LC’s Commentary

Listen To The Voice of Reason

Individualism

Let us start this article by defining individualism. In its simplest term, it means uniqueness, selfishness, eccentricity, egoism, independence or individuality. If you listen to Conservative Talk Radio (CTR) and Fox News Network (FNN), you often hear the word individualism tossed around like a hot potato. Talk hosts on these outlets will swear on a stack of Bibles that the United States of America were founded on pure and unadulterated individualism. Hubert Hoover, President of the United States often spoke of individuality, and his writings suggest he truly believed in this principle. However, he was careful not to take it to the extreme, often expressed by talking heads on CTR and FNN. Some would argue that it was unfettered individuality that brought this nation to its knees during the Great Depression. Listen as those who preach a pure individualism theory support their position on one simple fact; individuals are suppose to be self-supporting and anything that suggests people doing anything together for the good of all is tantamount to socialism/communism. There is one possible exception to their position on individualism. They see nothing wrong with our young men bonding together as military units, going off to foreign countries, and fighting senseless and useless wars. They see nothing wrong with these same units using their military might to impose the will of American businesses on foreign countries. Some how, some way the individualism philosophy gets lost when it comes to sacrificing our young people, supposedly for the good of this nation, when in actuality, only a few share in the fruits of our young soldiers’ labors. As this nation struggles to right its economic ship, there are those who are unwilling to accept any changes to the economic and political principles on which this nation is purportedly founded. This unwillingness is causing immeasurable and irreparable damage to several segments of American society. For decades, several economists, politicians, spiritual leaders and the like have repeatedly admonished those who lead this nation about the dangers of a few having so much and so many having so little. Those who subscribe to raw and unadulterated individualism see absolutely nothing wrong with the continued spiral of wealth to the top, with little left for those in the middle and practically nothing left for those on the bottom rung of American society. Despite criticism for the hardships brought on by the Great Depression, President Hubert Hoover had it right when he made the following profound observation relating to individualism:  “No doubt, individualism run riot, with no tempering principle, would provide a long category of inequalities, of tyrannies, dominations, and injustices. America, however, has tempered the whole conception of individualism by the injection of a definite principle, and from this principle, it follows that attempts at domination, whether in government or in the processes of industry and commerce, are under an insistent curb. If we would have the values of individualism, their stimulation to initiative, to the development of hand and intellect, to the high development of thought and spirituality, they must be tempered with that firm and fixed ideal American individualism-an equality of opportunity. If we would have these values, we must soften it hardness and stimulate progress through the sense of service that lies in our people.” President Hoover further stated the following: “While we build our society upon the attainment of the individual, we shall safeguard to every individual an opportunity to take that position in the community to which his intelligence, character, ability and ambition entitle him; that we keep the solution free from social strata of classes; that we shall stimulate effort of each individual to achievement; that through an enlarging sense of responsibility and understanding we shall assist him in his attainment; while he in turn must stand up to the emery wheel of competition.” Look around people, it is not difficult to see what President Hoover predicted would happen with unfettered individuality. Specifically, equality of opportunity in many areas ceases to exist.

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February 22, 2011 - Posted by | Conservative Talk Radio, Economic Empowerment, Failed economic poicy, Glenn Beck, Hannity & Boortz, Limbaugh, Politics, Trickle up economics, wealth redistribution

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