AmeriCAN-DO Attitude

Are you an AmeriCAN or an AmeriCAN'T?

Patriotic Individualism?

Clay posted an excellent piece by his friend Kelly entitled “The Sacred Individual”.

An exerpt:

With that being said, we are, and always will be individuals FIRST… whether we like it or not. Because we are individuals first, I would argue that Individualism is the paramount value when dealing in politics; and I posit that Capitalism is the only political philosophy that fosters it. It is in this paradigm that we can each hold our own beliefs about morality and god, without the need to conform. (Before someone loses their mind with that statement, I’m not advocating that there be no law and order. I’m saying, however, that we take a minimalist approach to it. The limitations of law are only instituted to protect the individual rights from being infringed upon by someone else’s exercise of their own rights. We have the inalienable right to “persue happiness” but not at the expense of someone else’s life or possessions.)

Capitalism provides the individual with the opportunity to be as successful as he sees fit. It also allows us to view our jobs as either integral to our identities or simply as a means to an end without making a moral judgement either way on either approach. It is reward based, no matter how you slice it. The individual never has to think, “This is all I will ever be.” The individual can change their trajectory at any time. Captialism doesn’t make any guaranties with regards to the EASE of any such endeavor and it will weed out those who have not brought sufficient competitiveness; but the onus is on the individual to muster up whatever fortitude is required to achieve that success. This is where socialist find flaw with Capitalism: what about the guy who doesn’t have that fortitude? Well, no matter what philosophy you institute, you cannot rid society of the meek. Socialism simply brings them into the fold and relies of the fortitudes of others to compensate. Capitalism is forward motion driven by the force of the competitive and fueled by those who don’t share that drive: both are essential for progress. But anyone can drive if they can prove they are able. It’s all spaghetti. It’s just a matter of how we choose to organize it on our plates.

Socialism, even in the word itself, places society or the collective as the top priority, so the paramount value is “the greater good”. This is nebulous in and of itself which makes it a dangerous philosophy (and if anyone saw the movie “Hot Fuzz” you can see a satirical demonstration of why LOL). Where this also falls short is that there is only ONE right way: the greater good. You can do whatever you want as long as it doesn’t rock the boat of the greater good. Sounds awesome until you find out you can’t have fries because that will raise your cholesterol and may result in a heart attack which will put an undue strain on society’s economy and workforce. Hyperbole? Not if you consider what’s entailed in that statement Einstein made.

[NOTE: Her example of not being able to eat fries is not hyperbole at all, considering that Britain’s National Health Service was considering denying healthcare to people who were elderly and/or obese.]

Socialism assumes that individuals are inherently corrupt, weak, and incapable of attaining anything of significant meaning on their own. It assumes that like cells of the body, each person was put on this earth simply to further the cause and progress of the body collective.

Okay. That’s the core difference. Then there are the reasons why and the illustrative talking points we typically roll out from there. But the epiphany isn’t that. It’s how do we find unity without subjugating ourselves to the evil collective.

Here is my contribution to the comments section at Clay’s blog:

Absolutely excellent.

However, again, only one small quibble…

The label thing: “Individual Patriots”

I thought she did an excellent job focusing on the ideology in which she believes throughout the entire piece. But, I guess, then decided that she needed some sort of label for people who believe in this ideology.

My focus is still on calling ourselves all Americans, who believe “X, Y & Z”. In this case, she believes in everything she explained so eloquently in this post.

The reason I don’t like the labels, is because they serve to do nothing, but divide us. When we call ourselves “conservatives” or “liberals” or whatever, what we are really doing is saying “I am a Conservative-American”. I don’t think many people here like the whole “Mexican-American”, “African-American”, etc, labeling that multiculturalism has thrust upon our society. I know I don’t. Because it serves nothing except to divide us.

The same thing goes here. I thought this was an absolutely excellent piece, but then we had to go and get stuck on the labeling thing again. Why can’t we just all be Americans who subscribe to a certain ideology?

Conservatism, for example, is a specific ideology. But a “conservative” can be any number of different things. I believe she even addressed that in her article or in one of the comments I read. Where she stated that there are people who are fiscal conservatives, but not social conservatives. Social conservatives, but not fiscal conservatives, etc. People get hung up on the labels and aren’t focusing on the ideology. Someone could believe in fiscal conservatism and “conservative” foreign policy in fighting The Long War (on terror), yet some would label this person a “liberal” simply because they are not socially conservative (support abortion, support homosexual ‘marriage’, etc).

Instead of the label, it seems that she wants this ideology to be “Individual Patriotism” or “Patriotic Individualism”. The latter description of the ideology is probably the better one.

But despite that little quibble (which I actually think may be a big quibble, since it relates to how we are dividing this country with labels, much like the “African-American” and “Mexican-American” labels do so), I think this is an excellent piece and we need more of this type of discussion of focusing on ideology, and explaining that ideology and how it affects society, and less on labeling one another.

Posted by Michael in MI on March 9, 2008 – Sunday at 12:31 PM


March 9, 2008 , 1:04PM - Posted by | Patriotism

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

%d bloggers like this: