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Archive for the ‘Collectivism’ Category

Locus of Control: Socialism vs. Individualism Part I

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Locus of control is a psychology term which refers to a person’s belief about what causes the good or bad results in their life. An internal locus means that a person sees themselves as responsible for good or bad things that happen in their life because they control their own lives. Socialists focus on an external locus where people are not in control of their lives and the results, good or bad do not come from the individual, but that the control in there lives came from outside forces and in the case of socialism, from a collective. This comparison may seem facile to some, but it is direct, relevant and correlative. This external locus of control was prominent in past cultures and society when the church had much more influence in people’s lives and most countries were monarchies. People had little or no say in the lives, were poorly if at all educated, and  where at the mercy of authoritarian whim. 


In the last 200 or so years, we have seen that democracy has replaced monarchies and people have become more independent, educated, and more importantly, informed. In the case of the United States, a rugged individualism replaced feudal and ecclesiastical supplication, peonage and darkness. We had the resources for man to expand his horizons and define his boundaries through sheer will, hard work, and risk. With this came the responsibility for success or failure. The locus of control turned inward. 

We now find ourselves at a point in time where there is transition again. Socialism promulgates the external locus of control, therefore responsibility, and affects to people’s lives. Whenever you hear a socialist, or as I call them in today’s instance, Neo-Coms, it is always someone or something outside the individual that is responsible for the bad things that may happen to them, and the good things as well. Everyone is a victim. For instance, the wealthy take a beating in socialist circles. They have been blamed for just about everything from the latest credit and financial crunch, to why people do not have healthcare, which is not the issue, but rather who will pay your healthcare bills. Conversely, when good things happen, it’s the community that did it, as in it takes a village. 

The layer beneath this mechanism is that socialism and or better put, agents of socialism are dealing with an increasingly ignorant population, in spite of the overload of information, a society that has forgotten and is ignorant about themselves, how they got there, and what made and makes them great. Call it the death of American Exceptionalism. Steve Deace would say we lost our vision. We are both correct. Are socialism and it’s agents responsible for this or are they just taking advantage of it? You could argue both. The point is that people are becoming less self-sufficient, self-reliant, have more information available, but cannot discern truth. The rugged individual is becoming extinct and socialism in all it’s collective glory is on the rise. I will continue this thread on Friday in Part II of this article subtitled, “Political and Social Entropy”. 

Thank You for reading this blog

Written by James Lagnese

September 24, 2008 at 11:42 am

Locus of Control: Socialism vs. Individualism Part I

leave a comment »


Locus of control is a psychology term which refers to a person’s belief about what causes the good or bad results in their life. An internal locus means that a person sees themselves as responsible for good or bad things that happen in their life because they control their own lives. Socialists focus on an external locus where people are not in control of their lives and the results, good or bad do not come from the individual, but that the control in there lives came from outside forces and in the case of socialism, from a collective. This comparison may seem facile to some, but it is direct, relevant and correlative. This external locus of control was prominent in past cultures and society when the church had much more influence in people’s lives and most countries were monarchies. People had little or no say in the lives, were poorly if at all educated, and  where at the mercy of authoritarian whim. 


In the last 200 or so years, we have seen that democracy has replaced monarchies and people have become more independent, educated, and more importantly, informed. In the case of the United States, a rugged individualism replaced feudal and ecclesiastical supplication, peonage and darkness. We had the resources for man to expand his horizons and define his boundaries through sheer will, hard work, and risk. With this came the responsibility for success or failure. The locus of control turned inward. 

We now find ourselves at a point in time where there is transition again. Socialism promulgates the external locus of control, therefore responsibility, and affects to people’s lives. Whenever you hear a socialist, or as I call them in today’s instance, Neo-Coms, it is always someone or something outside the individual that is responsible for the bad things that may happen to them, and the good things as well. Everyone is a victim. For instance, the wealthy take a beating in socialist circles. They have been blamed for just about everything from the latest credit and financial crunch, to why people do not have healthcare, which is not the issue, but rather who will pay your healthcare bills. Conversely, when good things happen, it’s the community that did it, as in it takes a village. 

The layer beneath this mechanism is that socialism and or better put, agents of socialism are dealing with an increasingly ignorant population, in spite of the overload of information, a society that has forgotten and is ignorant about themselves, how they got there, and what made and makes them great. Call it the death of American Exceptionalism. Steve Deace would say we lost our vision. We are both correct. Are socialism and it’s agents responsible for this or are they just taking advantage of it? You could argue both. The point is that people are becoming less self-sufficient, self-reliant, have more information available, but cannot discern truth. The rugged individual is becoming extinct and socialism in all it’s collective glory is on the rise. I will continue this thread on Friday in Part II of this article subtitled, “Political and Social Entropy”. 

Thank You for reading this blog

Written by James Lagnese

September 24, 2008 at 11:42 am

Harmony and the Dream: The collectivist nightmare perpetuated from the left on us all

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In the New York Times this week, David Brooks discusses divisions in our society. Divisions that run deeper than economics, divisions that run all the way to perceptions. Mr Brooks simplistic, naïve and incorrect view can be deconstructed from the start. For some reason he juxtaposes democracy with authoritarianism, as opposites. That would be an incorrect assumption. The opposite of authoritarianism is libertarianism. Further on, Mr Books discusses the merits of a collectivist society. He believes that collectivists, using Asians as an example, see the world in terms of relationships as opposed to western individualists who see the world in terms of categories. He places the US and Britain on one end, China and Japan on the other. One of the benefits he lists is lower suicide rate. Really? I don’t believe the suicide rate in Japan is any lower than the US or Britain. Lets get to the crux of it. Brooks’ exuberance with collectivism stems from the coronation of Barack Obama as the democrat nominee and the possible future that represents. Obama talks literally in collectivist terms. It’s a future where the government controls every part of your life, from cradle to grave. To the socialists and communists, this is music to their ears. But while I am on this talk of David Brooks, collectivism, and China, lets look at some facts. I would ask David Brooks how collectivism worked out for Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn and the millions of other Russians that died or were imprisoned in the gulag archipelago. I wonder how collectivism was such a great thing for the thousands of people that were killed in Tiananmen Square, their bones crushed into the pavement by the tanks, their blood paving the way for Brooks’ collectivist utopian China. Lets talk about Stalin, and the millions of people he had killed; so many that the number may never be known, but it is in the tens of millions for sure. Brooks’ opposition to an individualistic society is based on the assumption that it is an illusion. The inescapable fact that even Brooks cannot escape is that individualist societies do better economically.  The reason for this is that anyone can make it if they work hard. Expectations can be set high. May be the underlying reason he sees harmony in collectivism is that it destroys the individual and causes people to have low expectations. People living under such conditions do so without a lot of hope. Couple this with the nihilistic materialism that exists in such cultures, the totalitarian regimes, one can understand the low expectations and “harmony” that exist. I would also posit that if such collectivist harmony is such a great thing, then why do people flock here? I see no one flocking to China. It’s simple: the Chinese are not free. No matter the economic success China makes, it will be on backs of those in veritable peonage. Mr. Brooks, let me tell you a little secret. People want to be free. Free to believe what they want, free to say what they want, free to do as they want, free from the government killing them if they disagree, or possibly worse, being re-educated and shipped off to the far ends of the country. I would bet my life savings that if all Chinese people saw how people lived in the US, I bet they’d rather live here too. What isn’t an illusion Mr. Brooks, is that you would have us emulate their collectivism, which is conformity at any cost. The price we would pay is incalculable.