Unions, Lenin, and the American Way (Part III)
October 13, 2009 - 12:00 am
But even if it hadn’t resulted in grotesque mass murder, group selfishness would still be immoral because it dehumanizes people by denying them their unique individuality and alienating them from their human selves. It causes people to be judged not by the content of their character, but by their color, class, income, ethnicity, sexual preferences, or trade associations. And when these secondary attributes supplant primary human attributes, people cease being individuals and become two-dimensional cardboard cutouts, social functions, sacrificial animals, and expandable pawns in the clash among collectivist pressure groups for unearned status, privilege, money, and power.
In the United States, the corrupting influence of unearned entitlements, fueled by class envy and cultivated grievances, has already recruited enough members to form a solid voting bloc, whose elected representatives never stop trying to legitimize the collectivist new order. The claim on unearned entitlements goes hand in hand with the claim on unearned moral authority — a travesty that few dare challenge. And as the number of unchallenged travesties continues to expand, so does the number of collectivist pressure groups and their appetites.
Another popular fighting word trademarked by leftist ideologues is “greed.” Equated with immorality, it is used daily in the left-leaning American media to support a barrage of anti-capitalist arguments.
The American Heritage Dictionary defines “greed” as “an excessive desire to acquire or possess more than what one needs or deserves.” Let’s leave aside the subjective word “need,” as well as the question “Who defines need?” for another discussion. The key word here is “deserve,” which is synonymous with “earn.” And while an individual’s desire to possess more than what one has earned is being justly condemned as immoral, a collective desire to possess more than what members of a group have earned is becoming increasingly morally acceptable to many Americans, who are now willing to sacrifice their own country to the illusory moral superiority of group interests over individual rights.
At first I was shocked that people as richly endowed with individual freedoms and opportunities as Americans could fall for such a backward and repulsive social model. But pressure groups admittedly possess a perverse kind of magnetism, similar to that of street gangs, which seem attractive enough for some people to join and forgo the chance to advance oneself in the real world. Membership in a gang gives one the sense of belonging without the requirement of self-improvement. One doesn’t need to be an achiever, lead a moral existence, or do anything at all for that matter — all one needs to do is shed his human individuality and not ask questions.
Collectivist pressure groups are all that and much more. They bait people with the promise of instant entitlements just for being a member. Each group has its ascribed role, legend, grievance, and a turf of operations. Each group pulls the blanket of privileges and exclusive rights onto itself, creating new rules and setting up new terms that render the Constitution meaningless. Together, they create an illusion of a vast moral majority, a representative body competing with the U.S. Congress, an alternative government, a massive front battling American capitalism and individualistic civilization.
While any of these groups would more or less fit Lenin’s template as “a school of communism,” trade unions have been the undisputed pioneers that blazed a trail for the rest of them. Today, they continue to be the most active and powerful players in the system they helped to create.
Coming soon: “How Rigging the Economy in the Name of ‘Fairness’ Expands the Income Gap.”