Zoos are among the saddest places on earth: magnificent but confined creatures on display for gawking crowds, prevented from living out their biological destinies, fed their daily rations, and domesticated beyond where they could ever return to the wild. You have to feel pity and sorrow for these innocent prisoners; they’d flee in a heartbeat if they could.
Humans have made themselves inmates—whether of a zoo, prison, or asylum is hard to say, likely a combination of all three. Animals earn our admiration because they resist losing their freedom. Humans occasionally do too, but usually surrender theirs for promises and trifles. The promises are broken and the trifles grow more trifling as humanity for the most part gives up. Keep people amused and make sure the rations don’t stop and no outrage rousts them to try to reclaim their birthright. When they visit the zoo, the animals stare back at them with contempt.
In this country, we sing, “Sweet land of liberty,” and, “The land of the free, and the home of the brave.” We incant “freedom” and “liberty” during election seasons, but anything beyond that is considered embarrassing, bad form. A legislator denouncing a proposed law as an infringement of freedom would be regarded as a lunatic. Millions of pages of federal, state, and local laws and regulations already infringe freedom. The denouncer might be irrefutably right, but his denunciation would be irrelevant.
While wildlife should be free in the wild, coping with the risks to the best of their capabilities, humans are supposedly unsuited for freedom. Free humans might develop their own talents and capabilities, produce, exchange, exercise their rights, and engage in voluntary association and social intercourse, all unsupervised. You can argue that such activities are generally beneficial. However, there is a special class who are permitted to supervise and coerce the rest of us, to curtail our freedom. This special class ensures fairness or equality or some such thing. Who knows what might happen without them. Think of the dangers!
Just consider the concept of people deciding what’s in their own best interest. A hyphenated word lurks: self-interest. The special people are motivated by everything but self-interest, or so they say. Indeed, nobility of motive justifies their power and the destruction of your liberty. The desire to better your life is selfish, unlike the impulses supposedly animating those holding the guns to your head. After widespread surrender, few champion their right to their own lives, which is selfish after all, or challenge the special people’s moral superiority, which confers their right to hold the guns.
It might mitigate moral condemnation for liberty’s surrender if it had produced some benefit for those waving the white flag. An old bromide has it that liberty is irrelevant when people are starving. Nothing is further from the truth; it’s freedom that feeds people, creates wealth, and advances humanity. The historical record offers ample proof. It’s the absence of liberty that produces starvation, poverty, decay, destruction, genocide, and war. Here too the historical record is clear, one need go no farther back than the last century. During this ascendancy of the special people, humanity fought its two deadliest wars and over a hundred million were murdered, victims of special plans for a better world.
But somehow it’s liberty that’s dangerous. Fortunately the special people still rule, to make sure it doesn’t break out somewhere. Their reign assures that this century will challenge the last for the title: Century of Slaughter. They see their subjects are domesticated draft animals, just smart enough to keep economies running, not smart enough to challenge domestication. However, it’s been free minds and free markets, not draft animals, that have produced the wonders that make modern life modern. Welfare states are halfway houses to totalitarianism. As they grow, liberty shrinks and progress slows, stops, and reverses, the deterioration culminating in either anarchy or tyranny.
Judging from the prevalence of terms like “secular stagnation” and the “end of growth,” we are in the stop phase and reversal is nigh. People have seen their freedom shrink and have borne the consequences, although most don’t make the connection between the two. Incomes have stagnated, opportunities have diminished, life grows ever coarser, and fear of a looming apocalypse pervades the popular consciousness. Many are preparing for a future in which modernity is no longer modern, where access to necessities and conveniences cannot be taken for granted. Guns and gold are at the top of checklists, for a day when the inevitable failure of the special people leads to the inevitable tyranny or anarchy.
The discontent sweeping the planet is recognition that things are wrong on multiple fronts, although recognition of the root cause is rare. The idea that changing the hands on the levers offers solutions is magical thinking. The problems stem from granting the special people the levers in the first place. They may be replaced, but once the replacements have their hands on the levers, they’ll feel special, too. Power assuredly corrupts.
We’re closer to the real solution in the lament: “Why can’t they just leave us alone?” They—the special people—must leave us alone, it’s our moral right. Those who think the collapse will never come, or that freedom can be reclaimed without a fight, delude themselves. The craven adage: It’s better to live on one’s knees than die on one’s feet, offers a false choice. On your knees you may live to see another day, but you’ll never live to see better days. You may die on your feet, but liberty offers the only hope for better days. It’s worth fighting for. It’s worth dying for.
A novel for Freedom
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Reblogged this on The zombie apocalypse survival homestead and commented:
Just say no,… Hell No!
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If liberty is worth dying for, is it worth killing for?
By implication, yes, those who would deprive you of your liberty.
I’m doing the “running” for Congress thing to buy us more time to prepare for the worst. Enjoy the performance art. 😉
I wish you the best of luck.
“Power assuredly corrupts.”
It just as assuredly cannot be limited. Power – quantity and reach of “levers” – inevitably expands because the existence of “levers” inexorably draws the corrupt – who can scarcely be expected to abide by any written, procedural, or ideological constraint on the proliferation and strengthening of “levers”.
“[Liberty is] worth fighting for. It’s worth dying for.”
Then it also ought to be worth discarding some ancient, decrepit shibboleths for. Get The Special People Out Of Your Head isn’t quite as snappy as Get Up Off Your Knees but it cuts a lot closer to the fundamental issue. I’ve posted this here before – more than once – and I’m tempted to just quote the whole thing, but that would be somewhat rude, so I’ll limit myself to the most salient points:
. . .
What is a state? A common definition is “a territorial monopoly of force.” But what about a civil war in which an old regime and a would-be new regime are fighting street-to-street over control of a city? In that case, there is no territorial monopoly of force over the contested areas. But are we to say that such areas are “stateless”?
. . .
They both enjoy the privilege of committing aggression that is perceived by at least some to be exceptionally legitimate.
. . .
That is the fundamental problem that makes both groups distinctively vicious as compared to other criminals, regardless of whether they have yet achieved uncontested dominance. And so it is that characteristic that deserves to be the criterion for statehood. It highlights the most important issue in the theory of government if we define the state not as “a territorial monopoly of force,” but as “anybody whose aggression is considered exceptionally legitimate by some.”
And there are grades of legitimacy. A warlord’s tribute, not yet hallowed by the years, may not have as much perceived legitimacy as a tax extracted by a long-established bureaucracy. But so long as it is normalized at all by habit and/or propaganda in the minds of the victims, then it is importantly different from pirate booty or a highwayman’s loot. Most warlord bands, therefore, should be considered statelets.
Understood this way, situations which are often called instances of “anarchy,” like Somalia, are actually chronic civil wars fought by contending states. As Charles Johnson has said, they are not “power vacuums,” but “power plenums.” The fact that there are multiple states contesting the same ground, instead of one state solely dominating it, means that, far from “statelessness,” the pitiable residents are up to their eyeballs in “statefulness”.
. . .
That is not anarchy, but multi-archy: not a lack of a state, but a surfeit of states.
. . .
A state is not a particular band of men, along with their weapons, cages, and other resources. It is the subject’s attitude toward those men and implements, and the myths that inform (misinform) that attitude.
. . .
A state is a disease living in the minds of its victims. It is only there, in the battleground of the mind, that a state is to be truly and totally vanquished. A de-legitimized state is a contradiction in terms. Destroy a state’s legitimacy in the minds of its subjects by debunking the lies that underpin that legitimacy, and you’ve already annihilated the state itself, leaving in its stead a hopelessly outnumbered band of common criminals.
. . .
If statism still reigns in the hearts of men, a revolution is likely to make things even worse. Immediately after the tyrant falls, people afflicted with statism will look for a new yoke and a new master, and will not be wanting for candidates.
. . .
Our mission is not to delegitimize any particular state, but to delegitimize “The State” as an institution, by using sound economics, social theory, and political philosophy to debunk the lies that underpin statism. It is to teach people the private-property, anarcho-libertarian principles that, after the collapse, will keep them from each other’s throats and stockpiles, immunize them from the sway of demagogues and warlords, and preserve civilization.
. . .
In a crisis, minarchism in theory will become totalitarianism in practice. If people are instructed, even only implicitly, that civilization requires at least a minimal state to stave off chaos, then in times of tumult, they will grant their new state vast “temporary” emergency powers in order to establish and preserve it.
. . .
If, when the collapse occurs, the populace is still roughly as statist as it is now, literally all could be lost. Humanity may not survive the wars that would ensue as factions struggle to shape the new statist order to their own advantage.
. . .
The empire is going into the abyss, no matter what we do. It is our pressing and indispensable job to make sure it doesn’t drag civilization down with it.
I couldn’t agree more with your last paragraph.
Very well put Mr. Gore and these are ideals which can’t be said enough. When I talk to young people I realize that they think they are free and cannot imagine any other way of living their lives. When I tell them about how it was when I was a young man in the early 70’s, they think it’s quaint but boring because there were no smart phones, cable TV or computers.
“However, there is a special class who are permitted to supervise and coerce the rest of us, to curtail our freedom.”
On the above- summary of Steven Hawking article:
Complete Hawking article from his blogsite:
Fine article with many integrations along with 21st century version of P.Henry and T.Jefferson statements.
The Special people have lost entirely all sense of proportion due to today’s social media gives them the illusion that since their voice can be heard and seen world wide, it carries an equal or greater amount of importance. Instead, it is merely the hysterical cry of a baby amplified, demanding attention and security from us, the adults in the room.
Reblogged this on Starvin Larry.
Some one here asked the question, that if Liberty is worth dying for, is it worth killing for? Short answer, of course. Killing some one is also simple, I have done it several times myself. It’s nothing special. There is no dramatic music, no significant looks, and most assuredly there is no terse and highly charged conversation. The other person comes into view, you kill them, end of story. I did this in war, and doing it in civilian life would be just as easy. The point of it is to eliminate your enemy, with the object of eliminating enough of your enemies that the rest get the idea, and stop bothering you. Ergo, Liberty. The freedom from people killing you, stealing your property, and otherwise oppressing you to the point you are their slave, and they are your master. Liberty is freedom from others directing your life. Sometimes, to achieve it, you have to kill. Harden your hearts, or suit up for those shackles. But killing? Nothing to it. Why anyone at this point would askance the obvious is beyond me. Duh. The leftists plan to do exactly that. Kill us.
Yes, indeed. We are GOVERNed, you know!
With a Convention of States, there will be smaller government. This is great for liberty and for America. The Founders recognized that there would be a need to amend the new Constitution, and wisely chose not to leave the matter solely to Congress. They added a second clause to Article V of the United States Constitution providing that:
. . . on application by two-thirds of the state legislatures, Congress must call a convention of the states for the proposal of amendments, valid when ratified by the legislatures or by conventions in three-quarters of the states, as Congress chooses.
I am an animal lover. But chickens and cows are animals too. Do you eat them? They were murdered. So killing is in the eyes of the beholder. Some must. For survival.
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