Collectivism holds that the individual has no rights, that his life and work belong to the group (to ‘society,’ to the tribe, the state, the nation) and that the group may sacrifice him at its own whim to its own interests. The only way to implement a doctrine of that kind is by means of brute force — and statism has always been the political corollary of collectivism.
There will be, in the next generation or so, a pharmacological method of making people love their servitude, and producing dictatorship without tears, to speak, producing a kind of painless concentration camp for entire societies, so that people will in fact have their liberties taken away from them, but will rather enjoy it, because they will be distracted from any desire to rebel by propaganda or brainwashing, or brainwashing enhanced by pharmacological methods. And this seems to be the final revolution.
Fascism, nazism, communism, and socialism are only superficial variations of the same monstrous theme — collectivism.
How does something immoral, when done privately, become moral when it is done collectively? Furthermore, does legality establish morality? Slavery was legal; apartheid is legal; Stalinist, Nazi, and Maoist urges were legal. Clearly, the fact of legality does not justify these crimes. Legality, alone, cannot be the talisman of moral people.
A dangerous sign of the times
One of the most pathetic — and dangerous — signs of our times is the growing number of individuals and groups who believe that no one can possibly disagree with them for any honest reason.
I am so old that I can remember when other people’s achievements were considered to be an inspiration rather than a grievance.
The savagery of crowds
A crowd is not merely impulsive and mobile. Like a savage, it is not prepared to admit that anything can come between its desire and the realization of its desire.
The mentality of crowds
In crowds, it is stupidity and not mother wit that is accumulated.
Illogic in crowds
A crowd thinks in images, and the image itself calls up a series of other images, having no logical connection with the first … A crowd scarcely distinguishes between the subjective and the objective. It accepts as real the images invoked in its mind, though they most often have only a very distant relation with the observed facts … Crowds being only capable of thinking in images are only to be impressed by images.
The obedient always think of themselves as virtuous rather than cowardly.