Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

The Death of Culture: How Lies Killed Books

Posted by M. C. on March 20, 2023

The staffers at the Brooklyn branch of Jackson McNally Bookstore, an independent bookstore which had for years been a stalwart outpost of free-thinking publishing, were still masked, against all reason. I walked in with some trepidation.

Peacefully, faces covered, three years on, they stacked books on the shelves.

I was astonished, as I wandered the well-stocked aisles. Independent bookstores usually reflect the burning issues in a culture at that given time.

But — now — nothing.

Dr Naomi Wolf

I recently came home from a visit to Hipster Brooklyn.

I had found that Brooklyn — alongside literary Manhattan — was oddly frozen in an amber of denial and silence.

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First, there is that restored state of freedom, that no one will discuss.

I’d wandered the cute little boîtes and trendy underground hand-pulled-noodle postmodern food courts, with mixed emotions.

There were the chic young moms with babies in strollers, both of them breathing freely in the chill just-before-Spring air. There were slouching Millennials, with every demographic likelihood of having been mask-y and COVID-culty, now enjoying their freedom to assemble at will, to flirt and to window-shop, to stroll and to chat and to try on new sweaters in person at Uniqlo.

Many of these folks, no doubt, would have been repelled from 2020 to the present, by people like my brothers and sisters in arms, and by me; as we struggled in the trenches of the liberty movement.

Some of them may have called us anti-vaxxers, extremists, insurrectionists; selfish, “Trumpers,” or whatever other nonsense was the epithet of the day.

Some of them may have wanted to lock down harder, and lock us down harder.

My brothers and sisters in the freedom movement, though we lost employment, savings, status and affiliations, fought every day — for these very folks; we fought for everyone; we fought so that some day, these young moms could indeed stroll with their babies, breathing fresh air; so that these slouching Millennials could one day indeed wander at will, not “locked down” still, not “mandated” any longer, and not living in fear of an internment camp.

It was bittersweet, seeing this demographic so chill, so relaxed, so back to “normal” — many of whom had been once so oblivious of, or so actively disrespectful of, the sacrifices we on the outside of society had waged for their very freedom.

Who knows where they would be now, if it were not for our combat on their behalf?

Still without their rights regained, like Canada? Still “mandated”, like Canada? Still scared to speak, scared of having bank accounts frozen, scared of losing licenses, scared of being beaten in protests, forbidden to travel without dangerous injections — like Canada?

We are not entirely free again in the US, but we regained many of our freedoms. Not because the evildoers wanted to give them back; but because my brothers and sisters fought hard, strategically, bitterly and furiously, for all of this liberty that I witnessed in front of me, on that almost-spring day on the crowded, tumultuous Fulton Avenue.

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