Shahid Mahmood wrote this in the International Herald Tribune under the heading “Culture of Violence:”
“The gun culture in the US encourages individualism. It fosters a society of individuals – everyone isolated from each other. This is not freedom.”
Anyone with a milligram of libertarianism in their souls should be able to sniff this one out as rank silliness.
Individualism doesn’t cause anyone to be isolated from anyone else.
Two people deeply in love remain individuals. All members of a family remain individuals. All participants of a community remain individuals. All workers in a business or on a farm or in a cooperative commune remain individuals. All citizens of a society or a state or a nation or an empire or a one world government remain individuals.
Even those who are forced against their wills to participate in violent collectivist nation-states, whether they’re called socialist or communist or fascist or corporatist or simply authoritarian and are treated like so many ants in an anthill are nonetheless still individuals.
Every society is a “society of individuals” and no “gun culture” or article called “Culture of Violence” can take any individual’s individualism away.
“This is not freedom” Shahid Mahmood writes.
But this is precisely freedom.
It is freedom because it is the individual – not some king or emperor or dictator or Supreme Soviet or president or group of ruthless sociopaths with armies and political power or even a self-important pontificator who writes for the International Herald Tribune – but always and only the individual who choses if, and why, and when, and for whom and for what to be isolated or to be part of a group.
But in the end Shahid Mahmood tips his hand:
“True liberty means responsibility – not to oneself but to the people around you in need.”
But true liberty means precisely responsibility to oneself because only individuals, even when acting voluntarily in groups, have both liberty and responsibility.
No individual can be responsible for another unless both individuals voluntarily choose to take on those roles. Forcing an individual to be responsible for another gives no one liberty; coercion strips both giving and receiving individuals of their liberty and their responsibility.
Shahid Mahmood reveals himself to be a member of the “coercive collectivist culture,” an ideology that treats individuals as mindless cattle for the benefit of an elitist ruling class.
Shahid Mahmood wants others (“society”) to be responsible for him.
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