Why you should not be a Soldier, a College Student, or a Gang Member: The Crushing Weight of Collectivism

My daughter and nephew had some interesting discussions with me over the Memorial Day Weekend that I felt deserved sharing with my readers here at the OW. Their comments are the same that everyone thinks, but fail to identify and it starts with a simple question—why do I feel the crushing urge from society to squash my soul into some type of conformity, and why is that urge allowed to do so?

All during the Memorial Day holiday we celebrate the soldier slain—who gave up their lives so that we could have freedom. We celebrate their collective sacrifice so that we might live. While traveling during this holiday it can’t be mistaken that many so-called motorcycle riders travel in packs down the highway riding in formation with a leader at point. Families gather and social peaking orders manifest into their hierarchy of established seniority. The middle-aged parents sacrifice to care for their elderly parents. The young parents sacrifice to care for their infant children and the youth are seeing their individualities being slowly destroyed and forced to yield to these forces of nature—the reality and maturity of adulthood where compromises are to be made in favor of the collective whole.

The soldier who cannot figure out what to do with their life joins the military to delay a hard decision and hopes to get opportunities in funding college later, because college is so expensive. When the young soldier steps off the bus and into basic training they are given a short hair cut and told to wear the uniform of The United States soldier. Their drill sergeant makes fun of their parents, their loves, and their individuality in an effort to push out individual desires in favor of service to others—into collectivism. The military makes a soldier out of the young person in basic training with a well established formula. The soldier is supposed to learn to follow orders without question.

The young student who gets wonderful grades in school and loves to make their parents happy goes to college and is urged to sacrifice their individuality in favor of a collective by selecting an occupation for life that serves society whether it be an architect, an engineer, an attorney, or a doctor. Their professors will over the course of four years impose the values of the collective upon those students. If a fraternity or sorority is involved, the student will yield much of their individuality to group brother and sisterhood through similar humiliations that destroy the sanctity of the individual as the soldier endures through basic training. Thus you see the source of 90% of society’s modern social problems where legions of lost adults parade about taking jobs that pay moderately well, but at a cost, the loss of their individuality and love of personal freedom. This is why most people in society follow the mandates of socialism even if privately they claim to abhor such collectivism. The motorcycle rider believes they are bastions of individuality as they travel in packs and dress in leather which is a look established by the collective will of “motorcycle riders.” The soldier is told thank you for your service, even though inside they won’t reveal that they ran in front of bullets on command from their superiors because they were more afraid of disobeying orders than of dying or being maimed. The soldier does not have the luxury to consider that their “orders” may actually come from some former dope smoker such as President Obama as he sits with his feet on a desk trying to sneak a cigarette hit behind Michelle’s back. Because the solider has been “trained” to do what they are told without question, and they are told this is honorable, even though inside there are moral dilemmas.

Then there is the middle-aged college graduate who finds themselves drinking too much just to feel relief from crushing social weight. On one hand there are their elderly parents and the lifetime of serving their expectations. Then there are the expectations of their friends and neighbors. Then there are the expectations of their own children, and the desire to steer those children into a life of comfort so that they might have a better life than the middle-ager. As the middle-ager drinks and feels the tinge of numbness coming from the alcohol, they know that what they must do for their children is relieve that “crushing weight” that my daughter and nephew were specifically speaking to me about. So they attempt to guide their children into one of the paths mentioned, the soldier, the college student, or even the gang member. The young child is told to join a group and assimilate, and that process brings much pain to the child that causes a period of rebelliousness, body piercings, tattoos, malicious sex, tumultuous relationships and other catastrophic conditions as the individual yields to the crushing force of collectivism.

I told my nephew as we watched children playing nearby that society goes wrong because it is schizophrenic. On one hand we teach our children individuality from a very young age, we care for and nurture them as individuals and embrace them as unique creatures in the field of space and time. The toys we give them are designed to bring out and establish individual thought, cognitive ability, and rationality skills. But as the child gets older we begin to pull those traits away from the child leaving it a husk of its former self. This leaves the typical teenager a shell of its built up potential which it seeks to fill with collectivism, encouraged by the parents.

The crushing weight my daughter and nephew were talking about was the organism of collectivism to consume the lives of individuals in order to sustain itself. Collectivism in itself is a consuming entity just as the sun through nuclear fusion consumes hydrogen nuclei, or fire consumes oxygen. Collectivism can be seen as an entity that consumes individual human lives to feed its voracious appetite for destruction. As I explained to my nephew, to the organism of collectivism it regards the consumption of individual lives with the same regard that we consume beef at our dinner table. We don’t consider the life of the cow we’re eating, we just eat it. We don’t care what kind of life the cow had at the pasture, what it saw and learned in its lifetime, we only care that it was born, and was slain so that we might eat it. Collectivism looks at human existence in the same fashion.

It is assumed that collectivism is superior to individualism, and it is not. Without the efforts of individuals, there would be nothing for collectivism to consume, and it would die of starvation. All advancements in civilization were done by the few who broke through these temptations of collectivism and brought individual talents to develop new aspects of human existence. It was they who endured and carried on their backs the crushing weight attempting to compress them into service of the collective. As I told my daughter at a McDonalds while we were traveling during the weekend—don’t avoid that crushing feeling. Learn to carry it, build up your strength so that you can push back.

A technically “good” father might tell their child to yield to the collective so that the pain would go away–the invisible monster that consumes the lives of individuality with a brainless hunger. Most of society is in service of this monster, so I’d be lying to her, because there is a pride to be had in surviving that gauntlet of conformity to arrive at a place few people ever reach, a feeling of independence and self-reliance that is provided by The United States Constitution. Sadly very few Americans fully grasp that the freedom we are protecting is not the freedom to “serve” society in any way—but the freedom to live, think, and feel as we teach our very young children, before we pull the rug out from under them with notions of conformity.

As I told my daughter and nephew, until more people push back knowingly against all types of collectivism, the crushing weight they are feeling now in their early twenties to adhere to the great beast’s wishes will be overwhelming. And when they feel it, they must not seek to alleviate the pressure through alcohol consumption, because it causes the loss of wits, or sexual depravity, because it causes a loss of personal pride—of a strength needed to push back against that crushing weight. I explained that I always pushed back against those forces with the ultimate weapon that collectivism despises, I’d read, and fill my head with thoughts, and if my kids wished to maintain themselves into adulthood, that they will make a point to keep their minds full and active and their spirits uplifted; but to never look to collectivism as a pain relieving redemption. The act of avoiding the pain is the first step toward the complete destruction of the individual. It is the individual who holds the keys to mankind’s ultimate survival which cannot exist fully until the beast of collectivism is slain entirely.

Even though most everything stated in this article goes against what most people learn in their lifetimes, it doesn’t make it incorrect, the facts of collectivism cannot be ignored. Most of the misery people feel in their lives comes from this schizophrenic duality of collectivism consuming individualism, and the desire for individualism to live and thrive free of collectivism. The two do not go together, and cannot be mixed like mashed potatoes. The choice must be made and it’s not an easy one. But to make it correctly, all one has to do is look into the eyes of a child, and there they will see their own fates and everything they were ever meant to be, but lacked to courage to live out.


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Rich Hoffman