The Fallacy of Collectivism

The essence of collectivism is that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. That a group, through a mysterious and unexplained process, becomes an entity in and of itself. It separates itself, becomes independent of its constituents, and acquires needs, desires, and actions of its own. Such a miracle would, of course, require nothing short of this magical entity acquiring its own mind and body.

Simple arithmetic shows us that this is not the case. If everyone in a group is added up, the number will still be the sum of the individuals in that group. There will be no extra mind or body for that mysterious entity.

And if all the people in the group are gathered together, all you will see is a collection of individuals. The mysterious entity that collectivists believe in will not be there. It cannot be seen or heard. It is no less an illusory figment of man’s imagination than any other God.

But, unfazed by reality, collectivists continue to push their ideology into the very language we use. How many times have you heard that Society needs something? That Society progresses or declines? That The People wish for something?

It is almost as if collectivists think that all the constituent individuals of this group have monolithic desires and act in unison. As if they were in fact a hive.

Have you heard how the needs of the group supersede the needs of the individual? Such a feat is not possible if the group is just an abstract concept symbolizing a collection of individuals. The claim is absurd because the group is not an entity separate from its constituent individuals, and has no needs of its own. What it really boils down to is that some individuals claim their needs supersede the needs of others, and they use collectivist language to justify why their needs are prior by deferring to a “greater” entity.

Collectivism is, in practice, a tool of control. It is the attempt by some individuals to hide their oppression of others by dressing it up as the mere humble expression of the needs of an abstract entity with its own wishes. This is not entirely dissimilar to a King claiming his right to rule is backed by an imaginary Man in the Sky, and that he is really but a humble servant of God.

The attribution to an abstract concept a set of characteristics possessed only by real entities is called Reification, or the logical fallacy of misplaced concreteness.

Concepts don’t act, ideas don’t have needs, and abstractions don’t feel pain. Collectivism is the logical fallacy of misplaced concreteness turned into an ideology. It is used by tyrants to elevate abstractions into Gods, so that they may justify their proclaimed right to beat down actual, real people.

Thankfully, the power of this manipulation, just like these abstract entities themselves, exists only in the mind.

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