Old NFO has published an essay by Ayn Rand dating back to 1944. It's prescient in the way it outlines the dilemma in which we find ourselves today. Here's an excerpt.
Individualism holds that man is an independent entity with an inalienable right to the pursuit of his own happiness in a society where men deal with one another as equals.
The American system is founded on individualism. If it is to survive, we must understand the principles of individualism and hold them as our standard in any public question, in every issue we face. We must have a positive credo, a clear consistent faith.
We must learn to reject as total evil the conception that the common good is served by the abolition of individual rights. General happiness cannot be created out of general suffering and self-immolation. The only happy society is one of happy individuals. One cannot have a healthy forest made up of rotten trees.
The power of society must always be limited by the basic, inalienable rights of the individual.
The right of liberty means man’s right to individual action, individual choice, individual initiative and individual property. Without the right to private property no independent action is possible.
The right to the pursuit of happiness means man’s right to live for himself, to choose what constitutes his own, private, personal happiness and to work for its achievement. Each individual is the sole and final judge in this choice. A man’s happiness cannot be prescribed to him by another man or by any number of other men.
These rights are the unconditional, personal, private, individual possession of every man, granted to him by the fact of his birth and requiring no other sanction. Such was the conception of the founders of our country, who placed individual rights above any and all collective claims.
There's more at the link.
Old NFO concludes: "Time to sit back and think about those words, especially as the left is doing its best to rile up the ‘masses’." I couldn't agree more! Click over to his place to read the whole thing. It's well worth your time.