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❌Stu Cvrk @STUinSD
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Thread: On the Existential Struggles of Our Time, Part II

1. Part I examined the first of three main existential struggles ongoing in the Age of Trump: globalism vs. nationalism. In Part II, we will look at individualism vs. collectivism.
2. For background and context purposes, I suggest scanning Part I before continuing with this thread:
3. What is collectivism? It can be defined as “a cultural value that is characterized by emphasis on cohesiveness among individuals and prioritization of the group over self.” Ayn Rand, the great Russian philosopher, has my favorite definition:
4. Collectivism means the subjugation of the individual to a group—whether to a race, class or state does not matter. Collectivism holds that man must be chained to collective action and collective thought for the sake of what is called “the common good.”
aynrandlexicon.com/lexicon/collec…
5. Now the word collectivism has only been in vogue since the 1920s when it was popularlized by Lenin and the Bolsheviks and was a key ideological component of Marxism-Leninism as implemented in the USSR.
6. It “played a key part in forming the New Soviet man, willingly sacrificing his or her life for the good of the collective & fully replaceable. Terms such as ‘collective’ & ‘the masses’ were frequently used in the official language” of the Soviet state.
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Collectiv…
7. Think for a second about what that really means – the notion of “the common good.” Who gets to decide what that “common good” is? On what moral basis is that determined?
8. Remember that Lenin and the Communists were atheists; they rejected God as a reminder of the old regime. Everything was relative to them, as well as to be exploited in establishing the “dictatorship of the proletariat” (one of Lenin’s favorite euphemisms for the Soviet state).
9. And that meant that the goals and dreams of individuals – and even whole classes of people – could and would be sacrificed as necessary to further consolidate the political and socio-economic power of the Marxist state over its people.
10. Five-year plans with arbitrary economic goals; collectivization of the Russian peasant class and the destruction of the kulaks (estimates as high as 6 million murdered/starved); forced industrialization in inhospitable areas (the Urals and Siberia); ….
10A. …forced labor camps for millions of “enemies of the state”:
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/One_Day_i…
11. At what human cost and consideration did Lenin & Stalin wreak their havoc with their arbitrary goals of “collectivizing” Russia? Millions of unnecessary deaths and forced relocation of whole populations, including a weakened military that nearly lost WWII to the Nazis.
12. This is the legacy of collectivism – and not just in Russia! If anything, the Chinese experience was worse at the hands of Mao Zedong, with as many as 65 million Chinese killed during Mao’s reign.
13. This article describes some of the horrors perpetrated on the Chinese people:
heritage.org/asia/commentar…
14. The legacy is so bad that the word “collectivism” fell into disfavor in the West. This is partly because it was interchangeable with “communism” in the American consciousness. Left-wing activists in the early and mid-20th century preferred the term collectivism.
15. Collectivism and communism have gradually been replaced in polite society by “socialism,” which is deemed to be more palatable thanks to its widespread implementation to various degrees in much of Europe.
16. Here is how the dictionary defines socialism:

so·cial·ism
ˈsōSHəˌlizəm/

Noun: a political and economic theory of social organization that advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole.
17. Note that last phrase: “regulated by the community as a whole.” That is the essence of collectivism, i.e., the submergence of the individual to the benefit of society – or in reality the state which must once again do the “regulating” on behalf of the rest of a given country.
18. Do we REALLY want the likes of Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, or that millennial fool Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez arbitrarily deciding how to “regulate” the American economy? We’ve already experienced 8 miserable yrs of crypto-socialism under Obama. The question answers itself
19. The unifying theory across collectivism, socialism and communism is their harsh opposition to capitalism. Capitalism: the worst socio-economic system in human history – except for every other system! Capitalism which has delivered the best for the most. But I digress.
20. At the other end of the ideological spectrum from collectivism is “individualism.” What does it mean? Here is the dictionary definition:
21. in·di·vid·u·al·ism
indəˈvij(o͞o)əˌlizəm/

Noun:
a.the habit or principle of being independent and self-reliant.
b.a social theory favoring freedom of action for individuals over collective or state control.
22. But what does it REALLY mean? Individualism emphasizes the “moral worth” of the individual over the collective worth of society.
23. In short, an individual's life belongs to him, and he has an inalienable right to live it as he sees fit, to act on his own judgment, to keep and use the product of his effort, & to pursue the values of his own choosing – and to not be forced by the state to relinquish these.
24. Sort of seems like modern conservatism, doesn’t it? Or libertarianism with a moral element added (many otherwise conservative people define themselves as libertarians because they don’t believe in God or adhere to strong religious principles).
25. Individualism is a core element of capitalism – and the essence of the entrepreneurial spirit inherent in human nature.
26. Why do you think most of the Nobel prize winners over the past 50 years have been Americans? Or that most of today’s modern technologies were developed and mass-produced first by Americans? Think of the automobile, the internet, the iPhone, the personal computer, etc.
27. It didn’t happen by accident! The answer is entrepreneurial capitalism supported by a constitutional republic with low taxes & minimal regulations that maximizes individual and economic freedoms. In short, the United States of America and its culture that value individualism!
28. And yet the siren song of socialism persists among the political class and especially in Academia. The Democrat Party has virtually transitioned to a socialist political party, as all of its leading figures are de facto socialists.
29. Academia is loaded with Marxists; after all, that’s where Obama drew from to fill many of his political appointments. How’d their socialist claptrap work out again? First president EVER to not achieve 3% GDP growth over a single year! The highest number ever on food stamps!
30. Don’t you just cringe when Austan Goolsbee, formerly Obama’s Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers (!), blabbers about economics on the Fox News Channel? What gives them all such confidence that socialism will work “next time”?
31. That’s actually become a cliché, hasn’t it? Socialism will work “the next time it’s tried” – because it surely hasn’t worked so far! Here is a Heritage Foundation article that succinctly explains why socialism always fails:
hoover.org/research/why-s…
32. “In modern economies, hundreds of thousands of enterprises produce millions of products. Even with the most sophisticated computer technology, managing such large numbers would be far too complex for an administrative body trying to allocate resources.?
33. “Modern economies, therefore, are too complex to plan. Without markets and prices, decision-makers will not know what is scarce and what is abundant.”
34. Socialism is also contrary to human nature, as it excludes a moral element in its decision-making processes. It fails because it destroys the human spirit necessary for entrepreneurial risk-taking and economic growth.
35. Socialist failures continue unabated: Russia under the Communists, the Soviet bloc countries in Europe, China under Mao, Cuba, DPRK, and now the horror that is Venezuela.
36. Yet the Democrats and Uniparty Republicans remain hell-bent on moving the US in the direction of the “soft socialism” of Western and Northern Europe. But are those countries examples of “socialist successes”?
37. Their GDP growth rates are lower than the US, entrepreneurialism is depressed by high taxes and regulations, and they have been under the US defense umbrella since WWII, paying only a tiny fraction for their own collective defense. Their long-term obligations are staggering!
38. The Democrat Party under Obama was hell-bent on foisting a European-style socio-economic system, including high taxes and regulations, on America. Collectivism (socialism) was being used as a key change agent by the Uniparty globalists.
39. Globalism and collectivism and Democrats go hand in hand in hand. This transformation process would have continued and accelerated under Hillary Clinton, but we were saved for the time being by Donald Trump.
40. The #MAGA agenda is completely contrarian to the Democrats’ globalist/collectivist agenda. Individualism is at the heart of his nationalist agenda: freeing up people and enterprises to be the best they can be, and to help themselves as they help other people.
41. We’ve seen the effects of lower taxes and decreased regulations on the US economy over the past 19 months, haven’t we? Record low unemployment across the board. Domestic investment going through the roof.
42. Real increases in those manufacturing jobs that Obama swore were “gone forever.” The Atlanta fed predicting 5% GDP growth in the 3rd quarter (eat your heart out Obama and Goolsbee!):
cnbc.com/2018/08/01/atl…
43. That is because individualism and capitalism go hand in hand. Trump is a master of using incentives to affect economic behavior of individuals and nations. Incentives are central to a free market system, as well as to fair international trade.
44. The entire essence of the free market economy is to provide an elegantly interconnected infrastructure of incentives to drive and direct the socio-economic framework of the nation. These incentives are based upon the essential human drive to possess.
45. Under free market capitalism, individuals are enabled and empowered to gain real value from their labor, and be able to build lasting security through growing their personal wealth that is not taxed away by the government.
46. Reduced taxes and regulations is what is powering MAGAnomics!
theconservativetreehouse.com/2018/08/26/mag…
47. But the existential struggle between collectivism and individualism is not over yet. The Democrat Party wishes to return us to the socialist path to national perdition while @POTUS and his allies seek to deliver the fruits of the #MAGA revolution to all Americans.
48. What’s it going to be, friends? Are we going to go complacently into November and let the socialists/Democrats steal the elections? Or are we going to do our damnedest to defeat collectivist politicians in favor of conservatives supporting individualism and #MAGA? ///The end.
Addendum: I have purposely left out the morality component of individualism in this thread because Part III of the existential struggles of our time will discuss good versus evil, as well as link all three parts together.
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