If you look at the list of countries with the greatest economic freedom, you’ll also see some of the richest. They often have the most purchasing power per capita, while the poorest countries have the least economic liberty.
The United States and Canada are the most free and the richest. Venezuela and Cuba are the least free, and the poorest. Comparing the basics between the countries makes it obvious: a romance between respect for individual rights and progress is a necessity.
- Read more: Economic Reforms Will Not Lead to Democracy in Cuba
- Read more: The Cuban Constitution Is Anything But Democratic
But there seems to be another kind of romance between poverty and collectivism, in which individuals are subordinate to either community, nation, race, the people, proletarians, etc.
The key question is: if economic evidence leans so heavily toward capitalism’s superiority, why do so many countries insist on different versions of socialism and collectivism?
Because the reasons by which a person is (consciously or unconsciously) a collectivist aren’t economic; they’re philosophical and psychological.
Types of collectivist
First, there is the ignorant collectivist. Among them are many young people who love what they consider “an ideal.” They see only the surface, without understanding what lies beneath. They need to feel part of a group and so the collective appeals to them. They fail to relate cause and effect, which does not allow them to see, for example, that what brought about the wealth of the United States is not due to geography or fate or the exploitation of poor countries. It’s due to a constitution and bill of rights that assures every citizen has freedom to produce, express and trade.
This type of collectivist, as he develops observation and ability to relate concepts, ceases to be such.
On the other hand, there is the envious collectivist who sees collectivism as a solution to his psychological weaknesses. He hates everything good for simply being good. They want destruction, poverty, anguish and death over production, wealth, happiness and life.
The insecure collectivist does not trust his ability to live independently. Internally he believes his survival depends on the minds and capabilities of others and is thus willing to obey orders and repeat slogans.
The hypocritical collectivist is not opposed to market freedom during the process of wealth creation, but curses capitalism and blesses collectivism once that wealth is obtained. He loves products generated by capitalism, but wants others to produce them.
The fashionable collectivist is all talk. He has managed to live a good life, but that talk contradicts all the values that allow him to progress. Listen to Hollywood actors. All of them are millionaires thanks to the capitalist system, but raise the flag of collectivism whenever they have an audience.
The most dangerous of all collectivists: the one who doesn’t know he is a collectivist. He was educated in altruism but lives off his brothers. He feels guilty about his fate, merits and achievements, and believes that others have acquired rights over his existence. He will not vote for Castro, nor Maduro nor Kirchner, but supports the intervention of the welfare state, taxes, redistribution of wealth and social plans, while also condemning the morality and selfishness of Messi to hide his money in a fiscal paradise.
All collectivists consciously or unconsciously believe the end justifies the means. Since sacrifices rarely come with volunteers, they end up justifying the use of force as a tool for obtaining larger goals.
To end collectivism, those who are neither ignorant nor envious, nor hypocrites, nor insecure must review the standards by which we live. It is important to put the individual before the group, and reason before whimsy.
EspañolSupporters of the President of Ecuador Rafael Correa are seeking a constitutional reform that would allow him to be elected to a third term. In Nicaragua, Daniel Ortega, who's been in power since 2007, has expelled the opposition from Congress. Bolivian President Evo Morales keeps pushing for indefinite reelection; he's been in power since 2006. Read more: Economic Reforms Will Not Lead to Democracy in Cuba Read more: Latin American Leftists’ Concern for Human Rights Is Pure Farce Let's not even talk about Venezuela President Nicolás Maduro, the anointed successor of Hugo Chávez, who rose to power in 1998. The worst of them all is the Cuban regime, where the Castro brothers, Fidel and Raúl, have governed with an iron fist since 1959. In all these cases except Cuba, parties or current presidents came to power through an initial election that was clean, and which seduced voters with attractive promises. But then they changed the rules to stay in power indefinitely. What's curious, aside from the obvious similarities between countries, is that each leader took a similar path, which Chavez called "21st century socialism" — attacks on private property, state intervention on the economy, that sometimes, like in Cuba, reach the extremes of communism. Socialism, from an economic point of view, is about concentrating all power on the state: money is controlled, as is the exchange rate and most production. This is complemented by the harassment of political movements with opposing ideologies. It has been this way since Lenin and Stalin in the Soviet Union, since Mao Zedong in China, Ceaucescu in Romania and Pol Pot in Cambodia. // Leaders of Latin American are following a similar path, only adding the socialist component: they want absolute power, for indefinite time, but they also want to control the economy and hate private enterprise. They know that political power, when combined with economic power, is practically unstoppable.