The Cooperative vs. the Collective

After reading some of the replies to my post refuting the collective, I find myself troubled by the question of whether or not people even realize that there is a natural alternative to the fictitious notion of the collective.  I came to this question when I read several RNL reads who I respect and who I was previously convinced understood this issue affirm the notion of a “limited collective.”  They seemed to be arguing that the collective does exist, and that it is actually necessary in order to perform certain functions for society that individuals cannot perform.  Now, it could be that the problem I am sensing is one of equivocation: these readers are using the term “collective” to describe a different conceptualization of the natural order of society than the understanding usually understood by the term.  However, I strongly suspect that this is not the case.  Instead, I believe that what is really happening here is that the extent to which the notion of the collective has been accepted and assimilated into our society is revealing itself by creeping out in the commentary of those who believe they understand the real nature of our struggle.  In other words, even the people who think they are fighting the problem have adopted certain fundamental assumptions of that very problem into their own understanding of the natural order.  The consequences of this assimilation are that, no matter what means these people employ to fight the problems they see in society, they are doomed to perpetuate those very same problems because their solutions have the same fundamental flaws built into them.  This is how it is that the Republicans and conservatives can be adamant in their insistence that they are nothing like the Liberal/Progressives while, at the same time, their proposed solutions contain the same basic principles as the Liberal/Progressive policies they supposedly oppose – just in a different form.  So, I thought it time I offer a different way of looking at things all together.

Let’s start with the notion that we need government to do anything.  We don’t!  That is a lie told to us by those who would rule over us and it’s high time we understand this.  You say we need government to build roads?  Tell that to Vanderbilt.  You say we need government to build canals and pipelines?  Tell that to Rockefeller.  You say we need government to build bridges?  Tell that to Carnegie.  You say we need government to build and manage utilities?  Tell that to J P Morgan.  All of these men built their own infrastructure using their own money.  In many cases, they did it in spite of the government, not in cooperation with it.  This same principle applies to defense.  The men who faced down and defeated the British at Lexington and Concord were not government troops.  They were the militia: a crucial fact whose implications are lost on us now that we have internalized the poison that is the collectivist ideal.

In truth, it wasn’t until the government started to make them into public enemies so politicians could campaign against them that big business started seeking to cooperate with and control our politians.  These things all started with and as a reaction to the Progressive movement and its notion of the collective as a political ideology.  So, in a very real sense, the belief that there are things only government can do and the assertion that business controls government are actually creations of collectivist ideology.  I would highly recommend the History Channel’s “The Men Who Built America.”  It will show you how people build things without government help.  The real problem was greed.  These powerful men couldn’t control their own ambitions, and the people couldn’t resist the temptation to give their political power to other ambitious men for the promise of making their lives better.  In short, instead of dealing with the problems created when a few men violated natural law by using natural law, the American people embraced the Progressives, and they led us down a path that has abandoned natural law entirely.

Under natural law, the alternative to the notion of the collective is the cooperative:

Definition of COOPERATIVE

1a : marked by cooperation <cooperative efforts>

b : marked by a willingness and ability to work with others <cooperative neighbors>

2: of, relating to, or organized as a cooperative <a cooperative store>

3: relating to or comprising a program of combined liberal arts and technical studies at different schools

Definition of COOPERATION

1: the action of cooperating : common effort

2: association of persons for common benefit

Now, at first glance, many will be tempted to think this is a distinction without a difference – and they’d be wrong!  There is a huge distinction between the cooperative and the collective.  As I explained in my last post, the collective is a single entity run by an oligarchy or dictator.  Therefore — by definition — the collective only serves the needs and desires of the central leadership.  Whatever benefits may make it to the masses are purely due to whatever good will or benevolence may be in the heart of that central leadership.  And even then, those benefits may be taken away at the whim of that same leadership.  However, the cooperative – again, by definition — is composed of individuals.  Thus, it serves the needs of each and every individual within it.  And this distinction makes all the difference in the world.

First, the individual is part of a cooperative by choice.  If he wishes to leave, he is free to do so, whereas, a member of a collective has no such freedom.  Second, as a collective is a mutual effort where a collection of individuals work for the common cause, that cause is subject to their will.  In other words, the cooperative can change and adapt to the needs of its members.  Again, the members of a collective have no will of their own: they are subject to the will of the central leadership.  Additional strengths of the cooperative are that it can be specialized and/or scaled.  You can have a series of specialized cooperatives for trades, otherwise known as guilds.  You can have collective bargaining cooperatives that allow for many businesses to assist each other without having to combine, which inevitably violates natural law by forming a pseudo collective known as a corporation.  You can have cooperatives that govern the local community, with smaller cooperatives that govern the Counties (i.e. State government) and a smaller still to govern the States (i.e. Federal government).  And the whole system remains diverse, flexible, responsive to the individual and the individual’s needs, and – most importantly – firmly within the confines of natural law.  In other words, you have a commonwealth: a common wealth!

Definition of COMMONWEALTH

2: a nation, state, or other political unit: as

a : one founded on law and united by compact or tacit agreement of the people for the common good

b : one in which supreme authority is vested in the people

6often capitalized : an association of self-governing autonomous states more or less loosely associated in a common allegiance (as to the British crown)


When you boil it all down, this is the essence of the principles and ideals espoused in the Declaration of Independence.  Once these principles and ideals are understood, the only question left is how the cooperative will handle its leadership: or how it will govern itself.  And that is what the U.S. Constitution proscribes: the means by which our founders’ cooperative decided to govern themselves.  The evidence that the founders knew and understood all of this is still with us today.  How many States actually have “commonwealth” in their full names?  The answer may surprise you.  Go look it up sometime.  But understand: there is an infinite difference between the natural order of the cooperative and the fiction known as the collective.  One is the natural order of the universe, the other a lie.  One works, the other is doomed to fail.

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5 thoughts on “The Cooperative vs. the Collective

  1. Communist collective has been tried an does not work. The powerful become obsessed with power and thus the push to produce humans with light eyes and dark hair. The greed and power make one man feel he is God and can do anything. The collective won’t work because more than most will not cooperate with it. Freedom and liberty mean different things to different people. But one common things is everyone is special in his own right and can not thrive in a collective. The men wanting to take all the people and push to one area will fail because we won’t be herded like sheep into anything or for anything. We will keep our guns and keep these men with these grand ideas at bay and oust when necessary.

  2. I’m working with a Bulgarian, good hard working fellow with a deep distaste for the Communist system. Interesting fact about living in Communism…
    If you’re going to survive, you had better be a good underground Capitalist!

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