July 4, 2017

Liberty or the Collective?

When individual liberties thrive, there is a sense of accountability and a sense of wanting justice. For example, in the Soviet Union, atheist Stalin pushed for the collectivization of farms, where individuals were made to be inferior through propaganda and actual coercion. Can't have peasants owning and harvesting their own land, can we? No! We must work together for the common good of the Soviet, and you will be rewarded with farm equipment. Otherwise, what little you have will be taken away. This horrible procedure led to despair, famine, cannibalism, and more. 


 “Strengthen working discipline in collective farms” USSR propaganda poster
Credit: Wikimedia Commons
Totalitarian regimes emphasize the "common good" (or "greater good") of whatever those in power have decreed. People have little hope or expectation of justice. Such governments are usually riddled with corruption (the aforementioned Soviet Union was famous for corruption). Want to get something done? Have a bribe handy. 

Countries with some semblance of God-given liberty and the dignity of the individual, are much more likely to thrive. Science thrives in the proper environment, and individuals can be rewarded. They also voluntarily work for the good of the societies in which they live. Those of us in the West tend to take our freedoms for granted — until they are threatened by those who essentially want to collectivize us under totalitarianism. Then we fight to keep our liberties.
When citizens are taught that they cannot help themselves, the outcome is predictable: social breakdown and increased criminal behavior.
This headline might surprise some left-leaning, materialist philosophers in academia: “Belief in free will predicts criminal punishment support, disapproval of unethical actions.” Social scientists at the University of Minnesota surveyed 65,000 individuals from 46 countries, some with governments that respect individual liberty and some with dictatorial or corrupt governments. Here’s what they say they found:
You can find out what they found and read the rest of this article by clicking on "Freedom Exalts a Culture".
   

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