posted on Mar, 2 2021 @ 12:32 PM
Those who warned us of authoritarianism over the last half-decade failed to warn us it would manifest under the advice of unelected public health
officials trying to protect us from a virus. I suppose they were right, in a sense, now that governments world-wide have seized control of entire
economies and livelihoods in order to “keep us safe”. I doff my hat. But it was always the same bric-a-brac about strong-men and fascists we were
told to watch out for.
I’ve always believed that the Western welfare-state bureaucracy would lead to tyranny, dictator or not. This is a necessary conclusion for those who
agree with the conquest theory of the state. Franz Oppenheimer famously divided the means of acquiring the necessities for life into two categories:
the economic and the political means. Man can acquire a product through his own labor (the economic means), or he can steal it, appropriating the
labor of others (the political means). The law-abiding individual sustains his life through the economic means, using his own labor, while the
government increases its power and wealth through the political means, exploiting the labor of its citizens. Looked at it this way, it became
increasingly difficult to distinguish a government from a criminal organization. But I had hoped, naively, that this species of despotism would be a
soft one, gradual enough for any freedom-loving person to escape its meddling grasp before it was too late. Had I remembered that freedom could be
crushed under the penny-loafer, too, I might have escaped to the wilderness long ago.
Shame on us. We should have known better when those in power started using prison terms to describe our future condition. We should have known better
when authorities used fear and force to “slow the spread”, not to protect the people, but to protect their so-called “universal healthcare
systems” lest they run out of beds. We should have known better when they demanded we effectively ruin our own economies, our own businesses, as if
healthcare required an unemployed population instead of an employed, insured and tax-paying one. We should have known when the healthy were ordered to
wear masks as if they were ill, a mark not only of compliance, but also of ignorance. Now police checkpoints, quarantines, fines, curfews,
state-mandated health measures are the quotidian facets of life.
At any rate, the authoritarian approach has proven itself useless, especially in countries that once held freedom as a guiding principle. More than a
year into it, infection and death continue while hunger, poverty, and depression mount. Public parks have given way to tent cities; entire industries
are in free-fall; small businesses are shuddered, livelihoods ruined. Fear, uncertainty, loneliness, despair…the entire process has been one of
Something good has come from all this. I feel that, every now and then, an open society must experience oppression or else liberty is taken for
granted. We haven’t been attacked, murdered, or sent to internment camps just yet. But this situation has revealed the arbitrariness, tyranny and
incompetence of modern government. It has proven, I think, that our experts and technocrats are unable to protect the individual better than she
herself can. The economic means are far more powerful than the political means, and liberty is far more precious than state security. What’s left
now but to discard these trappings and fire up the roaring 20’s?