Arnold Kling  

Who Are the Good Guys?

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Eric Raymond writes,

Community and collectivism are opposites. Community is valuable and powerful; it is individuals freely choosing to cooperate and identify with each other to achieve more than they can individually, as we do in the open-source community.

Collectivism is a fraud. It pretends to be about community, but it is actually about the use of force. Collectivists want us not only to bow to their desire for power over others, but to thank them for coercing us and praise them as our moral superiors.

Sometimes it feels good to quote somebody who agrees with you.

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CATEGORIES: Political Economy

COMMENTS (4 to date)
GIVCO writes:
The first thing to ask about an 'organic' ideology that, however unexpectedly, succeeds in organizing substantial sections of the masses and mobilizing them for political action, is not what is false about it but what is true...It is a highly unstable theory about the world which has to assume that vast numbers of ordinary people, mentally equipped in much the same way as you or I, can simply be thoroughly and systematically duped into misrecognizing entirely where their real interests lie. Even less acceptable is the position that, whereas 'they'—the masses—are the dupes of history, 'we'—the privileged—are somehow without a trace of illusion and can see, transitively, right through into the truth, the essence, of a situation.
- Stuart Hall, "The Toad in the Garden: Thatcherism Among the Theorists", in Marxism and the Interpretation of Culture (1988)
Daniel Kuehn writes:

That's a good one.

My one concern is that a lot of people who are pro-community get vicious about other people who are pro-community by calling them collectivists. Quotes like this are dead on... but they also give ammunition to people who want to see evil collectivists around every corner and conveniently attach the "collectivist" label to anyone they happen not to like.

N. writes:

Community also allows for right of exit.

Collectivism... not so much.

Jeremy, Alabama writes:

Very good quote.

Collectivism is a kind of community where not enough people agree with you, so you threaten them with death (e.g. see recent Rosanne, Michael Moore) until their morale improves.

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