(Part of a series: The Problems Associated with a Collectivistic Society)
The seventh problem associated with a collectivistic society is: it teaches us that nothing is our fault.
The previous six problems have primarily dealt with the financial issues that plague collectivism and socialism. Certainly, the financial aspect of socialism is what drives conservatives from it. Government control affects both monetary and social aspects of politics. While it can be good for civil rights, socialism has negative aspects in terms of social issues.
Of course our ultimate goal as a society would be to treat everyone equally, without discrimination or prejudice. However, no amount of governmental interaction can force people to be nice to each other. For this reason, socialism can never accomplish a complete erasure of discrimination socially, nor can any other governmental thought process.
Not necessarily socialism, but collectivism does teach us that nothing is the fault of the individual. Consider a modern media craze-body positivity. The activists will tell us that the problem is society’s construct as to what “beautiful” is, and to a certain extent, that is true. Photoshop has made unrealistic expectations about what people should look like. But the rebuttal to this is just as bad. “You are beautiful the way you are” is saying “Don’t make positive changes”. Blaming society as a justification for lack of exercise and poor eating habits takes the weight away from the individual, and places it on the community. People are responsible for their own actions. No, it is not society’s fault that you don’t feel beautiful; you are your own person. You can personally make a choice to eat better and exercise; that way, it will be on you to make yourself feel better, not society. It’s not their responsibility, because they should be focusing on making themselves the best they can. Who has time to take care of themselves as well as care about how everyone else feels? Pardon the insensitivity, but the real world is far from a Disney movie. It’s simply not the responsibility of society to make every person feel thin and beautiful, when saying that would be a lie. Not everyone is thin, and that’s perfectly acceptable. But lying to people about how they look is not positive.
In association with the concept of “many hands make light work”, if each individual realized that they carry a specific weight in a society, and executed said weighted responsibility, that society would thrive. But placing a greater emphasis on the group and ignoring the individuals that compose it, leads to its ruin. We blame society for our problems, but we are society. It is time for individuals to make individual changes rather than wait for the impossible change in group dynamics. Individuals can lead groups of people to societal changes, but until the individual realizes that they carry a responsibility, no change can occur.
We are individuals. We are independent. We compose societies. But let us not forget, that within this collectivistic composition that we carry weight. We are not dependent on others to carry our weights for us. We labor, we sow, and we reap. We don’t relinquish our uniqueness for some greater gain, because we know that being individual in our own uniqueness is a far greater gain than anything a collectivistic society could promise us.