Growing up, I often had conversations with my teachers about the individual vs. the collective. Now, anyone who knows about where I grew up (Hawaii & California) will have no problem understanding why I, a staunch conservative and individualist, would clash and therefore not accept the teachers premise of collectivist "utopia." Yet for those of you who don't, let me simply say this, those states, more than any others I've lived in including New York and Washington, embody the idea of a collectivist society.
For someone like me it was a nightmare, being "responsible" for people's mistakes that I had no hand in making, and having people wanting to be all up in my life and controlling me for some collectivist "good." Suffice it to say that I was often the squeaky wheel and I was beloved in my biology class for often debating with the teacher for entire class periods at a time, which I suppose kept things interesting for them. I even had one of them thank me as an adult because she said that she learned a lot more than she would have just reading it out of a book and regurgitating it on a test.
Yet, there is something new happening in America, and it's a truly frightening proposition. What is that? Well, read on.
In the late 90s and early 2000s, there was a major societal shift, really riding on the coat tails of the Rainbow Rebellion, towards collectivism. Our society began to believe that if all of us weren't happy, then none of us should be. Instead of taking care of our own business, and letting other people take care of theirs, we began to "get involved," and it spawned an idea of interconnectedness that borders on both co-dependency and obsession. In fact, many of today's "reality" TV shows are deeply rooted in this group or "tribal" identity.
But unfortunately, it doesn't seem to have stopped there, and it's threatening our country, our culture, and our way of life. That threat? Globalism.
You see, it wasn't enough just to be interconnected to one other, but we've begun to reach out and desire to be interconnected with everyone. This desire is predicated upon the secular humanist philosophy that all people are generally good at heart and want to help each other. It's a line of thinking that just won't go away no matter how often it's proven to be false. But how in the world is that a problem for us as Americans? Well, in a few different ways.
The first is that we have ceased to be a melting pot, where people from all over come here and become American, adopt American culture (baseball, soda pop, the fourth of July, hotdogs, and picket fences), and essentially remove their old national identity and heritage to become part of ours. One only has to look at the changing of names during the time of Ellis Island's operations to see proof of this expectation.
Instead we see a "tossed salad" idea. You see this in balkanization of individual communities. They're often referred to as, "Little China," "China Town," "Lil' Meh-he-co" (phonetics used for clarity), and many other names, some self given, some imposed, most slightly derogatory. In most towns that I've been in, you can identify a neighborhood by it's ethnic subset. There are always exceptions, but their exceptions for a reason. Today, communities group up by where they're from not just for a generation like happened in early America, but rather they do it generationally and perpetuate the separation.
So when globalism factors in, instead of adding more colors and appearances to what it means to be American, you find simply more ways to split yourself up, more Balkans to create, now you have a little Mexico, a little Honduras, a little El Salvador (I'm using the Hispanic countries because they are more recognizable to the point), each continues speaking Spanish as a primary language (I have no problem with them speaking it, in fact I'm desperately trying to learn it), continuing in their old country's traditions, symbols, heritages, and festivities. There is no longer a desire to assimilate, but rather, a desire to further carve out yet an ever smaller and more specific sub sect of society where we can have our own little lifestyle. After all, if the world is that diverse why shouldn't we be? The answer? Because we're a nation, not a world. There is, and will always be, a huge difference between the two.
Second, globalism leads to a form of anger towards America's wealth and prosperity. We begin to feel guilty that we've been successful when others haven't. The biggest problem with this is that while there is a sand grain's sized truth to this, there's a whole ton of dirt piled on it in the form of fake history (thank you Howard Zinn) that causes people to believe that all that has happened has been pure theft. Simply put it wasn't. It wasn't good, it wasn't moral, but it wasn't a one way street, and there were a myriad of reasons why history unfolded as it did.
Third, globalism tends to cause Americans to tend towards emotionalism rather than logic. We see tragedy in the world and we want to help at any cost, even if that cost in our nation, our freedoms, and our way of life. "Anything we can do to help save them!!"
Well, as they teach lifeguards during training, you have to help a drowning person a certain way, or they'll take you down with them. You have to ensure your own safety and survival first, or not only will they still drown, but so will you. That's why you have to put on your own oxygen mask in the plane before your child's. You could easily pass out before being able to and then you both die because there is no one left to help you.
This is the biggest problem that people who are continually embracing a globalist philosophy don't understand. If you weaken America enough, there won't be anyone to help, and let me tell you this, America, like the "rich," doesn't have enough to take care of the world. So all we'll do in harm ourselves, and when we're gone, there won't be anyone else to help like we can.
I hate to say it, but global poverty isn't going anywhere, whether or not America joins in that game. Reducing our quality of life isn't going to suddenly change the entirety of the culture and education on the continent of Africa, or the Middle East, or South East Asia. All it will do is reduce our ability to help them.
Our stake in collectivism has gone too far, and now it's transition to globalism threatens almost everything about who we are and how we live. Unfortunately, like the riots in downtown cities that happened recently, we won't know the real cost of our national philosophies until it's too late. By then, the cost will be unbelievable.
It's not too late, but we need a real, strong, and directed call to be America again, and to take care of ourselves as a nation before we are unable to help anyone, including ourselves.