The budget battle in Washington presents us with an excellent example of how the battles mankind fights are actually proxy battles between spirits. In this case, the battle is between those who see and acknowledge the worth of the individual and those who do not see or subordinate the individual to the whole, to the collective. This is exactly what the struggle between funding individual programs and those demanding all-or-nothing illustrates for us – if we will only see the lesson.
The individualist sees the individual as having equal value to all other individuals, and will not subordinate the rights of one individual to another. The individualist seeks to work for the individual: to provide equality, not in outcome, but in opportunity, access and treatment under the law. The individualist recognizes that there is no difference between trampling one person and one million. Morally, they are equivalent.
The collectivist doesn’t acknowledge the equal value of the individual and readily subordinates the rights of the individual to those of the collective. The collectivist seeks to work for the good of the collective: to assure equality of situation and outcome. The collectivist sees inherent differences in the value of individuals in respect to their value or contribution to the good of the collective. Consequently, the collectivist sees the sacrifice of individuals deemed ‘undesirable’ or ‘obstructionists’ as the moral choice in comparison to the rights of the collective.
But here is another difference: only one side of this struggle acknowledges reality, the other embraces a fiction. The individual is real, thus, the individualist acknowledges reality. Whereas the collective is a fiction invented to create a false morality. The individual recognizes right and wrong based on how individuals treat each other. The collectivist sees right and wrong in relation to how the individual affects the fictitious collective. The individualist will not murder one individual to save one hundred; he will sacrifice himself – willingly – to save the other ninety-nine. But the collectivist will murder forty-nine to save fifty-one. In fact, since he sees himself as more important than the average person because he understands things the masses do not, the collectivist will sacrifice ninety-nine to save himself.
This is because – in the mind of the collectivist – the ‘collective’ is himself or herself. It has to be, because the collective only exists in the mind of the person conceiving it. It is a delusion, a fiction: it is not real. We cannot see the collective. When a person points to three-hundred million Americans and says “There is the collective,” they have not pointed to the collective. They have pointed to three-hundred million people who – in the mind of the collectivist – have been morphed into a single, imaginary being which the collectivist then speaks of and acts toward as though it were a real person. The collectivist believes this fiction, and their entire life is driven by this illusion. And this is why they can believe they are ‘good’ while they are trampling the rights of countless individuals.
Coincidently, the Judea/Christian ethic – the same ethic upon which the Declaration of Independence is founded – focuses on the individual and not the collective. The whole focus on Scripture is on the individual. Scripture tells us that Christ died for each individual, not for all mankind. Even if you hold a different belief, there is a lesson here. Scripture teaches us that God’s will is sovereign, but it is filled with statements that clearly indicate our individual free will somehow plays into His plan and creation. I don’t pretend to know how this works, but I don’t need to understand. The lesson I need to take away from this is that, if God respects the free will of His creations so much that He will not force His will onto us, then what should this tell us about those who see no problem with forcing their will on others? And what should that tell us about those who are demanding the “all-or-nothing” approach to running our nation’s governmental affairs?