Tag Archives: Freedom

Covid Madness: How Can So Few Control So Many? by Gary D. Barnett

The money sentence: “If the desire to be free is not in the hearts and minds of the population at large, liberty becomes unattainable.” Sad but true, and the desire to be free doesn’t appear to be an animating desire in most Americans. From Gary D. Barnett at lewrockwell.com:

“I should like merely to understand how it happens that so many men, so many villages, so many cities, so many nations, sometimes suffer under a single tyrant who has no other power than the power they give him; who is able to harm them only to the extent to which they have the willingness to bear with him; who could do them absolutely no injury unless they preferred to put up with him rather than contradict him. Surely a striking situation! Yet it is so common that one must grieve the more and wonder the less at the spectacle of a million men serving in wretchedness, their necks under the yoke, not constrained by a greater multitude than they…

~ Étienne de la Boétie, 1552 to 1553The Politics of Obedience: The Discourse of Voluntary Servitude

What causes man to bow to impotent authority, to cower in the face of one or a few tyrants, to lack the will to be free? This question has haunted me since I was very young, but the answer it seems is as La Boétie so clearly stated almost 500 years ago, and that is that that common people are consumed by indifference. Surely with over 300 million people living in this country, it would take only a small percentage practicing disobedience to eliminate the governing power and claim liberty. Why has this not happened? Why do so many obey so few? Without a strong desire to be free, the fate of man will always fall to rule, and that rule can lead only to a life of servitude.

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Independence Day in the Midst of Dictatorship, by James Bovard

Whatever it is we celebrated this 4th of July, it sure wasn’t our freedom. That’s gone. From James Bovard at aier.org:

holding hands, july 4th

How many Americans will greet July 4th Day with gratitude that their governor is no longer compelling them to “shelter in place” or “stay at home” so they can celebrate their freedom? Most of the media is ignoring the fact that this Independence Day is occurring under the most dictatorial restrictions of the modern era. But anyone who values their liberty must recognize the Great Political Unleashing that has occurred this year makes a mockery of the Founding Fathers’ intentions.

Earlier this year, more than 300 million Americans were constrained by “stay-at-home” decrees by governors and mayors. These restrictions were justified by mortality predictions from COVID-19 that turned out to be wildly exaggerated. But most of the media has presumed that the dictates were legitimate because they were supposedly based on “science and data” – regardless of pervasive wrongheaded forecasts.

The Centers for Disease Control estimated last week that 24 million Americans may have been infected with COVID – making a mockery of lockdowns designed to force citizens to pay any price for the slightest potential reduction in infections.

Do America’s politicians and media have any special suggestions on how the tens of millions of people who lost their jobs due to the shutdowns should celebrate Independence Day? How should small business owners who have been bankrupted mark July 4th?

Governors across the nation earlier this year proved that the Bill of Rights is a parchment barrier that can be easily shredded by invoking their emergency powers. Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer prohibited “all public and private gatherings of any size” (prohibiting people from visiting friends) and also prohibited purchasing seeds for spring planting in stores after she decreed that a “nonessential” activity.

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What We Celebrate on the Fourth, by Robert Curry

The American Revolution is still revolutionary. From Robert Curry at realclearpolitics.com:

“We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights.”

We have heard these words all our lives. But can we still hear the dynamite in them? According to tradition, when the British under Cornwallis surrendered at Yorktown, their musicians played “The World Turned Upside Down.” The American victory over Britain was more than a military victory; it changed everything.

The world in those days operated on the basis of utter inequality. The self-evident truths of the Declaration of Independence contradicted the entire experience of mankind. Whether the ruler was a king who claimed to rule by divine right or an emperor who claimed the mandate of Heaven, it was everywhere the same. Because the Founders’ idea of government by, for, and of the people is so deeply engrained in our imaginations, it is difficult for us to conceive of human life as it then was.

America’s truly incredible social and political success put this older world on the road to extinction. Foreign observers went from confidently predicting that America would fail to living through the collapse of their own regimes, made illegitimate by America’s shining example. Kings and emperors are gone now or reduced to mere ceremonial figures. Today, only peculiar and backward places, like Saudi Arabia, operate according to something like the old way of governance, and everyone knows that this anomaly will last only as long as the Saudi royals can continue to bribe their subjects.

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Something Worth Striving For, by MN Gordon

One of the paramount freedoms worth fighting for in America is the freedom to try something different and see if you can make a buck doing so. From MN Gordon at economicprism.com:

[Editor’s Note: This edition of the Economic Prism was originally published on July 04, 2019, as Independence Day in America Circa 2019.  The themes explored within are even more relevant today.  So we’ve dusted it off, made several updates, and are republishing it.  Enjoy!]

Not Welcome

The days are long and hot in the Northern Hemisphere when real American patriots spit upon their hands and hoist the stars and stripes.  On July 4, the free and brave, with duty and self-sacrifice, begrudgingly accept federal holiday pay to stand tall upon their own two feet.  Rugged individualism and uncompromising independence are essential to their character.

With purpose and intent, they assemble as merry mobs along the shoreline to celebrate American Independence.  Freedom lovers – descendants of Buffalo Bill – gather to eat hotdogs and pitch horseshoes while downing tipples of corn syrup and fermented grain.  When the sun slips beyond the western horizon and the stars twinkle bright, they hoot and holler at the brilliance of fireworks and sparkling pyrotechnics.

Most years, these festivities certify that, even in an era of big government, there remains a time and place to revel in the virtues of representative self-rule.  All are usually welcome, of course, so long as their vehicles are registered, they’ve paid their income taxes, and have proper documentation.  But not this year.  At least, not in certain jurisdictions.

After all, this is the age of coronavirus.  In some reaches of the land of the free, none are welcome.  For example, in Los Angeles County, the Board of Supervisors closed beaches, piers, beach bike paths, and beach access points from July 3 thru 6 “to prevent dangerous crowding.”

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Americans Excited To Celebrate Their Liberty While Confined To Their Homes By The Government, from The Babylon Bee

U.S.—Americans said they are excited to celebrate Independence Day this year while confined to their homes by government order.

“I sure am glad I live in a free country,” said one man in California as he checked his phone to see what the current unilateral mandates by his governor would allow him to do this year. “Oh, good, nothing. Guess I’ll play video games or something.”

Guidelines released by governors across the country so far include the following:

  • Launching fireworks inside
  • Barbecuing inside
  • Watching fireworks on YouTube since they’re probably illegal in your state anyway
  • Whispering “God Bless America” so as not to upset your neighbors
  • Wearing a mask while inside your home to muffle any patriotic songs or statements
  • Forgoing hamburgers and hot dogs in favor of more sustainable food products like bugs and tofu
  • Sitting in silence and contemplating how much you hate America

“Should be a really fun year!” said one man in Michigan. “My application for a permit to celebrate Independence Day was denied by Governor Whitmer, so I’ll just be peeking out my window to see if I can catch a tantalizing glimpse of some illegal fireworks.”

As he peeked out his window, sadly, the police were waiting in a bush outside and nabbed him for not wearing a mask.


Better to Stay – or Go? by Eric Peters

Eric Peters is looking for the last vestiges of freedom within the United States. They’re fast disappearing. A US collapse would make carving out one or more enclaves of freedom a possibility, if enough people are willing to fight for them. From Eric Peters at ericpetersautos.com:

Almost twenty years ago, I did what many people have done and moved from a high-tax/high-tyranny area (Northern Virginia) to a low-tax/lower-tyranny area (rural SW Virginia).

The new place was still in the same state but in many meaningful ways, it was an entirely different place. One could, for example, obtain a concealed-carry permit just by filling out a form – a minor tyranny compared with the major tyranny of being effectively denied the right to carry up north because in Northern Virginia, one had to jump through so many constantly moving hoops it was almost impossible to “qualify” for the permission slip.

The people were less busybodyish, too. You leave me alone, I leave you alone – an ancient Southern thing – still applied, more or less. Or at least, a lot more than it did 240 miles up the road in Northern Virginia, where everything you did was somehow some busybody’s business.

Government was unavoidable up there. Here, it was generally avoidable. One could fill one’s lungs and breath in a way that was denied the people up north.

Now the south is a lot like the north and the question arises: Where to next?

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From 9/11 to COVID-19, It’s Been a Perpetual State of Emergency, by John W. Whitehead

Emergencies frighten people, and when people are frightened, they’ll trade liberty for safety. From John W. Whitehead at rutherford.org:

“The fundamental political question is why do people obey a government. The answer is that they tend to enslave themselves, to let themselves be governed by tyrants. Freedom from servitude comes not from violent action, but from the refusal to serve. Tyrants fall when the people withdraw their support.”—Étienne De La Boétie, The Politics Of Obedience

Don’t pity this year’s crop of graduates because this COVID-19 pandemic caused them to miss out on the antics of their senior year and the pomp and circumstance of graduation.

Pity them because they have spent their entire lives in a state of emergency.

They were born in the wake of the 9/11 attacks; raised without any expectation of privacy in a technologically-driven, mass surveillance state; educated in schools that teach conformity and compliance; saddled with a debt-ridden economy on the brink of implosion; made vulnerable by the blowback from a military empire constantly waging war against shadowy enemies; policed by government agents armed to the teeth ready and able to lock down the country at a moment’s notice; and forced to march in lockstep with a government that no longer exists to serve the people but which demands they be obedient slaves or suffer the consequences.

It’s a dismal start to life, isn’t it?

Unfortunately, we who should have known better failed to maintain our freedoms or provide our young people with the tools necessary to survive, let alone succeed, in the impersonal jungle that is modern America.

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Duncan Lemp – America’s First Covid-19 Death, by Allan Stevo

The money sentence: “It’s our total ingratitude for the inheritance of freedom.” From Allan Steve at lewrockwell.com:

On 9/11 it took just under 9 hours for two planes to collapse three New York skyscrapers.

As Toby Keith described it in his most jingoistic song “A sucker punch came flying from somewhere in the back.”

“What just happened?” was the dazed sentiment repeated for months. Those were hard times. Many were reminded that you can’t change the past. Eventually, most people snapped out of it.

The corona communism, put in place from the Ides of March 2020, in contrast, has unfolded in slow motion. The magnitude of the destruction takes place in full view around us daily.

“What is happening?” has been the dazed sentiment repeated for months, as people grasp at straws trying to make sense of it. While you can’t change the past, you can change the present. You just stop complying. And despite the insistence of self-proclaimed authorities, life goes back to whatever “normal” it is that individuals demand in their own lives.

Eventually most people will snap out of it.

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In Times of Crisis, We Need Freedom More Than Ever, by Edmund Shieh

Freedom is a necessity, not a luxury, especially in crises and emergencies. From Edmund Shieh at mises.org:

n the past few weeks, all around the world, governments have held their own citizens hostage in the name of “protecting the people.” What they have failed to understand is that, every restriction they put in place comes at a cost. By forcing the lockdown on its citizens, the government has taken away the ability for private individuals to assess that cost for themselves.

The wounds that coronavirus has inflicted on society will only be deepened by the unheralded amount of government intervention. Governments have given the people one more foe to battle with in this war against the coronavirus. Those who argue that the measures taken are necessary to prevent unnecessary death are unable to see that these same measures will no doubt cost a great many their lives and livelihoods in the future. Too often it seems that only one side of the equation is taken under consideration during this crisis. The UN recently released a report stating that due to the economic downturn caused by the lockdown, hundreds of thousands of children could die just this year. They also estimate that 42–66 million children could fall into extreme poverty in the coming years. Although these figures are estimates, it does raise a question for authorities: How much is too much?

The government does not have a good track record of providing an answer to this question. In even attempting to answer it, they’ve already set themselves up to fail. We have seen time and time again throughout history that central planning does not work. Limits such as thirty people to a funeral and ten at weddings are examples of arbitrary restrictions that come as a result of a small number of bureaucrats trying to centrally plan an optimal solution. A government attempting to organise society in this way, is no different from the then Soviet Union’s command economy trying to figure out how many potatoes to produce for the year. Both scenarios have reverberating consequences, and the ramifications of a suboptimal reaction to this virus could haunt us for generations to come. The only solution is to allow individuals to freely decide their own actions based on their own risk preferences.

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The Chinese Mindset in a Hybrid War With the US, by Xiaoran Tong

Sometimes it’s enlightening to hear what foreigners have to say about your country. From Xiaoran Tong at antiwar.com:

I recently came across a Facebook comment from a Hongkonger, arguing that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is nothing communist given China’s prosperous private sector after 1979’s reform. He then linked a video to mock the western electoral democracy that put Trump and Hitler into the office, leading to the conclusion that the West has no credential to criticize the one-party system of China for the lack of democracy. His comment represents the contemporary Chinese sentiment and is quite understandable given the ongoing color revolution in Hong Kong 2019, which is still lukewarm to this day, and the unrelenting blame of COVID19 on China. Although the hybrid war waged on China is unjust, the current Chinese mindset does not help to diffuse but only fuels the conflict even further.

The Facebook comment was right about CPP not being Communist that seeks total control of the economy by the state. Yet, China is state capitalism, an oligarchy, or crony capitalism. China is a plutocracy by the marriage between the party leadership (the state), and the monopolizing mega-corporations (the money) like Huawei, Ali, the four state-owned commercial banks, and Sinopec Group. It is far from a free-market where the only way to win a competition is to provide excellent products, where the state has no role in deciding the winner and no ability to finance itself by forcing the circulation of central-banknotes. China does have a private sector – the semi-free-market, the good part of our bad plutocracy. Still, even that part is weatheringafter supreme leader Xi took power, and most Chinese do no realize that we are marching back into a more planned, more communism, more Mao Zedong like system, slowly but surely. In China, life is artificially expensive under the tightening state control that imposes layers upon layers of covert taxation, to the point of causing hesitation to have more children.

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