Some of my conservative friends are giving collectivism a bad name. They confuse the reality that governments are a collective … with their trained reaction to reject collectivism as anti-liberty. The confusion is honest, and this video best explains why and how that confusion comes about.
Collectivism is at odds with Liberty when collectivism veers toward redistributionism. That is why our federal republic is one based upon limited government. Conservatives recognize that as government grows, liberty recedes. Collectivism to its extreme is the natural enemy of liberty. However, collectivism, done right, is the essence of a small, smart, functioning government that secures the liberty of its people.
My friends confuse our Constitutional collectivism with redistributionism. Redistributionism, or socialism is the philosophy of the left. It has been the dedicated mission of the left, and the former democratic party, to drive this country from productive, limited collectivism, to open hostile, redistributionism.
What’s the difference between the two philosophies? I explain that in the video. For those of you who insist on the written word, here it is for posterity and clarity’s sake.
In a collective, all members of society contribute. In such contributions, they may elect to invest in something that none would do alone or that market demand would create immediately. The best examples of this collectivism are roads, sewer plants, or dams. With a road, we may all contribute to building it, knowing that building it on our own is impossible. We also know that each of us may use the road, as it is ours collectively.
Redistributionism is an animal of a different breed. Redistributionists take the money of one group, and they give it over to another group or individual for that group or individual’s exclusive use. In that scenario, one group does not contribute, and the contributing group gains no benefit of the use of the money taken. Here’s an example.
I pay taxes, and the government gives it to Jill. Jill buys a video game, cigarettes, vodka, or even a self-help book. I don’t get to use or enjoy the purchase, I merely get to pay for it under threat of punishment and loss of liberty by a government that enforces the redistribution.
Redistribution is bad … collectivism … that might be good. It depends on if collectivism stays true to a limited government, all must contribute, system. We are now far closer to redistributionism than collectivism.
Author: Richard Kelsey
Richard Kelsey is the Editor-in-Chief of Committed Conservative.
He is a trial Attorney and author of the new book on higher education, “Of Serfs and Lords: Why College Tuition is Creating a Debtor Class”
Rich is a former Assistant Law School Dean and Law Professor. At Mason Law Kelsey conceived of, planned, and brought to fruition Mason’s Center for the Protection of Intellectual Property, known as CPIP, drawing on his expertise as a former CEO of a technology company specializing in combating cyber-fraud.
Before returning to private practice, Rich taught legal writing and analysis and an advanced litigation seminar. In 2014 he was elected by the graduating class as the faculty speaker at their graduation.
He is a regular commentator on legal and political issues in print, radio and on TV. Rich has appeared on hundreds of stations as a legal expert or political commentator. He provided the legal analysis for all stages of the Bob McDonnell trial and appeal for numerous outlets including NPR and WMAL.
Rich also writes on occasion for the American Spectator and CNSNews.com.
In his free time, Rich is part of the baseball mafia of Northern Virginia, serving on numerous boards and as a little league and travel baseball coach.
His Twitter handle is @richkelsey.