Individual or collective?

The difference between individual rights and collective responsibility may be illustrated with this example: imagine a group of half-dozen people which includes you. Every person in that group has a basic table utensils, a spoon, a knife and a fork. Everyone except you, unprovoked, tries to stab another person with the fork. Collective responsibility principle would require everyone to be relieved of the utensils. Individual rights approach would punish those who tried to stab others without cause, but would leave you personally unmolested because you’ve done nothing wrong. It doesn’t matter who does what wrong, the punishment should not extend to the innocent.

The collective responsibility side would claim that taking of your property isn’t a punishment but “prevention”. Individual rights perspective disagrees, taking of property is an offense in itself.

What makes this argument even more interesting is that in the case of weapons, the first taking of property also leaves the victim open to all future takings of other property, liberty and life. That raises the stakes sky-high.

A person robbed of property might want to replace it. So such takings not only require banning of trade in a progressively wider list of close substitutes, but also the suppression of knowledge of manufacturing. Since modern weapons may be manufactured with the 1890s technology base, they require a rollback of the society at large that far…or a very pervasive and intrusive police state keeping all modern and primitive production under constant surveillance, along with motivating informants. Something half-way between the current China and current North Korea…is that the model on which we’d want to base the new “safe” America?

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9 Responses to Individual or collective?

  1. Lyle says:

    …current China and current North Korea€, is that the model on which we’d want to base the new “safe”€ America?”

    That is a question posed to a collective. Not all would give the same answer. Many will say “No” and will be telling the truth, others will say “No” and will be lying, still others will truthfully say “Yes” if they feel they are in safe company.

    Before you ask the question, “Is this what we would want?”, you should be clear as to who you are addressing as “we”.

    Obviously a large number of people do indeed want coercive shitholes like China and North Korea (and many others in a very long list of coercive shitholes going back to the beginning of recorded history), else those shitholes would never exist. America too has been heading in the direction of tyranny since it’s inception, and so there are large numbers of people here who long for the “Salvation of the Coercive State” (the freedom from right, to do wrong).

    It’s the mind-pest of the rebel, and who doesn’t like a rebel?

    Most of us love the beautiful, comfortable, noble lie. Few will come right out and admit that they want to turn America into a coercive shithole like the Soviet Union, but they’ll gladly admit to wanting to use government to take from that rich guy over there and give it to that poor family over here. Millions of American citizens will answer “Yes” to your question, any time the right liar, the right and charming enough psychopath, phrases it in the right way. That includes all Democrats and practically all Republicans. So “yes”, is the answer to your question; if you’d only rephrase so as to sound nice and warm, and noble. Absolutely yes. No doubt.

    Thus we will always turn something beautiful, such as charity, into something ghastly and deadly such as wholesale coercion perpetrated by an empowered state against a coercively disarmed citizenry.

    It’s all for the most noble and beautiful of causes, don’t you know. You don’t HATE children, do you? Of course not. You love children, and so we need to become a coercive, cleptocratic murder state. Not overnight, not next year, but we’ll get there if given enough time and fake compassion upon which to build a more coercive state.

    It’s a matter of honing our acting skills, so we can appear nice, and even loving, full of the greatest forms of compassion, while we rob and plunder, rape and murder one another legally.

    So look in the mirror, practice your facial expressions, work on your phrasing, your timing, your body language, get your hair and makup just right, be conscious of your wardrobe, maybe work out in the gym a little bit, practice shaking hands with juuuust the right amount of enthusiasm, so you can put it all together and make the most horrible, sick, criminal acts and goals of domination appear beautiful, compassionate, friendly and noble. You’ll be a good politician, a fine news anchor, or a valuable and beloved community organizer, church pastor, or university president, and we can create a fresh, exciting, new hell on Earth, all together, as one.

  2. anonymous says:

    What a great way of explanation – thank you for that.

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  4. ASM826 says:

    Linked back to you from Borepatch.

  5. Andrew says:

    Well, even North Korea has the ability to make weapons as modern as 1890’s tech. So you would have to search harder for a more backwards country.

    Considering that AKs were being made by hand in Afganistan during the Soviet invasion, and some dude here in the states made most of one out of a shovel (he saved time, garden implements and money by buying some components, but the actual ATF part of the gun was, yes, made out of the blade of a shit shovel he bought as an antique), well, considering that, and the ease of making modern open bolt SMGs, I would put some culture like some of the places in New Guinea or maybe Micronesia or deepest darkest Africa as the only places still not even up to 1890’s capability. Able to make 1860’s, maybe, but not 1890’s tech.

    The signal is out there. A good metal craftsman, either a blacksmith, or a tinsmith, a bowl maker or bellmaker, even a jeweler, has the tools and capability to produce a reasonable facsimile of a modern gun. Add an 1860-1890 powered workshop, and, hell, the sky is the limit. Once the ability to make the tool to make the tool to make the part (jigs, forms, special cutting heads and such) is there, really, very few ‘modern’ things can’t be made by hand.

    If they try to take our semi-auto guns away, we’ll end up like Australia, where home-made open bolt SMGs in the pattern of Stens or Mac10s or M2 Grease guns (all weapons designed to be built with basic autoshop tools to begin with) will become the new norm. (And judging by what I remember of the shop class in my high school in the late 70’s, early 80’s, it was pretty common way back when, too. I would not be surprised if the number of illegally made fully auto weapons here stateside wasn’t greater than 50,000, not inclusive of the people who can swap parts and drill a few holes in existing guns to convert them to full giggle.)

  6. LarryArnold says:

    The other problem with collective responsibility is that people never learn individual responsibility.

    When I turned eight I joined the Cub Scouts. One of the first tasks was the basic knife class, which qualified the Scout to carry a Cub Scout pocketknife. It had a knife blade, bottle-opener/screwdriver, and can opener.

    On the day each week the Cub had his den meeting, he would wear his uniform to school. His knife hung from a brass hook on his web belt into his front pocket. The only time teachers cared about it was when they needed something cut. “Here, Scout Johnny, cut this cord into four pieces.”

    Any Scout who misused his knife, or let it get dull, dirty, or rusty, was no longer allowed to carry it. Nobody wanted to be That Kid. So third graders exercised individual responsibility. From such small responsibilities, they learned to handle large ones.

    Today, high school senior honor students aren’t allowed to carry pocketknives. The endgame for collective societies is a generation of people who can’t handle individual responsibilities, which leaves no one qualified to handle collective responsibilities.

    Then the wheels fall off, and you get the USSR, Cuba, Venezuela, or North Korea.

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  8. Ray says:

    First for those that seem to know so little about China: The current “communist” government is simply the old Imperial system with a new name and under new management. Aside from the mid 20th century tech that is found in most of China. Little has changed in hundreds of years. They are now what they always were. Just slightly upgraded. North Korea is in no way different now than it was when the Japanese occupied it. Violence , oppression, extreme poverty and starvation have always been the Korean way. South Korea is the anomaly. Not the north. The trouble with the American communist collective is that it has no grasp of history, no vision, and only a fuzzy fantasy of what the outcome of the dream will become. They Lust. They thirst. They hunger. Nothing else matters to them. It no longer matters what we think of as our rights. All that matters is what we are willing to do to keep them.

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