I’m so blasted tired of talking about COVID, tortured puppies, population control, and any other Kafka-esque scene being painted into this week’s version of dystopia by the hyperventilating media. I have my moments where I pine for these sinister times to return to normal and there is a simple version of my life available to me again; one without face diapers, the worry of an impending culling of the citizenry into passported individuals and the rest of us Non-Vaxican-Americans who will inevitably be sipping from our own drinking fountains shortly, and instead returning to pre-apocalyptic conversations about kids’ soccer and the mundanity of working.
If people were honest, I think most of them around the world are just looking for something similar to me—a return to what “once was.” Those on either side of this debate about the authoritarian role of government are likely not a rebellious John Locke purist on rights, nor are they all individuals whom are dark hearted, Great Reset, Dr. Evils looking to ruin my life. The majority of people in this wall-less prison are just everyday conformists who want to “get back to normal!”
Perhaps you’ve heard or expressed this sentiment: “Get your damn shot already… what is the big deal? You’re killing our chance to make this nightmare all go away!”
I highly doubt that most Americans are summoning their inner Patrick Henry and recalling their heritage of natural law and principally standing up for whatever side they find themselves on in these tumultuous times. I surmise that most of our neighbors are simply looking to get back, with longing eyes, to the idolatry of the America they knew, before the next season of American Idol starts. The conversations around me seem solely focused around getting back to 2019 when we traveled freely, consumed all we could, and the structural issues of inflation, the supply chain breakdowns, dementia laden leadership, and heavy handed pandemic responses are far away memories, supplanted instead with the bucolic simplicity of “mean tweets” being penned by Orange Man Bad. Sadly, these days are not coming back soon and the American’s heritage of first principles of life in a republic are fading faster than a photo of the family in Back to The Future.
Liberty is messy. People will do all sorts of things that others see as outside the bounds of a good life.
Type A-spread-sheet-lovers, will always find themselves frustrated with the lack of order that humanity dishevels on the world at every sunrise. People will disagree, do dumb things, eat too much trans fats, make fun of the 54 transgendered options, and also create a spontaneously beautiful world filled with advancement, innovation, and creativity.
If COVID-19 has taught my small mind anything, it is that my responsibility to Liberty is not to hope for a quiet life. The satiation of my daily living that comes in my ability to numb hard questions with simple luxuries like travel, consumption and work is not the pinnacle of a life of liberty. The next era of America will be marked by a fight for first principles. Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness, I’m afraid, will have a new depth of meaning when the cabal is finished with its crackdown on the serfs. Take one look into the eyes of the Prime Minister of New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern, when she speaks of creating two classes of citizenry and you have all you need to know about the fight this has become. Interestingly her zeal for segregation isn’t limited to her as an individual but is now in the eyes of government officials everywhere; from the President to the Pork Belly Food Clouseau.
The Stamp Act Was 77 Pages and All Hell Broke Loose!
I am always surprised by the American Revolution. The seemingly inconsequential reasons for their desire to tell the King to “shove it” seem to pale in comparison to the issues we face today. Generalized, all they appeared to want was a seat at the table to speak on their interests, and for the lack of receiving it, they fought a 7-years-long war, were treated mercilessly, accused of treason, and cast out from society. Many lost their fortunes and lives all to stand up for what they believed to be their liberties. The leadership of the rebellion stood thoroughly on the hope that a life of principle would have more to offer than remaining in a world where their basic rights secured in the Magna Carta had been eviscerated for the convenience of refilling the coffers of the King without their say as British Subjects in the colonies.
I wish I had the luxury of the limited government of the founders. In our era, the government is a behemoth of permanent bureaucracy that has a say in everything from the migration of ducks to the amount of water you can flush in a toilet. God bless Rand Paul, but if we believe the fight is simply for the removal of Dr. Fauci, there’s an unfortunate parade of people ready to replace him that are equitably as awful, that if stood in a single file line, would stretch from Washington D.C. to Walla Walla, Washington. Any honest observation of the current “government” would have to conclude that the underlings in the departments run the show—and the politicians are only there for the theater.
The fight is over what Milton Friedman suggested:
The founders understood that liberty is something that has to be attended to, even over the smallest of things. If ills are looked away from, they pile up and the indifference to them becomes more than a garbage heap of intolerable acts, but is instead a weapon that will be used in the game of power that humanity has endlessly pursued. They also understood the sentiment that Friedman expressed, that governments are always filled with the wrong people, doing the wrong things and so vigilance to virtue and principles is imperative for a free people and a republic to survive outside of the gravitational pull towards despotism.
The last 3 generations of Americans have worked tirelessly towards their comfort and safety instead of towards the creation of a liberty preserving system. They looked at the messiness of liberty and held their proverbial noses. Their cries to the government were smiled upon and politically profited by anyone who could get elected. You can hear their noisy pleas for a benign despotism at every turn: “People shouldn’t be able to do that,” “That doesn’t seem fair that the rich get richer and the poor get poorer,” “Marriage should be whatever I want it to be so I don’t have to compromise on my feelings,” “Use my pronouns you filthy @#$%^!” None of these “ideas” are the pursuit of liberty. Instead they are the pursuit of affluential nonsense that has trained our citizenry’s minds towards an authoritarian world view. These are not serious conversations by a liberty-minded people. These are silly, infantile ideas that have only been afforded to us because of our affluent status in an era of economics that allowed us to look away from our liberty and worry about non-meaningful things.
I feel dismissive about the veneration of, and demand for, empathy of people’s “feelings” in relationship to governance, because woke-ism is a luxury. Be whatever you want to be, call yourselves whatever you want to, marry your dog if you can find a church to sanctify your union if it helps you fill the hole in your heart, but move along already… quit asking the power of the state to sanctify these small ideas. Using the influence and power of the state to make sure that we “celebrate diversity” is not a conversation for a serious world. The battle for liberty in the 21st century will be to dismiss these non-serious ideas from allegorically teenage minds for ones that matter to the adults in the room.
We find ourselves in this COVID mess because of the luxurious authoritarianism that comes from people wanting a quiet life. When satisfaction of self, through the strong arm of government, is the peak of existence, there is no citizenry in that end. COVID authoritarians love to say that we have the responsibility to society and should be giving up our “rights” to the collective so that everyone remains safe. Somehow in this plea for keeping others safe, arguments about helmets and speed limits and safety belts are always the de facto and elementary logic posited by the Virustoppo. My wearing of a safety belt is used as an example of how we as people already live under these governmental constraints as justification of the ruination of my small business, second class citizenry, and the perpetual state of fear I’m supposed to embrace. The right question to ask is not about the existing example as proof of concept and justification, but instead why is the government involving itself in any of these spaces?
The Declaration of Dependence
If I am really honest about the issues we face in the United States, as it relates to a pursuit of liberty, it starts with the rotten system that pervades every intersection of our lives and government. We no longer live in a system of laws, but instead a matrix of regulations. Congress passes unreadably large bills with no concept of what are in them, and instead empowers their minions to decide how to regulate the living breath out of everyone. The opposition party, usually made up of milquetoast “conservatives” battle around the edges in semantics and restrain nothing but a few immeasurable dollars or work to insert some hidden clause that allows for their donating constituents to gain a loophole with enough lawyers and money. Yet never is there a battle at the core of what actually is destroying the republic.
The opposition party are masters of conciliatory speeches but never winning any concessions that matter to the lives of those pleading for relief from the machine that seems intent on grinding us up. Jefferson’s words from the Declaration are a sad indictment of what this government by the people and by association, the people themselves have become. We are wired in the 21st century towards a disposition of suffering—and have rarely shown the gumption to right ourselves away from the despotism of our day. Many have sadly learned that they can use this evil machine of government to their advantage and have assigned to it far more than it was ever intended to hold. The layers of government are thick. From the lowest jurisdiction we are divided into, all the way up to the Federal Government, these institutions have powers now in spaces that impact every citizen, have a voice at every table, and a department for any issue. Nothing is decided without the cooperation of the government. If you think this an overstatement, try to open a business, try to not wear your mask, try to advocate for your kids at the school board, even if you sat lonely in the dark at your home, there would be some element of government that is around you, influencing you for simply by being alive.
These are the seeds we have sewn as a people. We degraded into the decision long ago that the government was the answer to every conflict large or small. Some of us were too busy making our money or raising our children to be bothered by what was happening behind the curtain. If I’m honest, it was less nefarious and more transparent than the image I sometimes have of the scheming, sinister snakes deciding how the serfs were going to live behind closed doors. This was done in the open. We watched it happen in front of us. We are the people who are disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable because it was much more convenient to allow this to happen than to stand up against it. After all, being a citizen is hard work and who has time for that?
So now we sit in our COVID prisons wondering when these people will let us out; and therein lies the issue.
The concessions to any argument about the individual and liberty are complete. The field is won by those who fought for it and they’ve constructed a system that has dismantled individual liberty and sadly, is unbeatable. I’ve argued before that our insistence to play by their rules or the rules we believe are still there from the Constitution is a fool’s errand. Believing that rational and enlightened documents have some compelling pull on these people’s hearts is laughable. They won’t play by the rules of the game because they changed the game, the rules, the boundaries, the players, the genders… everything. We, as liberty loving people, venerate a system that is dead—all that’s left is a husk we point to and plead with our foes to remember. There’s nothing left of the “Spirit of ’76” in the government those men and women left us, besides some parchment and a few cliché words plastered on t-shirts made in China. The only correlation in the current form of government to 1776 is that the number itself is equal to the number of departments you have to get permits from to do anything in your life.
Are There Any Solutions or Are We Destined to Die as Serfs?
Traditionally, we’ve fought back against authoritarian government with rallies, elections, and grassroots organizing, but I fear the political process will not produce the results that liberty needs. Figuring out how to promote another wave of “conservative” or “libertarian” political candidates will not result in anything but more government and plenty of video sound bites that can be used for those same politicians to raise money in the next election cycle. There needs to be a wholesale dismantling of the bureaucratic state and it won’t be accomplished by basic elections or traditional politicians.
The recent dust up over schools and their boards is a perfect example of the way that “reasonable people” have been fighting in the game for years… and frankly why only faint embers of liberty still remain in the eaten out core of the system. Marching down to the boards or working to get a different slate of candidates elected may have some temporary relief about the most egregious issues at hand, but don’t make the mistake of thinking that if we get the right board elected we can tune out again and go back to using schools as a daycare. It’s not the elected people we need to change. It’s the purulent core of every institution we think is sane.
If we’re worried about critical race theory or transgender rape rooms at the school, remove the influence. We should encourage each other to take our kids out of the indoctrination camps and find a different solution. This will come with sacrifice but it will change the conversations. How different would education look if we were to spend time with our kids in the living room and read great books. If we asked them to set their devices down and inquire about what they think about liberty; ask them about Jefferson and Rousseau—and if we don’t know about it well enough to discuss competently, read it along with them. We have abdicated our own responsibility to pursuing education and said that only the people with the “knowhow of teaching” are the ones in the tax-extorted-day-prisons. We turn over our child’s entire future to people who have mastered the art of requesting regurgitated information. If we really believe our child’s elementary school teacher is out developing a curriculum for our kids based on a deep passion for critical race theory, or one that they developed with research and intention towards a program of education tailored to your individual child, I have a bridge for sale in Brooklyn for you.
These are propaganda camps… intent on diminishing thought and finding the easiest way of getting the required hours in to keep the money machine running. “Schools” are a relic system that have proven their failures in the true education that keeps a society free. They have become nothing more than a way in a hidden tax we “already pay” to send our kids off for eight hours to benefit us. So we should ask ourselves, are we pleased with the information our kids bring home? Are the conversations in the car or at the dinner table ones that seek to dissect the meaning of natural law, or the meaning and existence of God, or thoughts on culture and its influence on them as children? Are we really satisfied as parents that we have to go fight, not for how the Greek language courses are inadequate in relation to the quality our students need to read Homer, but instead are marching to the school board to question why the educrats don’t see that it is wrong for our teenage daughters to be raped by a boy in a skirt.
Education is just one area. Look around you and start to ask about the government’s cancerous invasion of everything and ask how you can dismantle or disrupt it. Maybe for some its blowing apart the education system by removing your children from its stronghold influence. For others it may be how and where we spend money to change how much sales tax goes to the governments that benefit from it. It may be not paying taxes to fund the county or state you live in. Still for others it might be to get off the federal reserve system by using barter, gold, or cryptocurrency. The questions must be asked, the observations of its pervasiveness need to be examined and thrown off. If government isn’t limited to the securing of our rights, then it shouldn’t be called government it should be labeled for what it is… oppressive despotism. Re-read the Declaration of Independence and remember what our predecessors decided were a bridge too far in their lives. Believe in the principles of the pre-amble but also read the grievances because they have a familiar resonance:
If we aren’t stopping at every turn and asking questions about how to run an incarnated sword through the hearts of these institutions, then we are battling around the edges, hoping someone else will save us. We are transferring our liberties to people who will ultimately fail us. We are hoping for a quiet life… but it will not, and should never again be, available to us as citizens.