January 20, 1934 - Editorial - Our Three Great Spending Sprees, by George Lorimer

From the first days of the New Deal there has been a persistent drive by many of its proponents against our so-called "rugged individualism." In articles, in speeches and in talks over the radio they have carried on a propaganda of contempt for individualism, never speaking the word without a sneer and an intimation that it connotes oppression of the helpless and various degrees of crookedness and corruption.

As a matter of fact, individualism simply means self-reliance, self-help and initiative. It carries in itself no greater potentialities of corruption than a movement to the Left. But as a preliminary to preparing us for a new social state, the three elementary virtues of individualism must be discredited and broken down. So we have this constant contrast of the morality of the Left Wing with the immorality of the old Right Wing. But like the girl in the Dutch Treat play, it may prove on examination that individualism has been "more sinned against than usial" by the Left Wingers.

Practically without exception, critics of individualism ignore the fact that Government has had and has today, under our laws, full power to deal with dishonesty and corruption by individuals and corporations. That it has failed to use this power to the full in the past is due not to faults inherent in individualism, but inherent in our system of politics and justice.

Patrick Henry once said: "I know of no better way to judge the future than by the past." Today we are judging the future by an almost complete disregard of the past. (pg. 22)

Comments: What the Constitution is supposed to do is guarantee to each person as an individual certain fundamental rights that cannot be taken away unless it is for punishment for crime after conviction. The opposite of a individualist society is what is called a collectivist society. Socialism is a prime example of a collectivist type of society. In a collectivist society, there are no individual rights. There are only the privileges the rulers grant the people in the laws they write. William Channing described such a system back in 1838 in a public address on self-culture, where he said that "The People had no significance as individuals, but formed a mass, a machine, to be wielded at the pleasure of their lords."

Back to Old Weekly Press Table of Contents