Perspectives; Thoughts; Comments; Opinions; Discussions

Preparing to Vote Number 7

Another term you have heard the Political Left use is “Collective”, or one of its derivatives. You can expect they will continue to use this term because it reflects their committed ideology, philosophy and bases for how they want to run the country.

Here is what they hope you will not find out for yourself;

Collectivism: From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Collectivism is any philosophic, political, religious, economic, or social outlook that emphasizes the interdependence of every human being. Collectivism is a basic cultural element that exists as the reverse of individualism in human nature (in the same way high context culture exists as the reverse of low context culture), and stresses the priority of group goals over individual goals and the importance of cohesion within social groups (such as an “in-group”, in what specific context it is defined). Collectivists usually focus on community, society, or nation. It is used, and has been used, as an element in many different and diverse types of government and political, economic and educational philosophies throughout history including democracy, totalitarian nationalism, monarchy, socialism, and communism. In modern times, collectivism is sometimes thought to be synonymous with socialism or specifically Leninism, though collectivism more accurately simply means “group oriented” or “group orientation”. Most societies contain elements of both individualism and collectivism.

Collectivism can be divided into horizontal collectivism and vertical collectivism. Horizontal collectivism stresses collective decision-making among relatively equal individuals, and is thus usually based on decentralization. Vertical collectivism is based on hierarchical structures of power and moral and cultural conformity, and is therefore based on centralization. Monarchy is an example of a system that makes use of vertical collectivism. [1]

In political economy, horizontal-collectivism is often associated with the economic theories of socialism, which call for some form of co-operative or collective ownership of the means of production and collective decision-making or worker’s self-management within economic enterprises.[2]

  • Corporatism refers to a form of collectivism that views the whole as being greater than the sum of its individual parts, and gives priority to group rights over individual rights.[3][4]

Politics

According to Moyra Grant, in political philosophy “collectivism” refers to any philosophy or system that puts any kind of group (such as a class, nation, race, society, state, etc.) before the individual.[5] According to Encyclopædia Britannica, “collectivism has found varying degrees of expression in the 20th century in such movements as socialism, communism, and fascism. The least collectivist of these is social democracy, which seeks to reduce the perceived injustices of unrestrained capitalism by government regulation, redistribution of income, and varying degrees of planning and public ownership. In Communist systems collectivist economics are carried to their furthest extreme, with a minimum of private ownership and a maximum of planned economy.”[6]

However, political collectivism is not necessarily associated with support for states, governments, or other hierarchical institutions. There are variants of anarchism, such as collectivist anarchism and anarcho-communism, which are collectivist. Collectivist anarchists, particularly Mikhail Bakunin, were among the earliest critics of authoritarian communism. They agree with communists that the means of production should be expropriated from private owners and converted to common property,[7] but they advocate the ownership of this property to be vested by a loose group of decentralized communes rather than to be held in common by all of society. Nevertheless, unlike anarcho-communists, collectivist anarchists supported a wage system and markets in non-capital goods.[citation needed] Thus, Bakunin’s “Collectivist Anarchism”, notwithstanding the title, is seen as a blend of individualism and collectivism.[8]

Anarcho-communism is a more comprehensive form of collectivism which advocates not only the collectivization of the means of production but of the products of labor as well.[9] According to anarcho-communist Peter Kropotkin, “And as long as dwelling-houses, fields, and factories belong to isolated owners, men will have to pay them, in one way or another, for being allowed to work in the fields or factories, or for living in the houses. The owners will accept to be paid by the workers in gold, in paper-money, or in cheques exchangeable for all sorts of commodities. But how can we defend labour-notes, this new form of wagedom, when we admit that houses, fields, and factories will no longer be private property, and that they will belong to the commune or the nation?”[10]

Economics

Leroy-Beaulieu says that that Albert Schäffle gave the first definition to the phrase “collectvisim”. Collectvism, for them both, is a kind of communism in which quotas are set on quality in addition to those set on quantity. (( Collectivism. 1908.))

Generally speaking, economic collectivism can refer to two distinct concepts: that property (usually in reference to productive property) be owned by all of society in common, or that possessions be owned by collective groups that use the property. The first concept is related to Communism, communalism and some forms of socialism, while the latter concept is related to forms of socialism based on independent cooperative organizations such as Syndicalism, Guild socialism, libertarian socialism and market socialism. Additionally, capitalist systems that largely consist of either cooperative or corporate ownership structures, with ownership being vested in collective entities of legal owners rather than the producers/users of the property, can be characterized as being collectivist to some degree.

Collectivism in the field of economics holds that some things should be owned by all of society and used for the benefit of all rather than being owned by just individuals or private parties. Central to this view is the concept of the commons, as opposed to private property. Early economic systems such as communalism and tribal societies practiced this form of collectivism. Collectivism can also apply to public ownership over the means of production, while others argue[who?] that all valued commodities, like environmental or consumer goods, should be regarded as public goods and placed under public ownership. In health care, collective action by trade unions and other professional bodies throughout Europe in the early twentieth century established mutual sickness funds and contracts with doctors and hospitals enabling workers to be assured of access to health care and sometimes sick pay collectively funded by all the members of the trade union or profession.

Collectivism in economics may or may not involve a state as a manager and steward of collective property. For instance, company property in corporations is usually managed by specialized managers, despite being owned in some cases by hundreds of shareholders. Anarcho-communists, who argue for the immediate abolition of the state, wish to place all goods under communal access without a state or manager. They argue that since the value of labor cannot truly be measured, individuals should be free to produce and consume to their own self-determined needs. In 1876, at the Florence Conference of the Italian Federation of the International, where the principles of anarcho-communism were first laid out, it was stated:

The Italian Federation considers the collective property of the products of labour as the necessary complement to the collectivist programme, the aid of all for the satisfaction of the needs of each being the only rule of production and consumption which corresponds to the principle of solidarity.[citation needed]

Anarcho-communist Peter Kropotkin believed that a lack of collectivization of goods would be a dis-service to individuals.[11]

Typology

Collectivism can be typified as “horizontal collectivism”, wherein equality is emphasized and people engage in sharing and cooperation, or “vertical collectivism”, wherein hierarchy is emphasized and people submit to authorities to the point of self-sacrifice.[12] Horizontal collectivism is based on the assumption that each individual is more or less equal, while vertical collectivism assumes that individuals are fundamentally different from each other.[13] Social anarchist Alexander Berkman, who was a horizontal collectivist, argued that equality does not imply a lack of unique individuality, but an equal amount of freedom and equal opportunity to develop one’s own skills and talents, equality does not mean an equal amount but equal opportunity. . . Do not make the mistake of identifying equality in liberty with the forced equality of the convict camp. True anarchist equality implies freedom, not quantity. It does not mean that every one must eat, drink, or wear the same things, do the same work, or live in the same manner. Far from it: the very reverse, in fact. Individual needs and tastes differ, as appetites differ. It is equal opportunity to satisfy them that constitutes true equality. Far from leveling, such equality opens the door for the greatest possible variety of activity and development. For human character is diverse, and only the repression of this free diversity results in leveling, in uniformity and sameness. Free opportunity and acting out your individuality means development of natural dissimilarities and variations. . . . Life in freedom, in anarchy will do more than liberate man merely from his present political and economic bondage. That will be only the first step, the preliminary to a truly human existence.[14]

Indeed, horizontal collectivists argue that the idea of individuals sacrificing themselves for the “group” or “greater good” is nonsensical, arguing that groups are made up of individuals (including oneself) and are not a cohesive, monolithic entity separate from the self. But most social anarchists do not see themselves as collectivists or individualists, viewing both as illusory ideologies based on fiction .[15]

Horizontal collectivists tend to favour democratic decision-making, while vertical collectivists believe in a strict chain of command. Horizontal collectivism stresses common goals, interdependence and sociability. Vertical collectivism stresses the integrity of the in-group (e.g. the family or the nation), expects individuals to sacrifice themselves for the in-group if necessary, and promotes competition between different in-groups.[13]

 

Comments on: "Preparing to Vote Number 7" (1)

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