Thursday, February 7, 2013

Left Vs. Right? No way!

It is popular to describe the political divide in the USA as left vs. right.  I don’t think this is accurate at all.  For example the “left” traditionally advocates for bigger government, entitlement programs, and restrictions of personal liberties but try to find a “righty” who really wants a balanced budget amendment, privatized social security, or privatized schools.  Everyone in the Executive Branch and most members of Congress are big government guys and gals.  In other words they are all “left,” some are just a tad more “left” than others.
To me a more accurate way of describing the divide in politics is to contrast the two fundamentally different world views that underlie virtually all political arguments; Individualism and Collectivism.
Individualism regards man, every man (or woman) as an independent, sovereign entity who possesses an inalienable right to his own life, a right derived from his nature as a rational being. Individualism holds that a civilized society, or any form of association, cooperation or peaceful coexistence among men, can be achieved only on the basis of the recognition of individual rights—and that a group, as such, has no rights other than the individual rights of its members.
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.”

How can you determine whether you are an Individualist or a Collectivist at heart?  Here is a simple test.  Print the page.  Put a check next to the statement on each row that best describes your world view.

What’s mine is mine; what’s yours is yours
What’s yours is mine
I am responsible for me
You are responsible for me
What I earn is mine
What you earn is mine
I have value; others have value
Others have value; I have no value
I am accountable for my actions
You are accountable for my actions
The world does not owe me a living
The world owes me a living
Equality of opportunity
Equality of outcome
I own me
Others own me
My freedom ends where your nose begins
Both of our noses belong to the government

Now you know where you stand philosophically. It's not left or right that means much, It's Individualism Vs. Collectivism that matters.  As for me, I agree with this guy:

"There is only one kind of freedom and that's individual liberty."
Ron Paul

Mark VanSchuyver


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