Saturday, November 18, 2006

Collectivism – If you’ve heard this “proverb” of alleged African origin once, you’ve heard it a thousand times: it takes a village to raise a child. The liberal collectivist urge, be it political or economic, is predicated on a desire to disengage labor from reward, thereby freeing themselves and their minions of the twin burdens of responsibility for effort and accountability for results. Of all of liberalism’s traits, it has been collectivism, and its attendant scattering of liability, that has most enabled and sustained modern liberalism. Were progressives held accountable for the consequences of their ideas, their movement would be but a footnote in political history.

Through the various initiatives of the Great Society, we attempted to be the “village” for our nation’s underclass. It took a hurricane named Katrina to expose the lack of efficacy of most of these efforts. Six trillion dollars and forty years hence, people in America’s urban ghettos still live in a sort of poverty that eludes easy comprehension. And it is this type of grinding poverty that puts the fatal flaw of collectivism on full display. Namely that in as much as collectivism ultimately leads to collectivization (read displacement) of responsibility, it invariably leads to the waning of individual initiative. One would reasonably expect that their repeated failure to create upward mobility for the least of American society would cause progressives to do some sort of reconsideration of their collectivist impulses.

Sadly, rather than rethink the ends, today’s Left has simply refined its means. As of late, the Left seeks magnify a problem in order to gather the power to impose their policies on as many people as possible, as quickly as possible. This lends their ideas greater appeal than they would otherwise have, and it also forestalls any resistance to their designs. The Clinton administration’s failed health care initiative represents an excellent example of how the Left operates currently. By creating a climate of insecurity regarding health care access and cost, the Clintons were initially able to generate support for their attempt to nationalize health care. Had the Clintons gotten their way, they would have further distorted the relationship between health care customers and providers. Among other things, participation in Ms. Clinton’s health plan would have been mandatory, and physicians and other health care providers would not have been allowed to receive payments for services from the patient or from any outside payer.

The Left is also not above creating a global groundswell for their efforts as well. The Left’s support for the Kyoto Treaty represents an example of their attempts to portray their agenda as a global norm in order to overcome resistance. All of this demonstrates the Left’s unrelenting efforts to turn government of the people into government by institutions that they can establish and perfect, as they have little or no trust in the individual.

Up next... A Failure to Differentiate

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