The Politically Incorrect Show - 10/02/2000
[Music - Die Fledermaus]
Good afternoon, Kaya Oraaa & welcome to the Politically Incorrect Show on the free speech network, Radio Pacific, for Thursday February 10, proudly sponsored by Neanderton Nicotine Ltd, the show that says bugger the politicians & bureaucrats & all the other bossyboot busybodies who try to run our lives with our money; that stands tall for free enterprise, achievement, profit, & excellence, against the state-worshippers in our midst; that stands above all for the most sacred thing in the universe, the liberty of the human individual.
[Music up, music down!]
Some months back I received the following credo from a listener:
"It is my right to be uncommon - if I can.
I seek opportunity - not security.
I want to take the calculated risk;
to dream and to build, to fail and to succeed.
I refuse to barter incentive for a dole.
I prefer the challenges of life to the guaranteed existence;
the thrill of fulfillment to the stale calm of utopia.
I will not trade freedom for beneficence
nor my dignity for a handout.
I will never cower before any master
nor bend to any threat.
It is my heritage to stand erect, proud and unafraid;
to think and act for myself, enjoy the benefit
of my creations and to face the world boldly
saying, this I have done.
All this is what it means to be alive."
Now the same listener has e-mailed me this:
"It seems to me that, although having read Atlas Shrugged & The Fountainhead of Ayn Rand, some time ago, the battle we fight today needs, in fact demands, collectivism. Take the drivers license debacle for instance - without a united front we (being NZers with principle) won't win. Take the TV license, thanks to your efforts, without a united front the government would not have buckled ... does not collectivism become a predetermined tool in the arsenal of weapons needed in the war? Individualism is the ideal (in an ideal world) but we must cope in the crap under which we must live day by day, don't we? We need to come together in order to be alone together in this place we call ours."
This question comes up time & time again. My answer is: collectivism does not mean doing things collectively, & individualism doesn't mean being a hermit. Of course there are immeasurable advantages to be gained from associating with other people, especially in waging war against the evil vermin who are riding roughshod over our liberties. Making a decision to do so is perfectly consistent with individualism; it's a choice each individual makes voluntarily. It's as nonsensical to say that taking collective action with like-minded people for a mutually-agreed purpose is a violation of individualism as it is to suggest that having a romantic relationship is a violation of individualism because it involves collective activity! Individualism means simply that each individual is an end in himself, a sovereign entity who may not be treated as a means to the ends of others at gunpoint. Being forced to join a group & subordinate oneself to it because one is deemed to exist for the group's benefit - THAT would be collectivism. Being forced to marry a partner chosen in advance by the seniors of each family - THAT would be collectivism. In Ayn Rand's words, "Collectivism means the subjugation of the individual to a group - whether to a race, class or state does not matter. Collectivism holds that man must be chained to collective action & collective thought for the sake of what is called 'the common good.'" And: "Collectivism holds that the individual has no rights, that his life & work belong to the group & that the group may sacrifice him at its own whim to its own interests. The only way to implement a doctrine of that kind is by means of brute force - and STATISM has always been the political corollary of collectivism."
Collectivism is the doctrine embraced by every party in parliament. It is also endorsed, incidentally, by the Business Roundtable. The only organised voices of individualism in this country are the party called Libertarianz, my magazine The Free Radical, & this radio programme. Through these vehicles we can indeed strive collectively to fight collectivism. I hope it's clear by now that there is no contradiction involved. A freely chosen association is an expression, not a denial, of individualism.
Politically Incorrect Show - the Individualists' Chorus! 309 3099.
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