Well, it was a good experiment. It fostered the greatest engine of innovation and advancement in human history. Our poor, by world standards, aren’t poor at all and the average American is ,by world standards, very prosperous. There were troubles to be sure but by the standard of history the former US was the best nation the world has ever seen.
The devil is in the details it is said and rightly so. By allowing such a free and open society we inadvertently allowed Collectivism to get a foothold and fester … spread. Like a cancer it turns productive cells into unproductive malignant foreign bodies bent on changing everything into their kind.
Most Americans desired to just be left alone and in turn left others alone … and this is the Achilles Heel of Individualism. By their nature, Individualists leave people to believe and promote whatever they desire, even if it is pure evil and detrimental to the entire society. Even cancer.
How many times have you heard “I might not agree with what you say but I’ll die to protect your right to say it”? It’s a paradox. Certain men have weakness that makes the idea of Collectivism attractive and by letting those ideas move freely in society we allow cancer to do what cancer does and are loathe to end it because we believe the individual should be free to choose their own pursuits. It is almost a forgone conclusion that this will eventually ruin the body. It is fairly easy to define crimes of action or even omission but thought crimes or belief crimes are the slipperiest of slopes.
Collectivism by nature does not allow for free thought and does not allow people to have their own ideas nor profess beliefs if they are contrary to the prevailing groupthink. The factions of Collectivism don’t often war with each other or go after each other but tend to always be furthering the spread. They join forces to move the Overton Window regardless of the nuances of their particular brand of Socialism/Communism. The only arguments among them seem to revolve around who is the more progressive, who is pushing the window hardest. In their disagreements there is barely a hiccup in the overall goal of simply not allowing Liberty to survive.
In contrast, Individualists attack the slightest nuances of Individualism among their brothers. Freedom-centric people die on tiny hills to be true to their absolute ideas of what constitutes Liberty. Factions war and fight each other over minutiae which allows the steady march of the collective to gain ground without ceasing. Much more time is spent fighting our own rather than the enemy.
Collectivists cannot leave people alone to pursue what they will unless it furthers Collectivism. You cannot coexist as a free man with this ideology. The nature of it is to assimilate all and not allow dissent. The two ideologies are wholly incompatible.
When allowed to exist, the ideology of Collectivism always will overtake Individualism. You cannot let a cancer exist in the body with the idea that it has a right to do what cancer does. This of course brings up all manner of questions. What or who is to determine what the clear line of collectivism is? What are the implications of Individualists doing things contrary to the mantra of leaving others alone by rooting out and ending certain beliefs that will hurt the body? The slippery slope is apparent and I would not trade the cancer of Collectivism for the danger of runaway witch hunts but I know that some would.
Where does this leave us?
The very prosperity we have enjoyed by and large for over two centuries has made it possible for men’s thoughts to wander into the siren song of Socialism. By allowing free and open thought, the good and the evil ideas of men are both given equal chance to flourish but evil, by its nature, never stops or sleeps. It is completely averse to Individualists to destroy other’s own ability to choose their beliefs … even beliefs that will ultimately destroy our body. To stamp out other’s beliefs leads us toward the very Collectivism we hate … but to allow them to exist will ultimately destroy it all.
I don’t have a definitive solution and to my knowledge no one else has one with any chance of success. Anyone who longs for a civil conflict is at best ill informed but an Individualist not willing to fight to prevent slipping into the darkness of Global Communism is a coward. Those hoping to just sit it out neutrally will be chaff. The horrors of such a conflict cannot possibly be fully understood without experiencing them and I ,while willing, am loathe to gain the knowledge of it. Is there a large enough will in those desiring to simply be left alone to bring absolute war to the collective? Don’t answer with simple bravado, genuinely consider that question.
What comes after? There are even odds on the after being worse than the now. This 4th turning does not guarantee an outcome, only the fight itself is promised and not even the size and scope of that fight can be known.
We surely are living in interesting times.