Liberty is an inherently offensive lifestyle. Living in a free society guarantees that each one of us will see our most cherished principles and beliefs questioned and in some cases mocked. That psychic discomfort is the price we pay for basic civic peace. It's worth it. It's a pragmatic principle. Defend everyone else's rights, because if you don't there is no one to defend yours. -- MaxedOutMama

I don't just want gun rights... I want individual liberty, a culture of self-reliance....I want the whole bloody thing. -- Kim du Toit

The most glaring example of the cognitive dissonance on the left is the concept that human beings are inherently good, yet at the same time cannot be trusted with any kind of weapon, unless the magic fairy dust of government authority gets sprinkled upon them.-- Moshe Ben-David

The cult of the left believes that it is engaged in a great apocalyptic battle with corporations and industrialists for the ownership of the unthinking masses. Its acolytes see themselves as the individuals who have been "liberated" to think for themselves. They make choices. You however are just a member of the unthinking masses. You are not really a person, but only respond to the agendas of your corporate overlords. If you eat too much, it's because corporations make you eat. If you kill, it's because corporations encourage you to buy guns. You are not an individual. You are a social problem. -- Sultan Knish

All politics in this country now is just dress rehearsal for civil war. -- Billy Beck

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Question from the Audience II

Question from the Audience II

I received an email Thursday from reader Joe P.:
I read your post about refusing to pay taxes in order to starve the beast. In it, Heinlein’s The Moon is a Harsh Mistress is mentioned, as is the strategy of making people more miserable in order to get them to join the revolution. I pondered that a bit and had something I wanted to run past you. How likely is it that this is the strategy of the current administration? Make all of us – the producers – so miserable that we finally revolt? It would be a fight we couldn’t win, for sure, and with the media complicit in much of what was going on, it would give them all the cover they needed to eliminate the last vestiges of true freedom – gun rights, for sure, probably the 4th amendment (what little meaning it retains, that is), etc. The way I see it, they have us right where they want us. If we tolerate the quickly tightening screws, they win. If we go out in a second amendment blaze of glory, they win faster and probably more decisively.

And the ballot box? Who’s running? More socialists? No society in history has successfully gotten people to give up loot from the public treasury for the good of the nation. I think Donald Sensing was right. We are the last generation to experience meaningful freedom.

Anyway, I was just interested in your thoughts on the matter.
I am, as I have noted previously, a pessimist by temperament. I am not, however, a conspiracy theorist. No, I don't think the current administration has a strategy to fire up the populace and bring us to armed rebellion, I really don't. I don't think they fear us at all. By the same token, I agree that an armed uprising would merely hasten the current disassembly of the Constitution. And I am in full agreement, as I have also stated previously, that merely throwing out the Democrats in the next two elections is not equal to "taking back our country" or our Constitution, because we have nothing worthy to replace them with.

It has taken over a hundred years for us to get to where we are. We have gotten here through the actions of thousands of people, each chipping away (and most with the best of intentions) at the foundations of the American culture: self-reliance, independence, the Protestant work-ethic, individual (as opposed to collective) compassion, education (especially in history and civics, later mathematics and language), etc. The actions of those thousands have spread geometrically until now the majority of the population lacks the skills, the knowledge and the philosophy necessary to support a culture of liberty.

I don't know how to get it back. I'm afraid that whoever wrote the historical sequence attributed to Alexander Fraser Tytler had it right, that civilizations go through a predictable cycle due to human nature:

From bondage to spiritual faith;
From spiritual faith to great courage;
From courage to liberty;
From liberty to abundance;
From abundance to complacency;
From complacency to apathy;
From apathy to dependence;
From dependence back again into bondage.

I'd put the majority of the population at late-stage apathy, early-stage dependence.

I was going to save this for tomorrow's Quote of the Day, but here is as good a place to put it as any (and hell, it'll still be tomorrow's QotD):
The Left believes it will achieve final victory through socialized medicine, which will forever shackle the middle class as dependents of the State, and destroy the independence that makes them dangerous. -- Dr. Zero, Hot Air - Targeting the Tea Party
And those are my thoughts on the matter.

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