"Each of us must become candles in the darkness of collectivist ideas. The brighter we each shine through our understanding and ability to articulate the meaning of freedom, the more we will be beacons that can attract others."
Richard M. Ebeling
Foundation for Economic Education
Collectivist ideas. What are collectivist ideas?
Basically collectivism has to do with private property. It is that all property belongs to "the group," and nothing is owned by any one individual.
But it is more than that. To be understood collectivism has to be contrasted with individualism.
The very foundation of our country concerns the concept of individualism! We believe in, and our "leaders" swear to protect, a document that defines self evident, divine, unalienable rights! These rights protect the individual, preserve each individual's freedoms, at the very EXPENSE of the collective! The document in fact RESTRICTS the power of the gubment collective.
These rights are unalienable, meaning you cannot separate them, remove any of them, or pay attention to one as more important than any other. They are a package deal.
The tyrannical collective, big gubment, seeks to grow. Its tyranny can be soft and hard. Its growth can be subtle or visibly flagrant. It seeks the establishment and preservation of itself.
> It grows through bureaucracy, creating departments and, as Mr. Jefferson states in one of the articles of the Declaration of Independence, "[erects] a multitude of new offices, and [sends] hither swarms of officers to harass our people, and eat out [our] substance."
> It grows as politicians create and grow their agendas with money, yes money, in the form of spending and entitlements and bailouts and subsidies and pork. These agendas grow with money taken from the individual to spend on the collective agenda.
In short, the real struggle in our society today is collectivism versus individualism. Imposition and control versus individual freedom. Public (meaning gubment) property versus private property. Restriction and curtailment of rights versus unalienable, self-evident, individual rights.
One might say, to use a familiar modern movie icon, it is The Dark Side versus The Force.
Notice The Dark Side tries to control by any means - the lie and evil doings, hidden manipulation and deception, murderous war and control. Its advocates are mean, will do damage, can be picked out with flashy uniform or shocking appearance and seek their control agenda. It seeks darkness. It's proponents reject light and do not "shine."
The Force is felt, it is subtle, it is available to anyone who seeks it, and it flows freely when one learns how to use it. One can be trained in its use. Its advocates are humble, dress plainly, follow a strait and narrow path, and seek peace and goodness as their agenda. It seeks light. It's proponents seek light and "shine."
And so, Dr. Ebeling's statement as regards today's struggle between collectivism and individual freedom remains as a battle that has been around for a long time.
It is the struggle between a dark end with no promise and a light that follows a principle with a promise.
I prefer this place: "Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid." We proponents of free enterprise should be unashamed and welcoming beacons encouraging others our way. Come and enjoy what we desire!
Free enterprise shines as a bright beacon on a hill.