The Individual and the Collective

PT       2002-08-20 
Paraphrasing one of my literary heroes, H.L. Mencken, my last words on the gallows will be to condemn collectivism in all of its forms. In the continuing struggle between "individualism" and "collectivism," you will always find me in the company of the former. I recall a discussion I had with classmates back in high school, wherein I uttered what I then considered a cute phrase: "I distrust any form of organization from two-handed poker on up." In later years, I have modified the thrust of that comment, coming to the conclusion that we need one anotherís cooperation if we are to live in a condition of liberty wherein each of us is free to pursue our individual "bliss" (to borrow from Joseph Campbell). What we have in common with one another, is a need to come to the defense of one anotherís individuality, a truth now made evident by the police-state hurriedly being assembled by the Bush administration.