Heart of the Individual

Submitted by Freedomman on Wed, 08/05/2009 - 13:16

by Brent Johnson

I frequently find myself thinking about the type of person who is willing to prioritize his (or her) values to place principles before money and possessions. This is the kind of person who fights for freedom and opposes tyranny, stands for truth and exposes lies, lives and dies so that others may benefit from his struggles. This is the kind of person I am, and I often wonder what it would take to raise up more people of this character.

I am an individualist. That means that I value individual rights more than the rights of the collective. It is more important to me that you, as an individual, are free to exercise your rights to life, liberty and property, than that the general population not be offended by the way you live your life.

The crux of any society lies in its position on this one point. Which is more important: individual or collective rights?

Let us first dispense with any notion that the two could be regarded as equally important; that is impossible. You cannot simultaneously say that you are free to paint your house whatever color you like, and your neighborhood or community center, Town Council, or homeowners association has the authority to determine how houses are painted. You cannot claim the individual freedom to smoke cigarettes, while simultaneously allowing local governments to ban smoking in public places. Both cannot be true.

In any society, either individualism or collectivism reigns supreme. One is regarded as more important than the other. The character of your society is determined by which you value more.

A freedom fighter, one who stands against efforts to socialize the American (or any other) people, must possess the heart of the individual. He cannot be a socialist, because socialism requires the collective needs to supersede the rights of the individual.

The individualist takes responsibility for his actions. He expects credit for what he does that goes right and blame for what he does that goes wrong. He does not shirk from personal responsibility, no matter the difficulty or importance of the task at hand.

Conversely, the collectivist or socialist always finds reasons why he is not responsible for anything that ever happens. It is always someone else: the government, the company, in other words, the “other guy” who is responsible for whatever ills befall a socialist. This is because those who believe they are part of a collective expect the “authorities” to take care of them. This is the fundamental principle of communism: that each receives according to his needs, and each contributes according to his abilities, and the State enforces it all.

However, the individualist just wants to be left alone to live his life as he sees fit, without damage to his neighbor. The individualist believes that government exists to protect him from being told how to live, what to do, where to go, etc. The individualist does not become a member of a homeowner’s association, union, or collectivist organization, because doing so requires him to waive his rights as an individual to make his own unique determinations.

The united States of America was established as a constitutional Republic, not a Democracy.  In a Democracy, the majority rules, regardless of how it is achieved, and the minority is helpless to do anything about it.  In a Republic, each individual has certain permanent and inviolable rights, and no expression of the will of the majority - even a unanimous majority - can ever result in the violation of one single minority individual  right.

It is the heart of the individual that holds the answers to the problems facing Americans today. Only people who subscribe to the principle that it is more important to preserve the individual rights of each person than to pander to the declared needs of the collective, are capable of repairing the damage done to our constitutional Republic. It requires people of staunch character to stand in the face of collectivist demands.

Collectivists tend to believe their position is just and true. After all, shouldn’t the will of the majority dictate right action? Isn’t it reasonable for some individuals to give up their dreams, desires and rights so that the vast majority of people can live the lifestyle they want? Personally, I think not.

The individual is being pushed out of American society in favor of a docile, obedient population that does what it is told. What a shame! Our republic, which was founded on the principle that individual rights are more important than collective needs, is breeding out and discouraging all signs of individualism in the American people. People who are different are shunned, ostracized, and frequently removed from commercial aircraft.

While America developed unprecedented wealth and production through individuals pursuing their own designs, today, the government, media, and education community all want obedient little soldiers to do what they are told. If you show signs of thinking for yourself and coming up with your own ideas, you are given Ritalin or some other drug and evaluated as some kind of disruptive influence.

Yet, I remain an individualist. I have the heart of an individual. That means I cannot function in the society that currently exists in the United States (note that I did not say the united States of America, because that republic is for all intents, dead). It is a society that I find poisonous to my spiritual well being.

Freedom, property rights, and the ability to determine how you will live are features that have value only to the individual. True, most people will give lip service to these universal concepts. But how many of them will rescind their social security numbers and give up their eligibility for government benefits?  How many will rid themselves of all licenses and permits, and go about their daily affairs without first asking for government permission?  How many will refuse to allow police officers to enter their homes without a warrant, even if threatened or beaten by them?

A real individual does not look to others to determine his life choices. A real individual does not cower in fear of government forces, or agree to go along with what everyone else wants just to get along with them. A real individual is not afraid to make waves, if that is what he needs to do to stand for principles, morals and fundamental rights.

We need many more people with the heart of the individual to stand together to combat the relentless encroachment of tyrants and the oppressiveness of government. We need people who will set aside their concerns over money, property, and position, and instead devote themselves to restoring and preserving the fabric of American society, in which no act of government can ever abrogate the natural, unalienable, individual rights of each Citizen. We need people who have integrated into their very existences the stamp of the individual, and will never waver in their determination and conviction that individualism is more valuable and necessary for human spiritual development than collectivist dogma.

I will grant that when you get a bunch of individuals together in the same place, there is often disagreement and even chaos around what to do and how to do it. As one libertarian pointed out, it is like trying to herd cats.  Nevertheless, I would rather deal with that kind of chaos than the orderliness that results from a docile and enslaved population.

In what kind of world do you wish to live?  If you are like me, you will never accept anything less than a world in which your God-given individual rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are sacrosanct; immune from government regulation, control, attack, abrogation, or influence.  You will never accept any government as your master, but only as your public servant.  You will lay down your life before compromising your principles and values.  You will help to create the world in which you want to live; a world that respects individual rights far more than collectivist demands.

So here is your challenge.  I invite you to commit to living your life for the preservation of individual rights.  I ask you to reprioritize your life to make this objective primary, and live for the cause of freedom.  I ask you to enlist as a soldier for the Real America and all Real Americans, then to stand firm on your convictions that individual rights must not be sacrificed for any perceived collective benefit.  If once that occurs, then we will have started down a slippery slope from which no return is possible, eventually leading to oppression, totalitarianism, and dictatorship.

I pray for the survival of a way of life that each of us needs, whether he or she knows it or not.  I pray that it is not already too late to correct the injustice that we have allowed into our societies.  I pray that the Creator has not finally given up on us, leaving us to our own frankenstinian creations, of beast-like governments that devour everything that is good about humanity, in order to fulfill their own narrow, selfish objectives.

Pray with me.  Please join me in fighting for this worthwhile cause.  Let us together make a new world, one in which principles reign supreme, morality guides society, and each individual is regarded as the precious, unique gift that he or she is.  If we commit to these things, then perhaps we really can save our country and world for our posterity.