When Punks Rule the Earth
If you want freedom, you must fight for it. Let us examine the meaning of “fighting.”
Vladimir Putin ordered his most prominent and popular Russian critic, Alexei Navalny, murdered by poison, as has been his standard operating procedure in dealing with all political opponents throughout his thinly-veiled dictatorship. The dying Navalny was transported to Germany so that doctors there could save his life. Annoyed at having his plan thwarted, Putin ordered Navalny arrested and imprisoned upon his return to Russia for the “parole violation” of leaving the country to be rescued from his attempted murder. Navalny is now on a hunger strike to protest the lack of necessary medical care in prison, and apparently his condition has deteriorated to critical levels.
In short, Putin is miffed at the thought of having his ability to instill paralyzing fear in his country weakened by his being reduced to a mere attempted murderer in Navalny’s case, and is therefore taking all necessary steps to make sure the job gets finished right, for all the world to see.
The Chinese Communist Party is currently engaged in the same sort of dark public relations campaign on a wider scale, with regard to both the Uyghur Muslim population and the people of Hong Kong.
And the leading governments of the so-called “free world” can no longer in good conscience say a damn thing about any of it, since they are all engaged in their own radical undermining of individual freedom as we speak. They are all asserting random new powers and applying unjustified restrictions on human life. They are all acting with blissful disregard for the self-determination, privacy, freedom of speech and dissent, or basic well-being of their populations. They are all demanding absolute deference to their arbitrary power, and using propaganda, social shaming, and when necessary direct police-state coercion, to achieve compliance and submission.
When punks rule the entire Earth, there is no one to complain to. And so we should stop complaining. Those few of us left who see what is happening and reject it on principle must come to terms with the fact that our principled rejection has no outlet in practical life. We may console ourselves, however, if wisdom is consolation, by reminding ourselves that in a sense the punks have always ruled, with very few and very brief exceptions. Our punks have better weapons and structures of mass enslavement than their forebears, which makes our political road much rougher, in some respects, than those of many of our ancestors, but the essential problem of the free soul living under tyranny is the same.
And the essential solution is also the same: Stop equating freedom with mere practical liberty, an earthly condition which the best men before us rarely if ever enjoyed to any substantial degree either. Realize, further, that freedom is, in the end, a state of the soul, a form of self-governance that no Vladimir Putin, Xi Jinping, or Joe Biden can ever undermine. Alexei Navalny may be freer at this moment, dying in a prison cell, starving without adequate medical care, than he ever was standing on a podium in front of a crowd of sympathetic fellow slaves, speaking against their oppressor’s criminality. For human life at its most profound, contrary to the delusional fakery of Biden’s presidential predecessor, is not about “winning.” It is about knowing, especially knowing oneself, which primarily means knowing one’s place in, and relation to, the cosmos, and only secondarily one’s position within the contexts of history and mere men. Such a life is freedom in the highest sense, a world accessible, however partially, to only a small minority of the species at any time. The rest is all bells and whistles.
Punks like Putin, Xi, Biden, and all the worthless rest of them, can never control anything more than those bells and whistles, and even that for no more than a blip of time. In other words, the true “free world” is so far beyond reach of the punks that the citizens of that world enjoy a life completely oblivious to such transient and insignificant wisps.
We must either join the dwellers of that world or die trying, if we wish to live and die as free individuals. The bells and whistles will come and go as they will.