|Nuremberg shows its community spirit.|
“We have stopped being a collection of individuals, and have become a collective organism. A single mind. And in a sense, a single body – we even have to breathe as one, line by line.
We transcend our individuality. And it feels wonderful.”
And he concludes:
“Worship also attempts to connect with the most transcendent reality of all – merging with the divine.
Granted, not everyone in a choir will reason that singing derives from a universal desire for transcendence. But they all know intuitively they’re part of a community.”
And that's probably the key to it all. To a leftist, this sense of losing the individual in community is a self-evident good. After all, it transcends “selfishness.” So it partakes of the divine. The group is divine.
But any rightist reads that first sentence with horror, and thinks of the tight coordination of the Nazi Nuremberg rallies or the North Korean mass choreographed displays in sports stadia. The solidarity bred by a choir? Like Jack's choir boys in Lord of the Flies? Community is the danger; individualism is what partakes of the divine.
|Pyongyang shows its community spirit.|
And I am here to explain why the left is wrong and the right is right.
Individualism is no more “selfish” than community. Every community, by definition, excludes as well as includes. Not all sentient beings are members, or we would not refer to a community. If, then, the members of that community seek their own mutual interests, they are corporately acting as selfishly as any individual would be who did the same acting alone. So selfishness is unrelated to individualism. Either a group or an individual can act either selfishly or unselfishly.
At the same time, individualism means taking responsibility. If you surrender that moral responsibility to a community, and defer to their judgement, you are waiving any ability to act morally. You are, on the other hand, perfectly able to act immorally: if you do something immoral as a member of a group, you are still individually responsible. You cannot say you were “only following orders.” But if, conversely, you help the poor only because you see others doing it, or because it improves your social position, it is no longer a moral act.
|Jonestown shows its community spirit.|
This is why “Community,” losing your individuality in the group, is in fact traditionally considered one of the great temptations to sin. “The world, the flesh, and the devil.” Following the social consensus, the community, is “the world.” First named.
Community was the whole idea behind Fascism. That's what the symbol of the fasces was meant to represent. And, of course, community was also the whole idea behind Communism, as the name declares. It was the community of the day who put Jesus to death. A sense of community is, in turn, the underlying essence of all racism, all discrimination, all prejudice. It is the reaction to one "not in our group." Communitarianism has produced the worst human evils in history.
Community is indeed a human need, or at least a natural human want. Just like food and sex. Accordingly, we legitimately seek community. There is nothing wrong with that. But we do not idolize it, any more than we should food or sex. Bad things then quickly happen.
The important thing is that, when we seek community, we seek it on the basis of morality; we seek to belong only to groups engaged in moral behaviour. And retain our individual judgement.
|Selma shows its community spirit.|