The Escape From Collectivism
The Escape From Collectivism by Jeff Thomas – International Man
Recently, I penned an article entitled “A Chicken in Every Pot,” which described the reasons why countries that have delved into collectivism are likely to slide further down the slippery slope once its addictive qualities have been introduced to the brain.
Since then, I’ve received requests to address whether it’s ever possible to fully escape collectivism once it has taken hold in a country. The short answer is “yes.” It’s always possible to kick an addiction, but it’s not easy nor without pain.
There are two forms of exit from collectivism. The first is national; the second is personal.
Ending Collectivism Nationally
Russia has crawled out of the collectivist tar pit, but not before an economic collapse in 1991. The political leaders that were responsible for the reinforcement of collectivism were able to bail out and retire in comfort to their dachas, whilst the hoi polloi suffered the pain of collapse and slow recovery.
East Germany made a concurrent recovery from collectivism but had a bit of help from the more free-market West Germany after their reunification. (This fast-track form of recovery is rare.)
The German recovery is especially notable, as the West Germans eagerly encouraged the East Germans to join the job market and otherwise participate in the then-vibrant West German economy. The initial result was that, whilst East Germans looked forward to the opportunity to have more money, better jobs, bigger apartments, and luxuries like new cars and televisions, they began whingeing immediately at the longer hours and increased productivity expected by West German employers. They were also miffed at the loss of holidays, extended paid leave, medical benefits, and other unrealistic collectivist perks that West Germans did not receive.
However, most Germans were of the same race and ancestry, so the East Germans could not cry, “discrimination.” As a result, they got on with the changes. However, the change in mindset was slow and, to this day, some older East Germans still grumble that they had hoped to gain free-market advantages whilst hanging on to collectivist perks.