Monday, January 4, 2016

Socialism is Favoring Relationships Over Individuals

The latest news from China is that a "circuit breaker" has been applied to their stock market to keep it from crashing.

In other words, the "needs"  of society to have a stable stock market have been placed above the rights of individual stockholders to sell or buy as they please. That in a nutshell is the entire dilemma of looking at everything from a social perspective. How can society be more important than the people of which it is composed?

I made a second book trailer for Our Lady of Kaifeng: Courtyard of the Happy Way that addresses this issue.

This trailer is about the personal and spiritual issues addressed in the novel, but if you are an economist or a political science major, don't let this put you off. The issues are all the same, whether the relationship in question is one between two people or among all the people in a country or region. What is paramount, the individual or his relationships?

Over and over again, we are told that relationships are more important than individuals. For instance, yesterday, I saw a TED video that claimed people are happiest if they have stable relationships, not when their personal achievements are at their best. In other words, if you spend your entire life loafing on the couch, but your sweetheart is right there with you, that is better than being a successful athlete, businessman,  hunter-gatherer, explorer,  artist, writer, scientist, farmer, rancher, privateer, craftsman, silversmith or shopkeeper.

Why do you suppose those people are trying so hard to sell us on being low-achievers with good social connections? Could it be because that is what socialism is all about? People who work in factories as automatons and people who work in offices as bureaucrats have this in common: that they try to solace themselves for their less than creative day-to-day life by having good personal relationships outside work.

But, of course, these relationships cannot be based on admiration, respect or hero worship, so then the connection itself is elevated to a place of worship over and above the individuals. People sacrifice their own desires in order to keep the relationship aloft. They put in circuit breakers  to prevent themselves and their partners from getting out of the relationship --  for the sake of the relationship and against the best interests of those involved.

I once had a friend in England who was a big fan of 1984 and Animal Farm.  I  convinced him he should read Atlas Shrugged. But all he liked out of that huge book was the story of the Twentieth Century Motor Company.  He thought the whole rest of the book should have been trimmed off as excess. He especially did not see what the point was of recounting Dagny Taggart's love life. To him, that was entirely spurious.

Unless we understand that the minimal relationship -- one consisting of only two people -- is a model for all our more complex relationships, we won't be able to fix the problem of putting society before the individual.  That's why the relationships in Rand's books are important.  That's also why unrequited love needs to be the model for all love.  Love precedes the relationship. It does not derive from it. The person comes first. The relationship is built on individual feelings,  not the other way around.  Society could not exist if it were not for the people. No god could survive without worshipers. If we all die of starvation, where does that leave society?


  1. I should get around to reading some of Ayn Rand's novels one day. However, I really want to finish yours first so I can review it.

    1. Thanks, Julia. I am so glad you are reading my book, and I do think you will enjoy Ayn Rand's books, too, even if you don't agree with everything she has to say.