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By Dan Carlson
Columnist Prairie Ponderings 

Collectivism vs Individualism


September 23, 2020

The ideological war we’re witnessing in America is as old as civilization. We’ve see the pattern played out over and over throughout history.

Prosperous and powerful nations become corrupt and detached from principled moorings. The people become complacent and restless. The disaffected rebel and rise up. Totalitarianism follows in a crackdown usually welcomed by those demanding an end to the chaos. There’s a period of darkness and evil, followed by spiritual renewal and renaissance. Then the prosperity period returns and the cycle repeats.

Embedded within these cycles is the war between collectivists and individualists. Under the umbrella of collectivism we find sub-systems such as socialism and communism. The power of the collective, the state, rules all. This “it takes a village” collective mindset is firmly in control of American media, academia, career government and increasingly, religion. In practice, collectivism insists on putting people into groups by which it classifies those in the groups and insists on dealing with them, and controlling them, as groups for the good of the collective. Morality is what the state dictates it is, and the good of the collective (state) is the responsibility of all.

In individualism we find conservatives, libertarians and free-thinkers who place great value in personal responsibility, individual accomplishment and self-guided destiny. It insists on treating people as individuals who rise and fall in life according to their personal efforts and merits of their individual actions. For individualism to succeed, it must have minimal outside interference and a societal playground that is open to all equally. Individualism states the sins and successes of a person are his or hers alone. Any sense of moral obligation to anyone else comes from foundations in an agreed-upon objective Moral Authority directing all to be good to one another. This last element is essential because without it, anarchy can result.

Collectivism is evil and individualism is good. Why? Because God deals with us on an individual basis, a statement supported by the world’s three main monotheistic religions and the Bible. Each of us is responsible for our own sins in God’s eyes. A son cannot and should not be punished for the sins of a father, nor can a mother for the sins of a daughter (very clear in Ezekiel chapter 18). Yes, God has judged entire nations, but only when the cumulative extent of their people’s individual sins has become too great to avoid Divine correction.

Collectivism punishes and rewards groups without regard to individuals that make them up. In the process, innocent parties occasionally reap the wrath but that’s okay because it shows the collective’s commitment to its perception of justice while reinforcing that it isn’t to be trifled with. Deviate from the narrative and you’ll be cancelled, fired, shamed into submission and ultimately destroyed.

Ultimately collectivism enslaves and often does so to people who don’t realize they’re slaves until it’s too late. Then they must bend the knee or else. But thinking individualists make poor slaves and their knees do not easily bend. Decide which system you want and vote accordingly in November. This election may be your last chance to freely choose.


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