The Trouble with Involuntary Collectivists

… and in fact leftists of any stripe (and some on the far right for that matter), is that everything they believe is wrong.

Yes, I mean that directly, literally, and completely. Everything they believe is wrong. Incorrect. False.

Everything they believe in is wrong, because it all flows from absolutely wrong first principles, which can best be summarized as:

  1. If it makes me feel good, it must be alright
  2. If it makes me feel bad it must be wrong
  3. If I can get enough people to go along with me, we can do whatever we want, because we say so
  4. If someone is very intelligent, and gets a lot of people to agree with him, I should agree with him too or there’s something wrong with me
  5. If we want something to be true bad enough, no matter what, it is true, because we say so
  6. Anyone who disagrees with any of this is wrong and bad
  7. Everything we do is right because we say so, and anyone who disagrees with is wrong and bad; therefore anyone who wants to stop us is stupid or evil
  8. Anything goes so long as we get what we want

These are not principles at all of course; merely an attempt to rationalize doing what they want to do.

This, fundamentally, is evil, because it abnegates human liberty and the human spirit; and because it recognizes neither morality, nor ethics (one cannot call such notions ethics). Not only does it allow for the tyranny of the majority, it requires it. The will of the collective outweighs all.

Oh and never mind the inherent contradictions there. They are obvious and irreconcilable to a non-collectivist; but somehow not to a collectivist (though at least some distinction has to be made here between involuntary collectivists, and voluntary. The voluntary are still incorrect, but they aren’t forcing anyone else into it, so that’s OK).

Simply put, the coercive restraint of human liberty is inherently evil. Control of ones person, property, and behavior should be the exclusive province of the sovereign man. The only legitimate limitation of liberty is that which prevents transgression on the liberty of others, or which compensates those transgressed upon.

Collectivism purports to advocate for human liberty; but it does so through restraining it for the good of the collective? Only by giving up your freedom to all can you be free?

Doublespeak, and nothing more.

All they are really saying is, “Give up all your freedom and liberty to us, and we’ll LET you do, what WE think you ought to do, when WE think you should do it”.

It is entirely about command and control; just as is fascism, or any other kind of totalitarianism. They believe that if you give the “right” people, total control, then all the “right” decisions will be made, and everyone will be better off and happier.

This, frankly, is evil.

Intelligent leftists then spend all their intellectual energy creating increasingly convoluted, twisted, circular, and inductive arguments… no, to call them arguments gives them too much credit, they are in the main, mere tautologies; to justify what they believe in, and why they believe in it; even though reality shows again and again that their ideas are incorrect.

Amazingly, they often reach the same point as non-leftists do, by twisting their reasoning enough to reconcile their false first principles with the way the world really works. After all, at some point you have to say that an orange is an orange, don’t you?

And that really is the proof of the thing. Leftists ideas simply do not work. They are not true. They are false. Reality disagrees with them.

When your theory does not match the facts, you must change the theory. Reality doesn’t give a damn about your feelings.

The collectivist theory fails utterly. It doesn’t match the facts at all. Twisting both the theory and the facts out of all semblance to reality to “prove” your pet theory, does not make it true.

Individualism in a relatively loose collective (a society, no matter the size), is the natural state of man. We are social individuals, but we are individuals.

We may band tighter together at time, when it is to our advantage to survive; but we do so out of enlightened self interest, not of a collective nature.

We may sacrifice, so that others might live, or live better lives; but we do this for the benefit of other individuals, and for that which we believe in; not for the collective.

In all things, we are individuals.

Capitalism is what naturally happens when people get together freely to exchange goods and services.

Private property and competition are what naturally happens when people seek to improve their lives, and their situations.

Unless people are artificially restrained from doing so, their natural condition is one of competition, and markets.

Yes, there are those who will seek to gain advantage by restraining competition, gaining monopolies, imposing laws and regulations… but those are not failures of liberty, failures of markets, failures of capitalism; they are the failures of command and control.

Command and control will always fail. It cannot succeed, because in order to work the commander and controller must have perfect information and perfect reason. Such a thing does not exist. There is no perfect man, nor any perfect collective of men, and there cannot be.

Not only that, but humans by nature are both rebellious beasts, and greedy beasts.

Yes, many are content to be… even crave to be… controlled. Many crave to control others (even if it si only as part of a collective). This is proven to us more and more every day. It was proven quite convincingly just a few months ago; when the great masses voted for a “perfect man”, “the one”; the man on a horse, coming to simply sweep in and “heal us all”.

There are always enough however who are willing to take advantage, or gain a little extra comfort, or just get a bit ahead, a bit more power, a bit more advantage… On the other side of things, there are always enough who chafe at the yoke, who jump the fence… There are always enough who refuse to be controlled, that the “perfect” system will be taken down from within.

Collectivists, your very foundational ideas are evil and wrong. They don’t work. They are proven false every moment by the reality we live in. imposing them on us inevitably fails, and causes incredible misery, death, and destruction along the way.

Of course, this only makes them all the more dangerous. A man who is proven wrong at every turn, but who simply WILL NOT give up… well that is man who will do ANYTHING.

I am a cynically romantic optimistic pessimist. I am neither liberal, nor conservative. I am a (somewhat disgruntled) muscular minarchist… something like a constructive anarchist.

Basically what that means, is that I believe, all things being equal, responsible adults should be able to do whatever the hell they want to do, so long as nobody’s getting hurt, who isn’t paying extra

  • The Rambling Taoist

    “Capitalism is what naturally happens when people get together freely to exchange goods and services.”

    What an absurd statement! No economic system is natural — not capitalism nor socialism nor anything else you can think of. Economics, in and of itself, is an artificial man-made construction.

  • Akston


    I’m curious how you define natural:

    Person A plants and harvests two bushels of wheat and Person B catches two strings of fish. They voluntarily agree to exchange one bushel of wheat for one string of fish. Is that natural?

  • Steven Shaw

    Hi Chris, I don’t hear many people – anyone really – talking about voluntary collectivists. What is wrong about that?

    I am starting to think that the main issue is coercion verses voluntarism/voluntaryism. However, then there must be some kind of agreement of fundamental rights otherwise there will still be conflicts. I am thinking of property rights.

  • southernjames

    I found your post to be confusing. Because you talk about factoring morality into the equation. How do you square that with the unfettered individual liberty that (it is my understanding, not being one) you libertarians hold to be absolute and sacrosanct?

    Here is an example: Is banning partial birth abortions justifiable based on “morality” – which, after all, is the only argument upon which banning it can be based, right? Those who desire partial birth abortions to be banned have that desire due to a firm belief that the practice constitutes the murder of a human being. Which one assumes people of all political persuasions would consider immoral.

    So there’s the morality factor coming into play.

    BUT….is the banning of partial birth abortions instead an unacceptable infringement upon (and therefore “abnegates” to use your word) “human liberty and human spirit?”

    I am not trying to be facetious at all, and I hope I’m not coming across that way. I am a former Republican, who is an economic conservative and somewhat moderate to conservative, socially. (Which according to my own government’s Department of Homeland Security, classifies me as a potential “right wing extremist” who may alarmingly be considered enlistment fodder for some unnamed fantasy boogeyman “militia” group – but I digress).

    I am now a man without a political party, wandering in the wilderness, “clingin to my guns and my religion.” (Dear Leader’s got me pegged).

    I don’t know much about Libertarian Party, which my post has probably made obvious. Perhaps there is a manifesto of some sort somebody could link me to, which would help provides answers to things like my query above.

  • Beaglescout

    Hold on a minute there cowboy. Your list of shame

    1 If it makes me feel good, it must be alright
    2 If it makes me feel bad it must be wrong

    rightfully castigates the narcissistic rules of mob rule, but your list questions all moral choices, even yours. Because you have advanced an argument that explodes all personally determined moral choices, you need to justify your own moral choices, such as life, liberty, property rights, and the pursuit of happiness, in a way that is consistent with your other argument. I think your list is flawed, but you may find another way to resolve it.

  • Chris Byrne

    BS, this IS a moral question, as well as a practical one; in that you are correct.

    Your presumption here however seems to depend on the concept that morality is relative. It is not. Not only that, but you are presenting a strawman in saying that I “explode all personal moral choices”.

    That’s simply a ridiculous assertion.

    Liberty does not need to be justified. Property rights do not need to be justified. What needs to be justified, is when liberty, and property rights, are abridged.

    It is always, and explicitly immoral to abridge those rights, without great justification. Now, you can argue about the justification all you want (and many do and will endlessly).

    In order for that argument to have any meaning however, you have to recognize that certain inherent and fundamental rights exist without having to justify them; and that they must be defended rigorously.

  • Chris Byrne


    I’m not a Libertarian; registered or otherwise. I follow libertarian principles; in particular I am what is known as a minarchist (and I will explain what that means in a refresher post I will put up later today).

    In fact, I’m registered as a Republican in Arizona, because that is the only way I’m going to get anything done; and because the Arizona Republican party is worth supporting a lot more than the AZ libertarian party is (the AZ LP is full of 9/11 truthers and other conspiracy paranoiacs etc…).

    Remember, all politics is local.

    To address some of your questions more directly:

    I never advocated for unfettered liberty. That isn’t libertarianism, that’s libertineism (which I abhor).

    As I said, I am a minarchist. I believe that not only is some restraint on liberty necessary; that some government is necessary. Without some government, anarchy will always give rise to tyranny.

    I believe that abortion is morally wrong; however I also believe that getting the government involved is a greater moral wrong.

    In contrast to that however, I believe that abortion past a certain point is inarguably murder.

    Yes, in those circumstances, you are clearly violating someone elses rights; that of the baby (I refuse to call a viable baby a fetus).