Home Committed Conservative Views Fired-Up Friday: Redistributionism vs. Collectivism

Fired-Up Friday: Redistributionism vs. Collectivism


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.

Richard Kelsey

Author: Richard Kelsey

Richard Kelsey is the Editor-in-Chief of Committed Conservative.

He is an Attorney, a former Assistant Law School Dean, Law Professor, and Virginia state court law clerk. Dean Kelsey was also the CEO of a technology company specializing in combating cyber-fraud. He is a regular commentator on legal and political issues in print, radio and on TV.

Rich graduated from George Mason law school, clerked for the Arlington Circuit Court, and later joined an AM LAW top 10 law firm practicing commercial litigation. He left the firm to be counsel and CEO to a consulting firm, rising to CEO of Turiss, LLC, a technology firm specializing in computer forensics, digital investigations, and fighting cyber-fraud through civil intel services and new technologies. Upon the sale of the company, Kelsey returned to Mason Law, where in the years before his return, he both taught at the school and served as President of the Law Alumni Association. Kelsey was the Assistant Dean for Management and Planning.

At Mason, Dean Kelsey 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. While serving the former George Mason Law, Kelsey conceived of, planned, and brought to fruition Mason’s Center for the Protection of Intellectual Property, known as CPIP.

Rich has appeared on radio, TV, and in print hundreds of times as both a legal expert and political and legal commentator. He provided the legal analysis for all stages of the Bob McDonnell trial and appeal for numerous outlets including NPR and WMAL. He writes on occasion for the American Spectator and CNSNews.com. He returned to private practice in September of 2016, and he is working on a book/expose on legal education.

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.

Rich has many opinions, and they are his own. His Twitter handle is @richkelsey.


  1. So if this is accurate, please explain why American taxpayers are subsidizing the 1% private jets? We bitch about paying to support the system usurpers (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.) but are completely silent when it comes to the wealthy. Oh yeah, I forgot they’re the ones who support jobs in America!
    Load of BS. They park their money off shore and use their private jets to get to their vacation suites around the world. Too much hypocrisy in the explanation for this conservative. That’s the biggest problem with this country. Lies and excuses.


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