Their are two groups of people in the United States. There are those who, at the very heart of things, believe that it is better to be part of a team in the game of life, and those who believe that it is better to compete as individuals in the marathon of life. Each group has elements of the others group. Even though the running back and the defender are both members of a team, each individual is counted on to do their individual jobs. Just as the marathon runner runs alone, he or she must depend on the support of others along the way if he or she is to do their best.
The basic problem lies in the fact that the country used to be one of marathon runners, but the number of those who want the country to be a country of a giant team have grown into a majority.
This country of marathon runners allowed everyone to be which ever they chose to be, marathon runners, or if you wanted to play a team sport, well of course, those who celebrate individualism and freedom, including freedom of choice, said it is your choice to make. Those who believe in “team”, having been given the freedom to make their own choices chose to give up some freedom for the power and security of the team. Because they tend to believe in “team” over individual, the use of the power of numbers is just part of their character. Another “natural” belief by those believers of “team”, is that team is best, therefore, if your are forced onto the team, it is the best for you, and everyone else. The individualists tell the others they should enjoy their freedom to be individuals-but if you choose to not believe in individualism, under the beliefs of the individualists, you have the choice to choose not to be an individualist. If you do the math, one side of the equation allows for subtraction, and the other side of the equation is all about the power of numbers (you don’t gain numbers by allowing subtraction), like it or not, and over time it is easy to see what will eventually happen.
One group is all about freedom and choice. The other is all about power of numbers and power/majority wins/rules. One is about self-reliance, and individual rewards. The other is about winners and losers, and imposing one team’s will over the other.
Is the one flaw of democracy is that it allows others to vote away their individual freedoms and others individuals’ freedoms, too, whereas it can’t happen in reverse? If you allow freedom of choice, and one of the choices is less freedom, you can’t very well tell people they can’t make that choice.
One of the very great things about a team, one of the things that gives it such power and makes it so alluring to some, is that it can focus the energy of numbers against individuals (think double team), and it can bring help to individuals who are weak.
Weak individuals almost have to go with the “team” way. Often, very strong individual are drawn to the additional power of being a part of a team, and take comfort in the team’s ability to help the weak individuals.
So, if you look at things mathematically, the individual freedomists, the marathon runners, are simply doomed by their own freedom. It is simply a matter of time.
Then, when the “teamers” are able to use their numbers to force their way, forcing individualists to join the team, as is their nature, the nature of joiners, their power snowballs. Remember how we all used to laugh at the Soviet Union when they would report that their totalitarian leaders had received 100% of the votes, and all of the votes of their “democratically elected” representatives were simply rubber stamps for the Stalin’s, and those who followed. Not nearly as funny, nowadays.
Eventually, once individual freedoms had been so stripped for everyone except the leaders, individuals were willing to stand up to tanks with their bare hands to try and get their freedoms back. The tank drivers had lost their freedoms, too, and so they didn’t have the heart to follow the orders of the team, and made the individual choice to not fire on those who were willing to die for what the tank drivers wanted almost as much.
Is that the flaw with totalitarianism? Eventually, the totalitarian leaders are faced with the choice of killing those who refuse to knuckle under to the team, those who are willing to die to get their individual freedoms back, depending on enforcers who’s own desire for their own freedom makes them unreliable, or fleeing the people whom they had basically enslaved (remembering that at one time, it was the majority that had willingly joined the “team”.
If those are the natural conclusions, to those two scenarios, then where are we, as a country?
There is areason why we have become so polarized, as a people. Each group has begun to see the writing on the wall. The “teamers” can see that they have things in the bag for the future. The math has worked for them, and their numbers can only grow, through the use of their power, until it becomes absolute. How long will it be before we start getting those unanimous votes from our congress? Who knows. The United States, with a history of individual freedoms that no other people on earth have ever had, the process may take a little longer than it would normally. Maybe, because of the same history, the time to demand their freedoms back might come sooner.
For the individualists, they have just watched the majority of their countrymen vote the country founded on individual rights and freedoms into a country based on the power of the majority, at the loss of individual freedom.