Social collectivism is built on the concept of altruism. The things we do must be “for the good of society.” Altruism, in its basic form, is complete selflessness. When a person devotes their life to altruism, they are completely sacrificing themselves to the satisfaction of others. This is being taken advantage of. Leaders of a collectivist society speak for “the good of society,” without telling the whole story. Nothing is free. When they bring a project to the table, they speak of the good that will come from it, but never answer the question of who will pay for it. As an example, I will use socialized healthcare. Everyone receives free healthcare, provided by the government. It sounds great; nobody has to worry about sickness, disease, etc. They don’t take into account the doctors who will be paying for this “free healthcare.” Medicine is currently an open market. In order for a doctor to survive in this economy, they have to be something better than mediocre. The best doctors get paid the most. Doctors must work harder to get paid more. With socialized healthcare, every doctor is paid the same amount by the government. Where, then, is the drive for advancement? Healthcare will become mediocre at best, because there is no drive for the doctor to be better than the rest.
When you remove free market, you remove competition. When you remove competition, you remove product quality. The free market is being removed without choice. When we don’t take into account those who are doing the sacrificing, we are forcing them to make the sacrifices. When someone is forced to sacrifice themselves “for the good of society,” we have reintroduced slavery. America is built on the concept of freedom. The founders of this nation, in the Declaration of Independence, spoke of certain unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. One cannot pursue happiness in the state of slavery. Slavery most certainly isn’t liberty. Social collectivism denies us our individual, unalienable rights… “for the good of society.”
Socialism is everything we have stood against for so many years (United Soviet Socialist Republic, anyone?). We fought it in WWII (Nazi Germany). We stood against it in the Cold War (U.S.S.R.), and The Bay of Pigs (Communist Cuba). We still have embargos on trade with Cuba because of their socialist economy. When is the hypocrisy going to end? Nobody had a problem fighting socialism when it was called communism. Congress formed committees to purge this nation of the idealists who were ‘tainting’ our image with communism (regardless of their first amendment rights). But nobody has a problem with the direction we are going. Nobody has a problem socializing everything we do, from healthcare to retirement. People see the benefits of socialism without seeing the cost.
The more a society relies on the government for provision, the more power the government has. Under socialism, the government has total power. This is unconstitutional. The Constitution of the United States was written, not to rule the people, but to protect the people from the government. It was written, not to empower the government, but to set the boundaries of the government’s power. The more power and control the government takes from us, the further we deviate from the Constitution. I was shocked and appalled recently at the outcry of the people when the validity of the Constitution was called into question by Time magazine. The outcry was based on the picture on the cover of the Constitution being fed through a shredder. Where is the outcry from those people when the basic premise of the U.S. Constitution is being violated on a daily basis? The intrusion of socialism into our society is so subtle that nobody notices. They won’t notice until it’s too late.
The Fallibility of an Infallible Institution
Everyone seems surprised when an institution collapses. Institutions, when based on human ideals, are fallible. Governments are no exception. As an example, I will use social security. We currently find ourselves in a position of wondering whether our government can afford social security or not. What is the cause? It’s the Republicans; they are spending too much money on themselves. It’s the Democrats; they are spending too much money on everybody else. It’s everybody else’s fault for us not getting our money. Has anybody given any thought to a root cause? Instead of laying blame on everybody else, let’s look at our own actions. It seems like a great idea at a glance (notice a recurring theme here). We give the government money now, and they give it back later with interest, monthly like a paycheck. It seems like a great idea, if you view the government as infallible. If the government were perfect, it just may work. The problem isn’t the government spending too much money; the problem is we put the government in a position to have to afford it. We have relied on the government too much; and when you rely too much on a fallible institution, they will fail you. If you base your livelihood on the return of this investment, you lose your livelihood. So who is to blame for the social security crisis? I would say we are. The government, as an institution, is failing us. People can see it. We see it on the news, politicians arguing back and forth about pork-barrel spending and “for the good of the people.” The thing is, it’s almost like we expect them to fix it for us. The institution causing the problem is the same institution expected to fix it; and they are trying to fix it by sliding further into socialism.