(Previously posted to Patreon)
I was having an online discussion with someone who was defending collectivism and objected to those making it out to be a bad thing.
Just to be clear, I think there's a huge difference between cooperation and collectivism.
The difference is consent. The same difference that differentiates between "making love" and rape. You can join together with whoever willingly joins with you, but the moment you leave out consent you become a collectivist- an aggressor- rather than a cooperator; subject to self-defensive violence. It isn't the joining with others that makes a collectivist, it is the coercion they add.
He kept talking about "Big Things" he thought people needed to join together to create, and kept getting upset that others didn't want to be forced to do things he thought were important.
Then he made the statist's fundamental mistake and exposed why he isn't thinking clearly. He characterized individualists as "the group of people who don't consent to being a part of society...".
It's such a common mistake. Collectivism (particularly "government"- The State) is the opposite of society. It is the collectivists who refuse to be a part of society- refuse to be civilized. Instead they use aggressive force to short circuit society and have their way with others. That is barbarism- although it has been dressed up in fancy suits and given offices and convinced people it isn't what it is.
It doesn't matter to me if you establish your very own little communist enclave. Have at it. What does matter to me is whether you force others to participate. If you rob ("tax") me to support your project, you have crossed the line into collectivism. If you don't let people opt out or leave your group, you are violating them.
If you force them to leave "communal property" behind when they leave the commune, and they had already agreed to that condition from the beginning, too bad for them. However, if you come to me and claim that because I live in the area where you established your enclave- even though I never agreed to abide by your rules- I must either join or leave my property behind, we will have a problem.
If all my neighbors are communists/socialists/DemoCRAPublicans, but will coexist with me, I am fine with that. If they claim "authority" over me, and seek to violate my life, liberty, and property, I will resist their violations.
Rejecting collectivism isn't anti-social or isolationist. But even if an individual is anti-social or isolationist, it's not your concern. And it isn't suicidal. He tried to compare individualism to a liver or brain being separated from the human body. It's not the same. I can live without other humans- people have done so for years. It's not optimal. But a liver can't live without the rest of the body or an artificial substitute. Neither can a brain.
He also tried (confusingly, I believe) to tie one position or the other to "free will", and went on a tangent about whether it exists or not. Not that I see any way that has any bearing on the matter.
If free will exists, you have no right to violate it in a person who isn't violating others.
If free will doesn't exist, I have no choice but to be an individualist and trying to force me into a coercive collective won't end well.
Collectivistic statists are an interesting breed. Simplistic in their beliefs. Stubborn in refusing to see reality. But educational to occasionally talk to. Their sky really is a different color.
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