"Individualism" is the view that, in social issues, the individual is the unit of value;
this is a moral corollary of the principle that each man is an end in himself. Politically, as an expression of this approach, an "individualist" social system is one that upholds individual rights.

Collectivism is an application to politics of the ethics of altruism. Since man exists only to serve other men, it says, individual rights are a myth; the group is the unit of value and the bearer of sovereignty.
No one can turn man into a cog of society; not into a thinking cog. All that one can accomplish by the attempt is to destroy man. A collectivist system, therefore, like any form of irrationality, is necessarily self-defeating, no matter what its specific policies or leaders.

Just as individualism is the politics demanded by reason, so statism is the politics of unreason.

- Leonard Peikoff in Objectivism, The Philosophy of Ayn Rand

This is a web page for individuals on Vancouver Island and associated islands such as Salt Spring - an alternative to the collectivism common there.

Listening to claims of what life on Salt Spring Island is like, one might think it is an elephant. (Recall the story of several blind persons describing an elephant based on their feel of parts of it - legs, trunk, tail, etc. all felt quite different, so were described differently. A great example of failure to integrate, failure to gain adequate knowledge by exploring further, failure to get the big picture.)

Those who claim it is a community paradise might be separated into categories of rich artist who makes money off-island, doddering do-gooders, those too stoned to understand, scam artists who don't want suspicion, and otherwise sensible people who ignore the widespread vandalism and the violence against people downtown.

Along the way we meet the "the lights are on, the dogs are barking, but no-one is home" person who describes society in the communist state of Cuba as parallel to Canada - morally equivalent, just different. She claims the totalitarian government treats everyone with dignity - the opposite to what refugees from Cuba tell us.

And the control freaks who are so paranoid about rental of homes that they will not let elderly homeowners rent their main building in the summer to earn money to pay the greatly increased taxes.

Somewhere there are the likes of whoever objected to putting a sewer system into the main town area, Ganges, so much they set fire to a barge of plastic pipes then on a later visit to the barge killed the dog that was put aboard for protection. Sick! (Unfortunately such behaviour tends not to be identified for what it is, in Dr. Zeus "can't we all get along now?" fashion.)

And there is a silent majority who have a pleasant life on the island and ignore most of the nonsense, pandering to it as necessary to profit. Some do quite well in business on the Island.

In good news, the Driftwood newspaper highlighted students who work part time (June 2007), and often has news of accomplished youngsters. In July and August 2007 they highlighted operations of the public library, which I find superior to the far larger Greater Victoria public library ssytem.

(An interesting sidelight: a real estate ad in August 2007 listed the attributes of a unique house and organic gardens, with wildlife and views and more. Advertised as "ready for sustainable, self-sufficient living", the challenge to self-sufficiency is the million dollar price that obviously won't be generated from the property itself. Better advertise it in Hollywood. :-)

Control Freaks and Hypocrites
While the amalgam of SSI activists cry for local control of building, they want local freedom of farm practices and subsidization of their activism from federal tax revenues. (Somehow there is a difference in trustworthiness of small farmers and individuals in general? That's the way activists behave. Is that tribalism? (That is, local small farmers are part of the tribe so cannot do wrong.) It is contradictory that they claim that small producers do no wrong while denying individualism.)
The typical activist is a Hypocryte.
They say "think globally" but complain about "economic globalization", except when promoting societies like Cuba as equal to Canada's. (Or is that "un-economic globalization", given the failure of the Cuban regime to produce ample for human life? ;-)
They want variety in things like foods, but also want to force people to use only locally natural materials to build homes (just as long as those materials aren't trees).
What is going on?

Beside their erratic psychology, activists are using whatever buzz-speak terms they can to get others to support their agenda.

A common thread of their rhetoric is collectivism, through "democracy" if they can (tyranny of the majority), otherwise they are happy to initiate the use of physical force. (Note the protesters who prevent others from using shared roads - public roads paid or by all taxpayers - and are praised for their actions even after convicted and jailed.)
Most of these activists accept Marxist beliefs about people, most clearly as economic presumptions - though the more naiive don't recognize the foundations of the beliefs they follow (some will rail against ideology while clearly following the teachings of one), and some just want to selfishly force their pet notions. (Observe that Marxism always leads to that, as proven by its history of regimes whose "leaders" live well while peasants starve, currently playing out in North Korea, a state set up by Communist Chinese aggression which split Korea and today providing a clear contrast with the relatively free South Korea.)

Marxism and related derivatives of Kantian philosophy teach that the human mind is not capable of creating nor of self-discipline. Without an individual human mind there can only be collectivism, which Marxism explicitly supports. (Karl Marx's maxim "from each according to his means, to each according to his needs", 1875, widely published in "Critique of the Gotha Program" speaks to that.) It gets bizarre when leftist activists promote art, surely a creative undertaking at least of sincere artists (rather than those who think art can result from throwing junk on the ground). But Marxism not only justifies use of any means to its end, but teaches that contradiction is good - you can have your cake and eat it too. Hence it is easy for Marxists to develop into, and accept, power structures with functionaries and dictators who live in luxury while the masses they claims to support struggle.

Their popular opposition also want to control people, just different aspects of life for different underlying reasons. That opposition in B. C. is typically a combination of Christian religion and mercantilism.
Mercantilism is a form of collectivism, justifying its economic means for the good of "the nation" or such but like Marxism a chosen few get unearned wealth - just more explicitly and directly. Hence we see:
- huge amounts of money spent on Olympic games, which is justified as economic promotion but benefits certain industries much more than others.
- continued existence of barriers to entry into careers and business fields, despite popular opinion they should be eliminated (milk farming, for example).
In the past Christianity was rampant in government in western Canada, evident for example in laws against selling goods on their sabbath (Sunday, whereas other religions' day is different), but specifics of that have faded substantially. Yet Christian teachings remain in the view that people must be controlled because they cannot be trusted to avoid temptation - essentially the same line peddled by Marxists.

Aren't those activists and politicians of the so-called "left" and "right" conceited? They:
- think they know best how to live other people's lives
- believe they have a right to do so
- preach as though they are so smart they can determine what is necessary with little investigation (often going on emotions instead of facts, as Hitler taught people to do).
- think they can predict the future completely.

Is there an alternative to being bounced between the collectivists of Marxism and Mercantilism?
Yes! The system used to substantial degree in peaceful productive societies like Canada: protection of individual rights.

Pandering to xenopobes is common on Vancouver Island.
Rational purchasing will include factors such as transportation distance and risk, and communication effort (including the benefit of easy face-to-face dialogue) in decisions. While those attributes are a strength of local suppliers, they are rational factors to integrate with others in making the purchase decision. (Other factors include selection (lacking on the island) and responsiveness (see the Bolen Books comment below).

However, many advertisers pander to nationalism of the statist/tribalist variety.
Hence Island Farms, the dairy products producer, advertises on Vancouver Island that it is "island grown" but on the mainland as "B.C. grown".
Yet their major competitor, a name usually associated with the mainland, gets some of its milk from Vancouver Island - while Island Farms has a processing plant on the mainland. (In both cases it is most likely that processing and packaging operations of each company are on both sides of the Strait of Georgia to suit transportation of raw milk to processing plants and of finished product to market.)
Now both companies are pricing milk with Island in its name much higher than without. In the case of Saputo of Quebec, its Dairyland is the lower priced brand and the one with "island" in its name the higher. The label does not show any difference, except that for Dairyland packaging Saputo's address is in Quebec whereas for the other it is on Vancouver Island (it is well known that Dairyland/Saputo have milk supply in the Comox Valley). Island Farms' connection is less clear - they do not list a common name like Saputo but the postal code is the same, which means they are on the same side of the same block (most likely one address, as Canada Post assigns a unique postal code to any address that receives a lot of mail). Hopefully the packages with "Island" in the name actually contain only from Vancouver Island (they have to make the effort (= cost) to keep milk streams separate from cow through package labelling).
Me? Counry Boy Keith just wants good milk at a good price! Do those companies care about that?

Here in the capital of B.C. the follies of politicians are even more obvious. So I offer Politicians demolish own credibility (a list of cases in B.C.)

On the advent of Amazon Canada, one of the Bolens of the established Bolen Books store whined repeatedly about that competition. Yet Bolen Books did not get a book for a customer, in over a year of supposedly trying, that Amazon provided in two weeks. My evaluation of Bolen Books' store is:
- major gaps in the selection
- confusing layout
- more a boutique store than a serious bookstore (much space taken by giftware instead of filling gaps in the selection of books; they apparently are strong on books for children)
Yet Bolen plays the Mercantilism card - expecting government to limit competition for her benefit.
A much better store in Victoria is Munro's, a modest sized store with selection that is well organized. Unfortunately it is downtown, difficult to get to by car and difficult to get into by wheelchair or scooter.

How many Victorians does it take to actually change a light bulb in Victoria? One to just get on and do the job, impeded by four who deny a light bulb ever wears out in Victoria.

Read my Purchase pages:
North of Victoria
Salt Spring Island
for comment on sources in Victoria, the lower island, and Saltspring - some very good.

Read other pages for some understanding of the failure of bad ideas:
Quotes by and comments on neo-Marxists
What about the little people?
Prior indications of terrorists and their targets
Individual liberties in the context of fighting terrorism

In defending freedom against those who want to control your life, it is necessary to name their game, to point out the immorality of their approach.
The good is obvious if you stop and think - the type of society in Canada and its allies, that substantially protects individuals from the initiation of physical force including by government. (The alternatives are obviously bad: starvation in North Korea, genocide in tribal Africa, stagnation in Mercantalist South America, and suppression in Islamic Totalitarian countries who work to destroy anything else.
So why do some people strive to destroy what works, instead of improving it?

Intellectual Property of Keith Sketchley, page version 2014.12.02
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