The vital choice must be made – now 21

The big divide in politics, the all-important ideological choice, is between collectivism and liberty.

On the one side are those who want to be looked after. They believe that the state should guarantee that they will always be fed, housed, schooled, and medicated. They believe that they should not be left to provide the necessities of life for themselves. The state should be their guardian and provider. Thus, they imagine, they will be secure; they will never starve, freeze in the streets, be left helpless when they sicken. We’ll call them the Serfs. Also on this side are those who want to be the guardians, the providers, the controllers. They covet the power. They will pride themselves on being the benefactors of the rest. They believe they know what’s best for the people better than the people can know it themselves. We’ll call them the Masters. This ideology of total state control, of an entrenched and privileged elite ruling by decree over obedient serfs, is Collectivism. Its devotees do not describe themselves in those terms. They see themselves as Benefactors and Good Citizens rather than as Masters and Serfs. They name their ideology variously as Socialism, Communism, National Socialism, Progressivism, and even – self-deceivingly – Liberalism. But whatever they call it, it is Collectivism.

On the other side are those who know it is an illusion that lives are best sustained by the state. They know that to depend on the state is to be powerless. They know that what the state gives the state can withhold. They know that each of us can only, first and last, depend on himself. What they want is to be free to pursue their own aims and interests as best they can according to their own judgment. They may acknowledge the necessity of government, but government kept within limits, serving the people and not mastering them; using its monopoly of force only to protect the liberty of the people. That means to protect the country from external enemies, and every individual’s person and property. Those elected to govern must be forever subservient to the rule of law, which must apply to everyone equally – the only equality that is needed and desirable. This is the ideology of Liberty.

These two ideologies are obviously, by their very nature, opposed to each other. Nations need to choose between them. They cannot combine collectivism and liberty. Liberty is indivisible.

Attempts have been made to combine the two. After the Second World War,Western European states tried to preserve a degree of freedom for their citizens while at the same time using the power of government to provide for them. They called this hybrid the Welfare State. It was doomed to failure.

The welfare state is too expensive to maintain. The welfare state is a Ponzi scheme, and can only last – only seem to work – for a limited time. Ponzi schemes must collapse sooner or later.

This is what happened. Productive citizens were taxed exorbitantly to fund “free” education, “free” health care, subsidized housing, and cash handouts to the jobless and handicapped. Multitudes quickly realized that they could do better living on the money the state handed out than by working. In some European countries a working life was barely twenty years. The age at which retirement could begin might be as low as forty-five. Pensions were provided by those still working and paying heavy taxes. Pensioners lived long. The working generation bore fewer children, preferring to use the money the state left them with to finance a pleasurable life. There were not enough productive citizens to keep the Ponzi scheme going. So foreigners were imported. But many of them did not work. Rather than contributing to the economy, they immediately became dependent on the state – which is to say on the ever-decreasing revenue collected from the ever-decreasing work-force.

All over Europe, welfare states are failing, as they had to. Those that are not failing now must fail eventually. For some the moment of crisis has arrived. The people are rioting in the streets. Governments are desperate. They search for help from sources as helpless as themselves. The experiment in “the mixed economy” is over.

More slowly, less comprehensively, the United States has been turning itself into a welfare state over the same period of time. When, in 2008, it elected a Marxist to the presidency, and he appointed collectivists to help him rule as far as he could by decree, and the collectivist Democratic Party controlled both houses of Congress, the pace quickened. Giant steps were taken towards transforming the land of liberty into a European-like welfare state.

It is too expensive to maintain. It is a Ponzi scheme. America is impoverishing itself. It has run into vast debt by handing out tax revenues to tens of millions for their “social security” and health care.

The crisis has come upon America. It had to come, and it has come now. There is no reconciling the ideology of those who want to finance “big government” and its spending on entitlements by means of high taxes, limitless borrowing, and the printing of paper money – all of which are impoverishing measures – with the ideology of those who believe in self-reliance, fiscal responsibility, limited government, and who would rather pay for defense than finance dependency.

Compromise between the two is not possible. The collapse of the European welfare states proves that. The choice has to be made now between the crippling Ponzi economics of redistribution and the tried and proved prosperity-making economics of the free market. Which is to say, between collectivism and liberty.

The bitter wrangling between Republicans, who in theory are the party of liberty, and Democrats, the collectivist party, over whether to raise the debt-ceiling; the mutual accusations of “unwillingness to compromise”; the insistence on one side that government spending must be cut and on the other that taxes must be raised, are skirmishes in the battle that had to be joined, that was being prepared over many decades. Some on each side have accused the others of “playing politics” or “only trying to score a political point”, not understanding that this is nothing less than the most important political battle of the age. It is being fought in Congress. It is being fought with words between the political parties in Congress, and more distantly between the Tea Party and the White House. It is not being fought with weapons in the streets. Or not yet. Whether it will come to that depends on whether the argument is won decisively now in Washington.

It is much more than a theoretical controversy. It is not “bickering”. This is the moment of having to choose between serfdom or liberty.

The survival of our civilization depends on the outcome.

Jillian Becker  August 8, 2011

  • Here is an article I’ve written that deals with the Democratic Convention and their turn to collectivism:

    • Jillian Becker

      Thank you for the link, Frank DeMartini, and for the article itself.

      We recommend it to our readers’ attention. It gives information the media failed to give, and it endorses our own view.

      It is specially worth noticing that it comes from heavily left-voting Hollywood. A dissenting voice raised with Clint’s, and Jon Voight’s.

  • Eric G.


  • Liz

    I like this comparison of collectivism to Masters and serfs. It brings out the fact that collectivism is regressive, not progressive.  It is a regression back to the days of monarchy and serfdom, where kings and priests lorded it over the ignorant, dependent peasants.  With the Enlightenment came the advent of rational, independent thinking, and knowledge that was no longer controlled by church and state.  People began to think for themselves, and realized that they could also provide for themselves, and become independent from their masters.  THAT was progress.  But here we are, two centuries later, and we seem to be regressing on both fronts – religious and political.  We have the Religious Right and the Collectivist Left. 

    • Mark

      Yes, yes and yes. Well put.

  • wmarkw

    I’m not as ideologically conservative as many here.  I’m more of a “compared to where we are now” conservative than one who thinks the 60s programs should be completely undone.  In very simple terms:  it’s fine to have wide income disparity between the wealthy and middle-class, but the poor should have basic needs met.  If the poor are too poor, society breaks down in non-economic arenas like drugs, crime and health.  But the richer someone is, the more of their income goes into investment instead of consumption, so you don’t want too flat an income disparity, either.  

    The problem with our and Europe’s welfare state isn’t so much the generosity of it, as the demographic characteristics of the recipients. If Danes create a welfare state for Danes, the policy makers can tailor the benefits to provide basic needs without being a dis-incentive to be productive. But if a large cadre of foreigners comes in with different expectations, and some measure of hostility to the Danish people and way of life, they won’t feel a moral obligation to curb their legalized theft. In America, of course, so much of our welfare is enjoyed by people who think they’re the victim of something, that reducing their burden to the American taxpayer just isn’t an idea that hits their brains.

  • mark e.

    Even if the political battle is won and the US starts to get its finances in order, how does one deal with what appears to an outsider as a bitterly divided nation? I don’t think those important principles and values like self-reliance will ever disappear and I recognize that such values are still stronger in America than in many other countries, but – I guess I remain pessimistic about the US ever again embodying those values as a nation. Things may look different under a new leader however.

  • Ralph

    The people I listen to everyday are not well informed. They think the current economic crisis is a matter of government fiscal mismanagement. They don’t understand that this is the collapse of socialism, communism or any other term you might use to describe collectivism.

    • You might be right. I am more pessimistic. I think this is “potentially” the collapse of collectivism.  Let’s hope the USA will not have the widespread riots like they have in England. Times are tough and getting tougher. I see other blogs where people blame “the rich” for every ill. It’s, as Ayn Rand said, drooling envy. If we let the invisible hand take its course, with time the general American public will pull themselves out of there debts and then turn their attention to getting rid of collectivism from the American psyche and then from our state houses and federal houses.

  • Andrew M

    Any form of socialism which is not voluntary is immoral. For socialism to be voluntary, it must inherently be subservient to liberty – individual actors must choose to engage in socialism without duress.

    In order to maintain the rule of law, a small amount of socialism is necessary. In order to not infringe on the rights of individuals, this socialism must be contingent on the defense of liberty, stated in written contract. For the United States, this contract is called the Constitution, and so far it is the most moral document drafted in the entirety of history. It clearly gives government the power to collect and spend tax monies, yet at the same time it enshrines its utter and complete subservience to the constituency it governs. The check applied to reckless government expansion is the ballot box, and its victims are those individuals the citizenry feels fit to represent their interests in Congress and the Presidency. Because elections come at a regular cycle and the citizens are well-informed, these representatives cannot let their greed cloud their judgment without facing the non-violent wrath of their constituency. Thus, the amount of socialism in our government is kept to a necessary minimum, rule of law reigns supreme, and the citizenry remain safe from both internal and external threats.

    The election cycles of the past decade have made this all come to a head. Under the command of a media intelligentsia veering increasingly hard to the Left, the last president suffered a brutal and calculated attack campaign which tarred him in the eyes of the electorate. To be sure, Bush had his faults – his governing policy of big spending and deference to special interests bears more similarities to his successor than his father, the last Republican president. Yet this media grossly exaggerated his miscalculations, which in 2006 led to a Democratic blowout of both houses and the instantiation of the Californian Nancy Pelosi to Speaker of the House.

    Owing to the continued ingratiation of the Liberal mindset by the hard-left media, the electorate decided for their next president a former Alinskyite community organizer, Communist sympathizer, Constitutional lawyer, Muslim-turned-fringe-Christian Senator from Illinois. Why? He was half-black, so white America voted for him out of guilt, and black America voted for him out of pride. The nation “unexpectedly” (to quote Bloomberg) faced its worst two-and-a-half years yet, starting with a sycophantic speech in Cairo, continuing with an unprecedented mismanagement of two expensive wars, revolutions from Tunisia to Libya to Egypt to Syria to Iran (only the last contained anything resembling a repudiation of Islam, while the others emphatically backed it), and now the first downgrade of American credit in its entire history. It is, in large part, because of the president’s unique worldview that America is worse than the rest of the world because of its liberty, capitalism, and the Constitution which restricts the extent of his socialist fantasies.

    We must grit our teeth for the remainder of Obama’s presidency, then face the decisive question of whether we want to continue this happy mess, or try to clean it up and make America great again. Our citizens are educating themselves, abandoning their old assumptions, sometimes strengthening their previous hunches, all in preparation for 2012. Civilization depends on our vote, and history will forever remember the choice we make.

    • George

      Now now , Andrew , be careful telling the truth like that , you might hurt someone’s feelings — ( ha ha –snicker ).     You are absolutely correct , and in addition , it is imperative that conservative and moderate voters do all that is possible to vote Obama out of office and hopefully we can get a candidtate on the ballot that will do the right thing instead of playing self-centered partisan politics and put the emphasis on the people and the nation .   We need a pro-American  and sensible rational thinking individual and administration that will turn this political mess around and get our great nation back on track.  We all have our work cut out for us .

  • Mark

    Brilliant. Very comprehensive and inclusive yet narrow and direct enough as to lay bare any falsehoods. Nearly all societal idiosyncrasies are derived from these two basic choices in life. Be a maker or a taker. Be prepared to answer to the side whom you did not choose.
    You rarely get a libtard to argue this specific point of human interest with you. They are too busy reanimating “self-sufficiency and reliance” into “greed and disgusting self-absorption”.
    There is a 6th generation Welfare family living a few blocks from me. None of them are crippled. None of them have HIV, yet. None of them have any legitimate excuse to not be working. They, among countless others are abusing the charity of   the masses. Terrible.
    On a very basic level, this all boils down to a very simple notion of honesty versus dishonesty, right?
    Fight instinct, or use it to our advantage and progression as a species. This seems rhetorical…

    • George

      According to them Mark, they have an excuse , it’s the entitlement and victimhood mentality———  aka  LAS  ( Lazy A** Syndrome ).  

      • George

        You see Mark , LAS , aka-  (  Lazy A**  Syndrome  )  is cause by a societal virus from handling too many tainted food  stamps , welfare checks and lottery tickets.   Lazy A** Syndrome is also cause by listening to the new liberal radio station——-WRUP ( Welfare Receiving Useless Parasites )  .      There is hope  for people who have contracted LAS  Mark. They can get a shot of  conservative logic ( secular of course )  which has been proven to be an instant cure.      Or they can end up  going into a coma caused by PAL   ( Pathetic A** Liberalism ).   You see  Mark , we are experiencing an epidemic or maybe a pandemic in our nation known as    FAIL   (  Foolish A** Ignorant Liberals ) .  I’m hoping that the loser liberals hurry  to their nearest clinic and get their free risk free trial  government inoculation of   GAJA  ( Get A  Job Already ).   Hurry while supplies last !!!!!!     

  • Bill

    Well written!

  • Bill

    Well written!

    • George

      Hey Bill , I hope Jillian Becker runs for President ———-she has my vote  !!!!!!!

      • Yes – I agree!  This article was very insightful and well-written.  Brilliant work Jillian!

        • George

          Concerning the welfare state and the socialist/collectivist mentality , I’ve been corresponding with various ethnic minority secular freethinkers and I’m contemplating on producing a quarterly national newsletter that addresses the specific and unique issues , concerns, situations and problems that affect secular minorities that are being overwhelmingly ignored  by the various mainstream secular groups in America. The ones I spoke to have  expressed overwhelmingly that they feel like outcasts because the issues that are indigenous to the various ethnic minorities are ignored on a widespread basis .
                          If you ever get a chance read the article by Alix Jules ,  an outspoken black  freethinker in Texas that was published in the July 2011 edition of Ebony magazine.  Do a google search of Alix Jules , as he expresses my sentiments exactly . The article or similar articles of him are on the internet. I intend to contact him . He spoke of how he feels like an outcast as a black  minority and I can relate over the years myself. The article or similar articles are  also on the internet.   I spoke to one Asian woman and also a  husband/wife couple from India and  they also say they also agreed with me and stated that they have been ignored and feel the same way. You are Asian and can relate .  The various ethnic groups have specific concerns, issues, situations and problems that need to be addressed as it affects different groups differently.  This is not meant to be divisive in any way but to bring to the public forum specific issues that have been tremendously ignored that affect ethnic minorities that are not being addressed.
                             There is already a divide in the secular community on these issues and these things truly need to be addressed. You are Asian and can relate .   I spoke as a guess speaker at a humanist meeting on this issue  ( only once ) and got a good response but overall , the concerns are being ignored globally ( especially in the USA ).   
                        How does this relate to this article ?   Socialism has destroyed the minority culture of blacks in America and elsewhere and has created a welfare state of dependency.  Compounded by the fact that Islam is growing like wildfire in America by black men and  Christianity still has a  “vise-grip” control of the black communities in America.  We suffer tremendously by collectivism /socialism agendas.  When I try to bring these issues up in the various atheist/humanist/freethought group meetings I attend , the blatant lack of interest or concern is mind-boggling .
                         The welfare state that fuels  the ghettos in America and  promotes the “victimhood ” and “entitlement” mentality among blacks is a very regressive and culturally destructive situation .  The Christian clergy for the most part controls the black communities across America.  These issues are unique and require a unique way of addressing . Check it out and let me know your sentiments . Take care guy.   

        • George

          Check my reply to your post directlly  below this post.  I found the article by Alix Jules .  There are several of the same article.   Do a keyword google search under  the title———— [    Atheists’ Diversity Woes Have No Black-and-White Answers   ].   

  • George

    The welfare misfits and entitlement minded moochers  elected Obama ( King of the socialist left )  to assure they get their handout “fix”  at other people’s expense.  When the government “Ponzi” bubble bursts and their government handout “parachute” collapses , they’ll just blame it all on conservatives  and call it a societal &  conspiratorial “backlash”.