Saturday, August 18, 2012

Everything you need to know about collectivism - Or - Mediocrity, a lofty goal

So my 20 year old son is taking a class called "Argumentation". Of course I'm thinking, facetiously, "okay, that's practical given the present state of the education budget." Now my boy, I'm proud to say, is highly motivated - which explains his disappointment on day-one when he was assigned to a group consisting of five students who'll be his teammates for the entire semester. Their first assignment was to come up with a controversial political issue to build an argument around. He quickly, and I suppose slyly, text (or is it 'texted'?) me asking for a topic or two. Of course I was back to him with like a dozen topics in like a dozen seconds.

To make a short story shorter, he discovered right away that his cohorts weren't the least bit enamored by the subject matter. In fact, he strongly suspects that he'll be carrying their load for the entire semester. Great for them, not so great for him. A somewhat demotivating experience, you might say.

Upon hearing his story, I said "Jonathan, you've just learned everything you need to know about collectivism. Now if you want to have some fun in your next political science course, bring up this topic. That is, how any form of collectivism, call it 'groupism' if you like, results in the reduction of the productive and the expansion of the unproductive."

We could call it the striving for mediocrity. The pulling from those who produce and the distributing among those who don't. The sad thing is, mediocrity, as an objective, is entirely unattainable. For it inspires the unproductive to do virtually nothing (while their sustenance is a granted) and the productive to do virtually nothing (while the bulk of their production is distributed among the unproductive). The end result; virtually nothing.

Note: We can say the same about growing government in general. Without question (literally without question), government growth comes directly at the expense of private sector production. As Europe has taught us, this is not a good thing.

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