Home > America, Democrat, Janet Napolitano, libertarian, liberty, Locke, Republican, Tea Parties, tyranny > This Isn’t About Democrat vs. Republican Anymore

This Isn’t About Democrat vs. Republican Anymore

In light of the recent Tea Parties, Janet Napolitano and her cronies labelled many people like myself as right-wing extremists. Now, I’m kind of used to hearing this by now given that I grew up in New Jersey and go to a university where only global-warming-fear-mongering, jihadist-appeasing (largely anti-Semitic), Marxistsympathizing, military-hating, sovereigntysacrificing chaps are considered moderate, but the fact that the people that defend the rights of these vitriolic parasites to protest against our right to exhale carbon dioxide and eat trans fats were labelled as threats to the peace is downright offensive.

Sure, most of the folks that came out that day might be registered as Republicans, but the line as to what determines a Republican and a Democrat to me at this point no longer exists. Practically all politicians in these parties are the same, differing only by degree of pathetic-ness (not a word according to Google, but it should be).

Thus, I have been thinking about how to describe the split between the two sides of the debate in America right now. The words that I think best summarize the political divergence are individualism versus statism or collectivism. Jonathan Hoenig lays it out pretty well here:

If you find yourself identifying with the values of the former word or phrase below, then you fall into the camp of the individualist, while if you find yourself identifying with the ladder, then you probably identify as a statist. The dichotomies that I see are as follows:

merit vs. favoritism
liberty vs. tyranny
individuality vs. the mob
personal responsibility vs. collective irresponsibility
your happiness vs. the happiness of 50%+1
free speech vs. censorship
strength vs. weakness
long-term planning vs. short-term wishful thinking
national sovereignty vs. internationalism
prosperity vs. impoverishment
freedom vs. control
property protection vs. plunder
city on a hill vs. Gulag in Siberia

To be sure, in this society, labeling anyone is touchy. At this point I don’t know if I would consider myself a Lockean, a Constitutionalist, a Goldwater conservative, a fiscal and social libertarian but strong on defense dude, or just a lover of my nation. Nevertheless, the split that I see that encompasses the most fundamental of beliefs is individualism versus collectivism. You be the judge as to which ideology is superior.

  1. Anonymous
    April 21, 2009 at 7:42 pm

    Wonderful post.

  2. MAS1916
    April 22, 2009 at 4:39 pm

    In Obama’s view, individualism is okay as long as it benefits the state. The state then may distribute the value of individualism (read: income). Sound familiar?

  3. Anonymous
    April 22, 2009 at 12:29 pm

    [I am not the previous ‘Anonymous’ although I agree with his comment.]Andrew wrote “the split that I see that encompasses the most fundamental of beliefs is individualism versus collectivism.” Allow me to address why this constitutes such a fundamental contrast.A simplified description of our nation is that we reward failure and punish success. This appears incomprehensible, begging the question of how anyone could adopt so destructive an approach. Yet it makes perfect sense from the perspective of raising a family, which does just that. A family nurtures, where what is most important is ‘neediness’ (or perhaps “patheticness”). This is the fount of socialism, which may be defined as running society as a family, where the government is the parent. The source of support for all tyrannies stems from this desire, namely to be guided by communal needs, in contrast to the freedom of the individual to go his own way.The imperative to reward success and punish failure (or allow the natural loss) stems from the imperatives of an adult. Here he must seek his destiny. On the national level, it is the grounding for defending a country, and building an economy (which is the antithesis of patheticness). To show sympathy for an enemy, and allow the country to be out-competed, is to place the nation in peril.We may note that the animal kingdom is based on the collective, where what best guides the animal is what directly aids the species. Conversely, the human realm develops by the creations of the individual (not only in science, but) in all civilized endeavors. Thus the dichotomy of individualism/collectivism, may be viewed as a reflection of what stems from the human, and what derives from the animal. Now Ayn Rand differentiates man from the animal, by his quality of reasoning, which is not available to the animal. Yet once we consider individualist and collectivist beliefs, we note that only an individual reasons, while a collective follows the animal drives.In sum, the difference between individualism and collectivism, is the contrast between beliefs created by the higher man, and those that rationalize the lower man. What more fundamental contrast can there be for civilization?Allen

  4. Fenimore Rex Neon
    April 23, 2009 at 4:48 am

    Like I’ve said before. Like I will say forever. Andrew, you cannot have qualifications to your individual self. One cannot be a “fiscal and social libertarian but strong on defense dude.” Qualifications get us into the very mess we are in now. If its ok for you to qualify your wants, then it is ok for person a, person b, and so on.It must all come down. Your tightly held onto security issues. Your beliefs that there is anything positive in this country worth even defending. And then finally the government. It all must be demolished and then rebuilt in the sole name of freedom.When we show the world that we are strong enough to take real risks individually, then peace illuminates the universe with creativity and productive joy.

  5. Anonymous
    April 28, 2009 at 2:35 pm

    Fenimore Rex Neon writes ‘One cannot be a “fiscal and social libertarian but strong on defense dude”’ which appears to claim that one cannot be for freedom, and in favor of defending it. Yet freedom and defense are inextricable. How can one have freedom if he doesn’t defend it? and what is worth defending if not one’s freedom?Perhaps Mr. Neon means something else, yet when he writes “you cannot have qualifications…” it similarly appears incoherent. Can one devise any guide for human affairs which does not require qualifications? (Even in science, any law holds within qualified circumstances.)Our ‘Declaration of Independence’ was written for the stated purpose of preserving freedom, which was to be obtained by forcefully defending it. Would Mr. Neon have advocated that our founders abandoned freedom, or have been unwilling to fight for it?Allen

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