There’s a certain irony to the members of the “freedom isn’t free” crowd who are demanding lockdowns.
Freedom is very expensive. It requires you to do things that you find uncomfortable to maintain freedom.
Freedom requires that you act on your own volition and allow others to do the same. You use your property as you want.
Those who demand freedom, recognize tyranny to be far more uncomfortable.
Freedom requires thought, and in the absence of thought, a commitment to silence. That might be the hardest part about ensuring freedom for yourself and those around you.
Economist Walter Block has the following quote in his email footer:
“It is no crime to be ignorant of economics, which is, after all, a specialized discipline and one that most people consider to be a ‘dismal science.’ But it is totally irresponsible to have a loud and vociferous opinion on economic subjects while remaining in this state of ignorance.” – Murray, N. Rothbard
Those who haven’t thought through the impacts of their words have no place speaking as if they had.
Freedom relies on a well-structured society to help those who desire to speak, recognize the impacts of their speech and their responsibility as a thoughtful member of society who desires a voice.
This is not the work of government, this is the work of individuals communicating with each other. There’s a heck of a lot of personal responsibility that needs to be at play for freedom to work.
To do otherwise promises that freedom will not long exist.
Sometimes you just keep your mouth shut and listen to what another has to say. Just like how you commit to keeping your hands to yourself and letting another live their life. By extension, you ask the police to keep their hands to themselves.
In the present day, we see that shouting down a speaker is becoming a trend so that some cannot speak or meet. It is not even the use of the voice to speak a sincere thought, well-tested before troubling the audience, but the use of the voice to prevent the dissemination of thought.
It is the opposite of speech. Speech is the vehicle of intellectual communication and the cousin to thought.
The mob has silenced freedoms for some. In the name of democracy, we are told this is moral. Polling data, often selectively chosen, is used to further solidify this trend. Psychological manipulation that we call the free press does this as well.
The rule of the mob is the height of abrogation of personal responsibility in a free society.
Not only has the mob acted to silence others, the mob has acted to put others under house arrest, to lock down houses of worship, to criminalize social interaction, to criminalize human action.
The lockdown is the denial of personal responsibility. The lockdown is mob rule writ large. “21st-century mob rule.”
The “freedom isn’t free” crowd often uses the phrase “freedom isn’t free” to describe why totalitarian impositions are good: they protect freedom. This is the opposite of true.
War is often the biggest big government program. War is the health of the state. War is the most destructive force against human happiness we know.
The war on drugs is the same.
The war on terrorism is the same.
The war on corona is the same.
These are litmus tests. How much do you believe in human freedom?
If you run to government to help you quarantine yourself, you don’t believe in human freedom all that much.
There are those who at 19 were willing to die for freedom in foreign wars. They are today calling for all people to be locked up in a fashion and scale never done in the USSR, churches to be shuttered in a way never done in the USSR, and people to be jailed for stepping outside, in a scale never done in the USSR.
This may seem contradictory. And it could be. It may be an example of a true, proud protector of freedom who is momentarily shaken from his true beliefs by an overwhelming sense of fear.
The greater likelihood is that they were willing to use foreign wars – a tool of the totalitarian – all along, instead of doing the hard work that is required of freedom. Just because an activity is hard, does not make it good. War is very hard on those it touches.
The work that is not done in fighting a foreign war is the hard work of freedom, built around personal property, respect for the rights of others, and non-aggression against them.
To lift a weapon is not always black and white, and everyone is entitled to a few mistakes, but at some point the repetition of the same mistakes becomes malice.
They probably would have done more for liberty by opening a business and running it without aggressing against others. Even being the bag boy in a grocery store and living a life without aggressing against others may do more for liberty. Instead, some helped invade foreign lands and aggressed against others in the most awful of ways.
The totalitarian then was draped in the flag. The totalitarian today is draped in the flag.
Emergency does not dictate that we become totalitarians. Emergency does not dictate that we turn on each other. Emergency dictates that we double down on human freedom.
That is the just thing to do. That is also the effective thing to do.
America is engaged in the biggest folly since the Civil War, at the hands of tyrants. In the spring of 2020, we’ve witnessed that the tyrants’ obedient, unthinking, vocal supporters have been patriots and socialists alike, libertarians and Marxists, common folk and self-proclaimed anarcho-capitalists, constitutionalists and anarcho-socialists, clergy and laymen, physicians and laymen. Across society, the tyrants have found eager snitches and hangmen against those unwilling to submit.
Some of the most vocal defenders of human freedom folded most quickly.
This moment is the litmus test. What would you not do for the state? Would you turn over your guns if asked? Would you turn over your home? Would you turn over your family if asked? If you supported the quarantines, even called for them, the answer is most certainly yes.
You just need to be asked and your boundaries will crumble. Maybe asked nicely. Maybe asked harshly. Maybe asked manipulatively.
And the ranks of who actually supports liberty in America suddenly look so much smaller, making this a very sad day. This is what is meant by the adage “the truth hurts.” To move from make-believe to reality can be so painful, yet necessary, if you want to know the truth as best you can.
The fable that so many more Americans really believed in liberty felt very good.
It was easy to talk about liberty during that lull between 9/11 and March 2020. But it sure has gotten hard for the fraudsters to hide their lack of allegiance to liberty in this era that has so clearly drawn a line of demarcation in their actions.
It’s not just the Patriot Act. It’s not just the inhumanity of groping in airports. It’s the shut-down of life. It’s the invasion of the church. It’s imprisonment in the home.
A stark line of demarcation has been drawn indeed.
Will you wear a mask?
Will you self-quarantine?
Will you call on others to be sealed in their homes?
Will you spread fear porn?
Will you trust in the medical establishment?
Will you trust that your government has this under control?
Will you demand that others pledge their allegiance to their hair-brained plans and their once in a century tyranny?
Will you abandon the conviction that the individual is the foundation of society because they convinced you of a new boogey-man?
Will you call for others to obey?
Will you report them if they don’t?
Who will you demand line up next?
Will you shut down the churches so there is no more sense of sanctuary?
Will you report those who won’t comply?
Will you shut down the parks so there is nowhere left to run?
Or will you ignore all that and simply disobey? Live your life? Encourage others to do the same? Because it is that simple.
Gary Barnett writes “Once any country’s people succumb to obedience, all that is left is slavery.” Henry David Thoreau writes “Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty. The obedient must be slaves.”
This moment is the litmus test. This moment is how you will forever be judged by those around you. But more importantly, if you are a person of conscience, this moment is how you will forever judge yourself.
It is a simple as flipping that switch in your head and committing to disobey.