During the past few months, many in the media, as well as a number of political figures, have pushed the idea that Americans have a binary choice between communism and white nationalism. In Charlottesville, Virginia, some outlets portray Antifa and other communists as some sort of protector and savior against evil white nationalists. Other figures argue that even though white nationalist ideology is despicable, that people should side with them in the situation. However, ultimately, there isn’t a good side with either of them. In essence, they are two sides of the same coin, desiring basically the same thing. And by giving such an enormous amount of attention to one another, they both gain what they really want- attention to both sides that then accomplishes their primary goal of just burning everything to the ground to start over. As long as they both clash, they create a “choose your side” scenario for a good many people.
At their core, fascism and communism have the same basic goal – to eliminate the idea of the individual and focus instead on the collective. Fascists have an idea of a protected class of people in mind that can be based on race or national identity. Communists have a protected group of people in mind based upon economic station. Both, in search of protecting their chosen class of people, desire to eliminate individual identity in favor of a group identity. If you do not belong to their chosen protectorate group, then you must be driven down to a subjugate status, driven away from the national borders, or in an extreme case, eliminated entirely. The end result of both is a ruling authoritarian regime that includes favoritism for their chosen class of people, viewed through the lens of a group identity where everyone else is an enemy.
Collective thinking is a dangerous game. Once people are deemed to be identified as groups of people rather than as individuals, it becomes easier to see them as less human. People wonder how Hitler could have so callously murdered millions for the sole reason of their perceived race, or how Stalin could have purposefully starved millions to death in the name of the greater good. It’s because once people no longer have their individual identity, the group to which they belong becomes a faceless mass that portrays more animal than human. It becomes far easier to ignore an individual’s humanity in favor of serving the protected class. The thinking becomes, “Either we survive as a group identity or this other group of people will overtake us.” So, the murders and death camps begin.
The reason people fall prey to collectivism is because it is so seemingly enticing in the beginning. A group of people is shown to be downtrodden and victims of a larger group or class of people. Instances of a larger, almost conspiratorial, movement against them are demonstrated in the rhetoric of either fascists or communists and the roots take hold. It’s easy to blame a faceless mass for your problems, because without focusing on individuals, there isn’t a way to tie things directly to any one person. If you come to believe you are a victim of a group of people rather than situations or specific individuals, then collectivism easily sets in. The progression from the idea that you are a part of a group suppressed by another group (or groups) easily leads to a path of wanting to either separate from, subjugate, or destroy the other group. Collectivism is easy – individualism is difficult, but far more rewarding.
Americans, as well as much of the world, are being pulled into a sham debate. One that pits fascists against communists and asks which is the lesser evil. The sham is that both are evil and that there is a very attractive alternative. The binary option is not fascism vs. communism. It is individualism vs. collectivism. Most people like neither fascists nor communists and cannot conceive of aligning themselves with either one. So, ignore the rhetoric being spouted by the main stream of media and political discussion. Don’t allow fringe groups to burn our system to the ground. By giving them the attention and platform to spread their hatred, their groups grow in number. Avoid the group think of the collective. Focus on what is best for individuals – as individuals. The most minor, underserved, and unrecognized class of people in the world is the individual. When you find yourself not siding with either evil, then side with the people who support individualism.
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