremost on setting ourselves right is in direct contrast to collectivism as setting ourselves right first and foremost is viewed as selfish — those that preach the views of collectives would like people to believe this is wrong, unhealthy, anything but good anything but healthy.
Self-examination and changing of one’s ways of thinking, disciplines, and habits has NEVER been viewed as unhealthy unless it is viewed as a threat to a nation state or other ideology, collective or not.
Collectivist want want to tell you what to think — and will crush any and all attempts in learning how to think.
Contrary to collectivism, those that set themselves right and free their minds from state indoctrination provide great services to others.
We all face similar struggles and therefore those who find solutions for themselves, act as role models for other members of a society.
What History Reveals
“A study of history reveals that a healthy society depends upon individuals with clarity of mind and energy of will… capable of effective responses to new situations.”
~ Will and Ariel Durant
Friedrich Nietzsche wrote that the self-reliant, independent, unprejudiced men are the pillars of a strong civilization.
Arnold Toynbee suggested that a loss of creative power in the souls of creative individuals is one of the key factors that leads to the breakdown of civilizations.
This all points to the importance and necessity of a free mind in order to create a free world – learning how to think and forsaking being told what to think.
What is needed most in a society dominated by oppressive governments are role models who show by example what it means to be free.
Without such people, no collective action, no mass movements, no election of a new leader who promises change will ever bring about anything but a temporary and superficial relief.
“This is the only way in which any meaningful social change can ever take place: it will either arise within each individual, or it will not occur at all… Those who insist upon change coming from above, as something to be impoased upon mankind by institutional authorities, have give upon people. They have lost their confidence in the life processes that exhibit themselves only within individuals… It is now time to give people a chance to bring order to the world by bringing themselves to order.”
~ Butler Shaffer
“The psychology of the individual is reflected in the psychology of the nation… Only a change in the attitude of the individual can initiate a change in the psychology of the nation. The great problems of humanity were never yet solve by general laws, but only through regeneration of the attitudes of individuals.”
~ Carl Jung
Collectivism in Action
The 2016 elections witnessed collectivism being exercised more than every before — stop underestimating their undercurrent as they will not let go that easily, if at all.
There is one thing that many do that few question — and truthfully, most do not know they should question it, they just try to resolve it.
Questions provide focus, direction, open doors, revitalize dreams — without questions, we’re as helpless as a headless chicken.
The Question? Click here
The idea and the quotes for this post came from the video The Individual vs. Tyranny, published on YouTube by Academy of Ideas
image credit: quotefancy.com