Tagged: Tyranny

Losing Control, Gaining Control

The most dehumanizing aspect of enslavement is the sense of completely losing control of one’s essential actions, i.e., of having one’s realm of practical choice, such as it is, reduced to the inessential and transitory. The most desperate aspect of incremental enslavement is the awareness that one is in the process of losing control of one’s essential actions. The most infuriating aspect of...

Showing Your Papers

A few days ago, I took a student for lunch and enjoyed my first experience of being asked to present my proof of vaccination as a condition for being granted the privilege of eating soup in a restaurant. I took the opportunity to explain to my student, with whom I happened to be reading Brave New World that day, the special emotional significance,...

The Morality of Property

Private property, contrary to two centuries of socialist activism against the idea, is essentially a moral tenet, one of the most universal and naturally occurring of all moral tenets. As such, it is perhaps the single most effective social tether on the monster of coercive violence which lurks just around the corner in all human societies. And while in common perception it is...

The Socialist Subconscious

What the budding socialist says explicitly: “I am willing to pay more taxes in order to help the underprivileged.” Implied meaning (Level 1, moral belief): “Everyone should be willing to pay more taxes in order to help the underprivileged.” Implied meaning (Level 2, moral imperative): “Everyone must pay more taxes in order to help the underprivileged.” Implied meaning (Level 3, political activism): “The...

Three Forms of Government

Tyranny is a gossip whispering anxiously about his neighbors. Democracy is a crowd alternately screaming its envy and singing its lust. Freedom is a lively and unconstrained conversation among equals. The tyrant and the democrat are therefore united in their hatred of the free man — the former, because the free man appears impervious to gossip, and is therefore a threat to the...

Musings on the Mechanism

If governments explicitly spelled out the truth on all the “emergency measures” and “crisis responses” they have initiated during the pandemic — namely that not one of these new measures, powers, or mandates will ever be repealed, but rather, on the contrary, that every one of them will be expanded, and cited as convenient precedent, in perpetuity, to encompass an ever-increasing range of...

Random Reflections: Paternalism, Republicanism, Capitalism

Once you accept the general premise that safety trumps freedom, there is absolutely nowhere to draw the line. For all life is risk, difficulty, unexpected threats, and the ever-present, universal certainty of impending death. Thus, on the above premise, freedom can never be the primary concern or the highest goal. If I see you stepping in front of an oncoming car, I will...

Disagreement

Proponents of soft despotism have long understood that with the proper attention to universal schooling and heightened public sentimentality, it is possible to gain absolute power over the majority of any population if one is patient enough to plant the seeds and cultivate them carefully. However, soft despots have also long understood that there will always be a significant proportion of any population...

Random Thoughts

Give and take.-– Everything that makes you tired of your fellow human beings can also, if you remember to let it, make you more appreciative than ever of trees, birds, turtles, clouds, and the way an otter’s head pops out of the thick river grass. Start to finish.–┬áThe first fully formed appearance of the essence of what is usually called Western civilization occurred...

Power Struggle

A terrible electrical storm passed directly over my neighborhood last night. The lightning was continuous and relentless, thunder claps following immediately upon each flash indicating the nearness of the storm’s center, and a driving rain providing a percussive undertone to the ongoing assault from above. The storm moved relatively slowly, bringing roughly forty-five minutes of full intensity before the audible distance between flashes...