Back to the contents
The Individual and the Free Society
read in Macedonian


Perhaps you noticed it, perhaps you didn’t:  there is an active war going on today.  It is not a hot war between militaries (though there are many small wars going on), but rather a war of ideas and a war against those who have wealth, those who create wealth and frankly, those who employ the not-so-wealthy.  It is a war against the individual and the free society.   

In countries around the world, but especially in the capitalist ones, we see an active campaign variously called by different names: some call it the war on poverty.  Others call it closing the wealth gap.  Many call it economic and social inequality.  Some call it egalitarianism.  To a vocal and shrill minority – especially in the US and Europe – it has manifested itself as the “Occupy Movement.” Whatever you call it, however, this campaign at its heart is about creating a collective society where everyone is equal, income is evenly distributed, collective rights rule over individual rights and a very large centrally controlled government controls everything and everyone.  

At its core, this idea, this campaign, this war is evil and destructive. 

American author Mark Levin, speaking about his new book Ameritopia, says this about the campaign against the individual and the free society:  “Let me tell you a couple of facts of life. There will always be income inequality and there’s not a damn thing man can do about it. Now, he’ll try. The masterminds will try, and in trying we’ll have coercion and misery and poverty because it is destructive of human nature. What [John] Locke meant by equality, what the [American] Founders meant by equality in the Declaration, was not conformity, was not uniformity, was not outcomes. What they meant by equality is there are certain God-given rights that every human being upon birth has. And those God-given rights are the right to live, the right to live freely, and the right to pursue your interests.”  

Levin is referring, of course, to the American Declaration of Independence of July 4, 1776 which states, in part, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government…” 

The central theme of the American Founders was that the individual is superior to the collective and the state; that all individuals are equally created, that individuals have certain rights, that those rights are secured by a government which receives its powers from the individuals, and that when the government goes berserk and starts denying these freedoms and starts promoting collective rights and big government then the individuals can change the government.  Of course the Founders said all of that in a much more elegant way.    

But many so-called “democratic” governments are moving away from the individual and the free society and toward big government and the collective society which leads away from freedom.  The idea of collective rights is essentially, paternalistic, condescending and ultimately, humiliating. Self-esteem, self-worth, even self-identity are rooted in the idea that we are responsible as individuals for our actions, that we have the opportunity to make something of ourselves, be creative and perhaps even become wealthy in doing so.  A large central government preaching collective rights and the idea that the government can take care of all of your needs takes away all of that and destroys the individual’s sense of self-worth.   

Any government, educational institution, non-governmental organization, religious institution or individual that tells you have rights not to your liberty as an individual but to the right to expect more and more from the government is dangerous.  Any government, educational institution, non-governmental organization, religious institution or individual who tells you that you have the right to expect the government to take care of you from the time you are born to the time you die is evil.   

This is one of the basic problems with the EU today; this move toward collective rights and a “European” identity, to the total exclusion of national identity, sovereignty and individual freedom.  But there is more: in order for the EU to move more toward collective rights at the expense of individual liberty and the free society, the more it must centralize its power.  The American Founders knew this from the European monarchies of their time: centralized power leads to tyranny.    

As the world struggles with so many economic problems today, don’t be taken in and fooled by this war on the individual and the free society.  The individual is supreme to the state and to the collective.

Copyright ©
Jason Miko
Designed & hosted by
Jurak OT Petrof Studio