The Collectivist Left vs The Individualist Right!

By: Doug Hagin

There are several significant differences between the ideological right and left. We all know this. Abortion, taxation, the size of government, national defense, gun control, etc are all issues that divide the two ideologies. We all are well aware of these specific issues and the way the two sides generally view them. What is interesting, to me anyway, is why the two sides differ on these and other issues. I have come to believe there is a common theme that divides the two ideologies.

While the specific issues already cited separate the two sides, there is, I believe, one major difference that coves all these issues. The difference is in the thinking of the two sides. What they think, is best explained in how they think. In short, the left thinks collectively, while the right thinks individually.

The left talks about charity and giving for example. They talk about it constantly. They talk about it so much you might think they invented charitable giving. Their talk, though, and their walk, are quite different. Several studies of charitable giving have shown that those on the right give significantly more than those on the left do. Studies also have shown that those Americans in red states, states that tend to vote Republican, are more giving than those in the blue states. How can this be? Perhaps it is best explained by how each side sees charity and generosity.

The right thinks as individuals. We see a tragedy somewhere and we give OUR money. We do not expect the government to take our money and then give it. In fact, we would rather the government take much less of our money. The left tends to call us greedy because we want lower taxes. Yet, the record of the right on charitable giving is better than that of the left. Therefore, really, it is surely not greed that drives Conservatives is it. If we were greedy, we would keep our money and not support the Red Cross or Salvation Army, or other charities wouldn’t we?

The left, however, sees true charity as national giving, collective giving. Recall the Tsunami at the end of 2004. Americans gave billions and billions of dollars to the relief organizations after that tragic disaster. Yet, those on the left bashed America as greedy. How can that be? Well it was the amount our government gave they focused on. Ignoring the billions individual Americans gave, the left instead saw only what the US government gave. Again, collectivism raises its head.

To the ideological left it is only the collective giving that counts. They see America as a government, not as a nation of free people. To them, the giving of individuals, who CHOOSE to give is worth less than when government chooses for them what charity to give to and how much to give to it. Only when a government takes our money then gives it is it truly charitable and worthwhile to the left. This is not to say no one on the left gives of their own money, it is to point out the value the left grants to individual giving as compared to the worth they attach to collective giving.

As stated earlier, I believe every issue the two ideologies differ on is summed up best in terms of collectivism vs. individualism. Consider a recent campaign speech by Democratic presidential candidate Senator John Edwards. In the speech, Sen. Edwards laid out his plan for raising taxes on the “wealthy”. “It’s time for us to put America’s economy back in line with our values. It’s time for us to put an end to George Bush’s war on work. It’s time to restore fairness to a tax code that has been driven completely out of whack by the lobbyists in Washington, by the powerful interests in Washington and by those who value the few above the interests of many.”

In Sen. Edwards’s words, we see a classic illustration of collectivist thinking. Besides playing the tired income card, which Democrats always do, Edwards speaks of a “fair” tax code that values the “many” rather than the “few”. That is classic Karl Marx ideology there my friends. Again, Edwards sees individuals keeping more of their money as bad for the common good. Never mind of course, that the wealthy use their money to create jobs, which positively affect the common good. To Edwards, and those who think collectively, it is unfair and bad that some make lots of money. They prefer the Marxist strategy of redistribution of wealth. It should also be pointed out that Sen. Edwards, or Sen. Haircut, as I like to call him, is filthy rich. He may think collectively when he thinks of us, but he clearly thinks he ought to live by different standards. Maybe I ought to call him Sen. Hypocrite!

Then there is another speech, delivered by another Democrat seeking the White House. Hillary Clinton has said she would, if elected, establish a national academy to train public servants. “I’m going to be asking a new generation to serve,” she said. “I think just like our military academies, we need to give a totally all-paid education to young men and women who will serve their country in a public service position.” Again, to heck with encouraging individualism, Sen. Clinton prefers the government to train young Americans how to serve their country.

Of course, there is nothing wrong with serving others or your country, nothing at all. Allowing individuals to choose to serve, however, does not appeal to Sen. Clinton. She is not thinking of individuals, she is thinking collectively, just like the Leftist she is. Also, when weighing the statement by Sen. Clinton, consider the tone. Is she, as it seems to me, talking of mandatory service? Talk about the ultimate collectivist ideal. She is certainly thinking of making every American pay for such a venture. Again, the government taking your money and deciding what it should be spent on.

Liberal vs. Conservative. Collectivism vs. individualism.

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