Un-American. There. I Said it – by Vindaloo Diesel
I try to be a pretty tolerant guy. Tolerant of different views, different lifestyles, different cultures. But one thing I’ve always had a tough time of it with is collectivist ideology. Not the people necessarily, your average person who ascribes to such modes of thought tends to be no different from others in a lot of respects. Now, the people in power, and some of the people on the dole can be a different story. But for the most part, I approach debating and questioning them as I would a child who hasn’t carefully reasoned out his stance. Not because they’re inferior intellects, but rather because, like an intelligent child, they seem to have formed their opinions without all the facts and without carefully following their reasoning through to the end. Not to mention just a touch of the ‘It shouldn’t have to be that way’ mentality, even when it’ll always be that way. Karl Popper, the philosopher best known for his work on the nature of science, addressed this in his opus The Open Society and Its Enemies, in which he showed the basic flaws of Marxist theory, although as he said himself, he was sympathetic to said mode of thought.
I’m not sympathetic to it. I believe it wrongheaded; it violates everything from the basic biological tenets of behavior to the natural processes which created such a wondrous thing as complex social behavior to the innate diversity and uniqueness of every individual. Yes, it is born of good intentions. But if I recall correctly, that’s what the road to hell is paved with.
Of all the wrongheaded claims that collectivists make, the most transparently wrong is that they love America. They don’t. Not in anything more than the superficial way that I love my mustang. Or watching Shakira shake it in Hips Don’t Lie. They ‘love America’ so much that they want to change the very things that define it:
Listening to them prattle on is like watching Amanda Peet try to change everything about Jason Biggs in Saving Silverman. Now, I’ve never been in love, but I’ve been close a couple times. And it strikes me that if you truly love someone, you wouldn’t want to change their core identity. You might fuss about details like their habit of using the couch as a clothes hamper, or the fact that they never want to go see the new guns and glory action movie with you, but you don’t try to change who they are. Yet ever since Franklin Delano Roosevelt (hah, got the first name right this time) tried to redefine the word ‘freedom’ in 1934 that’s exactly what ‘progressives’ have been up to.
What is America, what is it that makes us different from other nations? Our founding philosophy. Now, there have been other populist revolutions and other countries in which oppressive governments were thrown out. From the French Revolution to the November Revolution to the fragmentation of the USSR. But all of these, though catalyzed by the same types of injustice that drove us to enter the Revolutionary War, were underpinned by a very different way of looking at the people. All of these, in some way or another, were collectivist (mainly socialist) efforts, and thus largely about removing one statist government from power in order to implement a different sort of statism, which often enough turned out to be just as oppressive or stifling as the one that preceded it. What makes the American Revolution and the country that followed it so different is that this was a conflict of individualists against statists, about those who saw government as a tool of the people instead of the other way around.
What makes our country America are the ruminations of Thomas Paine in Common Sense. It’s the Federalist papers. It’s the long tradition of classical liberal philosophy. It’s the principled, reasoned, and articulate stance on individualism that no collectivist has ever managed to approach in detail, coherence, or viability. It’s the impassioned speech of Patrick Henry declaring no alternative to freedom but death. It’s George Washington crossing the Potomac and Thomas Jefferson pulling the world’s most famous all-nighter to write the Declaration.
‘Progressives’ have tried to change everything. There is nothing American about ‘People For The American Way’. There is nothing American in their ideology, their speech, or their behavior. Although I guess the flags they fly help to assuage their consciences just a little. But worst of all they try to tell us that rather than remaining true to being a country founded upon Freedom From Government, we should become a country that espouses ‘Freedom’ Through Government. They are not patriots, they do not think like Americans. Now, their heart might be in the right place, and in a couple of instances they might even have a point, but that doesn’t change the fact that what they believe in isn’t the America that men have fought and died from 1776 until today. They want to change every principle that defines our country as they vilify those of us who remain true to its ideals. If that’s love, I don’t want to see what hate looks like.
** Vindaloo Diesel is alternately known on the internet as a meathead, intellectual, geek, or giant troll, which he uses to disguise the fact that he’s actually an amazing guy who helps people he should probably ignore. His friends find equal amount of consternation and amusement in the fact that he’s incapable of dating women who aren’t evil gorgeous blondes who treat him like garbage. When he’s not ranting about life, the universe, and everything; he’s either lifting weights, looking for fights (but they keep running away!), engaging in juvenile humor, or making homoerotic jokes with male friends who may or may not actually be straight (because Gay Roulette is even funnier than Gay Chicken).