Collectivism (progressivism) depends on the anonymity of being a member of a crowd. Crowds will do things an individual never would. The old saying “There is safety in numbers” is never more true than in the political arena.
If an individual comes up to you on the street and demands your wallet, that constitutes a robbery. If a group does it, it is a political movement.
I personally know collectivists (all progressives, socialists, Marxists and communists are collectivists) who will make demands at a party meeting that they would never walk up to me and make to my face. Perhaps they know that I will defend myself aggressively in a one-on-one situation or they know deep down that what they want amounts to an immoral choice (it is always clear that members of a collective understand the concept of private property – the “pure socialism” of the Occupy Wall Street movement devolved into a fight over property and donated money, for example).
How does voting for an individual or party that promises to take money, property or liberty from someone (and restricting someone’s right to do something you don’t like is taking another’s liberty) improve you as an individual. It can temporarily improve your CIRCUMSTANCES with an influx of support (money, in-kind services, etc.) but how does it change YOU? Are you not the same person you were before the confiscation and redistribution? Do you not have the same limitations and restrictions?
The only thing that has changed is that you now have even less of a reason to address the causes for your ineffectual performance and more of a reason to petition the government to take more from others so that you may have more and doing it in a group insulates you from the individual moral choice of what is basically theft. Your motivating force becomes working to assure that you can achieve through coercion and control what you could not in direct competition with others like you. While you complain about the unfairness of an uneven playing field, you work to create a guaranteed inequity via the coercive power of a government that favors you above others – collectivists never want equal treatment, they want SPECIAL treatment to redress some wrong they believe they have suffered. Progressives/collectivists often have no intent of enjoying a particular thing, they just want to stop you from enjoying it. To them, that constitutes “equality.”
Progressives blame the existence and growth of “income inequality” on capitalism – and claim that this is an inherent characteristic of capitalism. Let’s get this straight – all of this is NOT a feature of capitalism or the free market. Capitalism guarantees that the entire pie gets bigger. The growth of “income inequality” is actually an example of how the progressive desire for control and central planning of an economy distorts that economy and actually tilts it in favor of one class or the other. The reason for the middle class “squeeze” is that progressive politicians need the poor for their votes and the rich for their campaign contributions and cronyism. They just need the middle class to shut up and keep paying the taxes that they have no power to avoid.
In a free market economy, success is dependent on the ability of the individual and the currency that serves as a medium of exchange and is the measure of success is money – in a “progressive” economy, success is dependent upon influence and the medium of exchange is favoritism and the measure of success is status within the collective.
If progressives truly understood economic matters, if they wanted to truly decrease “income inequality”, they would reduce government, not increase it – but they won’t – because less government creates less opportunities for graft and corruption. Since progressivism is inherently immoral (or amoral as some have proposed) and about power over others, as long as it exists the very problems that it claims to solve will continue to grow – as will the cries from progressive/collectivist groups for the government to take even more to be redistributed to them.