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Here’s a transcript of our conversation:

Brittany: Hi, Ronni.

Ronni: Hi, Brittany.

Brittany: So, I think our listeners probably know that we are not fans of collectivism, at least.

Ronni: Yeah. No, not really?

Brittany: Not really, no. And I think it’s because, you know, it’s an ideology that places the needs and wants of a group over those of an individual, which is, you know, the complete opposite of individualism. It’s the opposite of everything that we try to teach here. So, not too fond of that. And, you know, if you look at history, which, aren’t you, did you tell me you’re a big history buff? Or did you say science or both?

Ronni: I’m more of a math. I know some history at some time periods, but not in whole on the whole, no.

Brittany: Okay. I like history, but I don’t get to do enough of it anymore. I should. But the scary, scariest governments, if you look at history, with the worst abuses against people, have all been the result of what I call groupthink, or what people call groupthink, which is people thinking in terms of a group. Right. Not, not as an individual. So, I mean, we have socialism, we have communism, Nazi Germany, you know, China’s current situation. These are all examples of what happens when we treat people as a group. And it doesn’t end well. You know? Spoiler alert, it never ends. Well, so one theme throughout all of our episodes though, is this strong belief that communities are a big part of living in a free society. But wait, isn’t the community just another group, right? Like, why is this different than the collectivism that we speak out against so much? So, I’m so glad you asked. And by you I mean me.

Ronni: I was actually thinking about it. So you’re right. I think we really care a lot about our communities, so I think it’s important to figure out the difference.

Brittany: I read Ronni’s mind, basically, I’m very talented. So I wanna answer the question today is community, just another form of collectivism? And as I love to do, Ronni putting you on the spot again. What do you think? Actually, I don’t like the way I’m going word that. What, does community mean to you?

Ronni: I think, well community is, you know, immediately I think of my neighbors, but community is everyone that you interact with that you see in person, or I guess you could have community that are online communities, but just people that you engage with and interact with and make up part of your own small world.

Brittany: Yeah. I mean, that’s perfect. I don’t think I could even add anything to that. communities are, they’re just so important. Cause we can’t avoid living around people, you know? I know some pretty extreme individualists who’ve like gone into the woods and tried to live by themselves, and it’s just one, it sounds really lonely too. You know, part of the reason the free market works is because, you know, Ronni, if you grow tomatoes and I have honey, and you have like, you know, we all have these different skills and we can trade with each other. Or, you know, if you were a doctor and I was, I don’t know, something else, if I was a painter and you were a doctor and I needed medical service and you needed your house to look pretty, you know we could have that division of labor. So nobody really wants to, and some people do wanna live alone, but you are kind and can’t avoid people.

Ronni: Well, I think also humans are social creatures and I think that’s part of us. And so I don’t think we have to, you know, deny that part of ourselves because Yeah. Communities are, they still make up our lives and they are still important and yeah, we need to socialize.

Brittany: Exactly. So like, let’s talk about some examples of community. You know, you have the most obvious one that you mentioned, Ronni, which is family, right? And that’s a community. You have your neighbors. You also said that you also have, you know, if you guys go to church, then your church, that’s a big community. or maybe, you know, your family does homeschool co-ops or these like homeschool pods as they were being called for a little bit, you know, could be your school community. If you go to a school, you know, maybe you play soccer, it could be your soccer team or any other sport. But there’s one key factor of these communities that is different than the groups in collectivist governments. And this is gonna be like the main thing that makes it different, and that is that it’s voluntary, right? You get to choose what house you live in. So your neighbors become the community that you choose. Some people like to get into the neighborhood before they even move into a house, right? Yeah. Because they wanna see if that’s a community. Do you ever do that? You’re more, I was gonna say, I think we’re kind of the same age. You’re about the same age, but you’re definitely more of an adult than I am. Did you, do you look at neighborhoods and neighbors first before you moved in somewhere?

Ronni: I would’ve, except when we moved into this house, we were moving across state lines. So we did not have the ability to stake out the neighborhood as much as I otherwise would’ve liked. But I think if I was moving more locally, then absolutely I would know which neighborhood I wanted to move to.

Brittany: Yeah. I think, yeah, I think that’s a smart thing to do, right? But, so, yeah, people do that. It doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to get along with all your neighbors. I think there’s always gonna be spats, but there’s also spats in any community you’re in, just ask any siblings, right? They’re always gonna bicker or do something. I was gonna say, I feel like you know this already. But, you know, it does mean you have an incentive to get along, which I like. Right? Because you’re all living in the same place. You all have to work together in some aspect. So I think that’s really important. And that’s the same with other communities. I think the only one that I mentioned that you don’t really choose is your family. I mean, that’s a big difference because one, you love them and you are stuck with them. So better learn to love that. But communities are important because, you know, again, they’re a part of the world. where we actually can live independently without government. One of my favorite things to write about, and I think I’ve probably done a bajillion episodes on here about that, is that without communities, we really can’t make an argument that we can live without government. I don’t think it’s possible, because think about it. So you have the county, you have your state, you have the federal government especially, and they’re so far removed from us, right? Somebody living in Washington DC doesn’t really know what Ronni and her family need. They don’t know because they’re too far removed. So they don’t know the needs of, you know, each small community. But that doesn’t stop them, of course, from thinking that they do know what’s best, right? And they’ll try to pass these laws on. What do they do? They create like a welfare state and they give all these, you know, tons of money to helping people. You know, there’s food stamps which help people get food if they can’t afford food or free healthcare, whatever it is. That’s what they do because that’s the only thing they know how to do. They know how to take our money and to create these big, programs. But that’s not how it’s always been. There used to be different ways, and that was, you know before the welfare estate got so big, communities helped each other out. And that’s, it’s a time I wish I could go back to, and I don’t wanna say it doesn’t still exist because I definitely live in communities where even my friend groups where, you know, if one of us needs help, the other, the other is there, there’s somebody there. So today, again, some people don’t know their neighbors. They don’t even know who lives next door to them or know who, you know, what they need or what their life is. But back in the day when everyone did, they were able to help each other out. You know, if, if somebody lost their job, the neighborhood might get together and, you know, collect some food for them or help them in whatever way that they needed. Maybe help them find a job. My friend Max Borders, he, we had him on the show before and he writes books about the importance of community. And he talked about his grandfather’s town a long time ago in, in North Carolina. And there was, I can’t remember what the word was. They had like, these celebrations, not celebrations.

Ronni: The barn raising.

Brittany: Yeah, that is what it’s called. How did you know that? Is that a common thing?

Ronni: Well, I used to watch like musicals, like Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, or I don’t know, like, and they would always, you know, do the barn raising. It was a, but I don’t know.

Brittany: I wasn’t embarrassed. I’m so glad you knew that because No I’m a big, I’m a singer. I’m a musical theater fan, but I, that’s the one my school did that I was in but senior year, so That’s funny. I’m so glad you knew that. Yes, Barn raising, is that right? Barn raising. So that’s when like, if somebody’s barn would burn down or get or needed to be fixed, the whole town would come together and they would like fix it. But it would be like, almost like a party. Like you’d make it fun, right? Am I getting that right? Yeah.

Ronni: No, I think it is Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. Isn’t it that movie or musical that they go to the barn raising and that’s where the, or else I’m thinking of a different one, but yeah, it’s ’cause they needed all the men to be able to push up the sides of the barn. So they have to get them all together. So that’s why they turned it into a party.

Brittany: That’s so funny. But yeah, I barely remember, again, I saw that play once and it was in high school. And I’m not gonna tell you how long ago that was for me. Cause I don’t wanna feel bad about me being old. So, you know, today a lot of, one way that I think community is really still seen in our society is churches. That churches are really good at filling that role. And the religion I grew up in, we had our own welfare system. So if you needed help, like there were people, we had like farms and stuff where people could give you food. Like there was you know, you could go to this little store and they could help you out and help you find a job until you got back on your feet. So I really love that. I love that there’s still community and people pitching together. So churches fill that role and that’s great. You know, but since the government has created such a big welfare state, that’s made people less community-driven. Because think about it, if I think, Ronni, that my neighbor’s gonna be taken care of by the government. Why I don’t, you know, why should I get to know my neighbor? Why should I help? Yeah. If you know, they’re gonna take my money anyway and they’re gonna help my neighbor, why would I do that twice? And so it’s almost like the government’s big welfare state is incentivizing people not to get to know their communities, not to help out each other. And that’s really sad. So people just assume the government’s gonna take care of everybody else, you know? And so we’ve stopped these communities where we all pitch in and we all help each other. And that to me, again, is just so sad. So if we relied more on communities, we wouldn’t need such a big welfare state. And maybe we’d get to keep, you know, some of our hard-earned money that they keep taking from us. So another thing my friend Max wrote about in one of his books was about his grandfather’s dental practice. And I really love this story. So his grandpa was a well-known dentist in his small community for, you know, years and years and years. And when someone couldn’t pay, he offered his services for free or for a very small payment, or I think he even accepted like trades for it. And basically, it wasn’t because there’s a lot of pride, you know, people want to be able to pay for themselves. Yeah. and I think sometimes it was just like, he wouldn’t ever send a bill. Like, he wouldn’t ever act like it was an act of charity, but he made sure the people in his community that needed, you know, dental care got what they needed without having to worry about it. And that I just love because that’s, you know, that’s the kind of society I wish we still lived in. And I think that we still do a little bit. Right. I do think that there are still traces of that in our communities today. Like I said in my friend group, even we do that. You know, I know that if something happened, I’d be taking care of churches or another great, you know, little community. I don’t know. Do you have any communities other than the ones I mentioned, Ronni, that you and your family?

Ronni: I have at different times. Actually, one of my favorite communities as far as helping was when my kids were very young. This is when I lived in California. There was a mom’s group and a mom’s organization. And we didn’t just get together for play dates, which we did do but we, it was a little more organized. We had different, we divided our kids into different age ranges. And so we had the parents of those age range kids all play on certain days of the week. So everyone knew we did things like we had, oh, there was a babysitting co-op, which was the most amazing.

Brittany: Oh, that’s really cool.

Ronni: And so we would swap off, watch each other’s kids that we already all knew each other and our kids knew each other. So we would swap off babysitting for points. And we had a point system fun. So we just created.

Brittany: That’s so fun.

Ronni: It was really the best because a lot of us, you know when you have young kids, you don’t always have the ability to pay for babysitters. or you don’t know babysitters or who you can trust. And so we just, you know, it was free because we all, well it was free in that we treated each other’s labor and babysitting. But it was a really great, community. And I wish I had that mom community where I live now, actually.

Brittany: That’s really, really cool. I love that. And now I think about it, that was similar growing up in a, in a religious community is there was always like, I made so much money because I would babysit, you know, so, yeah. That’s really great. Thank you for sharing that. So, alright, so this is, you know, this is the, the kind of life I think we should get back to, or the kind of society because I think that if we let people help more, then we wouldn’t need, you know, the government so much. And what’s really sad is the government sometimes punishes people for trying to help without them. There was a guy who was giving haircuts to homeless people for free a couple of years ago, and he didn’t have a license to give them haircuts. And so the government was fining him and like threatening to arrest him. It’s like, wait a second. Crazy. We used to be able to help people. Isn’t it? And they do that with churches. Churches who try to, let the homeless sleep, like house the homeless. They’ll yell at them for not having a permit to let people like stay overnight. It’s so silly. It’s like the government wants us to be dependent on them. So, yeah. Crazy. So in closing, you know, communities are groups. They are groups, but they aren’t using force like collectivism. You know, collectivism is this forced thing where you all have to do what the group wants without any input and it’s funded through this theft and it pretends to know the needs and wants of everybody, but it just, it can’t, it’s too far removed. So communities and collectivism, I can see how they might be confused because they both involve a group, but are very different. And in my opinion, and I think Ronni would agree, these, we need strong communities again, for us to be in a position where we can be a more free society. So we’ll end it there.

Ronni: It has to be voluntary.

Brittany: That’s the big point. Yes. Has to be voluntary. That is the biggest, biggest aspect. Thank you for mentioning that. All right guys, we’ll end it there and we will talk to you soon. Please don’t forget to, you know, like, and subscribe, and share the podcast with your friends and Ronni, Until next time, I will talk to you later.

Ronni: Alright, see you soon.