Like the king from Alice in Wonderland, I like to “begin at the beginning” when I approach a problem. With that in mind, just about every post I write begins with the premise that the healthy individual and the healthy society are interdependent. One cannot exist without the other. So when we talk about policies, trends and movements that impact the individual it naturally follows that we must also consider their impact on society.
To clarify, a “healthy” individual, in my view, is one who can take care of his own needs and the needs of his dependants without unduly burdening others in his society. A healthy society, I would say, is one that offers the kind of environment and protections where people can succeed at being healthy individuals. Others may be able to improve upon those definitions but they should suffice for now provided no leftists or lawyers join the conversation.
The reason I bring this up is that many conservatives, particularly those with libertarian leanings (and I tend to include myself in that group), are understandably apprehensive about anything that appears to advocate what’s best for society if it seems to come at the expense of individualism. However, any time two things are interdependent, the first priority must be to protect each from mortal injury in order to ensure their mutual survival. In my essays, when I opine about what is best or necessary for the future of our society, please know that I have weighed this against what is necessary for the future of the healthy individual as well. Never do I intend to place the society above the individual unless I perceive that to do so is ultimately necessary for the survival and perpetuity of the healthy individual. Some may disagree with my conclusions, and I will welcome those debates with my best attempt at an open mind because the importance of getting this right from the beginning cannot be overstated. The question of what matters more – the individual or the group – is central to the war between Left and Right.