you didn’t build that

The Collectivist Mind

President Obama said in a recent speech, “If you’ve got a business – you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.” “You didn’t get there on your own. I’m always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart. There are a lot of smart people out there. It must be because I worked harder than everybody else.”

With those phrases Obama dismisses hard work and individual ideas. He trashes achievement. He says nothing is possible without government assistance. Maybe Obama is too used to crony capitalism in his quest to transform America. It must take a heavily subsidized village.

The speech may come to be seen as a defining moment into Obama’s mentality and his campaign.

Elizabeth Warren, who is running for the Senate against Scott Brown parrots Obama, ” “there is nobody in this country who got rich on his own. Nobody. You build a factory out there, good for you, but I want to be clear. You moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for. You hired workers that the rest of us paid to educate.”

Who does she think pays the bulk of the taxes to pay for the roads and schools?

Thomas Sowell notes, “There was a time, within living memory, when the achievements of others were not only admired but were often taken as an inspiration for imitation of the same qualities that had served these achievers well, even if we were not in the same field of endeavor and were not expecting to achieve on the same scale.”

Sowell also writes, “People who succeed — whether in business or anywhere else — are often said to be ‘privileged,’ even if they started out poor and worked their way up the hard way….Personal responsibility, whether for achievement or failure, is a threat to the whole vision of the left, and a threat the left goes all-out to combat, using rhetoric uninhibited by reality.”

Charles Krauthammer writes, “the most formative, most important influence on the individual is not government. It is civil society, those elements of the collectivity that lie outside government: family, neighborhood, church, Rotary club, PTA, the voluntary associations that Tocqueville understood to be the genius of America and source of its energy and freedom….Moreover, the greatest threat to a robust, autonomous civil society is the ever-growing state and those like Obama who see it as the ultimate expression of the collective.”

Krauthammer continues, “Obama’s infrastructure argument is easily refuted by a controlled social experiment. Roads and schools are the constant. What’s variable is the energy, enterprise, risk-taking, hard work and genius of the individual. It is therefore precisely those individual characteristics, not the communal utilities, that account for the different outcomes.”

In the collectivist mind, citizens are treated as orphan children who must be guided and cared for; and only government can do that properly. Only the elites in government, the anointed ones, are smart enough and caring enough to do that “for the children.”

Above all citizens must be taught proper thinking and action; they must be controlled so they can enjoy the resulting collectivist utopias such as Cuba, North Korea, and the former Soviet Union.

 ”I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.”  -Thomas Jefferson

Obama’s words show that he does not understand America and what it is to be an American.

The Cato Institute has a report that bears on the matter of political philosophy: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty.

See also:

Reclaiming Americanism and the Constitution

Personal Responsibility and Independence

Freedom, Morality, and Ignorance

Property Rights and Freedom

Beware of Sustainable Development