An article in the New York Times criticizing Rex Tillerson, President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee to be U.S. secretary of state, sums up perfectly the collectivist mindset in our time, in the era of empire.
Tillerson is the chief executive of Exxon Mobil and, therefore, doesn’t fit the mold of the standard political or bureaucratic hack that is normally chosen to become secretary of state. Not surprisingly, given that he comes from the private business sector, his perspective about life is different from that of the standard collectivist.
Just consider the opening lines to the article and you’ll see exactly what I mean:
Struggling to keep Iraq from splintering, American diplomats pushed for a law in 2011 to share the country’s oil wealth among its fractious regions.
Then Exxon Mobil showed up.
Under its chief executive, Rex W. Tillerson, the giant oil company sidestepped Baghdad and Washington, signing a deal directly with the Kurdish administration in the country’s north. The move undermined Iraq’s central government, strengthened Kurdish independence ambitions and contravened the stated goals of the United States.
Mr. Tillerson’s willingness to cut a deal regardless of the political consequences speaks volumes about Exxon Mobil’s influence. In the Iraq case, Mr. Tillerson and his company outmaneuvered the State Department, which he has now been nominated by President-elect Donald J. Trump to lead.
“They are very powerful in the region, and they couldn’t care less about what the State Department wants to do,” Jean-François Seznec, a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, a research group in Washington, said of Exxon Mobil’s pursuits in the Middle East.
Do you see what I mean? In the minds of collectivists, the duty of the citizen is to serve the Empire. Serving the greater good of the state is supposed to be the be-all and end-all of the citizen’s existence.
Imagine a gigantic bee hive. The bees have one purpose in life: to serve the greater good of the queen and the hive. That’s how the collectivist views the citizen in our age of empire. His job is to the serve the empire and subordinate his life to the greater good of the collective.
The pursuit of happiness? The quest to make money? The freedom to live one’s life as one wishes? They are all secondary and subordinate to the needs and demands of the empire. Just like a bee hive.
Keep in mind that we are talking about Iraq here. That’s the country that the U.S. Empire invaded and occupied under bogus and fraudulent claims that Iraq was about to unleash a giant WMD attack on the United States, with mushroom clouds supposedly about to appear all across America.
Tens of thousands of Iraqi people dead, maimed, or tortured. Countless homes and businesses in Iraq destroyed. The entire Middle East set aflame in violence, conflict, and civil war.
All this against a country that never attacked the United States or even threatened to do so. All for the glorious imperial aim of regime change, the forever quest of the U.S. national-security establishment to oust independent foreign rulers from power, including democratically elected ones, and replace them with stooges whose loyalty to the Empire is unquestioned.
Oh, and let’s not forget how everyone is expected to thank the troops for their “service” in Iraq. What is that “service”? Invading and occupying a country that never attacked the United States and, in the process, killing, maiming, torturing, and destroying people, homes, and businesses who never did anything against the United States.
All without the constitutionally required congressional declaration of war. And all against the provisions of the UN Charter, to which the United States is a signatory. And all contrary to principles against wars of aggression set forth at Nuremberg.
Nonetheless, no matter how illegal, how immoral, or how deadly and destructive the invasion and occupation of Iraq have been, under the collectivist mindset it is considered the duty of the citizen to rally forth in the defense of and service to the Empire. Everything must be done to preserve the fruits of “victory,” no matter how much more death, injury, and destruction that entails.
Contrast the collectivist philosophy with that of its opposite — individualism. Why should Rex Tillerson, Exxon Mobil, or any other American citizen or company sacrifice their liberty and their pursuit of happiness for the sake of what the Empire has done in Iraq?
Why should it matter to any American that the U.S. Empire has come up with another of its many Rube Goldberg schemes to fix the endless woes resulting from its endless foreign interventions, even while collectivists, interventionists, and imperialists bewail the possibility that foreign regimes might be intervening in America’s elections by disclosing the truth about corruption within the collectivist political movement?
Why should any American give one whit for the U.S. government’s attempts to maintain a brutal, corrupt, and tyrannical foreign regime that it has installed into power through an illegal, unconstitutional, and immoral war of aggression against another country, especially one that has killed, maimed, and destroyed so many innocent people?
Indeed, why should any person ever subordinate his own life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for the state, the empire, or the collective? Why shouldn’t everyone be free to live his life the way and pursue his own dreams the way he wants, so long as his conduct is peaceful?
Why shouldn’t the role of government be limited to protecting life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness rather than destroying them in the name of empire and interventionism?
The New York Times article highlights, in a fundamental sense, what has gone wrong with our country. By abandoning the philosophy of individualism and liberty in the Declaration of Independence and embracing collectivism, statism, and empire, America lost its way.
The only way to get back on the right track is for the American people to reject, fully and completely, the collectivist, interventionist, and imperialist paradigms that have destroyed liberty and killed, maimed, tortured, and destroyed countless tens of thousands of innocent people. Maybe Trump’s nomination of Rex Tillerson and other cabinet nominees who favorably cite Atlas Shrugged in their intellectual development is a positive sign of things to come.