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Right vs. Left…a false paradigm?

May 8, 2012

In vogue for generations is the dominant political paradigm, which runs from Fascism on the right to Communism on the left.  Republicans and social conservatives on the right, Democrats and social liberals on the left.  They are supposed to be opposites.  I argue that they are effectively the same…both are predicated on Collectivism, the idea that groups are more important than individuals.   Collectivism allows favoritism of certain groups.  To wit,  shall we take away the freedom of someone to marry who they wish because a certain group is against it?  Shall we take away the freedom of someone to practice their religion if they refuse to offer birth control pills to their patients?  Collectivism, by definition, entails taking away the rights of the individual for the good of the “people”, “nation”, “society” or what have you.

Individualism, conversely, holds that individuals are more important than groups.  A fine example of individualism is the Bill of Rights;  no matter what the majority thinks, or what a particular race, gender, ethnicity, class, etc. thinks, you are guaranteed your right to free speech, bear arms, due process, etc.   Would you prefer that you, the individual, have rights – or the groups you ‘belong’ to?  Are you comfortable with the ability of other groups taking your individual rights away?

Which system do you prefer?  Thomas Jefferson, one of the Founding Fathers, said “I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it.”  This statement admits that there are benefits and detriments of both collectivism and individualism.   Study them, get to know them, and learn to identify a system of political thought and practice by what it is – either collectivist, or individualist.   By the way, which type is the current American system?  Is that the same system codified in the Constitution?  Why or why not?




March 7, 2012

preaching to the choir, although energizing the faithful is important.  Let’s pry open some minds.