Friday, May 18, 2012

Individualism and the Death of Freedom

 

[This post makes a very important point! Individuals cannot oppose a government. While as individuals we would get squashed, we can mount very effective opposition as a Christian community! The Truth will prevail! – JS]
From James Tonkowitch at religiontoday.com

It seems an odd paradox, but the more emphasis we put on individuals and individual choice, the more we are subject to increasingly oppressive government control.

Case in point: in 2010, the Supreme Court in Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission decided that the right of free speech — including free political speech — applies not only to individuals, but to corporations and unions as well. As far as endorsing candidates and policy positions is concerned, “corporations are people too.”

In response, Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass) has proposed an amendment to the Constitution designed to override the Court and strip constitutional rights from corporations and unions, applying them only to “natural persons,” that is, individuals.

You might be tempted to cheer such an amendment. After all, Big Business, Big Labor, and Big Government have been not-so-strange bedfellows for years engineering benefits for favored members, employees, constituents, and municipalities at taxpayer expense. Add the impact of lobbying firms, lawyers, and “special interest groups,” you might think that putting the kibosh on the whole mess would solve some serious problems.

But you’d be wrong…..

The solution? Well to begin with, let’s do all that is needed to oppose the amendment. Beyond that, however, we need to see that asserting individualism and personal freedom is a trap. As Ross Douthat comments in his introduction to Robert Nesbit’s Quest for Community, the goal must be “the defense of the individual and his group — his family, his church, his neighborhood, his civic organization, and his trade union. If the Quest for Community teaches any lesson it is this: You cannot oppose the inexorable growth of state power by championing individualism alone. You can only oppose it by championing community.”

Read the rest here …