ADDRESSED TO ALL YOU leftists out there — whatever you call yourselves, liberals, progressives, democrats, socialists, communists, communitarians… whatever.
When you say individualism like it was a dirty word; when you speak of the concept as being anti-social, as being somehow selfish (as though that were a bad thing, and you all ignorant of Ayn Rand’s epistemological development of the concept); when you talk of individuals as being against or versus the common weal…
You should realize that you are evincing a deep lack of respect for the rights of others. It is, in fact, you who are being anti-social, of aligning your selfish interests agains the common weal. For there is no — can be no — group or common weal without the individual. As Rand put it, the individual is the smallest minority, and you cannot claim to be in favor of the rights of the minority if you have no regard for the rights of the individual.
This pattern of belief, word, and deed is, at bottom, deeply anti-social. Sociopathic, in fact. And it should be dispositive that people who truly love people should have nothing to do with it.
As Benjamin Constant put it (and we quote in the side bar):
Society has no right to be unjust to a single one of its members … the whole society minus one, is not authorised to obstruct the latter in his opinions, nor in those actions which are not harmful, in the use of his property or the exercise of his labour, save in those cases where that use or that exercise would obstruct another individual possessing the same rights.
The mal-informed witterings of the President notwithstanding, no human progress has ever been encompassed without the intelligence, desire, and drive of some individual or individuals.
There may be no “i” in “team,” but neither is there a “we” in “achievement.” Just as “we” did not vote ourselves into this mess we’re in, “we” did not invent the light bulb, develop mass production of motorcars, devise the protocols of the Internet, or put a man on the moon.
All of those things were done by individuals, and — to the extent that public monies were appropriated to pay for those things — the vast majority of those forced to pay did not willingly give up the money, nor did even a plurality of them favor the projects. They were forced into supporting them — unjustly — by government which had no brief, no right, and no lawful authority to engage in the activity.
And, although the accomplishments are noteworthy, it is also worth noting that, to date, the government has done nothing worth mentioning with these wonderful initiatives. It took a British programmer working at a UN project in Switzerland to develop the mechanism that made the Internet a viable mass medium. It took an entrepreneur in Seattle to make it a viable commercial marketplace. And, now, all government can think to do with it is kill the golden goose with taxes.
All that has happened in space that’s worthwhile has happened as a result of private, commercial development. If anything, a forced government monopoly has done nothing but retard development and render it prohibitively expensive. Private development has done more in the last decade than all the government weapons initiative (remember that: the statist space race was and remains an arms race) had done in the previous century. (Yes, century. I remind you that Konstantin Tsiolkovsky was born in 1857(!)).
As I have argued here before, the mind of the individual is the apotheosis of creation — that which makes us in apprehension like unto gods. The ill-treatment of the individual is, therefor, sacrilege.