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I was delighted last week when MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry spewed out her breathtaking remarks about children belonging to the community rather than their parents. I say delighted because she must certainly have awakened millions of people from their transformation-of-America trance.
I’m sure that to many people Moronic Melissa sounded like nothing more than a hopelessly lost, unknown media gal trying to be more shocking than that Soledad Prison girl on CNN, but, trust me, there’s a lot more to it than that.
Among other things, she said, “Part of it is we have to break through our kind of private idea that kids belong to their parents, or kids belong to their families, and recognize that kids belong to whole communities.”
Really? Does that include the pedophiles, prostitutes, drug addicts and illiterate people in our communities? And when your teenage daughter wants to sleep with her boyfriend, does everyone in the community get to vote on it – sex by majority rule?
As outrageous as Moronic’s statements may sound to many people, it’s important to pay attention when the left spouts off like this, because it’s about much more than just children. After all, for decades progressives have demonstrated that they have no feelings for children by the very fact that they kill more than 3,000 of them every day before they even make it out of the womb – and sometimes after they make it out of the womb.
The “it takes a village” drivel toward children is but one aspect of the overall notion of collectivism. At the heart of collectivism – whether you call it liberalism, progressivism, socialism, Marxism, communism, or by any other name – is the naïve, grotesque belief that everything should go into a big pot and be doled out to people in equal shares.
In other words, the individual is nothing. His money is not his, his property is not his, his children are not his, his life is not his. The only rights he possesses are those that are granted to him by whichever thugs happen to be holding the reins of power at any given time.
The collective was the life of prehistoric man – the life of the savage. As civilization advanced, however, families began to strive for self-sufficiency, which increasingly came to be considered virtuous. This was especially true of the United States, which probably reached its apex of virtuosity in the 1950s.
So why did things begin to slide backwards after that? I believe it was a result of a fascinating paradox. As the average person’s life has become ever more comfortable, there has been a natural evolution toward compassion. No civilized person – especially someone who is living well – wants to see other people suffer.
Unfortunately, this natural evolution toward compassion also dragged along with it the tenets of socialism. It seemed only natural, and still does to many, that if people are suffering, the obvious solution is to have the state take from those who can afford it and give to those who are “in need.” Or, as our kind and gracious first lady gently put it, “Someone is going to have to give up a piece of their pie so that someone else can have more.”
Which, to a person who doesn’t spend a great deal of time intellectualizing issues, sounds perfectly fair. However, there are a few problems with collectivization, the most obvious one being pointed out by the late, great Iron Lady of Great Britain when she said, “The trouble with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money.”
A second problem with collectivism is that most people will not give up their property, their children, or their lives willingly. Thus, they have to either be re-educated or eliminated. That’s why collectivism, at its extreme, leads to genocide, as was seen in the Soviet Union and its Eastern Bloc satellites for more than 70 years.
Nevertheless, as the U.S. government continues to increase its efforts to force people to be compassionate, they are increasingly pushing back. If force is used to make a person be charitable, it is not charity, but tyranny. Compulsory compassion is coercion, and coercion is always immoral.
So today, millions of well-meaning, law-abiding citizens are torn between their desire to see the suffering of their fellowman alleviated and their desire for individual liberty. Shamelessly, the schools, the media and Hollywood prey upon this emotional conflict day in and day out, conducting a remarkably successful misinformation campaign on the virtuosity of the collective.
In the film “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan,” Dr. Spock’s dying words said it all: “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few – or the one.” Translation: Tyranny of the majority! In reality, collectivism is like a massive pandemic that destroys everything in its path – wealth, individualism, the family unit, traditional values … nothing stands in the way of the mother of all viruses.
For decades, collectivists have given teeth to the notion that collectivism is superior to individualism by translating their immoral objectives into law, the result being that plunder is now accepted as a virtuous activity simply because it is officially codified. But as Frederic Bastiat put it, “The purpose of the law is not to be philanthropic; it is to protect people’s property.”
The reality that needs to be shoved into the face of high-minded collectivists is this: Individual sovereignty and compassion are not mutually exclusive objectives. I believe in individual sovereignty, but I also consider myself to be a compassionate person. That’s why I believe so strongly in private charity.
No American should be OK with handing over his wealth, his guns, his children, or his sovereignty to a criminal government. To do so without protest is nothing short of unpatriotic.
Oh, and by the way, there is a third problem with collectivism that I failed to mention earlier: It’s a violation of man’s natural rights and thus immoral. Minor point, but I just thought I’d throw it in.