MCViewPoint

Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Posts Tagged ‘Authoritarianism’

Watch “Weekly Update — Authoritarianism Pandemic is the Real Threat” on YouTube

Posted by M. C. on September 11, 2021

https://youtu.be/50zIQo_rsfk

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The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity : Authoritarianism Pandemic is the Real Threat

Posted by M. C. on September 8, 2021

An important objection is that, if government can force people to take a potentially dangerous vaccine to protect against a hypothetical harm to others, the same reasoning would support the imposing of many additional liberty violations. These could include, for example, “red flag” laws and other forms of gun control, restrictions on access to “extremist” ideas, or a system of mass surveillance to prevent possible future acts of violence. The argument that government can use force to prevent hypothetical harms renders restraint on government power meaningless.

http://ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2021/september/06/authoritarianism-pandemic-is-the-real-threat/

Written by Ron Paul

Cook County, Illinois, Judge James Shapiro reached a new low in covid tyranny by forbidding Rebecca Firlit from seeing her 11-year-old son until she receives a covid vaccine. Judge Shapiro is not alone in abusing judicial power to force individuals to get vaccinated. Judges across the country have ordered defendants to get covid vaccines, sometimes as a condition of avoiding prison. This outbreak of judicial tyranny is a symptom of the authoritarianism pandemic that is the real threat to America.

Corporations are imposing requirements, including that employees show proof of vaccination, pay more for health insurance if they have not had a covid vaccine, and undergo regular (in some cases weekly) covid tests. An increasing number of state and local governments are requiring their employees and even people working in some private jobs to take covid vaccines, as well as imposing vaccine passport requirements on people generally.

President Biden has urged employers to implement vaccine mandates, and government is working with its big tech allies to develop “model” vaccine passports.

Government approved model vaccine requirements combined with government officials encouraging their adoption send the message to businesses that imposing vaccine requirements on their employees, and maybe their customers as well, is a good way to stay in the politicians and bureaucrats’ good graces.

An effective way for the US government to “encourage” adoption of vaccine mandates and vaccine passports is denying federal funds to businesses, states, local governments, and other institutions that refuse to require employees, customers, or other people to prove they are vaccinated. This will result in vaccine requirements while enabling government to claim it is not forcing vaccines on anyone.

President Biden is already planning for the US government denying Medicare and Medicaid funding to nursing homes that do not require their employees to prove they are vaccinated. This could result in staff shortages at nursing homes. A short-staffed nursing home poses a much greater risk to residents than a nursing home with a staff comprised of healthy, unvaccinated individuals. Texas is experiencing a nursing shortage thanks in part to hospitals firing unvaccinated nurses.

Health care workers have good reason to resist vaccine mandates. Many individuals have died or suffered other adverse effects — including miscarriages — after receiving a vaccine.

Some people try to justify vaccine mandates and vaccine passports by saying that, by risking infecting others, unvaccinated individuals endanger other people. However, the federal Centers for Disease Control recently admitted that covid vaccines do not prevent the spread of infections. In addition, the claim that we are having a “pandemic of the unvaccinated” relies on data collected from early in the year — before many Americans had taken covid vaccines.

An important objection is that, if government can force people to take a potentially dangerous vaccine to protect against a hypothetical harm to others, the same reasoning would support the imposing of many additional liberty violations. These could include, for example, “red flag” laws and other forms of gun control, restrictions on access to “extremist” ideas, or a system of mass surveillance to prevent possible future acts of violence. The argument that government can use force to prevent hypothetical harms renders restraint on government power meaningless.

It is imperative that we support the growing resistance to vaccine mandates and vaccine passports. We must also expand the resistance to covid authoritarianism to resistance to all forms of government infringements on liberty.


Copyright © 2021 by RonPaul Institute. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit and a live link are given.
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Greenwald: Big Tech Is Training An Entire Population To Accept Authoritarianism

Posted by M. C. on June 29, 2021

And when someone hears Katie Couric or people like her who live in 25 million dollar co-ops on the upper east side of Manhattan announce that anyone who disagrees with her has to be deprogrammed, it’s really not difficult to understand why that mentality is so off-putting and I think it’s a major reach why people have lost faith and trust in these institutions.

https://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2021/06/25/greenwald_big_tech_is_training_an_entire_population_to_accept_authoritarianism.html

Posted By Tyler Stone

GLENN GREENWALD: I don’t know if you saw there was a poll of 46 countries released this morning that demonstrated that the country in which the American media has held in the lowest esteem in which they’re most distrusted is the United States out of 46 countries. And when someone hears Katie Couric or people like her who live in 25 million dollar co-ops on the upper east side of Manhattan announce that anyone who disagrees with her has to be deprogrammed, it’s really not difficult to understand why that mentality is so off-putting and I think it’s a major reach why people have lost faith and trust in these institutions.

I think that so much more than trying to ban a particular view because it’s dangerous, which is their excuse, what they are really doing is training an entire population to accept authoritarianism that our political debates from now on are going to be constricted and limited so that any questioning of or disagreement with anointed authorities will become simply banned from the internet. We have been trained for years now to accept that. The coronavirus pandemic intensified that greatly. And I think that’s really what the playbook is going forward is to ensure that official pronouncements are insulated from any kind of dissent which is what makes it so dangerous.

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A Primer for the Propagandized: Fear Is the Mind-Killer – OffGuardian

Posted by M. C. on May 18, 2021

George Orwell wrote,

As far as the mass of the people go, the extraordinary swings of opinion which occur nowadays, the emotions which can be turned on and off like a tap, are the result of newspaper and radio hypnosis.”

https://off-guardian.org/2021/05/14/a-primer-for-the-propagandized-fear-is-the-mind-killer/

Margaret Anna Alice

Totalitarianism, if not fought against, could triumph anywhere.”
George Orwell

The noose is dangling gently around our necks. Every day, they cinch it tighter. By the time we realize it’s strangling us, it will be too late.

Those who – gradually and gleefully – sacrifice their freedoms, their autonomy, their individuality, their livelihoods, and their relationships on the altar of the “common good” have forgotten this is the pattern followed by every totalitarian regime in history.

Everyone wonders how ordinary Germans could have been manipulated to participate or stand dumbstruck while their government was transformed into a genocidal juggernaut. This is how. Read Sebastian Haffner’s Defying Hitler memoir to see how this can happen anywhere—including here.

Everyone wonders how Russians could have permitted and even zealously reported fellow citizens for imprisonment and execution under Article 58, the penal code invented to incarcerate anyone who dared express the slightest whisper of noncompliance under Stalin’s homicidal state. This is how. Read Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s meticulously documented The Gulag Archipelago to witness this progression of authoritarian lunacy.

Everyone wonders how Hutus could have suddenly started axing their Tutsi neighbors to death after being inundated with waves of anti-Tutsi propaganda from Radio Télévision Libre des Mille Collines. Read Philip Gourevitch’s We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families: Stories from Rwanda.

The list goes on. And on. And on. From Machiavelli’s The Prince to Étienne de la Boetie’s The Politics of Obedience: The Discourse of Voluntary Servitude to Edward Herman’s and Noam Chomsky’s Manufacturing Consent (and accompanying documentary) to BBC’s The Century of the Self, mechanisms of mass control have been chronicled for millennia.

George Orwell wrote,

As far as the mass of the people go, the extraordinary swings of opinion which occur nowadays, the emotions which can be turned on and off like a tap, are the result of newspaper and radio hypnosis.”

Can you imagine what master propagandist Edward Bernays would have done with access to today’s mainstream media conglomerate combined with the global surveillance infrastructure of Big Tech? And you really think that’s not happening now—with another century of psychological, neurological, and technological research under their belts?

The present ability to curate reality and coerce obedience is unprecedented, far beyond what Orwell envisioned in 1984, Bradbury in Fahrenheit 451, Huxley in Brave New World, and Burgess in A Clockwork Orange.

A textbook example of Problem Reaction Solution, the current tsunami of worldwide hysteria is the latest and potentially most threatening example of mass control in history.

The recipe is simple. Take a naturally occurring phenomenon, say a seasonal virus, and exaggerate its threat far beyond every imagining—despite exhaustive evidence to the contrary. Suppress, silence, ostracize, and demonize every individual who dares present facts that expose the false mono-narrative.

Whip up a witches’ brew of anger, envy, and, most importantly, fear, escalating emotions to a boil so as to short-circuit our faculties of reason and logic.

Isolate us from one another, supplant real-world interactions with virtual feuds, label nonconformists as a threat to the group, and pump the public with a disinformation campaign designed to confuse and atomize. In essence, foster a cultlike mentality that shuts down thought to guarantee assent.

Cultivate and wield our cognitive biases—especially ingroup bias, conformity bias, and authority bias—against us in a comprehensive divide-and-conquer policy that keeps us too busy squabbling amongst each other to recognize and unite against those corralling us into a Matrix-like collective delusion that enables the powerful to extract our resources for their own gain.

This ideological mass psychosis is religion—not science. If this were about science, the Media–Pharmaceutical–Big-Tech complex would not be memory-holing every dissenting voice, vilifying every thought criminal, and censoring every legitimate inquiry in quest of the truth.

Mark Twain said, “It’s easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled.”

He also said:

>“In religion and politics people’s beliefs and convictions are in almost every case gotten at second-hand, and without examination, from authorities who have not themselves examined the questions at issue but have taken them at second-hand from other non-examiners, whose opinions about them were not worth a brass farthing.”

The next time you’re watching the news, reading a social media post, listening to a friend repeat a scripted talking point, pay attention. Learn to identify the earmarks of propaganda, the clickbait used to trigger your emotions, the mechanisms employed to engineer your cognitive biases.

Don’t let your pride prevent you from seeing—and admitting—the Emperor is naked. We are losing our last sliver of opportunity to resist authoritarianism.

This is not a partisan issue. Those who wish to control us have made it such because disunited lemmings are easier to steer than independent, critical thinkers.

This is a human issue. This is about crushing the middle class—the backbone of a democratic republic—and transferring trillions from the middle and lower classes to the ruling plutocracy. This is about demolishing the foundations of a free society and building it back—not better, but better-controlled.

I will close by recommending a series of illuminating videos on menticide (“the systematic effort to undermine and destroy a person’s values and beliefs … to induce radically different ideas”) throughout history by Academy of Ideas. This analysis of mass psychosis is nonpartisan and of value to every thinking human being.

Dare to question. Dare to disbelieve. Dare to defy ideology in favor of science while you still can.

*

NOTE – This originated as a response to a Nextdoor.com post titled, “So many people think these Covid rules are for our safety but it’s really about control.” By the time I finished writing it, the post had vanished.

Originally published under the same title at Margaret Anna Alice Through the Looking Glass.
Margaret Anna examines propaganda, neuropsychology, culture, linguistic programming, and mass control in her aim to awaken the sleeping before tyranny triumphs.

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The “War on Cash” Is Really A War on Freedom

Posted by M. C. on April 9, 2021

“Vaccine Passports”? … “War on Cash,”? … The common thread is that these authoritarian ideas are war on our freedom. Total surveillance has been sought by authoritarians for thousands of years; always with the goal of trying to control how people move, or how they spend their money. The spread of the ideas of Liberty are necessary in order to save us from encroaching tyranny.

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The Social-Cultural Authoritarian Bubble Will Pop!

Posted by M. C. on February 12, 2021

The century-old big government obsession in America is getting old and weathered. Debts that are never-ending…Wars that are never-ending…One Federal Reserve economic bubble after another…Social-Cultural manias…All are coming to a head at some point. Big Government is always unsustainable, and Americans should once again embrace their roots of individual liberty.

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‘The greatest assault on civil liberties in our time…’ – RPI August 22nd Update

Posted by M. C. on August 22, 2020

The “experts” are literally destroying the next generation, and because of fear Americans are going along. The young son of a friend has recently taken his own life, incapable of managing the despair of the hell created for him by the monsters who have grabbed power in a manner that would even make Hitler blush. 

And they aren’t even making the older people safer with these asinine policies! In fact, thugs like Andrew Cuomo in New York purposely pursued a policy guaranteed to kill a maximum of older Americans – putting very sick people into nursing homes!

https://mailchi.mp/ronpaulinstitute/libertyassault?e=4e0de347c8

Dear Friends of the Ron Paul Institute:

First allow me to sincerely apologize for the scarcity of these updates of late. Since the Covid madness has taken over our country, spreading the real virus of authoritarianism to every corner of our republic, we have been barely able to come up for air. Literally every waking hour we spend preparing the next day’s episode of the Liberty Report, focusing on disproving the lies and correcting the misperceptions created by a mainstream media and politically-motivated actors to turn the country into a gulag. As you can imagine, refuting the lies of the mainstream media and politicized health “specialists” is beyond a full time job. They have all the resources at their fingertips, we are extremely limited so we have to work harder. And we have been so doing. 

The reaction to the virus outbreak has been the greatest assault on civil liberties in our time and the approach of those in authority will go down as perhaps the greatest disaster in US history. Even the Director of the CDC admits that more Americans are dying from lockdowns than from coronavirus. Meanwhile the virus is behaving as have all viruses in history: as it moves through society it infects, leaving healthier victims with immunity who in turn act as a wall to prevent infection of the vulnerable. Politicized medicine got in the way of this normal process, which cruelly led to a much longer period of potential exposure of the virus to the unhealthy and aged, its prime victims.

Young people, despite the media pile-on, are as Trump said nearly immune to this virus. According to CDC data, less than 300 Americans under the age of 24 have died from Covid-19. There is literally a better chance of being struck by lightening than dying of Covid if you are under 24. In fact by far the majority of deaths have occurred in those over 80 with other serious existing health problems. Yet these young people are being tortured by stay-at-home orders and masks and cancellation of school and destruction of their economic futures and cancellation of their very lives. No wonder three in four young persons has reported anxiety, depression, and suicidal thoughts over the coronavirus lockdowns.

The “experts” are literally destroying the next generation, and because of fear Americans are going along. The young son of a friend has recently taken his own life, incapable of managing the despair of the hell created for him by the monsters who have grabbed power in a manner that would even make Hitler blush. 

And they aren’t even making the older people safer with these asinine policies! In fact, thugs like Andrew Cuomo in New York purposely pursued a policy guaranteed to kill a maximum of older Americans – putting very sick people into nursing homes! Even the policies of lockdown and house arrest of the healthy have put the old and vulnerable at risk: the “second wave” is just a delayed first wave and the longer the virus hangs around without hitting the wall of herd immunity the more time the susceptible people can catch it and die.

Fear is the tool used throughout history to manipulate populations and to introduce totalitarian rule. A terrified population cannot make rational decisions, instead they desperately rush to hand their decisions off to a willing dictator to make for them. We know this movie and it does not end well. 

Yesterday the unelected state health commissioner of Virginia, Norman Oliver, announced that residents of the state would have no choice in the matter: the coronavirus vaccine would be mandatory. No exceptions. Your body, the state’s choice. 

From Germany to Ireland to beyond, citizens are rising up to protest the authoritarianism imposed by their governments in the name of a virus. Thus far in the US we have seen little of that. Unless Americans are willing to fight for their freedom there will soon be no freedom to fight for…

Sincerely yours,

Daniel McAdams
Executive Director
Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity

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The New (Pathologized) Totalitarianism – Consent Factory, Inc.

Posted by M. C. on August 12, 2020

Look, I don’t mean to be depressing, but seriously, spend an hour on the Internet, or talk to one of your hysterical friends that wants to make mask-wearing mandatory, permanently. This is the mentality of the Brave New Normal … irrationally paranoid and authoritarian. So, no, the future isn’t looking very bright for anyone not prepared to behave as if the world were one big infectious disease ward.

https://consentfactory.org/2020/06/29/the-new-pathologized-totalitarianism/

The New (Pathologized) Totalitarianism

It was always going to come to this … mobs of hysterical, hate-drunk brownshirts hunting down people not wearing masks and trying to get them fired from their jobs, “no mask, no service” signs outside stores, security staff stopping the mask-less from entering, paranoid pod people pointing and shrieking at the sight of mask-less shoppers in their midst, goon squads viciously attacking and arresting them …

Welcome to the Brave New Normal.

And it isn’t just the Maskenpflicht-Sturmabteilung. The new official narrative is omnipresent. The corporate media are pumping out hysteria about “Covid-19 hospitalizations” (i.e., anyone admitted to a hospital for anything who tested positive for the coronavirus) and “major incidents” (i.e., people at the beach). Police are manning makeshift social-distancing-monitoring watchtowers in London. There are propaganda posters and billboards everywhere, repeating the same neo-Goebbelsian slogans, reinforcing the manufactured mass hysteria. Dissent and nonconformity are being pathologized, “diagnosed” as psychopathy and paranoia. Mandatory vaccinations are coming.

You didn’t think they were kidding, did you, when they started introducing the Brave New Normal official narrative back in March? They told us, clearly, what was coming. They told us life was going to change … forever. They locked us down inside our homes. They ordered churches and synagogues closed. They ordered the police to abuse and arrest us if we violated their arbitrary orders. They closed the schools, parks, beaches, restaurants, cafés, theaters, clubs, anywhere that people gather. They ripped children out of their mother’s arms, beat and arrested other mothers for the crime of “wearing their masks improperly,” dragged mask-less passengers off of public buses, gratuitously beat and arrested people for not “social-distancing” on the sidewalk, shackled people with ankle monitors, and intimidated everyone with robots and drones. They outlawed protests, then hunted down people attending them and harassed them at their homes. They started tracking everyone’s contacts and movements. They drafted new “emergency” laws to allow them to forcibly quarantine people. They did this openly. They publicized it. It’s not like they were hiding anything.

No, they told us exactly what was coming, and advised us to shut up and follow orders. Tragically, most people have done just that. In the space of four months, GloboCap has successfully imposed totalitarianism — pathologized totalitarianism — on societies all across the world. It isn’t traditional totalitarianism, with a dictator and a one-party system, and so on. It is subtler and more insidious than that. But it is totalitarianism nonetheless.

GloboCap could not have achieved this without the approval (or at least the acquiescence) of the vast majority of the masses. The coronavirus mass hysteria was a masterstroke of propaganda, but propaganda isn’t everything. No one is really fooled by propaganda, or not for long, in any event. As Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari noted in the opening of Anti-Oedipus:

“The masses were not innocent dupes. At a certain point, under a certain set of conditions, they wanted fascism, and it is this perversion of the desire of the masses that needs to be accounted for.”

I am not going to try to account for the “perversion of the desire of the masses” here in this essay, but I do want to dig into the new pathologized totalitarianism a little bit.

Now, I’m going to assume that you understand that the official “apocalyptic pandemic” narrative is predicated on propaganda, wild speculation, and mass hysteria, and that by now you are aware that we are dealing with a virus that causes mild to moderate symptoms (or absolutely no symptoms at all) in 95% of those infected, and that over 99.5% survive … thus, clearly, no cause for widespread panic or justification for the totalitarian “emergency measures” that have been imposed. I am also going to assume that you watched as GloboCap switched off the “deadly pandemic” to accommodate the BLM protests, then switched it back on as soon as they subsided, and that you noted how their propaganda shifted to “cases” when the death count finally became a little too embarrassing to continue to hype.

So, I won’t waste your time debunking the hysteria. Let’s talk pathologized totalitarianism.

The genius of pathologized totalitarianism is like that old joke about the Devil … his greatest trick was convincing us that he doesn’t exist. Pathologized totalitarianism appears to emanate from nowhere, and everywhere, simultaneously; thus, technically, it does not exist. It cannot exist, because no one is responsible for it, because everyone is. Mass hysteria is its lifeblood. It feeds on existential fear. “Science” is its rallying cry. Not actual science, not provable facts, but “Science” as a kind of deity whose Name is invoked to silence heretics, or to ease the discomfort of the cognitive dissonance that results from desperately trying to believe the absurdities of the official narrative.

The other genius of it (from a GloboCap viewpoint) is that it is inexhaustible, endlessly recyclable. Unlike other official enemies, the “deadly virus” could be any virus, any pathogen whatsoever. All they have to do from now on is “discover” some “novel” micro-organism that is highly contagious (or that mimics some other micro-organism that we already have), and wave it in front of people’s faces. Then they can crank up the Fear Machine, and start projecting hundreds of millions of deaths if everyone doesn’t do exactly as they’re told. They can run this schtick … well, pretty much forever, anytime the working classes get restless, or an unauthorized president gets elected, or just for the sheer sadistic fun of it.

Look, I don’t mean to be depressing, but seriously, spend an hour on the Internet, or talk to one of your hysterical friends that wants to make mask-wearing mandatory, permanently. This is the mentality of the Brave New Normal … irrationally paranoid and authoritarian. So, no, the future isn’t looking very bright for anyone not prepared to behave as if the world were one big infectious disease ward.

I’ve interacted with a number of extremely paranoid corona-totalitarians recently (just as a kind of social experiment). They behave exactly like members of a cult. When challenged with facts and basic logic, first, they flood you with media propaganda and hysterical speculation from “medical experts.” Then, after you debunk that nonsense, they attempt to emotionally manipulate you by sharing their heartbreaking personal accounts of the people their therapists’ brother-in-laws’ doctors had to helplessly watch as they “died in agony” when their lungs and hearts mysteriously exploded. Then, after you don’t bite down on that, they start hysterically shrieking paranoia at you (“JUST WAIT UNTIL THEY INTUBATE YOU!” … “KEEP YOUR SPITTLE AWAY FROM ME!”) and barking orders and slogans at you (“JUST WEAR THE GODDAMN MASK, YOU BABY!” … “NO SHOES, NO SHIRT, NO MASK, NO SERVICE!”)

Which … OK, that would be kind of funny (or terribly sad), if these paranoid people were not just mouthpieces echoing the voice of the official power (i.e., GloboCap) that is transforming what is left of society into a paranoid, pathologized, totalitarian nightmare right before our eyes. They’re kind of like the “woman in red” in The Matrix. When you are talking to them, you’re not talking to them. You’re talking to the agents. You’re talking to the machines. Try it sometime. You’ll see what I mean. It’s like talking to a single algorithm that is running in millions of people’s brains.

I can’t lie to you. I’m not very hopeful. No one who understands the attraction (i.e., the seduction) of totalitarianism is. Much as we may not like to admit it, it is exhilarating, and liberating, being part of the mob, surrendering the burden of personal autonomy and individual responsibility, fusing with a fanatical “movement” that is ushering in a new “reality” backed by the sheer brute force of the state … or the transnational global capitalist empire.

It is irresistible, that attraction, to most of us. The chance to be a part of something like that, and to unleash one’s hatred on those who refuse to go along with the new religion … to publicly ridicule them, to humiliate them, to segregate them from normal society, to hunt them down and get them fired from their jobs, to cheer as police abuse and arrest them, to diagnose them as “abnormal” and “inferior,” these social deviants, these subhuman “others,” who dare to challenge the authority of the Party, or the Church, or the State, or the Reich, or Science.

Plus, in the eyes of GloboCap (and its millions of fanatical, slogan-chanting followers), such non-mask-wearing deviants are dangerous. They are like a disease … an infestation. A sickness in the social body. If they refuse to conform, they will have to be dealt with, quarantined, or something like that.

Or they can just surrender to the Brave New Normal, and stop acting like babies, and wear a goddamn mask.

After all, it’s just a harmless piece of cloth.

CJ Hopkins
June 29, 2020
Photos: (1) DHVANI billboard/pymnts.com; (2) United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Oesterreichische Nationalbibliothek.

CJ Hopkins Summer 2018 thumbnail

DISCLAIMER: The preceding essay is entirely the work of our in-house satirist and self-appointed political pundit, CJ Hopkins, and does not reflect the views and opinions of the Consent Factory, Inc., its staff, or any of its agents, subsidiaries, or assigns. If, for whatever inexplicable reason, you appreciate Mr. Hopkins’ work and would like to support it, please go to his Patreon page (where you can contribute as little $1 per month), or send your contribution to his PayPal account, so that maybe he’ll stop coming around our offices trying to hit our staff up for money. Alternatively, you could purchase his satirical dystopian novel, Zone 23, or Volume I of his Consent Factory Essays, or any of his subversive stage plays, which won some awards in Great Britain and Australia. If you do not appreciate Mr. Hopkins’ work and would like to write him an abusive email, please feel free to contact him directly.

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A Monument to Authoritarianism – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on June 6, 2020

In other words, what the Lincoln Memorial represents, according to the government that built it, is that the people are the servants, not the masters, of the state.

Would the Soviet government have permitted the defacing of a statue of Stalin?  The Chinese government a trashing of Mao?  How about red devil horns spray painted on Castro’s statue in Havana?  As Murray Rothbard once said, the state considers the most grievous of crimes to be crimes against itself – or in this case its image of itself. 

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2020/06/thomas-dilorenzo/a-monument-to-authoritarianism/

By

News coverage of the recent riots in Washington, D.C. revealed the utter inability of the police to protect shop owners, residents, and even the church across the street from the White House from vandalism, looting, and arson.  National Guard and even active-duty military troops were brought in to protect the White House itself.  The Secret Service is said to have brought the Trump family into the underground bunker beneath the executive mansion at one point.

Some of the government’s monuments to itself, which seem to be on every street corner and in every intersection in Washington, D.C., were vandalized and spray painted with graffiti.  Yet it was still surprising to see one morning on the news that even the Lincoln Memorial –the most popular tourist destination in the city, the national shrine — had a few graffiti scribblings etched on it during the previous night’s rampant hooliganism.

Well.  That does it.  The line had been crossed.  The response of the government was, to paraphrase President George H.W. Bush after the 1990 Iraqi invasion of Kuwait:  “This Shall Not Stand!”  The next morning the news contained images of what appeared to be at least a hundred heavily-armed national guardsmen posted at the front of the Lincoln Memorial.  There were probably dozens or even hundreds more protecting the other sides as though they were preparing for another Battle of the Bulge.  You can loot and burn down every shop in Georgetown, set fires to garbage dumpsters and private cars in the streets, terrorize the public, assault and even shoot police officers and burn their squad cars, but hands off the Lincoln Memorial – the state’s quintessential monument to . . . statism.  Would the Soviet government have permitted the defacing of a statue of Stalin?  The Chinese government a trashing of Mao?  How about red devil horns spray painted on Castro’s statue in Havana?  As Murray Rothbard once said, the state considers the most grievous of crimes to be crimes against itself – or in this case its image of itself.  Not gonna happen, as George W. Bush was fond of saying (at least according to his imitator on Saturday Night Live).

In my new soon-to-be-released (July 7) book, The Problem with Lincoln, I devote a chapter to how Lincoln, who was arguably the most hated and despised of all American presidents during his lifetime (See Larry Tagg, The Unpopular Mr. Lincoln), became deified in the decades after his death by the Republican party, the New England clergy, the government schools, and the entire apparatus of state propaganda, the physical cornerstone of which is the Lincoln Memorial, completed in 1922.

The state itself has described the importance of the Lincoln Memorial as an attempt to inculcate the ideology of authoritarianism and dictatorial rule in the American mind with a National Park Service publication entitled “Secret Symbol of the Lincoln Memorial,” by Nathan King.  The “true meaning” of the Lincoln Memorial, says the U.S. government publication, is represented by a “ubiquitous symbol that is all over the shrine, inside and out.  That symbol is the fasces, a bundle of rods bound by a leather thong.”  This symbol reveals “the higher meaning of the memorial and the man [Lincoln],” according to the U.S. government.

The article explains that the fasces was originally used by the Roman emperors as a “symbol of power and authority,” especially “executive authority” (i.e., dictatorial power).  Someone exercising such authority “could expect his orders to be obeyed, could dole out punishment, and could execute those who disobeyed,” the government document approvingly states.  This is the “true meaning” of the shrine to Abraham Lincoln, says the government.  It has nothing to do with governmental protection of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness or any of the other ideas of the founding generation; by the government’s own admission it is a shrine to fascist authoritarianism, the kind of American state that was ushered in by the Lincoln administration.

The rods of the fasces, the article continues, “suggest punishment by beating.”  The axe “suggests beheading” of those who disobey the state’s orders.  “Power, strength, authority, and justice” are what the fasces (where the word fascism comes from, by the way) mean, says the U.S. government.  They symbolize “the power and authority of the state over the citizens . . .”

In other words, what the Lincoln Memorial represents, according to the government that built it, is that the people are the servants, not the masters, of the state.  They had better obey their rulers’ dictates – or else.  The purpose of government is not to secure our natural rights to life, liberty, and property, but to centrally plan our lives and to punish us if we object or disobey the state’s orders.  Lest Americans balk at associating their government with the brutal and barbaric Roman dictators this symbol of the Roman empire is said to have been “Americanized,” the article explains, by placing an cute little eagle above some of the fasces on and around the Lincoln Memorial.

More than 150 years of relentless state propaganda deified not just Lincoln the man, but all of his unconstitutional, dictatorial behavior, from the illegal suspension of habeas corpus, the shutting down of hundreds of opposition newspapers in the North, the mass arrest of tens of thousands of political dissenters without due process, to committing treason by invading the sovereign Southern States (Article 3, Section 3 of the Constitution defines treason as “only” levying war upon the free and independent states, as they are called in the Declaration of Independence), deporting an opposing congressman from Ohio, and much more.  Is there any wonder that the Coronavirus Planned-demic led so immediately to an orgy of authoritarianism from hundreds of mini-Mussolinis (i.e., governors, mayors, city councils)?  If you want to know where the notion came from that the constitution can (and should) be suspended whenever there is an “emergency,” look no farther than the Lincoln Memorial and who and what it represents.  If you want to know why governors, mayors, and other pipsqueak local politicians think that they will actually be praised by acting like dictatorial tyrants, shutting down businesses on a whim, destroying the livelihoods of their citizens, and enforcing their petty “orders” with heavily-armed and militarized local police, look no farther than the symbolic meaning of the Lincoln Memorial and the man who it has helped to deify.  Even foreign despots invoke “Saint Lincoln” to “justify” their tyranny.  When the former Pakistani dictator Pervez Musharraf imposed martial law on his country he “justified” it by saying that Abraham Lincoln had done the same thing in his day.

None of the “lockdown orders” and dictates was constitutional, despite the fact that every last one of them took an oath of office in which they pledged to protect and defend the Constitution.  None of the “orders” were actual laws passed by legislatures but were the mere words of clueless, power-mad politicians.  The glorification of “executive power” has now totally overthrown the quaint notion of the founding generation that the people should be the masters rather than the servants of the state, that government’s just powers depend on the consent of the governed, and that the state should be “bound by the chains of the Constitution,” as Jefferson once said.  Today we have top advisors to  presidents saying such things as “Stroke of a pen, law of the land.  Kinda cool,” as  Bill Clinton advisor Paul Begala once remarked.

The Constitution itself has long been essentially meaningless in that regard, and a key reason for this is the glorification of unconstitutional executive power that really began during what generations of historians have labeled – and generally praised as — “the Lincoln dictatorship.”   If this is acceptable to Americans, then fascist authoritarianism is what they will get and deserve – “good and hard” — as H.L. Mencken once put it.

Be seeing you

 

 

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Climate Change at Fox News – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on April 25, 2020

Drowning in the swamp. Holding hands with Trump on the way down.

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2020/04/no_author/climate-change-at-fox-news/

By Steve Hall

There has been a drastic change in the climate at Fox News.  We used to think of them as a counter-balance to the “mainstream media”; an alternative perspective, with “balance” and yes, with a healthy dose of skepticism about all things government.  Then suddenly, inexplicably, Fox News jumped on the hysteria bandwagon.

– – – – –

Imagine this:  an old white guy is elected President, with AOC as his running mate.  The old guy can no longer do the job, perhaps perishes, and AOC becomes President.  She immediately sounds the alarm:  the threat from climate change, the destruction of the earth, is imminent.  She shows the models and presents the science.  The media shouts “armageddon” day after after day, incessantly, with a parade of experts who agree.

AOC says that we knew this was coming and yet we did not prepare.  That we had ten years, but now there is no time left.  The public is whipped into fear and mass hysteria.  AOC declares a national emergency and a “War on Climate Change” and the people acquiesce.  She orders temporary measures to cut the use of carbon-based fuel: shuts down oil production; shuts down cruise ships; restricts airline flights; orders people not to drive unless it is essential; and shuts down all frivolous activities.  But the two-week “temporary” shutdown quickly turns into another month, and then another, with no end in sight.

People comply voluntarily.  “Everyone agrees” that this must be done.  But voluntary soon turns to mandatory.  Guidelines, when administered by bureaucrats, become arbitrary laws.  Because the economy is so interconnected, because all workers are essential, the economic impact begins to grow and spread.  Hundreds of thousands of workers are unemployed.  Businesses are bankrupted.  The effects ripple through the entire economy and cause a deep recession.  AOC promises to make everyone whole and initiates massive Federal spending, with Congress happily agreeing (it buys them votes, and would be so politically incorrect to question, let alone dissent).

The Federal government has no money except which it first takes from the people; the shutdown drastically reduces the money coming in.  The Federal government has no savings; they were already deep in debt.  The “Fed” was out of “ammunition”; interest rates had been held artificially low for years and they had already been doing bailouts and QE to keep the economy propped up.  So all of the AOC stimulus and Federal aid has to come from additional, excessive debt, or from what amounts to printing money out of thin air.  America wobbles on the verge of an unprecedented depression, perhaps total economic collapse.

– – – – –

Now try to imagine Fox News jumping on board with AOC in that scenario.  Not questioning the models.  Not presenting other perspectives and alternative views.  Not considering the consequences.  In fact, doing just the opposite – sounding the alarm and promoting the panic, actually encouraging the shut downs!   Unimaginable?  Many of us thought so.  Yet that is exactly what they did with this virus!

Tucker Carlson was one of the very first, sensationalizing how dangerous this could be, urging Federal action.  Within weeks, every Fox News anchor was on board, not only agreeing with the unprecedented step of shutting down the nation, but also with the dangerous, dictator-like experiment of quarantining people who were not sick!

That was, in fact, pretty much what communist China did.  Except in America it was to be  “guidelines”?  Voluntary?  Temporary?  No, it’s turning out to be mandatory.  And once that hysteria was in place, the momentum is to remain shutdown, especially from those who have acquired new powers.  “Flatten the curve” we did, but now the new goal seems to be “no new cases” (an impossible goal in any realistic time frame) or “until there is a vaccine.”  A vaccine, by the way, is no silver bullet; we have had seasonal flu vaccines for years and people still die.

Today at Fox, they repeat, “We all know that we had to do it” while at the same time scrambling to address how we avoid the inevitable economic consequences (which would have been so obvious to anyone who bothered to think about that before taking the leap).  But just like the AOC story, we have shut down oil production; shut down cruise ships; and restricted air travel and driving.  But we went even further, locking down a majority of the population, shuttering most businesses.  Now we have the unemployment and the bankruptcies.  And the politicians are making the ludicrous promise that no one will suffer financially.

So now Fox News folks are resorting to the CNN approach – attacking – complaining about a Governor who makes arbitrary rules, how awful that is.  Do you really expect any different when you make such a leap toward authoritarianism?  That’s what always happens when you replace the Rule of Law with the Laws of Rulers.  Why has Fox News not been interviewing Rush Limbaugh and Judge Napolitano and Lieutenant Dan Patrick and Doctor Ron Paul from the very outset?  Why are they arguing that some are “taking it too far” when they never should have been allowed to “take it” in the first place?

It was a mistake to shut down the country.  Because of economic repercussions, of course.  But also in our loss of liberties, another huge step toward an authoritarian America.  Not to mention that the deaths that result long-term are very likely to far exceed the death toll from the virus.  Especially if our economy collapses.  Or if we experience hyperinflation.  Or we we engage in a huge new hot war to “pull us out of the depression”.

What is so sad and disheartening now is the refusal of Fox News to admit that the shutdown was a mistake, or to even entertain the idea that it might have been.  I guess they are in CYA mode, just like so many politicians.  Instead, they continue to straddle the fence – “we all agree that we had to do it, but now we need to decide how best to open up.”  They continue to promote the theory that “if we hadn’t done it, it would have been much worse” – – when there is no valid data to support that (we’ll likely, eventually, prove that theory to be false).

Where are the models and the what-ifs and the projections about what might have happened if we had not shut down?  If we had Instead just issued the guidelines and encouraged people to act responsibly?  Even on Fox, that discussion seems to be off limits.

We were never going to stop this virus, because it is so contagious; they told us that from the beginning.  The bottom line is this:  if someone is afraid, has underlying health issues – in fact for for any reason at all – they have the option of self-isolating.  If they do, and if they sanitize incoming, wash their hands, and don’t touch their face, then they will not get the virus!  (Or at least the chances are so slim as to be statistically negligible.)  No one is stopping them!

But many people are willing to take the small risk.  After contact, there’s maybe a 50/50 chance of contracting the virus.  Of those that do get infected, only 4% will get seriously ill.  In other words 96% – ninety-six percent – will experience mild symptoms, or none at all.  The risk of dying from Covid-19 looks to be about the same as from the flu just a few years ago.  Less total deaths than from driving automobiles.

It is pure irony to see the “awful mainstream media” and Fox News on the same page!  Promoting mass hysteria, crazy models, and un-vetted “science”.  Let alone supporting a national lock down and lock up.  Ironic, too, that it is the Washington Post, of all people, now questioning these trillions of dollars of spending and debt.  Maybe their objectives really are no different?  This pandemic, and our response, is revealing the crumbling infrastructure of the American experiment and our Constitutional Republic.  Perhaps we were unprepared do defend against this latest virus (it is, after all, one of about 200), but neither was Fox News prepared to defend our liberty.

Be seeing you

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