Tag Archives: collective

Noah Webster Didn’t Define “Collective” as a Noun

Noah Webster (A.D. 1758-1843) [courtesy Google Images]

Noah Webster (A.D. 1758-1843)
[courtesy Google Images]

“Toland,” one of the regular “commenters” on this blog, posted the following comment.  I replied.  Both comments appear towards the end of one of my recent articles where they’re not likely to seen by many more readers.. 

On reflection, I think this pair of comments deserve to be posted as an article to ensure that they’re seen by more readers:


Toland’s comment:


Searching the internet for info on this William Blackstone you mention, a few results from this very blog turned up. Someone in November of 2013 was, like you are now, asking fellow commenters for a dictionary definition of “sovereignty” that’s consistent with supposed “individual sovereignty” in American law.

Also, like you are now, this commenter was asking the “individual sovereignty” campaign to square their notion with Blackstone’s definition of sovereignty as “the making of laws”.

Sure ’nuff this commenter in 2013 got back a combination of complete silence, attempts to change the subject, and fancy song-and-dance routines in reply – but not one responsive answer.

So we see that a conspicuous hole in the “individual sovereignty” campaign is its inability to make sense in terms of any definition of “sovereignty” found in a law dictionary.

The flaw is that fundamental, take note. Though it’s possible this is considered a problem only in the “real world”, where facts and law matter.

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Posted by on June 9, 2015 in Definitions, Sovereignty


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The Collective Entity Doctrine

Collectivism vs. Individualism

Collectivism vs. Individualism (Photo credit: Lily Zhu)

For over a decade (and for reasons I’ll explain in another post later this week), I’ve understood that “democracy” is a collectivist form of government fundamentally identical to communism and socialism.  I am therefore more than a little intrigued by the terms “collective” and “collectivist”.

So, imagine my surprise when (last week) I stumbled on an A.D. 1988 Supreme Court case that dealt with the “collective entity doctrine”.   I’d never before heard of the term “collective entity” in American law and I had no idea that there was a “collective entity doctrine”.  That surprised me.  I don’t know about a lot of things–in fact, most things are unknown to me.  Nevertheless, given my interest in collectivist forms of government, and given that the term “collective entity” has been used by the Supreme Court in at least 9 cases since A.D. 1974, I’m almost amazed that I hadn’t previously heard of this doctrine.

In fact, according to the Braswell v. US case (below), there are at least three other cases (including the earliest instance, Hale v Henkel in A.D. 1906) which did not actually use the term “collective entity” but helped lay the foundation for what came to be called the “collective entity doctrine”.

Thus, the “collective entity” concept has been recognized in American law for over a century, but I just heard about it last week.  Apparently, I didn’t get the memo.  Nevertheless, I’m amazed by my own ignorance.  How could I not have heard of that concept before now?

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Posted by on July 31, 2012 in collective, Names, relationship


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