I have often marveled at the ability of men like Hitler, Mussolini, Lennon, Stalin, and Mao Ze Dong to convince a very large percentage of their countrymen that they were an oppressed proletariat instead of the driving force behind their country who are ultimately in charge. The sheer will power to convince normal people that they've been so oppressed, cheated, swindled, and otherwise abused that they should overlook theft, blackmail, racketeering, the silencing of political dissent, and ultimately murder and/or genocide of those who don't agree or who are the target demographic is mind blowing. Yet it's repeating itself in America today.
I use the word marveled above because using the words, "I don't understand how" simply doesn't apply anymore. I'm watching it happen right before my very eyes, and I am sad to report that America is doing the same exact thing. We have begun to accept our role as the peasantry, as long as someone else is responsible for caring for us. The average American has become all too happy to abdicate their freedom as long as they also shed the responsibility to care for themselves. How has it happened? Well, there are many different examples, but I'm going to focus on the low hanging fruit and simply pick at the big ones for brevity's sake.
Ok, this is a popular refrain from many people. It talks about how much the CEOs make and how little the employees make. They talk about stock holders being more important than the workers. They see themselves as victims of the corporate world instead of someone who has succumbed to and or chosen to participate in it. They don't WANT to do more than go to work and put in their forty hours, yet they want the same rewards as those who do / have done more.
Well, I hate to break it to you, but everyone's forty hours are not created equal. There are people who are so naturally talented that they can accomplish in forty hours what others can't do in sixty. That's simply life. Those people will rise and get paid well because they ultimately save the company another salary. Yet, for people who aren't one of those, the solution is not simply to accept what you get, but a question of whether you should trade additional time for money or to figure out how to make their time more valuable.
But doing so requires additional work. It requires getting educated or acquiring a trade skill. It means that you have to do forty hours of work and then put in additional time. "Self-care," "self-maintenance," and all of these other new fangled "self" things must be put aside for the sake of your future. Sacrifice now for a better tomorrow. But no, ask someone today to do that instead of just slaving away for forty hours a week at Wal-Mart for minimum wage and they'll inevitably tell you that they don't have time or some other malarkey (to quote VP Biden). The truth is that they won't MAKE time, and that's not the same thing.
A trade school costs less than $10,000.00, and you get out making $60-80k your first year in many trades. Most of them also go up from there. A marketable skill with a never ending demand for workers? Why aren't we seeing more people do something like this? Because it requires more than just getting a McJob and putting in my forty hours.
We've come to believe that people are equally valuable in their job functions, not just in their personhood and rights. THAT is proletariat politics right there. I'm sorry, but a person working fast food is not on an equal job footing with someone running a Doctor's Office so that the doctor can practice medicine, they just aren't. And if you believe that they are, then you are in denial about the reality of life.
You cannot correct the unfairness of life. You cannot create "equity" without creating inequality, and then demanding that those giving more of their time, talents, skills, intellect, or otherwise simply endure the unfairness for everyone in order to create "equity" for others.
Health Care "Rights"
Here's an interesting thing about healthcare, everyone believes that they are entitled to it, yet not everyone wants to go to medical school to learn how to do it. Ultimately, the only thing you are entitled to is the fruit of your own labor, so if you want a "right" to healthcare, go to medical school and learn it yourself. Then you'll never have to worry about it again.
This entire idea of a "right" to healthcare comes back to the idea that everyone's contribution to society is equal in value, regardless of what they actually do or contribute. So therefore, society takes upon itself the responsibility of healthcare for those who do not contribute equal value comparatively to others, and is therefore supposed to make up the difference in their respective salaries and differentials to promote equity.
That's right, society says the doctor's time is equitable to the minimum wage worker and it will therefore pay the differential between their salaries to ensure that the worker gets care from the doctor. Those cost differentials don't go away, we just shift the responsibility for them from the one receiving care to the many who are not.
Now, this is always a tricky topic in America, because there are so many market suppression hurdles that also have to be dealt with. It's not an open market, and many of these things have to be dealt with because of that. So the above is true, but it also has many caveats because of governmental interference. Not being able to purchase out of state insurance, not being able to buy out of country medication, not being able to purchase catastrophic only insurance (thanks to Obama Care) and belong to a health co-op, and numerous other factors cause the market to be wonky from the beginning; and that is all before we start talking about the necessary tort reform, judgment capping, and ASTRONOMICAL mal-practice insurance reforms that need to happen to rebalance the marketplace.
In the end, the idea of healthcare being a right comes out of the idea that the doctor's time and the minimum wage workers time are equal. In an esoteric sense, they are. In a philosophical sense, they are. In an economic, productivity, and real sense, they simply are not.
Work Life Balance
One of the craziest ideas that I've ever heard, and man does it fall under the "first world problems" heading, is this idea of "work life balance."
You see, we've become so disconnected with individual reality that we've forgotten that the basis for human existence is the production of things necessary for you to survive. If you don't grow food, you don't eat, and you die. If you don't find/build shelter, you can die in numerous ways. If you don't learn to protect yourself, you die. We've banded together to share these skills so that we can all be specialists, but in doing so, we've also accepted that some will always make more than others.
The person growing the grain will always make more than the person threshing it. The person putting their life on the line to defend the group will always be supported by those who don't. You are not entitled to someone else's production "equitably" because you did "something." You contribution must match their contribution to be equitable, if they're protecting your life, and you're giving them the ability to pay for goods in a store, there is no equity in your contributions, it's not even close. So to say that society must make it equitable is to say that society must force the person offering the defense to pay for the time of the person stocking a store shelf at an equal rate. As if their contributions were equal. Yet they're not.
Which brings us to the idea of "work-life balance." We've become to disconnected from the survival reality of our world that we've begun to believe that not only are all contributions "equitable," but that we also have a right to cap our societal contributions at a certain point regardless of value put in to society.
Yep, that's the idea behind work-life balance. While medical professionals run themselves ragged, and CEOs put in 70-80 hours a week, and military personnel put in un-Godly hours, someone who puts in their forty hours a week and goes home to sit on their couch for their "work-life balance" believes that their contributions to society merit equitable compensation / reward to the above.
Well, simply put, that's wrong. You don't get to put in minimum effort and receive equitable results. How weak have we become as a people that we'd even be willing to entertain such a preposterous idea?
You see, all of the above are the very same things that all of these dictators preyed upon to set up their collectivist regimes. They said that the guy pushing the button on the assembly line should receive an equitable share of the profits to the guy running the factory. The result? Those who can won't, so those who can't must. The resulting collapse? Inevitable.
Collectivism is predicated upon the idea that everyone should possess a sense of altruism that says that they are not only willing to contribute more to society than they receive, but that those who can overproduce have, what amounts to, a responsibility to contribute more to society so that those who cannot contribute more can be taken care of equitably.
This is, at it's core, the statement of Marxism "From each as he is able. To each as he has need." Except what happens when those who are able won't, or pretend that they can't? It has happened every time.
You see, altruism must come from a person's inner being, and altruism is exhausting when sustained for prolonged periods of time. You can only feel unjustly compensated for so long before burnout begins, after that, resentment, and after that, refusal.
To believe that humanity will somehow reach this collective "wokeness" and decide that they should simply sacrifice eternally for the sake of altruism is to flatly and completely deny the very understanding of humanity and human history. Yet that is what we do.
Capitalism, also colloquially "individualism," allows for people to be rewarded for helping others and contributing to society. Collectivism, however does the opposite. It punishes those producing with more work and/or devaluation of their productivity. This punishment, historically, is only endured so long before people simply stop "over contributing" and decide to find their own "work-life balance."
Collectivism always begets mediocrity. Individualism always begets excellence. The difference is that collectivism makes everyone equal in the mediocrity while individualism makes everyone unequal in their excellence, each to their own ability/desire. That is true equality. Equity is not equality, equity is simply shifting the unfairness of life from some onto others. That, at it's core, is unfair.
But hey, why let ethics stop you. I mean, it didn't stop those dictators above, and look at the "Great Societies" that they built... oh wait, that's right, they didn't. Hmm, almost like collectivism leads to mediocrity. Well, that's history for you. Showing us the future by reviewing how things have worked in the past.
Those who don't study history are doomed to repeat it.