The True Political Divide

It is important to begin with the fact that all political discourse in Western civilization can be divided into two distinct camps; individualism and collectivism.  Regardless of what political label you identify yourself with and or what labels you apply to others, the basic political ideologies can always be divided down to individualism versus collectivism.  In other words, who holds the ultimate authority over a life, the individual whose life is in question or the group(s) that claim that person as a member (voluntary or involuntary)?

To make this distinction clearer, understand that all political thought is focused on answering this one simple question: should action be taken?   Underlying that answer are the political principles that identify you as either an individualist or a collectivist.  To help those trying to understand where I am coming from philosophically, and by default helping them to understand their own approaches to political thought, I am going to break down this fundamental question of political action into five basic issues.

It is also important to know that the vast majority of lay people, your average Joe and Jane, whether they are individualists or collectivists are well-intentioned and are only seeking the best possible life for themselves and others.  What distinguishes the two points of view is not what they want for mankind, but in how they believe that should be accomplished.

Note that the same cannot be said for the political class that dominates much of our political discussion today, for these are power hungry people determined to maintain control and power (politicians, globalists, etc) over everyone regardless of political leanings.  For the political class, they always side with collectivism by theory and practice because without the power to act in a collective manner or to speak as the group representative, they would lose both control and power.  While it might sound strange, there is such a thing as an individualist state versus a collectivist state and the deciding factor is how the members of that society approach the fundamental political question: should action be taken?

There are five specific ideas that define the principles separating collectivism from individualism: The source and nature of human rights, the relation of the individual to the group, use of force in social context, equality under the law and finally the proper role of government.  Understanding where you stand on these five topics will identify the principles you use to answer the question: should action be taken?  They will also help you understand why you are an individualist or a collectivist.

The first is the source and subsequently the nature of human rights.  Where do we derive our rights from?  There are two specific options: rights are existential and intrinsic or rights are conditional and granted.  In paraphrasing Descartes, the individualist approach is “I exist, therefore I have rights.”  This is seen clearly in the Declaration of Independence, one of the foundational documents of American political thought, by the acknowledgment that men come into this world equal and are granted by their existence certain unalienable rights.  In other words, right are existential and intrinsic to the individual and the proper role of government is to defend those individual rights.

Contrast that with the approach of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights: “everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this declaration.”  In other words, the UN grants your entitled rights because they voted on them and determined what they are.  Your rights have been agreed to, voted on, approved and therefore passed on to you.

It does not matter how closely they seem to agree with the prior version, the difference is in the source of the rights.  For the individualist, the source is their own existence.  For the collectivist, the source is the highest governing political body.  See the difference?

Notice that it is the political class that retains the authority in the collectivist approach. Which means, if you change the appropriately legalized documents, you can change the rights.  Whereas with the individualist approach, it does not matter whether or not a political body agrees, the rights of an individual still exist because the individual exists. To put it more sharply, in an individualist state the role of the government is to guard the rights of the individual, but in a collectivist state, the role of the government is to grant rights to the individual.  The state also gets to determine who qualifies to receive these granted rights.

This takes us further into the origin of government power.  If rights are intrinsic to the individual and derived from the individual, then the only rights a government may legitimately possess must also derive from the individual.  If an individual can only grant to the government rights the individual already possesses, then the government cannot create laws or take actions that are not based on rights granted to it by the individual.   If it does create laws or take actions that are not based on rights of the individual, it then becomes a power unto itself and the slide into tyranny has begun.

If rights, however, are derived from the government, then the government already has ownership over the individual and the only difference between such a government and tyranny is the level of totalitarian control the government chooses to exercise at any given moment.  In other words, there is never any true difference between a collectivist state and a totalitarian state.  They are one and the same.

Think of it like this.  If I hire a guard to protect my business, the guard does not have the right to tell me when to open my store, which customers to serve, what products or services to provide, where my kids can go to school, etc.  If, however, my business is being protected by the Mafia as part of a protection racket, while they are nominally still protecting my store, they also can exercise the right to tell me when to open my store, which customers I should serve, what products or services I should provide, where my kids should go to school, or risk the loss of “protection”.   See the difference? Both are sources of protection for my business, but if the protection is derived from my right as the owner it is a completely different scenario than if the protection is granted to me by the Mafia as a “protected business owner”.  Did I just compare a collectivist government to the Mafia? Yes. Yes, I did.

So where do you sit on this principle?  Do you believe the source of individual rights comes from the individual or from the collective?

The next principle is the question of the relationship between the individual and the group.  Which is superior to the other? Which is more important? The collectivist approach on this issue starts with the supremacy of the group and the recognition that the group has rights that are more important than the individual’s rights.  It is commonly expressed as “for the greater good of the greater number.”  It is ok then to sacrifice an individual’s rights or even an individual’s life for the common good of the group.  If you believe that individual rights derive from the group, you are already in this camp because it is the power of the group to grant such rights that establishes its supremacy over the individual.  In other words, the collective is the source of rights and is therefore superior to the individual.  You hear this echoed in the now infamous gay wedding cake legal case.  Here the rights of an individual were deemed to be subservient to the rights of the group.  While few would argue that a business owner must serve everyone who comes into their establishment (e.g. no shoes, no shirt, no service), the freedom of this business owner to exercise that individual right was negated by the state who deemed the motivation for exercising that right to be unjustified.  This could only happen in a collectivist state where the group is superior to the individual.

In the individualist approach, however, there is no group.  There is no collective.  There are no collective rights.  Since power is derived from the individual, the group cannot exercise a right the individual does not have and which they cannot grant. In this reality, the individual has granted authority to act on their behalf to other individuals and those individuals then are constrained by the same limitations that the individual possesses.

If an individual A cannot tell individual B that they have to bake a cake for individual C, then individual A cannot grant that power to individual D.  Nor can Individuals A, E, F, G and H get together and elect individual D to a political office to do the same.  We are still dealing with individuals acting on behalf of individuals.  The group does not exist except as an abstraction we create in our minds.

The group or collective is merely many individuals and nothing more.  Aggregating individuals together does not change the essence of being an individual and it does not create a new tangible entity that exists separately from the individuals who are the essence of any group concept.  If rights are derived from the individual, grouping that individual with other individuals does not lessen their individual rights in any way nor does it grant new rights to the aggregate grouping.

Thus, the founders of America recognized that the weakest and most threatened minority will always be the minority of the individual.  Because of this they founded a republic, not a democracy.   A republic limits the power of the government in such a way to protect the rights of the individual, while a democracy subjugates the individual to majority rule or more accurately to the tyranny of the majority.

So where do you sit on this principle?  Does the group exist as a tangible, concrete entity that has rights of its own that are superior to the rights of the individual?  Or is the group an abstract concept used to describe many individuals some of whom can be empowered by other individuals to act based on the intrinsic rights the individual possesses?

This brings us now to the concept of social responsibilities.  Collectivists view themselves as social engineers using the power of government to accomplish vitally important social goals for the greater good.   You can always spot a collectivist by their reaction to everyday problems.   The kid across the street drives too fast down the road.  Pass a law.  The man across town acts like a bigot in public. Pass a law.  There is litter on the road.  Pass a law.   There is racism in the system.  Pass a law.  Kids in school do not eat properly.  Pass a law.   In the collectivist view every social problem has a collective solution via the creation of more laws.   Instead of taking personal action in any of these scenarios, they choose to use the power of the government (violence) to coerce the behaviors in others they wish to see.  They are the Dolores Umbridges of the real world.   One more rule, one more punishment and everything will all be better.

To the collectivist, social responsibilities are created by the group’s existence and the group has the right to compel compliance with its dictates.  The only individual responsibility is to follow the dictates of the group and not to resist.  This impacts something as benign as charity.  The collectivist forces everyone to be charitable by taking wealth from them with the threat of implied violence.  In their mind, the ends justify the means.  It is no longer charity, but theft disguised as compassion.

In the individualist’s world, however, things take a dramatically different approach.  To paraphrase Uncle Ben of Spider-man fame, “with great rights, come great responsibilities.”  The individualist sees a world where he or she is free to do as they please, but they must also bears the rewards or consequences of their own choices.  Do they want to eat?  They need to find a means of procuring a meal.  Do they want to feed their family?  They need to find a reliable means of procuring meals on an ongoing basis.  Do they like their streets to be clean?  They should not litter and they can pick up after those who do.  They don’t like that the kid across the street drives too fast?  They should establish a relationship with them and find out the motivation for that behavior and help them find a constructive outlet for that love of speed.  The man across town acts like a bigot in public?  Defend those he attacks, and better yet establish a personal relationship with him and find out why he acts the way he does.  It is far easier to send the police and lawyers after someone that to be a real human being and engage with people.   It is messy and chaotic to be an individual and responsible for one’s own actions.

The individualist recognizes that he does not have the right to compel others by force so he also recognizes that he cannot grant that power to someone else on his behalf.  His response to the problems he encounters in his everyday life is to find a solution or a work around.  Does he need to move heavy furniture?  He must persuade others rather than coerce them by force.  Does he want a better society?  He must choose to be a better person and persuade others to become better people voluntarily.  The individualist state is built on the same principle of voluntary cooperation.

An individualist would have it no other way.  Recognizing that having rights is one side of coin and that responsibility is the other side, the individualist acts accordingly.  The individualist does not require the artificial limitations of choice by politicians or legislators.  The individualist does not welcome the intrusion of other individuals into his rights or responsibilities and would not allow his or her own rights or responsibilities to interfere with other individuals’ rights and responsibilities.  This allows for an individual to either be charitable or not to be charitable, to be generous or not, to be altruistic or not.  The individual recognizes that to use force to take wealth from someone even to accomplish a good goal is still theft.  The ends do not justify the means.

So where are you on this topic?  Do you believe that the group has the right to use the threat of violence and force to coerce individual behavior to engineer a better world?  Or do you believe that a better world is created by individuals taking personal responsibility for themselves and their communities on a voluntary basis?  Do you believe the ends justify the means, or do you believe the means are just as important as the end?

We see that so far if you believe that rights are derived from the group, that the group is superior to the individual and that the individual can be forced to comply with the dictates of the group, you are a collectivist.  On the other hand, if you believe rights are intrinsic to the individual, there is no group only many individuals with rights and responsibilities and no one has the right to coerce another individual, then you are an individualist.  We have now arrived at the concept of equality.  Understand that we are speaking about equality under the law and not inequities brought about by personal choices and actions.

In the collectivist approach, the law is to be used to rectify observed injustices or inequities within the group.  Their approach is equality BY the law instead of equality under the law.  Following the path we have outlined already, it would be logical to end up at this point.   Individual rights are granted by the group, the individual is inferior to the group and the group can force the individual to comply with the wishes of the group.  Therefore, if the individual or members of the individual’s subgroup are identified as having caused an inequity to exist by misuse of rights and privileges under the law, it is right and proper to punish that individual or sub-group of individuals to correct the situation.  In order to do this, the group must create and identify the various sub-groups existing within the group.  Herein lies the inequity of the approach.

The group does not exist, it is an abstract.  So individuals can arbitrarily claim to speak for the group then arbitrarily decide that sub-groups exist and also define the sub-groups as containing specific individuals.   Because they can assign living and dead individuals to these artificial sub-groups, they can also assign ‘crimes” to the sub-group committed by deceased individuals unrelated to the living individuals assigned to the sub-group.  They can then take punitive action to correct the social inequities created by the actions of the deceased members of the sub-group against the living members of the sub-group even though the living members of the sub-group committed no crimes and did not benefit from the alleged crimes of the deceased members.

For example, there are two sub-groups; those who wear cowboy hats and those who wear bowler hats.  In the 1800’s people wearing cowboy hats robbed people wearing bowler hats who also ran businesses.  This allowed people wearing cowboy hats who robbed people wearing bowler hats to go and buy land.  This proved to be very profitable for some of the cowboy hat wearing people who robbed bowler hat people and bought land.  It proved disastrous for some of the bowler hat people who lost their businesses because of the robberies.  Jump forward into the 2000’s.  Today there are very few people wearing bowler hats and even fewer still who wear bowler hats and run businesses.  There are, however, lots of people who wear cowboy hats and own property.  So, in order to correct this social injustice, cowboy hat wearing people who own land need to be taxed to provide a fund for sending bowler hat people to business school so we can increase the number of bowler hat people who own businesses.  If the cowboy hat people claim that this is unfair it just proves how much they must hate bowler hat people just like the cowboy hat wearing people who robbed the bowler hat wearing people in the past and further proves the necessity of this corrective action by the group.

This is the entire conceptual construct for collectivists when creating sub-groups within the larger group to justify coercion of individuals.  Artificial sub-groups that are created without regard to any action on the part of the members of the group.  Now in reality the bowler hat people today have as much access to business school as did any of the prior bowler hat people and no cowboy hat people have done anything to prevent them from attending business school.  But the creation of these artificial sub-groups creates artificial aggrieved classes of people that the collectivist must correct by application of coercive force. This is the equality BY the law approach of the collectivist and is always applied to sub-groups and never to individuals.  It is the basis for identity politics.

In the individualist approach, it is equality under the law that is sought because the minority most in danger will always be the minority of the individual.  What the individual seeks from the law is equality of treatment for all individuals.  There is no room for the creation of sub-groups with special advantages or privileges under the law. That arbitrarily places the rights of individuals allowed into that sub-group above the rights of the single individual.  That is not equality under the law.

Since the individual is responsible for themselves, they only require equal protection of everyone’s rights by the government. Nothing more and nothing less.   All rights of all individuals equally protected.  This approach negates the social engineering of the collectivist.  It simply states that all individuals have the same rights and responsibilities.  The proper role of government is to safeguard those rights and nothing more.  The individualist holds that if you want a better society, be a better person.  The collectivist holds that if you want a better society, write better laws, build better programs, enforce better quotas, institute preferential treatment of sub-groups, etc.

This concept brings us to the final principle: what is the proper role of government?  For the collectivist, the role of the government is to be a positive or active force for good.  Government should take charge of all affairs of men in order to ensure fairness, and it should be the great organizer of society leading it into a better and better state.  For the individualist, however, the proper role of government is a negative one.  It is only designed to protect.  They recognize that if government is to give to some, it must take from others. Once the government has the right to take and to give, the rights of the individual are lost.  It always leads to the total loss of freedom.  As the popular saying goes, a government powerful enough to give you anything you want is powerful enough to take away everything you have.  All the individualist seeks from a government is the protection of all lives, all property and all freedoms and nothing more.

Back now to the fundamental question of politics: should action be taken?  Recognizing that the state is merely individuals acting on behalf of other individuals, the individualist would answer, does it protect the lives, liberties or properties of individuals from aggression by other individuals?  If the answer is no, there is no need for political action.  If the proposed action includes violation of any of those elements or of the inherent rights of any individual, the answer must also be no.

The collectivist would answer, what does the law say about it?  If the law is silent, does the state need to draft new legislation to deal with this new issue?  If the law already exists, does it need amended or expanded to include new protections and punitive actions?  Is there a sub-group at risk the state should subsidize to expand the reach of government assistance?  Is there a tax incentive in place and should it be increased or decreased?  What entitlements can be established to prevent this from occurring in the future and what unapproved behavior can we tax to offset the costs? Are there norms, controls or standards that need to be created and enforced?  Notice that in the collectivist approach there is no thought or concern for the individual outside of that individual’s sub-group or group identity.  The individual is of no concern to the collectivist, just the sub-group identity.

There you have it.  The differences between collectivism and individualism in a nutshell.

  Individualism Collectivism
Human Rights Exist within the individual Are granted by the state
Supremacy Of the individual Of the group
Force Is not to be used against others Can be used against individuals
Equality Of the individual under the law Of the group by the law
Role of Government Is to protect life, liberty and property To create a better society, to be a moral force in society

The true political spectrum:

0% Government <—————————————————————————————>100% Government

Individualism                                                         Versus                                                       Collectivism

You can call yourself by any political label you choose, but understand that through the lens of reality, you are either a collectivist or an individualist.  I have chosen individualism and I will advocate for it as it is the best approach for any society and greatest means of protecting the rights of all people.  It is the path of liberty so clearly laid out for us by our founding fathers.  It is freedom of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  The path of the collectivist will always lead to tyranny even if you have the best of intentions in mind when you choose it.

These five principles are not my creation, but I fail to recall where I originally encountered them in the thousands of books i have read. So if you recognize them and know the primary source, please contact me and let me know.  Thanks!

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You are no longer The Media

An open letter to the former media.

I know this has been a very trying time for you lately.   Your pundits and pollsters failed you.  Your preferred political party failed you.  Your panels of similarly minded media and movie star personalities failed you.  The candidate you hated and actively campaigned against won and now treats you like you hated and campaigned against him – the nerve!  The candidate you openly and totally supported lost the election even with a massive popular vote win in California.

A side note – that last point, about California?  Yeah, that is the very reason that there is an Electoral College.  We are the United States of America, not the Republic of California and the unincorporated boonies.   Get over it.

You once took pride in being The Media. But petty whining about the electoral college and the popular vote, really?

Here’s the inconvenient truth, this is why . . . .

You are no longer The Media.

I and millions of other Americans have watched with utterly delight as you spun and spun, predicting that Trump could never win, had no chance, could not possible get to 270 electoral votes.

We watched with pure derision as the very people and personalities that revel in a highly sexualized world drenched with vulgarities and innuendos feigned outrage at Trump’s astute comment about the behavior of the gold-diggers and other hanger-on’s that flock to stars and celebrities.  Behaviors that many if not all of you have at one time or another been exposed to if not outright involved in taking advantage of those willing to do “anything” to get a shot at stardom or fame.  The more you repeated it, the more you tried to make political hay out of it, the more ridiculous you made yourselves appear.

Stars who have made millions off of vulgar, sexualized or otherwise “naughty” behavior both on-screen and off, also joined your faux-outrage party, but no matter how desperately and pathetic your attempts were to paint Trump as some kind of misogynistic monster, it fell on deaf ears because we have witnessed that and so much more from you every day for years on end now.  Now, after all of the scandals and sensationalism that oozes constantly from our tv’s, tablets and smartphones thanks to you and the Hollywood celebrities, now you want us to be outraged that Trump commented on the reality of that world?  Seriously.  You thought this was going to somehow tarnish his reputation – this accusation coming from the likes of you?  This was going to do it?

My god, we have never laughed so hard as we have during this election as you labored so futilely to have us ignore your own vulgar and obscene record on this subject as you cast dispersions about his character based on the type of comments that pale in comparison to any discussion normal people have related to Magic Mike, 50 Shades of Grey or any number of other movies and shows that are watched in this country every day.   It was so absolutely juvenile and naïve on your part to think that this would have had any impact on a jaded population so desensitized to this topic by you!

This was all on you.  You made sexuality a mainstream topic and humor about sexuality so common place we are not shocked by anything anymore.  And then you had the audacity to try to claim the moral high ground when you are so deep into the filth that you could not even see solid ground let alone stand on it.   Absolutely pathetic.

And this approach just typified everything about you that the American people have come to despise and reject.

The truth of the matter is that you are the victims of your own success.

You became so comfortable interpreting the news rather than simply reporting it.

Pushing a specific social agenda rather than observing and reporting the current culture.

Commenting on events rather than simply presenting them for us to decide.

Spinning the subtext of stories to point to one pre-determined conclusion you preferred.

Framing the conversation to fit the prescribed political agenda you supported.

Ignoring the validity of our point of view when it was inconvenient for you.

Offering infantile approaches to very real and substantive debates you did not like.

Injecting your own opinions into your news reporting or debate moderation.

Condescending in your approach, derisive in your comments, and dismissive in your opinions, you treated us as mindless, unintelligent inferiors who needed to be guided and instructed in what to think and what to say – what did you think the outcome of that was going to be?

The more you became comfortable as the final arbiter of what was fit for us to consume as “news”, the more we realized we did not need you.  This is why . . .

You are no longer The Media

We got tired of having an interpreter who hated us and so we started to tune you out.  This led to the rise of Fox News and other alternative news organizations, but then social media allowed us to go even farther and to see a world without you in it at all – except as potential content.

Your viewership numbers only let you know how many were actually watching, not what we thought of the spectacle you were bringing out each day.

At first we just stopped listening, but then we stopped looking at you.  We paid attention to the images, the scenes and the footage behind you.  We learned to interpret silently as we watched your channels with the sound muted. And then the new social media took us over that next hurdle

Now we are no longer even looking in your direction as we look out at the world for ourselves to see what is transpiring.  We want to see the actual events and hear the actual comments.  Thanks to the new social media platforms, we can do that now.  We no longer need the pretty faces on the screen describing events on a monitor behind them.  We longer need your shows at all.  We just jump out onto social media and watch it unfold in real time for ourselves.

And while you were opining and emoting so powerfully on TV, we worked through the difficult days of the birth of anything new.  We dealt with the spammers, the faux news sites and the time-wasting advertisers.  We learn to recognize fake content and often passed it around as a joke with each other just to laugh and help others learn how stupid the efforts of these clowns really were.   Yes, we aged lifetimes online while you were still trying to figure out if pay walls were effective or not.   We were developing relationships with strangers on the other side of the globe in real time while you were busy planning your next show taping.

Our world became truly instantaneous and you were still trying to get us to tune in hours after an event had happened to get your preferred spin on things.   In fact, we would often have already figured out what your spin was going to be and answered it in forums and hashtags before you even got the chance to come up with a unified message.  We were responding to you before you even spoke.  Yes you had become that predictable.

You were already a dead format and you did not even know it.

Let’s take the debates as an example.   The public already knew what each person was going to say, we knew what the questions were going to be like. We knew how you would behave on screen and off during the debates.  So it was like watching a rerun each debate night.  We were really watching just to get the next series of memes fired off.  So fast that even before you went to commercial, we were flooding the net with new versions complete with video of our favorite parts.

This is the world you cannot control.

The news is no longer your sole domain.

You do not get to decide what we hear and what we see.

You do not get to interpret it for us.

You do not get to silence the opposition.

This is why . . .

You are no longer The Media.  You are now just part of the story.

We are the media.  We are producing our own shows and content.

And so we now watch as you become the very thing you once feared – a censor, a bully and a tyrannical hate filled specter.

You once feared being censored and silenced by the conservatives, yet we never did any of that.  We simple stood back as we gave you all the rope you needed to hang your tarnished reputations up high for all to see what you had become.

As this new world of media has replaced the old, you are the dinosaurs watching the meteorite streaking across the sky and not realizing you are already history.

So you see the new media as being fake media, but, be careful – you are calling us, the average ordinary people fake now.  You are not just deriding and attacking conservative politicians and their supporting organizations.  You are accusing us – the people –  of being fake, of being stupid, of being unable to discern truth from lie.  You try to silence us and to disparage our freedom and liberty of speech and press.   This is why . . .

You are no longer The Media

We recognize it for what it is, this futile attempt of yours to salvage your reputation, your lofty perch above the huddled masses.  We know you are simply going through the death throes that all massive creatures endure in their last tragic minutes.

We produce better content than you, faster than you and more accurately than you. And it is real, it is us, it is now.

We allow for real debate and discussion and truly appreciate all of our differences, but we do not hide behind politically correct speech anymore.

We are real, gritty, in-your-face and we love the vitality of news happening for us instantaneously around the globe.

We are free of your shackles on our thoughts, free of your restraints on our view of the world and free of you.  This is why . . .

You are no longer The Media.

You have no power here now.

There was once a time when you mattered.  When you meant something.

There was a time when a journalist was something special and unique.  It had an special honor and beauty about it.

But you squandered that.  You sold your souls for collectivist political favor.  You sold your pen for petty ratings.  You sold your thoughts for pointless accolades.  You sold your golden micrpphone for petty cash.

And now, here at the end of all your past glories.

You only have yourselves to blame.

It was not the new media that destroyed you.

It was your own lack of character.   Your inability to present truth untarnished and unfiltered.

The very moment we found a medium to obtain that untarnished unfiltered truth without you, we became the new media.  The new media is life unfiltered.  This is why . . .

You are no longer The Media.

The path back is near impossible for you now.  You have to unshackle yourselves from chains of your own forging.  You have to unfetter your own minds from the orthodoxy you wrote and that you enforced.  You have to once again take pride in your craft – the real craft of journalism.  Stop being spin-doctors and craven hacks – be real news journalists.  There are some among you who retained their character and professionalism – but they too are migrating to the new media and leaving your dying ranks.  But most of you can’t.  You are so intertwined with the webs of deceit and disinformation that you wove that you could not understand the truth if it sat right in front of you and said . . . there is a better way.  You are so focused on the narratives you must create that you can longer understand the stories that you see.    We do.  We understand the stories because we live them, we breath them and we share them.  We do not need you anymore.  You are an anachronism already and soon you will be history along with the clay stylus, the telegraph and the typewriter.

This is why . . .

You will never be The Media again.

Individual Gun Rights for the Greater Good

What is the greater good?

The source is from the philosophy of Utilitarianism developed by Jeremy Bentham and later expounded upon by John Stuart Mill.   Bentham’s approach was one of “act” utilitarianism where one avoided pain and sought pleasure, thus what was useful was that which could provide the greatest good for the greatest number.   Mill’s approach was one of “rule” utilitarianism where one sought to avoid as many negative consequences as possible by picking the rule which provided the most benefit at that particular moment in time.  Thus if the known good results outweighed the known bad results at that moment, it was okay to proceed.

This then creates a mindset of “the end justifies the means.” and eventually led to the creation of Situational Ethics by Joseph Fletcher.  The problem with this entire line of reasoning is that it can never protect the rights of minorities especially the true minority of the individual.   Slavery was rationalized on the basis that it benefited a greater majority of people so the violation of the rights of enslaved people (regardless of their ethnicity) was permissible.

This same mindset permeates every collective philosophy.  The will and desires of the individual must be given up for or become subservient to the greater good as Marx indicated when he spoke of “the enslaving subordination of the individual to the division of labor;” or when August Comte wrote of “a moral and political obligation of the individual to sacrifice his own interests for the sake of a greater social good.”

This is a very common appeal from politicians of every stripe when it comes to the relinquishing of individual rights or funds for whatever new program or legislation is being proposed.  The argument always involves the individual having to sacrifice for the common good.  On its face, a simple appeal for the individual to freely choose to participate in a shared sacrifice is all fine and good, but once the freedom to choose or refuse participation is removed, such appeals become meaningless nonsense.  In other words, if the sacrifice is voluntary, the appeal is simply an appeal and each individual can determine their own path.  If the choice is not voluntary, the appeal is nothing more than post-fact justification and entirely invalid!  A true appeal comes before an action is taken and the individual decision impacts the action.  A justification comes anytime and individual decision has no impact on the action.

Is the appeal to the greater good a proper methodology for determining public policy?

NO!

The greatest good is the preservation of individual rights and liberties.  Any public policy should be designed to do this and nothing more.

Remember the power and right to govern is granted to the institutions of government and those individuals who fill its various role by the consent of the governed.  In other words, the power wielded by the government originates from the power of the individual.  No collective right can exist where an individual right does not exist.

Lets use the right of self-defense.   The right of self-defense originates from the right to life possessed by the individual.  Since the individual has the right to protect itself, it can grant a portion of that right to another or to a group, or in this case to a government.  Outside of this, government has no right to self-defense because there is no “self” in government, merely individuals functioning in appointed or elected roles.

Now, this can arguably be termed as a collective power granted to the government in the sense that collectively all individual citizens are a part of that contract establishing a government, but each person acts individually.  Thus the government has an obligation via this granted authority to defend every member’s life to the best of its ability.

So, does the greatest good for the greatest number apply here?  No, not in a collectivist sense because this power of the government is not based on the collective, but on the individual.  The individual has a contract with the government in which he or she has individually empowered the government to use violence on their individual behalf to defend their individual life.  There is no entity beyond the individual which can grant such power, so the power granted is not a group-based entity.

This was a positive example of a power that can be granted to the institution of government.  Let’s examine a negative example.

Gun control

Is there a collective right to limit, restrict or otherwise infringe upon the right of the individual to keep and bear arms?  NO.  In fact the Constitution is implicitly clear that there is no power granted to the institution of government nor the individuals filling its elected and appointed seats to in anyway restrict the right of the individual to keep and bear weapons.

In granting the government the responsibility and thus authority to defend the nation, the individual in no way surrendered all rights to self-defense.   This intrinsic right to defend one’s life and property from those wishing to deprive them of either is still just a valid with the Constitution in effect as without.

I cannot take away from you your right to defend yourself with weapons and I certainly cannot then pass that unobtainable power to an individual filling a role in the government. If the individual cannot grant the government a power they do not possess, then the government cannot exercise that power.  It is restrained even further by the restrictions of the Second Amendment which state undeniably that this power was not granted to the government.

So thus an appeal to society in the form of “we have to do something about gun violence” seeks to grant to the government a power it does not possess by way of appealing to a group (society) to justify the abuse of the individual (by theft of personal freedom and liberty).  A collection of individuals has not rights than each individual possesses.  If no individual possesses the right to disarm another individual of their right and ability to defend themselves, a group of individuals lacking the same right cannot create such a right simply by being categorized together as a group.

So what are we to do about gun violence?  We should again take a clue from our founding fathers.  At the nation’s founding, it was common and ordinary for the states to insist that every able-bodied person be suitable armed and prepared to defend themselves and the community.  Yes, I am arguing for the right for free individuals once again be free to always and openly carry weapons they deem suitable for their personal protection because that is their individual intrinsic right!

Should there be licensing or mandatory training?  No to licensing, but each community can determine which standards of training they deem suitable for their community.   Active shooter training, monthly drills at the town square or park, marksmanship and gun safety training are all equally valid requirements that any community by consent of that community’s individual members can support and provide.

These practices were common throughout the colonies at our inception and have an equally valid place in this day and age. It would be better by far if every member of the community were able to resist the efforts of the lone wolf or terrorist group rather than herding citizens into groups unable to defend themselves because of restrictions on their very right of self-defense.

Thus support for individual rights creates the best possible outcome for the entire community in dealing with the threat of violence.

Again, no collective right can exist where an individual right does not exist.  Government exists by the consent of the governed.

Narcissistic Nannies

Narcissistic Nannies – the Moral Narcissism of Collectivists

Does what you claim to believe define you as an individual and makes you smarter, rather than what you do or the result of your actions?   Do the values you promote, regardless of their actual truth or reality, signal that you are a virtuous person?  Do you believe that you are simply what you say you are and that should be proof enough of your superior character?  Do you feel like you have the right to tell other people what they can or cannot do because you are so obviously more capable by virtue of which Ted Talks you watched?  You, my friend, are a moral narcissist.

This is not the narcissism of a fabled Greek youth staring longingly at his own lovely reflection.  There was at least the fact that he was incredibly attractive.  No, this narcissism is devoid of any reality.  This is the narcissism derived from being entitled to intellectual superiority simply because you claim it.  And you claim this superiority based entirely on your uninformed but adamant belief in something better.  You are better simply because you want something better.

This narcissism is entirely lacking any actual intellectual effort, real-world experience or results based scientific inquiry or actual personal behavior.  Because the purpose or goal they verbalize is supposedly so lofty and ideal, anything attributed to it and anyone supporting it is now somehow elevated to demi-god status.

For example, you say that you support cleaning up the environment so suddenly you are imbued with a knowledge that exceeds any actual education in biology, economics and energy production.  In fact, your intellectual level is now so far superior to other people that only a fool or worse a “denier” would ever oppose your altruistic and compassionate efforts to save the world!  Indeed, no one who agrees with things like you do such as your support for the idea of a clean environment would ever question or doubt any rules proposed to accomplish this goal.

Did that sound vaguely familiar?   It is the classic “the ends justify the means” fallacy.

We’ve now expanded that to mean “the ends justify my moral superiority” as well as “the ends justify silencing anyone who disagrees with me”

We must oppose fossil fuels to stop anthropomorphic climate change! You have no real science, no proof of success, no proof of an actual causal relationship that can be solved, but it sounds good and you are sincere and it is for the betterment of society, so it’s the right thing to do and you are superior to everyone who disagrees simply for agreeing verbally with this idea.

Since, after all, you can plainly see the rightness of the end goal when others cannot, you are without a doubt much more superior to their dim and uninformed view of the world.  Why, it’s as if you were on Mount Olympus itself and far below you see the poor benighted fools struggling about in darkness and ignorance.  If only they would recognize your incredible brilliance and allow you to dictate for them what they should or should not do, then by magic they would come to their senses and recognize your true greatness and worship you for the incredibly sacrificial effort you have put forward by agreeing with a few others about the importance of this topic with such fervor and confidence.

Here’s a real world example.

This is a basic thought progression – There are obese people in America.   People are obese because they have poor eating habits.  One of their poor eating habits is drinking too many soft drinks.  People should drink less soft drinks so that there would be fewer obese people in America.  And now the collectivist  turn into tyrannical behavior happens – Politicians should makes rules about this, but we have to move slowly for the sake of the poor ignorant masses.  Let’s start with a restriction on cup size.

I am a celebrity.  I have no medical degree, I have no statistical evidence, I have not employed the scientific method to test various hypothesis, I have conducted no trials to determine efficacy of reduction in cup size to eating habits, I have not studied the Constitution to determine if this is a power granted to the government, I have not made any effort at all to look at alternative methods, I do not even care about the impact to individual liberty or that this may open the door to even more government intrusion into the lives of free people.  I do not even understand the source of power or authority by which the government has the ability to make such laws, but fewer fat people is good, I am promoting something good therefore I am a better person.

I am asked to promote this ban on cup size and since I agree that society should have less obese people, I can confidently assume my place of superiority and talk about how this great new effort to improve the lives of obese people everywhere should happen by allowing the government to make more rules about what they can or cannot consume.  Only a fool or denier, a naysayer who is evil and mean would object to this lofty goal.  I have the morally superior high ground because this is a good thing . . . right?

Or, take this example – Families are the bedrock of any culture.  Marriage is the foundation of the family.  Marriage is a holy institution.  Only a man and woman should be allowed to marry.  And now the collectivist turn into tyrannical behavior happens again – Politicians should make a rule about this, but we have to move slowly for the sake of the poor ignorant masses.  Let’s start with a federal law recognizing the sanctity of marriage as only being between a man and woman.

In either example, do I as an individual or do you as an individual have a right to tell any other individual what size cup they should purchase or who they should or should not marry?  Then how could there ever have been a transfer of power to the state to make decrees on either of these issues?  If I do not individually possess the right to control the behavior of others in relation to either of those things, I cannot empower the state to do those things on my behalf.  The state has no right to dictate to you which cup size you must purchase for your soft drink and also has no right to determine what is or is not a marriage.  Those are both choices left solely to the individual.

Any time a piece of legislation come up for discussion or vote, the central point on which it should be judged is “by what authority is the state wielding this power over the lives of its individual citizens?”  The power of government Is derived from the consent of the governed and the governed can only consent to grant the state powers they possess as individuals.

A collective right cannot exist where an individual right does not exist.

Do you have a right to healthcare?  NO!

Understand what that means – if you have a right to health care, you are saying that you have a right to have the care of your health provided at the expense of someone else.  That person, in truth, is now your personal slave and must toil away at their employment to take care of your medical expenses or insurance premium.  Do you have the right to rob me at gunpoint to pay your medical bills or to pay for your insurance premium?

So if you do not have a right to rob me gunpoint to pay for your healthcare, how can you give that power to the state?  By what authority does the state have the right to force me with the threat of violence to pay taxes to subsidize your cost of healthcare?  Where does the state obtain the right to rob me to benefit you?

Is it any wonder that the concept of a right to healthcare or the enslavement of a citizen to take care of you is promoted so vigorously by the party of slavery?  The Democrats have not changed at all.

The collectivists are truly narcissistic nannies.   They firmly believe that any ends they identify as desirable – good health, good wages, good food, good environment, good thought, good housing justifies any action on their part regardless of the impact to individual liberty or rights.

They love the thought of being your constant nanny, which of course they are entitled to be because of their obvious moral superiority by virtue of claiming they want what is best for you . . . as long as they get to define what that best for you is.  Since they want only what is best for you *cough* as they define it *cough*, you should relinquish any control over your own choices to them.  Let them make the tough choices for you.   You should trust their benevolence, they will make sure you can work and that you will have a least a minimum wage for it, they will make sure you have housing, food, medical care, education – but in exchange for all of these things, all they ask is your agreement to be robbed  . . . uh I mean . . . taxed yeah taxed for the costs involved in maintaining these amazing benefits for you and you must also accept of them as your lord and masters . . . uh  I mean . .  vote for them as your leaders, yeah leaders and never ever leave the ideological plantation . .  I mean the ideological purity of their political party.  After all, by virtue of their moral superiority only they know what is right and good for you . . . .

But sweetie, its for your own good.   Your taxes are just the bitter medicine you have to swallow for me to make everything all better for you . .  well not better per say, just , well it will be at least as good as everyone else has it . .  maybe . . just trust me. I only want what is best for you and I know what is best for you.  After all, I am your lord and master and you can always trust me to watch out for you and take care of you.  Ohh, don’t worry about those chains.  They’re there just make sure you don’t harm yourself  . .  or escape I mean wander off in a fit of delirium . . . .  trust me.  Freedom is a nasty business and is  sooo dirty and dangerous, you should just let us manage the whole affair for you.  Here watch this “reality” show and pip down.  We’ll let you know if we need you to do anything . . . . like protest those evil liberty lovers who can’t promise you everything we promise you. . . . they must hate you if they do not want to make laws that will ensure you have all of these good things. . . .

Progressives hate individual liberty.  They can’t control it.  But as moral narcissists, as your narcissistic nannies – they want to control you!  They do not want you to be free, they want you to be entitled to live under their “care and guidance” so that they can live the life of the master of the house.  If you will simply trade away your liberties for their benevolent rule, all will be well with the world and they will be the ruling elite once more.

Is that what you want? Do you really want to give up your freedom to a narcissistic nanny in exchange for the soft chains of slavery?

Not me – I stand with Patrick Henry:

Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!

The Myth of Society

The Myth of Society

Ok, we’re going to wade into some muddy waters now.

Let’s begin with this statement.  The concept of society is a myth.    It is smoke and mirrors.  An abstract.

Creating abstracts is merely a method humans use to group and categorize individual things to simplify our view of the world.  For example – if we see an undetermined number of individual trees within an undefined geographic area and within an undefined proximity to each other – we confidently declare it to be a forest.  We do not describe it by types of trees, ages of trees, sizes of trees, numbers of trees, distribution of trees, ratios of species or any other type of all-inclusive data.  We simply call it forest.  But what does forest tell you?  Just that there are closely grouped trees in this vicinity.

What if we see 5 trees in a field – is it a forest?  At what point does a group of trees become a forest?  How close must the trees be to be considered part of the same forest?

Regardless of your answer, this is a pointless exercise.  The forest does not exist.  It is merely a mental abstract we create to refer to a closely situated group of individual trees.  It is a description that is made collectively of things that exist individually, but it is important to understand that the description only exists in our brain. The trees exist individually whether we group them mentally or not.   This is relatively harmless in this context, because it does not harm us to consider such categorization of inanimate objects.  We are not depriving the trees of moral agency by mentally referring to them collectively.

When applied to people, however, the abstract categorization of individuals into some vague notion of a singular body such as a society becomes a very dangerous thing indeed.

Society cannot act.  Society cannot feel.  Society cannot think or reason. Society cannot do anything which can be describe as moral agency, because Society does not exist.  Individuals exist.  Individuals can act.  Individuals can feel.  Individuals can think and reason.  Individuals can possess moral agency.

To be clear, society does not exist outside of our own individual brain and every person’s concept of society then is unique and distinct from any other individual’s concept of society.  As John Galt pointed out in Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged, society means everyone else except one’s self.  This is because at the base of it, I am a minority of one compared to society.   I share some things in common with some members of society, but I stand unique from it.  I exist apart from anyone’s mental construct of society.  There is no existential connection between this mental grouping of people and the individuals themselves.  Furthermore, I cannot in any sense comprehend or calculate for the entirety of humanity contained within the category of American citizen.  So my sense of even an American “society” will always be incomplete.  It is the same as standing in some random point of a vast forest and trying to account for all of the individual trees contained in portions of the forest I have never seen.

But if this is true from every individual’s perspective, then society can never exist in any sense of reality because no one can mental encapsulate the entirety of any society.  The moment they try to describe society, they have immediately failed because no one can include every unique individual into such a description. It is why we use such a limited and poor mental tool such as this to begin with.  It is just an abstract concept of society to offset for our limited understanding and expression.

So now we get to the heart of the issue.  Who has the authority then to defines what society means and to then ascribe attributes to it?  The defining of society by anyone other than yourself is the imposition of another person’s view or construct of society for your own.  This then is the supplanting of your perceptions, beliefs and values with someone else’s because their perception of society is based entirely on their individual perceptions, beliefs and values.

And this concept of abstraction goes further when we talk about what type of future society the present society should become.

So if the politician’s concept of future description of “society” includes beliefs about how society should or should not behave, what it can or cannot do, what it allows or does not allow – that is unique to that politician.  But it is dangerous because he has legislative or executive power to make his vision of society a reality through laws backed by the threat of violence (ie the power of the state).

This is the critical point – by enforcing a set of laws and norms onto current society to produce a future state society, what is actually happening is the unjust stealing of power from the individual to make the individual become something they may not wish to become because of another person’s vision of what they would prefer society to look like.  In other words, appealing to society to create legislation in essence is nothing more that the taking of power and rights from the individual for the benefit of another group and is theft of individual moral agency, violation of individual rights and enslavement of the individual to the whims of another individual.   Laws should never be written with the intention of creating some future abstract grouping!

Society is merely a tool of the tyrannical to impose sanctions on individuals and nothing more.  It is an abstraction wielded with terrifying force against anyone who dares to question the rules and prescriptions of the political or ruling class. It supplants free will with political correctness, legislated morality and amounts to true slavery.

To clarify that long-winded explanation, understand that by treating all citizens as a COLLECTIVE, politicians are able to ignore the individual.  This is why the abstract concept of a collective society is dangerous to the individual.  It does not allow the individual to be an individual.  It insists that he conforms to societal norms or face punishment or coercion by the state.

And now we come to the awesome fact that this is why the Constitution is a document of negative powers.  It attempts to prevent exactly this type of power grab by the political class or by those who wish to subjugate their fellow citizens under their rule.   It protects the rights of the individual.  Laws are to be created that comply with the protection of the most vulnerable minority – the individual.  Laws are not supposed to be created for the sake of any group however big or small, but for the sake of the individual.  Nor is the government supposed to assume powers not granted to it by the individual.

Do I as an individual have the right to tell you want to believe, what to say, who to associate with, who to do business with?  No I only have the right to believe what I believe, to say what I want to say, to associate with whom I wish to associate or do business with those I choose to do business with.  Can I then give to an elected official the right to enforce any restrictions on those rights on you?  No – I cannot.

In the end, who has given the politicians the right to determine what Americans should believe, say, express and who they can or cannot associate with?  I do not possess any of those powers, so how can the state wield such power on my behalf?

The political class uses this notion of appealing to society to circumvent the restrictions on government power.   It does not matter what politicians think society is or what it should become.  What matters is whether or not my rights as an individual or the safety of my person and property are being protected by the government created to specifically protect those things.  If anyone harms my person or property or violates my intrinsic rights, their motivation does not matter.  The state has been empowered to punish them on my behalf for harming me.  Motivation does not factor in at all.  I am a free individual and another individual has harmed me.

Beyond this ability to protect me and seek justice on my behalf, the state has NO say in what I believe, what I think, who I love, who I marry, what I eat or drink, or anything other such matter or personal liberty.  Nor does the state have the right to rob me trough taxation to set up arbitrary rules for any of those things.  Do I have the right to tell you to limit the size of your soda?  Then how can the state, who derives its powers from individuals possess such a right?

Well the state has an obligation to see to the health of society . . . really.  Do I as an individual have any responsibility or power over your health including your eating habits?  Then by what transfer of power to the state from individuals does the state obtain the authority to create such a responsibility or power?

Do you see it yet?

The political class are simply using this non-existent society as a means to expand their power at the expense of the individual.  This is tyranny and slavery!

The Right to Govern

What does it mean to have a government described by Webster and Lincoln as having been derived “of the people, by the people and for the people?”  Explicitly it means that the power to govern the people is and should be derived from the consent of the governed as our founders stated in the Declaration of Independence.  It therefore follows that the only power that such a government can possess is power originally possessed by the people and voluntarily transferred to the government within the restrictions contained in the contract establishing that government.

For the American people over the last couple of centuries, this has been the Constitution of the United States.  As the 44th president, Barack Obama, correctly pointed out in a 2001 interview, the Constitution is a document of negative powers.  Though he meant it as a criticism, it was actually the intent of the founders to create such a constitution in order to protect the most vulnerable minority – the individual.  In other words, the Constitution tells you what the government cannot do to its individual citizens rather than instructing it on what to do for them.  The government is limited to specific actions and not allowed to do anything else with the powers not assigned to it as those powers remain with the people or the state in which they freely choose to reside.  This is the foundation of the greatest experiment in human governance – individualism!

Why is the Constitution a document of negative powers?  It is because the government cannot possess powers that the individuals creating it do not themselves possess.  Do I have the right to take your money from you and arbitrarily give it to someone else?  Do I have the right to prevent you from planting cabbage in your garden or to prevent you from consuming raw milk or freely selling that raw milk to another citizen?  Then how can I transfer that power to another individual?  Power not possessed individually is also not possessed collectively.  The foundation for America is individualism – not collectivism in any of its myriad forms from monarchy to oligarchies, from national socialism to global communism, or from any variation of these tyrannical forms be they soft or hard.

If individualism is the foundational construct, why do we form governments then?  There are several valid reasons for which individuals may choose to work cooperatively with each other.  The most compelling reason among these is of course defense of person and property.  It is a power owned by the individual and thus can be individually granted to the various levels of government in order to defend the persons and property of all members of the community, state and nation in turn.  It is the right of the individual to protect himself from the robber, so he has the ability to apportion some of that power to that city.  It is the right of the individual to protect himself from invasion or coercion by more powerful individuals or groups, so he has the ability to apportion some of that power to the state.   By granting to state or city to act on his behalf in defense of his life and property, he in no way lessens or limits his own ability to defend his own life and property.

I do not have the right to arbitrarily demand a portion of your wealth, your property or your productivity to use as I deem beneficial for myself, the community or the state.  I do have the right to use any of my wealth, property or productivity to accomplish any task I deem beneficial to the community or state, but only in my free will and as long as it is entirely voluntary on my part. There is a word for taking someone’s wealth, property or productivity without their consent to use at the discretion of someone else – slavery.  Any attempt, however noble and beneficial it is made to appear, to strip unwillingly a person’s wealth, property or productivity from them is an attack on that individual’s freedoms and rights and violates their sovereign agency.

But what is the purpose for confiscating that wealth is for a very good cause?  Again, it does not matter how beneficial or charitable the cause itself may be, robbing or enslaving someone to accomplish a good deed is still not defensible.   Will this approach not lead to greater suffering and harm in the world?  No, because people will then have the ability to choose to willingly give of their wealth, property or productivity to help others.  Taxation – robbery, has no place in the society of free people.

For those powers, such as defense, where the people have granted some portion of that power to the city or state, they must willingly provide the means for such defense of their own free will.  If it is not enough to defend them, then they bear the result of that lack of foresight as well.  This means that the very production and retention of weapons and other items of a defense nature reside with the individual as well.  The community can choose to possess certain defensive armaments as a shared community resource, but the cost and care must be supported voluntarily by the individual members of the community.  If an individual either creates or buys a weapon for personal or family defense, it is as much their own property as any other item and cannot be restricted or confiscated by the community or state.

An individual does not possess the right to educate another family’s children, the right to determine what another individual should be allowed to read or view, the right to determine who another marries, the right to determine who works for someone else, the right to prohibit or promote the expression of religion of another, the right to censor the speech or expression of another, the right to force another to associate with people they do not want to associate with and thus neither can any state possess these types of powers.  Since neither the state nor the individual possess such rights, they also do not have the right to confiscate anyone’s wealth, property or productivity to accomplish these ends either.

This even applies to health care.  You do not have the right to take from my wealth, property or productivity the means to provide yourself with healthcare.  If I am a doctor, I am not compelled to work for you at your whim for free or even at a cost arbitrarily set by someone else.  I have the right to choose who I treat or do not treat and I have the right to charge what I consider a fair wage or barter for my services to you.  Otherwise, if another person has the right to determine when I work, what I work on, who I work for and what I earn for my effort, I am a salve.   Let me repeat – that is slavery!   It is the preferred societal arrangement of the Democrat party since its inception and still advocated in a more modern “soft” form through societal obligation and “entitlements”.    You can readily identify these power grabs as they call for “minimum” standards, “minimum” wage or some other version of authority stealing in the name of “fairness” or “equality”.   Again, if I do not possess the power, the state cannot wield that power in my name even if it is for my supposed benefit.

The government does not possess powers not possessed by the individual, not does the existence of a government presuppose any obligations on the part of individuals.  For example, I am not responsible for providing an education for any other person outside of my family.  Therefore, leaving familial responsibilities aside, I cannot be robbed to provide a degree in feminine empowerment studies for an aggrieved social justice warrior nor must I bear the cost of a degree in molecular science for a genius level student.   If I do not have an individual obligation to provide for another’s education, the state cannot carry or impose such an obligation either.  No matter how beneficial to society the education of that individual may be, an obligation cannot exist collectively where one does not exist individually.  If an individual decides on a voluntary basis to cooperate with his neighbors in providing a shared educational experience for the benefit of the community, that is another matter entirely as it does not violate an individual right.

Additionally, individualism flows both ways.  For example, no individual taking action either corporately or in concert with other individuals in business or government (regardless of being elected, appointed or hired) possesses any rights or protections not possessed by an individual.  Thus, the concept of a corporate entity or government entity existing separate from the officers of that company or members of that political body is a fallacy.  They make decisions and take actions as individuals and therefore bear individual (i.e. personal) responsibility and restrictions as well.  If the actions of a corporation or government entity cause harm to another individual, all members involved with that act within that corporation or government entity bear a personal responsibility for that harm.  Again, the principle of individualism demands that if an individual doing a harmful action would be responsible than a group of individuals committing the same act would also be individually responsible.  We will get more into the myths of society in our next video.

To recap, we covered three points today – If legitimate government derives its power from the consent of the governed, then government cannot possess powers the individual does not possess.  Or to restate its converse, the individual cannot grant to government any power that that individual does not himself possess.

If your government has powers that an individual does not possess and therefore could not transfer, then you do not have legitimate government, you have some degree of tyranny where rulers have taken for themselves unjust powers over the lives of individuals and subjugated them into some form of slavery no matter how cozy or comfortable such a state may be for some.

And the last point is that acting corporately or collectively does not remove individual responsibility for the actions of individuals involved.

Thank you for reading and I hope you better understand the right to govern as defined by individualism!

A Republic, If We Can Keep It

As much fun as it is watching the main stream media fall all over itself to explain away the historic loss of the recent election, the discussion regarding the supposed “hacking” of the election is a very dangerous turn in a series of very dangerous accusations.

Consider the danger of the government silencing voices on the internet simply because they may be wrong, different or biased?  As it always is with liberal prescriptions for fixing anything, it is not the end state that is so disagreeable as it is the method by which they propose to arrive at this fictitious utopia.  It always involves taking away someone’s liberty or rights.  This is just par for the course for the political party built on the rationalization of slavery and ruling elites.  The Democrat playbook has not changed at all over the course of its history.  They sincerely believe that they are better suited to run the lives of ordinary people than the people are themselves.  They are the party of arguing that slavery was good because it improved the lives of blacks as compared to their lives as unenlightened savages in Africa.  This new promise of an internet free of “false news” is built on the same concept – Americans are ignorant savages and they would be better off in the “new” internet where we can control what they read and watch.

Where is the respect and deference to individual liberty and individual rights?  Where are the concerns for the Bill of Rights?  Where is the ACLU when the freest form of communication in generations is under threat by a political party bent on silencing the voices of opposition that speak so freely in this domain?  Noticeably silent.

And now this – the Russians are coming!

Of all the reasons the democrats and their media minions have created to avoid dealing with the clear rejection of their politics and of Obama’s agenda for the last eight years, this is the most dangerous in terms of real impact not only to our nation but to the geopolitical reality as well.   Accusing a foreign nation of interfering in our election is fraught with dangers.  They are questioning the integrity of our own electoral process.  It is endlessly fascinating to watch the Democrats flip from a position that the election was valid and accusations of tampering where ridiculous (as long as Hillary was winning) to now claiming that it was obviously hacked because Trump won.   Of note is that they are not accusing the Russians of changing votes or falsifying ballots, but through hacking and releasing emails they unduly influenced the election results.  Let’s be clear, they are saying that because someone (supposedly the bad ruskies) released the truth about the democrat political machinations and efforts into the election rather than the false narrative the Democrats were publicly releasing, this had an undue and bad influence on the election.  In other words, because we learned the truth about the Democrats, the election was unfair.

Is the truth now a danger to the electoral process?  That’s blatantly ridiculous on its face.  That hackers are doing the work of the media is a slap in the face of the traditional media.  Their failure to act as true news agencies tasked with asking the tough questions of all candidates from an objective viewpoint has directly led to the rise of new media platforms via the internet.  Americans want a fair fight, a level playing field.  They do not want a media that is biased, subjective or cheer-leading for a particular political party.  They want falseness illuminated, conflicts of interest divulged and cheating exposed.  They love rooting for the underdog, but despise a cheater or liar.  Americans still believe in honor and integrity.

The democrats and the media no longer have either.  So they are resorting to the basest of appeals – “we lost because Trump cheated”,  well HE didn’t actually cheat, but he is benefiting from someone else cheating . . . and that’s the Russians!  They want him elected! So they cheated!”

As with all accusations from the democrat party, they are great on the WHAT (accusations are easy) but missing the WHEN, WHY, HOW and the PROOF.  That is the proper role and duty of any journalist but it is also the hard work of journalism.  They avoided it entirely with Obama and attempted to do the same with Hillary, but the American public had learned a lot from the failures of the media during Obama’s elections and determined to not rely on the media in the next election. Instead, they sought out new avenues for news and information.  This is what the media and the democrats recognize as the true source of Hillary’s defeat.  They could not from the conversation or control the narrative to push her into power.  Instead they ran into a brick wall of social media based communication that Trumped her false narrative by exposing the truth via leaked emails.

We learned that Hillary cheated, lied, had two faces (public and private) and put American lives at risk for the sake of protecting her ability to control who knew what or read what in her emails.  She was determined to hide the truth from the American people, even if it was benign and harmless truth, and this propensity for lying and hiding is what lost her the election because the new media was doing the work that the traditional media should have been doing all along.

So, the traditional media has learned its lesson and it now returning to true journalism, right?  Well, not actually.  They are still in the tank with the democrat party and are doubling down on the cheating accusation.   They are purposefully continuing to ignore the truth about what was revealed in the emails or the risks and failures of Hillary’s email scandal or the Clinton Foundation issues of foreign influence on American politics.   Those topics alone should completely disqualify Hillary from the White House.  But the media refuses to see that.

Instead they are joining the chorus of Democrat hacks who are clamoring for censorship on the internet to silence those voices they disagree with and in the case of the media threaten their monopoly on news dissemination in the US.   They are not stepping up to do their job better and more objectively. They are choosing to become more politicized and more demagogic in their hatred of average Americans as represented by their choice of Trump.  They are continuing all of their best practices – name-calling, guilt by association, ad homen disparagement, straw man attacks and of course violence.

The media is not being violent themselves, yet.  But they are playing a dangerous game by magnifying the bought and paid for protests of the democrat machine as somehow upright and justified while simultaneously hyping the “dramatic rise” of hate crimes (again long on accusation short on proof) caused by the right.  And they are especially focusing on the fringe wackos that always exist in any election cycle and thus trying to guilt average voters into renouncing their choice of trump.  You can’t possibly have meant to vote for trump – look they are doing a NAZI salute – you’re not a Nazi right?

So hold fast America.  We started a revolution and the fight is not over yet.  We rejected the progressive agenda, we rejected the erosion of our rights and liberties, we rejected the political party establishment of the right and the left, we rejected the false narratives and biased reporting of the MSM – now is not the time to lose heart.

Stand firm!  We have to fight for our rights and freedoms harder than ever before, but as the election has shown, we have power to actually accomplish what we need to accomplish as long as we continue to hold everyone accountable – including Trump.  You must still ignore the inane bleating of the press.  You have to ignore the slings and arrows of accusation.  You have to avoid the reactionary demands of the losers and focus on why we are where we are today.  This is the moment the American people regardless of any label related to identity politics, joins together for individual liberty and American Freedom.  We are a Republic, if we can keep it!