“[Let’s] look at the way collectivism violates the Ten Commandments. That is the very definition of evil to me. Let’s go through all ten and see how collectivism is a threat to each and every one.” Ben Shapiro
Ben Shapiro ▪ Centennial Review ▪ November 2014
Collectivism often prevails politically despite its policy failures. We should not credit the good intentions of this evil ideology. It violates the Decalogue beginning to end. Friends of freedom need to ﬁght back in moral terms, trusting God.
I’ve been asked to talk with you today about why freedom succeeds and collectivism fails. The answer, of course, is that diffuse knowledge beats centralized knowledge.
If you combined all the individual knowledge in this room, we’d all know more together than Einstein did. That’s why no one person is qualified to run a country or run our lives.
But there’s a broader question, and it’s more difficult. With our long history of collectivism failing and freedom succeeding, why is it that collectivism actually seems to win a lot of the time? It wins because we don’t recognize it’s evil and say so.
You’re Seen as Bad
We assume that the people promoting collectivism are good guys. They believe in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, they have all the best intentions. No, they don’t.
Their intention as collectivists is to shut you down, because they see you as a bunch of racist, sexist, bigoted homophobes who hate the poor. Collectivism is justified because you’re all bad people.
Collectivists are emissaries of an evil ideology, and we have to call it by its name. We have to speak about these things in moral terms.
Look at the hundreds of millions of dead bodies strewn around the globe, thanks to the Soviet Union, China, North Korea, and various other Communist countries.
Look at the crushing poverty that the collectivists have produced in places across the globe today, ranging from South America to Africa to Asia to Detroit.
Or look at the way collectivism violates the Ten Commandments. That is the very definition of evil to me. Let’s go through all ten and see how collectivism is a threat to each and every one.
Start with this: “I am the Lord thy God who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of bondage.” This is fundamentally opposed to collectivism. If we’re all individuals created in the image of God, we’re special and precious. No one gets to invade our rights just because they think they are superior to us.
Our rights matter more to us than the government. Across three millennia for the Jewish people, and for more than two centuries here in America, the working theory has been that if you tell me I am supposed to respect government above God, I will resist you with force.
Millions of people have died for their God, and speaking for myself, I will go to jail or even pick up a gun before the government of the United States tells me I’m supposed to violate my religious precepts.