Saturday, March 3, 2012

The Collectivist Myth

http://www.thenation.com/blog/166574/challenging-self-made-myth

The great fallacy in this article's logic is that it does not address whether all those government services - roads, schools, disaster relief, handouts, safety nets, permits, licensing laws, quality controls, etc - can only be done by government, or why they couldn't be done just as well or better WITHOUT the government. It falsely assumes the absence of these government programs means the absence of any programs at all, and therefore fails to compare the status quo to it's actual alternative. Observing that people need government to succeed in the status quo is irrelevant to whether they should need government to succeed. Big government advocates cannot simply take over large portions of our lives and then say "look, your lives depend on big government!" as if it were always, or must always be, that way. That's exactly what we libertarians are complaining about. You're right, people can't just go their own way without much interaction with government anymore. The self-made-man is BECOMING a myth, because the ability to freely use one's own money, property, and liberties however one chooses, in pursuit of whatever individual goals will make one happy, to make oneself into whatever one individually dreams, is BECOMING impossible to do. This is not a choice between giving people and businesses and everyone else the services they need to succeed, or not doing so. It's a choice between doing so indirectly from a bloated, centralized, largely corrupt decision making body that sets one-size-fits-all rules for everybody, or doing so directly through voluntary associations of individuals, each contributing ones own time, money, and energy towards whatever programs and activities interest them. It's a choice between collectivism and individualism, and every lesson of history tells us that only the latter can defend the freedoms our country was founded upon. That's what Elizabeth Warren, the author of this article, and everyone else who's fond of the phrase "we're all in this together" fail to recognize.

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