Summary: Those who call themselves, "conservative", profess to hate collectives, but they love collectivism when necessary to support their economic interests and ideology. Examples: "support the troops" and corporations.
This letter was published (edited) 3/27/13 in the Colorado Springs Independent under the heading,
The conservative line.
Those who call themselves "conservative" tend to focus on the individual. But not when it comes to "the troops" and corporations.
Doug Holdread's letter, The military's two faces, observes that conservative, "support the troops" rhetoric is sometimes a euphemism for "don't criticize spending on the military-industrial complex." When funding wars, "deficits don't matter."
But deficits do matter -- a lot -- when it's an individual focus to "support the soldiers." Example: Last September Senate Republicans filibustered a $1 billion jobs bill to address 11 percent veteran unemployment; it would have put veterans to work tending federal lands and staffing local police and fire departments. Republicans said they opposed it because there are veterans' job training programs; never mind those programs may not result in actual jobs.
And conservatives love "unions of money" -- called corporations -- that use the collective power of money to increase return on capital. But they despise unions of persons that seek to increase returns for work. They even say, "corporations are people, my friend." To make that clear, a Montana Republican state legislator proposes each corporate collective have the right to vote in elections. That's even as Republicans pass laws making harder for real people to vote.
Conservatives love get-tough-on-crime laws for people, but promote deregulation -- read lawlessness -- to increase corporate "freedom" to pollute, injure and kill. "Burdensome regulation" prevents our "freedom" to rob banks. But Republicans oppose laws preventing banks from being "too big to fail", which makes them "free" to extort taxpayer bailouts based on threats the U.S. economy will crash without them.
Conservatives say they hate collectives ... smacks of commies, doncha know. But they love conservative collectives when they support their economic interests and ideology.
To understand why it's not either the individual or the collective and why we must attend to both for true freedom, see What's This Site About.
Freedom? Liberal vs. Conservative: Freedom seems a simple concept, but there are different and opposing views of freedom. For some time I've realized that, if people are to be truly free, it's necessary to have a broader view of freedom. That's because, when the system fails, many individuals also fail through no fault of their own.
For those who don't understand why unions, which are collectives, are necessary to prevent wages being driven by national policy to between subsistence level and zero, see
Why Unions and a Minimum Wage are Necessary, 5/14/14.
Unions and a minimum wage are absolutely necessary. That's because the number of jobs in what's called the "labor market" is manipulated by federal-level policies. U.S. wages are depressed by illegal corporate collusion to drive down wages, offshoring, importing foreign workers, using prison labor, and hiring undocumented workers without labor protections that allows wage theft.
To understand why the Libertarian Menace is more dangerous that the Communist Menace ever was, see Explaining Liberal Principles.
On the conservative fear of Collectives, see Collectives. Libertarians say that any idea of a collective dimension of reality is the ridiculous creation of a "socialist mind" and that anyone who thinks otherwise is a common fool. Hardly. Most of us acknowledge many collectives, all of which are greater than the sum of their parts and demonstrate collective behaviors which are different from their parts: families, military platoons, and mobs.
To understand how the "invisible hand" works see Invisible Hand Drops Ball & Economics 101. It explains "free market" weaknesses and failures and why government is necessary for "market forces" to effectively and efficiently balance supply and demand.
To understand how competition has undermined the Colorado Springs' economy, driving massive and growing infrastructure backlogs, see Colorado Springs: A Broken Region.
On what can be done locally to respond to massive regional manufacturing and IT job losses, see Economic Development: What to do locally? The same principles apply to the U.S. economy.