Archives for category: tyranny
Books that just came into my library, or that I have just begun reading.

Two months ago or so, my little sister was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in its later stages. Though she had had a tough case of the COVID in 2020, the hospital required her to take one of the “vaccines.” She chose the Johnson & Johnson, and then, in early July she endured her first chemotherapy treatment. In eight days she was dead.

I have been as listless as many who have taken the pushed treatments, since. No desire to make a podcast or write anything of much importance. But the times are not waiting for me. The onslaught of medical tyranny is coming.

Last night, my dog woke me up in the middle of the night and I couldn’t get back to sleep. So I went on a binge of posting to Twitter and Facebook, doing little on Gab. My previous day’s Twitter foray was described as crazy by one Twitter follower:

I take my alarmist cue in part from seeing what is happening Australia and New Zealand and taking these societies as bellwethers. The tyrannies being set up there are quite horrific. I’ve been catching occasional news about it all, but one YouTuber — a fascinating and extremely odd gentleman going under the name Theoria Apophasis — has been engaged in a string of videos on the subject of Pandemic Over-Reaction Down Under:

Though things look grim, the logic of it all is so fractured that it is hard not to laugh. Somebody satirized the logic in a fine parody:

ABBOTT AND COSTELLO’S ‘WHO’S BEEN VACCINATED?’

Bud: ‘You can’t come in here!’

Lou: ‘Why not?’

Bud: ‘Well because you’re unvaccinated.’

Lou: ‘But I’m not sick.’

Bud: ‘It doesn’t matter.’

Lou: ‘Well, why does that guy get to go in?’

Bud: ‘Because he’s vaccinated.’

Lou: ‘But he’s sick!’

Bud: ‘It’s alright. Everyone in here is vaccinated.’

Lou: ‘Wait a minute. Are you saying everyone in there is vaccinated?’

Bud: ‘Yes.’

Lou: ‘So then why can’t I go in there if everyone is vaccinated?’

Bud: ‘Because you’ll make them sick.’

Lou: ‘How will I make them sick if I’m NOT sick and they’re vaccinated.’

Bud: ‘Because you’re unvaccinated.’

Lou: ‘But they’re vaccinated.’

Bud: ‘But they can still get sick.’

Lou: ‘So what the heck does the vaccine do?’

Bud: ‘It vaccinates.’

Lou: ‘So vaccinated people can’t spread covid?’

Bud: ‘Oh no. They can spread covid just as easily as an unvaccinated person.’

Lou: ‘I don’t even know what I’m saying anymore. Look. I’m not sick.

Bud: ‘Ok.’ Lou: ‘And the guy you let in IS sick.’

Bud: ‘That’s right.’

Lou: ‘And everybody in there can still get sick even though they’re vaccinated.’

Bud: ‘Certainly.’

Lou: ‘So why can’t I go in again?’

Bud: ‘Because you’re unvaccinated.’

Lou: ‘I’m not asking who’s vaccinated or not!’

Bud: ‘I’m just telling you how it is.’

Lou: ‘Nevermind. I’ll just put on my mask.’

Bud: ‘That’s fine.’

Lou: ‘Now I can go in?’

Bud: ‘Absolutely not?’

Lou: ‘But I have a mask!’

Bud: ‘Doesn’t matter.’

Lou: ‘I was able to come in here yesterday with a mask.’

Bud: ‘I know.’

Lou: So why can’t I come in here today with a mask? ….If you say ‘because I’m unvaccinated’ again, I’ll break your arm.’

Bud: ‘Take it easy buddy.’

Lou: ‘So the mask is no good anymore.’

Bud: ‘No, it’s still good.’

Lou: ‘But I can’t come in?’

Bud: ‘Correct.’

Lou: ‘Why not?’

Bud: ‘Because you’re unvaccinated.’

Lou: ‘But the mask prevents the germs from getting out.’

Bud: ‘Yes, but people can still catch your germs.’

Lou: ‘But they’re all vaccinated.’

Bud: ‘Yes, but they can still get sick.’

Lou: ‘But I’m not sick!!’

Bud: ‘You can still get them sick.’

Lou: ‘So then masks don’t work!’

Bud: ‘Masks work quite well.’

Lou: ‘So how in the heck can I get vaccinated people sick if I’m not sick and masks work?’

Bud: ‘Third base.’

And…scene…

The illogic of it all is the astounding thing. Paul Jacob captured this yesterday by showing how challengeable the official line is:

A recent Reason article on New York’s new vaccination passport informs that “there’s a case to be made . . .” yet neglects to mention that the opposite case can also be made. 

What case is it?

Well, the Mayor Bill de Blasio-sanctified case is that “these [totalitarian] measures are important for getting as much of the population vaccinated as possible in order to reduce virus mutation and prevent more harmful variants from taking root.” 

Yet the inverse is perhaps more persuasive. Several important figures in the medical and scientific community have been crying Cassandra* for some time, arguing that an ineffective vaccine, like the mRNA treatments sponsored by Pfizer and Moderna, may, according to epidemiological principles long understood, pressure the spreading viruses into the thing we don’t want: more deadly variants.

The normal course for a new contagion is for it to mutate into easier-to-spread but less deadly variants. Killing a host isn’t good for the virus, so it changes over time. Oddly, I rarely hear this mentioned.

Herd immunity, which is the prevalence in a community of enough people who can fend off the virus preventing transmission to weaker people, can only be helped by vaccination when the vaccines increase hosts’ immunity to obtaining it and spreading it — neither of which clearly applies to the current vaccines.

“From their very first conceptualization,” claims Geert Vanden Bossche, one of the biggest names in the industry to object to the vaccination campaign, “it should have been very clear that these ‘S-based’ Covid-19 vaccines are completely inadequate for generating herd immunity in a population, regardless of . . . the rate of vaccine coverage.”

Sans herd immunity but with universal vaccination, he says, deadlier variants could arise.

Is he right? I don’t know. 

But the case against vaccine passports might reference epidemiology and virology from sources outside establishment-approved “scientific” opinion.

Totalitarians rarely have “the science” on their side.

Paul Jacob, Common Sense with Paul Jacob, “Ceding ‘Science’ to Totalitarians?” (August 19, 2021).

The Reason article Paul quoted notes that there are no exceptions given, under de Blasio’s regime, for natural immunity. You have to take “the jab” no matter what, or no society for you. You will be kept out of all public buildings. Including “private” businesses. An astounding thing. My Facebook reaction to this policy was brief:

The irrationality here should be obvious. The consequences of the irrationality are perhaps less obvious, because Americans have never really seen their own society break into pure terror and mob-fueled totalitarianism before. They are unprepared. And most will deny the warning, calling the warning itself irrational. But Folly now calls to its own, and we can expect the madness to grow exponentially. It has been fun, so to speak. Now it gets grim. The end of the republic is at hand. Woo-hoo? (Ugh.)

Theoria Apophasis calls the process underway “bringing a people to its knees.” But it is not just the madness of crowds. There are guiding hands, as I argued, and it has been going on a long time. Take the vaccines. Vaccination has been hyped and the case for their success grossly overstated:

We are propagandized about vaccines for reasons of power: medical and political. More important than vaccination in [nearly] eradicating traditional major diseases was the automobile replacing horses (which shat everywhere) and the development of good plumbing and sewage systems.

“Civilization is the distance man has placed between himself and his own excreta.” Brian Aldiss, The Dark Light Years

Folks who like public Uplift could take credit for these two major developments, since government was involved in strategic ways. But why don’t they? Because there is scant more power to be gained by their promotion. The next ramp-up of power is from the medicalization of everyday life. Therapeutic tyranny is, as Thomas Szasz predicted, the next big thing.

And fabulism about vaccination efficacy is a key propaganda point to ushering in the new form of control.

New York’s vaccination passport is merely the first step. Politicians, bureaucrats, doctors and Big Pharma will take it all — take away as much freedom and dissolve as much distributed responsibility as possible — if we let them.

The rationales for masks, lockdowns, and the vaccines are all very bad. Courtesy of historian Tom Woods, I shared an important chart:

Here are the death numbers for Germany and Sweden. Sweden is at about 9% mask compliance; Germany has a medical-grade mask mandate. Yet same trajectory, same numbers. £ It’s almost like the virus does what it will, regardless of our “I feel better if I’m doing something even if it’s pointless” interventions. [Tom Woods]

My comment on this was succinct:

I’m so tired of the way most folks argue for masks. That is, like religious zealots. I argue against masks every which way — except one: I think masking when sick would be socially useful; masking when not showing symptoms, on the other hand, is socially detrimental. I’ve made the case before. It’s fairly obvious.

My view of the near future is quite bleak. But I do agree that not all hope is lost:

An intransigent minority can win. And did. In Afghanistan.

And, just so, if Americans wish to regain freedom, the would-be free must become intransigent, or they shall be ground down quickly. The grinding machinery of mob government is at the door….

And I do have a vision of how a freer society would handle contagions like the current one — and worse:

A free people would negotiate with each other openly and rationally on matters of how to handle sociality during a contagion.

They would not mandate coercive policies with ambiguous effects and then stick to their “sides” as if the issue were Eternal Security and the proper way to settle arguments were to point at specific Bible verses.

They would not revise their history books to conform to the latest policy whim, as the author of that history of the Spanish Flu did this past year. They would not blithely suppress ideas they disagree with. They would not scream at those whom they disagree with in public, and sic the cops onto children to pepper spray them for non-compliance with an ineffective mask mandate.

But we are not a free people. We are a disgraceful one.

That reference to a cop pepper-spraying a child who wasn’t complying with an idiotic mask mandate came from Australia, actually. But I feel at one with Australia. This is not just one country utterly pissing away freedom, here. It is most of a civilization. Ours. “Western,” so to speak.

twv

So many things seemed off from the beginning of the COVID biz.

The panic itself smacked of unreason. Indeed, it turned out to be easy to induce panic in the world population — over something that was not catastrophic. Like a very bad flu, it takes out the weakest. This was known from the get-go, with the afflicted cruise ship. Mainly, it was only the old folks and those with “co-morbidities” who died. The rest weathered the storm of the contagion remarkably well.

Many got sick and got over it. I did, in February 2020.

But natural experiments like the cruise ship were quickly forgotten, and hysterical hyping of the possible dangers took hold of the popular imagination. But perhaps it was who got sick that made the difference. Remember Tom Hanks? We started freaking out when our beloved celebrities took sick!

And I immediately began to suspect a weird class element here. Had the contagion stayed to the very old and the immune-compromised, would we have freaked? I began to wonder whether it was pressure, initially, from the rich, that turned the tide: they could die too.

But they didn’t. It was mainly the old. All along.

Now, this week, one octogenarian in Australia dies and the totalitarian rulers there hammer the lockdown regime again, under a “No regrets” policy. What a framing! As if one cannot regret all the damage one does when one takes away freedoms!!!

Some day the sheep of the field may rise up against their overlords and burn them at the stake, or behead them on guillotines. I wonder: “no regrets” then?

What I take away from this is “no freedom.” The masses fear freedom.

People do not valorize freedom much at all if they let it be taken away for so insignificant of reasons. It is always the case that people die. There are many, many causes of death, including the lockdowns themselves. But I go further: Your lack of immunity to a disease does not obligate me. You have to convince me to change my ways to protect you. You have to inspire me, get me to aspire to do what you think is “the right thing.” To accomplish this in a free society you would ask nicely. You would use reason. You would debate the epidemiology and the virology and you would be very concerned about the origin of the disease, to make sure it was not some form of biological warfare to change our policies in a way an enemy, say, might want them changed. Now that we have good reason to believe that the virus was cooked up in a lab (or two), and was released (by accident? on purpose?) and the release covered up, and by an enemy of the United States no less — well, that should give people pause.

But no. Bleating sheep don’t contemplate the malign agendas of shepherds.

I ranted about the misuse of the Precautionary Principle over a year ago. My point was that it is almost always used by one type of person for one effect. In the case of this Current Contagion, Precautionary Principle abusers looked at the relevant scenarios as leading to only ONE KIND of “mitigation effort”: lockdowns, mandatory mask-wearing, and the rush to produce “vaccines” that had been under-tested. Since my rant of March 2020, I keep coming back to my focus on biological warfare. I argued we should emphasize the possibility out of precaution for how power-seeking, illiberal politicians might use panic to secure for them the privilege and power and who-knows-what-else such folks lust for. Oh, and Money. Lots of money for well-connected pharmaceutical companies.

For MASS DEATH wasn’t the most likely result of the contagion. In our servile society, MASS LIBERTICIDE was the most likely. And it came to pass. For the people have been primed by the ideologies of socialism and progressivism and even “conservatism”: some people at risk obligates everyone to give up liberty. That is the key notion of the sentimentalist socialism we all grew up with.

It is the Weaker Brethren doctrine applied to government policy and political ideology. I always thought that it was a bad argument from a Christian point of view, about Christian liberty and the eating of meat offered to idols. (Paul said to “take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak,” thus enjoining the free Christian to curb his liberty so not to offend weak folk who cannot handle liberty.) This is the basic idea at the root of much late-stage churning state nonsense today, only translated from Christian worship and custom to the duties imposed by the State.

For the weak’s sake, we must disable the strong.

Thus the whining envy of socialists and progressives about what the rich spend their money on, or what the healthy do to survive and thrive. Why, the rich should give up all that they have and send it to the poor! Why, the healthy must mask up and stop working so they do not spread their cooties to others, who might infect the weak!

It is all the same sort of thing. Of course there are risks to sociality. Diseases of all sorts can wreak havoc. But the idea that especially in times of crisis our behavior must be regulated by the State, regulating even innocent sociality as a threat? That is a confidence game, a trick. For the servility and fragility of the mass man is now well known, and our enemies know it too.

Our enemies in China.

Our enemies in our own government.

Our enemies among our neighbors who would mob against us and, in high moral dudgeon, destroy us. Just to feel . . . powerful. Even if the whole response is a sign of powerlessness of the poltroon and the puny.

Of course, courage is always something a person could develop. The weak could bear the responsibility for their weakness as do the strong. Going into a disease, we all know that we could die of it — indeed, we all know that one day we will die. Man is mortal. We can be considerate of each other in the face of our mortality, but that does not play in just one direction, just as the Precautionary Principle does not play in the direction of one policy. The weak should understand their claims on others are few. And acknowledge that the strong have their rights as well. No one has a right to life that is open-ended. Under an ill-defined right to life, any obligation can be contemplated and pushed and, since all obligations are backed by force, in the governmental realm, our rights to life could shackle us all forever. But the argument for liberty has always been strong, and, in the end, it serves the weak, too. Their liberty to stay at home is the same as the strong’s liberty to stay at home. But liberty implies the opposite choice. The liberty to seek society must always be defended. And should people want to practically amend the terms of sociality, this has to be done voluntarily, not through state mandate.

twv

The Left has captured the Democratic Party . . . and leftist resentment at having even to answer challenges is fueling their mad lust to engage in full-on mob- and state-based attacks against all major competing ideas, personalities and platforms.

And libertarians who yammer on about how awful Trump is, and how he should, in January 2021, be impeached, place themselves on the side of these new totalitarians. Sure Trump was what he was: no savior. But he was also wasn’t what he wasn’t: an Antichrist. But what the Democrats now yearn for is an Antichrist, their own false savior in The State. And they are gearing up to stamp and contract-trace every citizen they can.

twv

In the past, I have warned that when the insiders — or, more properly, our overlords — take away cash, replacing it with digital fiat currency, freedom would be over.

The end of “democratic liberty,” such as it is, would be at hand.

That is coming soon, under cover of COVID, to be pushed as a saving measure by the new Democrat administration.

The rationale will be the same as the lockdowns: save the pensioners!

For Social Security and private pensions both are in the process of being destroyed.

Of course you saw this coming, as secular debt accumulation.

But you looked the other way.

You won’t look away from the next step, though. You will turn on your neighbors, in fear.

The new totalitarianism is almost in place.

Your compliance is appreciated by your overlords. Your compliance is the source of their power. You, the mask-wearing public, are the enemies of freedom.


In free fall, you feel fine. On the sidewalk, you’re a blot, and feel nothing any longer.

Mocking the possibility of a terminus on the way down is what fools do. The “we owe it to ourselves” counsel regarding debt accumulation has been the classic free fall folly — and one that is quite out-of-date, for we are now can see how the higher-ups and insiders plan on handling the conversion of financial systems.

The old dollar system is going to die. It will be replaced by a digital currency as if right out of the Book of the Revelation. The death of cash, which insiders are plotting (and is why it was absolutely necessary to get Trump out of the White House), will spell the loss of the last bit of liberty in society.

In the future, only criminals will be free.

And criminal freedom is not liberty.


On the other hand, as Catherine Austin Fitts admits in a recent much-shared video, the technology for an international digital fiat currency is not ready. And the idea that the U.S. Government could manage such a transition seems laughable.

Which is why, I guess, I assume it will not be the U.S. Treasury or the Federal Reserve that takes the lead on the project.

Till then, there is Bitcoin and many private digital fiat currencies. I am sure our overlords are watching these closely. For clues on how to do it, and what not to do.

My friends have all been gung-ho on the eleutherian possibilities of Bitcoin, but I expect Bitcoin to be cracked down upon big time should the new, cashless worldwide currency replacement actually occur. Let me just say, Bitcoin users: get used to riding on trains. For expect a last train ride in a boxcar, cramped.

twv

The Thing that Biden wouldn’t say is, of course . . . well, I will leave that thought to a podcast. (And yes, more are coming.)

So, everyone acknowledges how weird 2020 has been. But too rarely do we recognize how well prepared we have been for the totalitarianism now developing. Our progressive servility has been managed, taught, bought and paid for (though the “paid for” includes over $27 trillion in debt, so I’m using this term loosely). It is a multi-pronged advance, of course, and it would be tedious to list at this point the major wings of our enslavement. But what Herbert Spencer called “The Coming Slavery” in 1884 is what we are seeing at the end of 2020.

Though in some sense “shocking,” it is not as if all my life I have not believed this was coming. I believed it when I ate up evangelical Christian eschatology as a young teen; I grokked it when I read Aldous Huxley and Yevgeny Zamyatin as an older teen. I began to understand its methods when I learned the meaning of words like “Orwellian” and “fascist” and “communist,” and especially as I read the history of the rise of the American military-industrial complex. Economics proved helpful, too, as did social psychology and . . . science fiction.

Indeed, that latter should have prepared us all what we are about to experience. I occasionally use an obscure word: stefnal. Well, that word sure will come in handy in 2021. The world is undergoing metamorphosis, and it is a very “science-fictional” one.

The Age of the AntiChrist™ is here, and tens and tens of millions have voted for it. Ah, the Savior State! But caution: Biden’s not the AntiChrist™, and neither, I suspect, is the loathsome Kamala Harris: the Savior State itself fits the role, with the figurehead being replaceable.

And the Last Men (of all “genders”) shall march to their demise taunting those recalcitrants who must be dragged to their doom their in chains — though the chains may very well be some form of psychotropic drug, a freeze ray, or a carefully constructed virus.

Chanting “follow the science” is such a coward’s move, and so unscientific. In science, leadership and oppositionalism count. Followers are insignificant.

Not true of scientism, though. There, the science groupies really do provide extra oomph — the extra oomph needed to send people to involuntary vaccination lines, re-education centers, concentration camps, and gas chambers.

Technocracy is the political expression of scientism, and perhaps its raison d’être.

It pretends to be a logocentric endeavor, “logical” and “scientific” and all very Spockish, but that is belied by its required extremes of coercion and the always-present love of coercion.

But that violent streak needs its halo, some mythic power. In a word, “science.”

Repeat the word for its special magic, acolytes.

twv

States without lockdown orders, or mask mandates, are not doing spectacularly worse than those with them. Indeed, it ranges from “better” to a wash.

Which makes the policies inexcusable.

So why are these edicts being promoted and followed?

For the same reason politicians send us to war and we go. For the same reason there is war fervor and excitement. For the same reason crowds shout in triumph upon the death of millions elsewhere.

The State with its claim of sovereign authority tempts everyone, and it encourages us to be reckless, bloodthirsty, moralistic, self-righteous, and worse . . . out of fear, first, and some imagined advantage, second.

This similarity between war and the lockdown orders is fairly clear, is it not?

The “moral equivalent of war” is immoral, and we, like sheep, almost always go astray to the bad shepherd that is the State.

The State’s a mind-trap. It messes with your heads. It takes your fear and makes you do crazy things, like think prohibiting people from engaging in commerce and normal human interaction because some even peaceful interactions play against what is said to be the general welfare. But obviously, in the case of the threats that start most wars and the menace that is this pandemic, the “cures” are worse than the disease — in part because our benighted species has been infected by a far worse virus than SARS-CoV-2: that worse infection is statism. Political messianism, in other words.

Thinking that salvation comes from authoritarian force.

It is amusing how rarely anyone brings up the First Amendment; the freedom to peaceably assemble, one of would have thought, was something to be protected, not squelched. But oh, how politicians lust to squelch freedom in any form! It’s in their memes and maybe their genes.

And give them an excuse . . . well, don’t.

The proper response to a pandemic is caution, courage, curiosity and conscientiousness — all within the field of persuasion and property rights. Not state edict.

And by the way, “edicts” are not laws, in some jurisprudential theory, and the distinction is understandable. I won’t go to one local store that put up a sign mandating masks because of “Inslee Law.” Inslee’s our idiot governor. He cannot make law. Ascribing law to him is a kind of heresy to republicanism. I’d rather play anarch than subservient swine to Inslee’s edicts.

But maybe we can avoid accelerating our grimace. When I hear a person chide Trump and Trumpians for breaching the “rule of law” but in the next breath insist upon the need for lockdowns, I do indeed laugh.

Yet, should jackbooted thugs with badges come to take me off to the gulags my leftist friends seem itching to create in their drooled-about “Truth and Reconciliation” re-education camps, from my mouth may come bitter, not mirthful, laughter.

But of course the peace-lovers will no doubt gun me down instead. You know, “for the public good.”

Which they cannot explain on rational grounds. For this epidemic does not justify tyrannical proclamations and a general totalitarian response. Not even plausibly.

But add in fear and subtract sound judgment, and of course: anything goes.

As long as it is statist. That parasite meme is firmly running people’s brains now.

twv

Against Mere Plausibility

“First they came for the Jews.”

We all repeat the poem, with reverence.

First they came for the Jews
and I did not speak out
because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for the Communists
and I did not speak out
because I was not a Communist.

Then they came for the trade unionists
and I did not speak out
because I was not a trade unionist.

Then they came for me
and there was no one left
to speak out for me. 

Martin Niemöller, “First They Came for the Jews,” see alternative versions available.

Oh, we are so uplifted by this bit of rhetoric. Why, we would never do that! We would never cave to the Nazis! We are Americans! We are civilized!

Here is the deal: by complying with the mask orders, and censuring those who do not “comply” with same, you are doing what Niemöller said. You are, in effect, letting the Jews be taken away.

You protest, though: “The Nazis were wholly evil, but masks save lives!” Well, no, certainly the latter is not true. I can and have pointed to scientific studies that show the masks are ineffectual and even dangerous — and worse yet, constitute a deep psy-op that turns us into serviles, preparing us for a corporatist totalitarian agenda.

This should be obvious, the idea being to set up compliance regimens that allow States (it is quite clear in Australia right now) to eradicate freedom in the name of safety, to abridge freedom of speech and press and free association. The next step after refusing to allow people to purchase food without mask compliance is to refuse to allow us to travel and associate and purchase food without vaccination compliance — and then to add universal tracking on top of (or, more ominously, along with) that. This is not the spinning of some fanciful conspiracy scenario. The plans are openly touted. Bill Gates has argued for all of these things.

It is “just a coincidence” that these same people publicly worry about over-population and seek to diminish the world population by half. It is only a small step for them to turn a vaccine into the instrumentality of genocide. Thanos was a fictional supervillain; but our supervillains are quite real, many are out in the open and widely respected, and some of them are your friends.

That is why the canary in this particular coal mine is not “the Jews” today — or trans people or some much-touted minority — but the mask non-compliant.

If you side against the mask-less, you are no better than the Germans who let the Nazis take control. I am not kidding, nor am I exaggerating. Your protest that the Nazis’ case against the Jews was never this plausible is idiotically naïve. The Nazis indeed had a case. If you cannot make it, you fail to understand history and, alas, only understand the “straw man” case for freedom. The Nazis had a plausible case and it convinced the Germans, yet they were wrong and they succumbed to grave evil.

So, do not pretend that a case for totalitarianism cannot be made. There is of course a plausible case for mandatory masks. But it is wrong. Just like the Nazis were wrong. The pretense these days is that the enemies of justice do not have a case. Deny, rather than argue. This is intellectual cowardice, and is the vice of people who prefer herdish belief to actual thinking.

Liberty possesses a logic that resists the “plausible” sounding rationalizations of medical totalitarians, or any other kind of totalitarian.

The proper step is to resist totalitarian controls. It is not enough to vote out the vile governors of our states (Inslee in mine). And we must do more than bring lawsuits against the government. We must now be civilly disobedient. Stop wearing the masks, at least if you are young and healthy.

If you go about complying, the next level of control will ratchet up, as will the next after that, and there will be no stopping it.

First, they demanded masks.

twv

…pulled off of Instagram….

While I should be writing something for pay, or mowing the lawn, today I wrote a bunch of answers on Quora:

Can authoritarianism come to America?

It’s here. In the platforms, habits, demands and reverenced rhetoric of both major parties.

And it is going to get worse and reach its full flower with the new coronavirus menace, for people of vacuous spirituality demand to be “saved” by the sacrifice of others’ freedoms.

That’s authoritarianism in a very popular form.

It is effrontery first, tyranny second.

twv (5/13/20)

Why is it that people either intensely love Trump or […] intensely hate him?

I do not either intensely hate Trump or love him. You may be surprised to discover that this attitude is actually very common in America.

I do find him funny, though. But his enemies are funnier, if not in a praiseworthy way. He is not the idiot that his detractors incessantly insist he is, for it is obvious that he is smarter than most of his political opponents.

But he really is a different creature in the White House, and he breaks many norms. Since presidents following those norms have led us to war and insolvency, seeing them broken does not offend me much. I laugh at those who are offended, but I also chuckle at his adoring acolytes.

As for what he has done and what he believes or pretends to believe? I dislike Trump’s protectionism, his know-nothing nationalism, his crankish approach to policy, his inelegant and seemingly racist speech, but at least he is not a warmonger, and I would never side with the Deep State that demands his ouster. I am an anti-imperialist and anti-nationalist. Trump’s forays against the empire? I had some hope for him. But we did not see his ideas put into play. We saw reaction. At least now we can see who the real rulers are, for they have come out of hiding by trying to remove Trump from office. I know who freedom’s real enemies are, and they reside in the national security state and in shady global alliances of the hyper-wealthy.

But that does not get to the heart of the love/hate, does it? So let us confront one obvious truth: the main bone of contention is his sexual style. He is a traditional “alpha male.” As such, this offends beta male cultures on the Christian right and the pagan left, as well as modish feminism. But most women are not feminists, and his style does not offend everyone. And the right-leaning Christians have lost so many battles that they have in a sense given up: if God gives them an imperfect defender, they no longer prissily complain.

And the enthusiasm for Trump appears to be enthusiasm for someone who regularly humiliates their persecutors — and if any group is openly scorned in America, it is evangelical Christians . . . by coastal cognitive elites. And Trump makes a mockery of them.

Besides, could it be that Americans are beginning to see an ancient principle at work?

The Law of Nemesis turns pride and hubris inside-out, into some form of destruction. Sometimes this occurs by flaunting a parody of one’s enemies against us, other times by turning ourselves into parodies of our own values.

Bush Era hubris brought the empty and ludicrous sanctimony of the Obama years, while the selection of the ultra-corrupt Hillary Clinton as the Democratic Party’s standard bearer fed fuel to the rise of Trump. Part of the comedy here is that Hillary is thought of as a feminist, but she was cruel and unjust in persecuting her husband’s lovers and victims, so a parody of Bill Clinton became her conqueror. And Trump’s most infamous sexual indiscretion? That was his boast how women would fall over themselves for a rich and powerful man, even going so far to allow such men to “grab them by the pussy.” So what do Democrats now promote? A man accused of literally grabbing her accuser by the pussy, but against her will, not, as Trump said, by permission. This is almost a parody of the basic philosophies of right and left: the right produces and entices, the left steals.

All quite hilarious. I laugh at Americans every day. Sometimes I laugh at Trump, but more often I laugh at his enemies. Ridiculous is our descent into madness!

And why?

In times past I would have given reasons out of sociology and political economy — the Thomas Theorem, the Tragedy of the Commons, etc. — but now I suggest we wonder if the gods may not be jesting, playing with us. “The Progressives have had their century, and are a proud tower of folly; now we shall inflict their fall, as we take away their power, dignity, and reason for being.”

Why the love/hate? Because the participants are too entrenched in their own fates, unable to see the principles at work.

Take a step back and laugh with the gods.

twv (5/13/20)

Do you favor libertarian separatism?

I have written about this on my blog. I will summarize.

I support putting the general government of these United States under receivership. I think all the states should secede from the union and form several smaller unions, and those unions, or the departed states, should appoint the Receiver to liquidate the assets of the U.S.A., bring home from abroad all the military and divvy it up, with close attention to major contractors of the military-industrial complex, and pay off what debts can be managed without creating a worse situation than before.

I do not think there is any other way of restoring balance to our political-legal system. Culturally, financially, militarily, monetarily, the United States is a mess.

I liked the idea of the Constitution, I confess. Federalism — as conceived by the true federalists, called “anti-federalists” — is a pretty good idea. But it was a dead letter on accession in the early 1790s, and quickly became a mercantilist national state. The nationalism grew and grew, and morphed into a new form of imperialism.

I oppose nearly everything the United States have become.

So, this all assumes the persistence of large states. It also assumes that we might be able to make an orderly reorganization. This latter is a long shot. But barring this sort of thing, I foresee major chaos, and probably a triumph of totalitarian controls. Our nation of serviles is pushing for that now. Ugh.

What should libertarians do? I do not know. In a time of chaos it might be good to have a sovereign state with a concentrated population of libertarians. But if the totalitarianism comes, then they sure would be easy to round up.

Obviously, I support secession and voluntary, peaceable assembly. But the cult of the total state is getting ugly. And the cult’s acolytes are whipping themselves into a bloodletting frenzy. I know many leftists right now who would be glad to see me carted off to a prison camp.

The biggest problem? There are just so few libertarians. Congregating in one area will mean a slight increase in influence in that area, sure, but also would entail few per cultural checks in the regions abandoned.

If we have time, and if the Q Anon folks are wrong about what is really going on, a slow migration to specific regions might make sense. Perhaps to encourage the idea of restructuring by secession we should encourage the partitioning of a half dozen or so states. New York’s boroughs should be separated from the rest of New York; Chicago’s Cook Country should become a separate state; California needs to split into many pieces, with LA County being itself a separate state, and the much requested “Jefferson” created out of the north of the state snd southern Oregon; eastern Oregon and eastern Washington should become a new state of Adams; King Country, Wsshington, and the counties directly north, should become a separate state as well. The point of all this is to wrest power away from ruling cliques and make manageable states that could actually sport something close to founding era ideas of representation.

I think libertarians would have a better chance to influence politics for the better in any of the more rural new states: Jefferson, Adams, new Illinois, greater New York, etc.

But libertarians would be spread pretty thin. I fear that what will happen will be chaotic, tyrannical, and a horror. Pushing secession as a solution to problems might save the country, though, and, if not, allow for future formal bankruptcy proceedings, as I suggest up top.

I of course think all peaceful people should separate themselves from criminals, if they can. And the biggest criminal is the total state.

twv (5/13/20)

Foreword to the LFB edition of David Hume, Of the Original Contract
(rel. 3/3/2016)
. This ebook edition is, as of mid-February 2020, still available on Apple’s ebook platform: search for “Timothy Wirkman Virkkala” + Hume + “Of the Original Contract.”

Society runs, to some extent, on myths. 

The word “myth” derives from the Latin word mythus, which itself derived from a Greek word, muthos. It usually refers to origin stories, especially those traditional legends that help shore up a people’s beliefs about their place in the world. Because other folks’ origin stories strike us as fanciful nonsense, a secondary meaning grew up: “a widely held but false belief.” A word of caution here, though: because something serves as a myth, or even appears fantastic, does not mean it is untrue. There can exist, as theologian C. S. Lewis argued, “true myths.”

When it comes to politics, all these usages are relevant. There are myths and there are myths. We are united by the stories we share; we are divided by stories some dismiss as whoppers while others hold sacrosanct. And here is where careful thought must begin; as philosopher Karl Popper put it, “science must begin with myths, and with the criticism of myths.”

David Hume (1711-1776) was a Scottish philosopher, historian, economist, and essayist who may be seen as one of the first of the great myth-busters. In his writings on politics, Hume confronted myths head on, testing them on several levels of analysis. No better example of this can be found than in the present essay, “Of the Original Contract,” originally published in 1748.

In his day, two factions dominated politics, Tory and Whig. In the previous century, a monarch had been deposed and then, after an experiment without the monarchy (including a time without a legislature), the monarchy was restored. In an earlier essay on Britain’s political parties, Hume characterized both parties as demonstrating a love of liberty, adding that the Tories loved the monarchy even more than liberty, and that they tended (as before the Revolution of 1688) to emphasize the general principle of passive obedience to the monarch. Whigs, on the other hand, “without renouncing monarchy,” would be more “apt to think that every part of the government ought to be subordinate to the interests of liberty.” 

And yet Hume recognized that distinctions between the two, between “the parties of court and country,” were muddied by other factors. No conceptual scheme could be neat and tidy. We are familiar with such problems today, especially those that complicate the persistent one-dimensional directional metaphor of political ideology common since the French Revolution, between “right” and “left.”

Both parties had their myths, both of which Hume regarded as somewhat awkward and ill built. 

By attributing government to God, Tories tended to render government “so sacred and inviolate, that it must be little less than sacrilege, however tyrannical it may become, to touch or invade it, in the smallest article.” The Whigs, on the other hand, saw government as founded upon a social contract, from which they drew the conclusion that “the subjects have tacitly reserved the power of resisting their sovereign, whenever they find themselves aggrieved by that authority, with which they have, for certain purposes, voluntarily entrusted him.”

For Hume, both systems possessed merit, but not the merit each attributed to itself. Further, he argues that both parties demonstrated prudent practical consequences — but not at their extremes.

Thus David Hume positions himself as a political moderate.

He spends little time on the Tory myths, however. He notes, simply, that the workings of God to establish government must be seen as providential, behind-the-scenes in some way — “not by any particular or miraculous interposition” — and that, therefore, no sovereign could claim anything like a vice-regency, as God’s stand-in. Unfortunately, Hume does not stop there, and the several sentences that follow are themselves worthy of the kind of attention he reserves, in the rest of the essay, for the Whig theory of the social contract. (Most likely, Hume’s secret status as an apostate led him to refrain from extended public analysis of the workings of a Being whose existence he himself doubted.)

Hume initially addresses the Whig idea of government as resting upon the consent of the governed — an idea stated with classic clarity in the previous century by British philosopher John Locke — with a sort of cautious acceptance. Locke had taken Hobbes’s notion of life of man “in a state of nature” and upgraded it. Whereas Hobbes saw life without government as necessarily one of conflict, and, therefore, as “nasty, brutish, and short,” Locke, with some claim to realism, saw pre-political social life as more or less harmonious and co-operative, but subject to certain “inconveniences” that led to the establishment of government. Hume, in turn, went part way in Locke’s direction. He even begins with a kind of state-of-nature theory, imagining a pre-institutional setting for humanity, judging man’s “natural force” — power of muscle and brain — as nearly equal, meaning that any subordination of many to a few as requiring consent.

But he doesn’t let this analysis go on for long without qualification. Hume does not see the consent of a people to a chieftain, for example, as explicit. Instead, it is a kind of accommodation: with small instances of acceptance of superiority giving rise, gradually, to a “habitual, and, if you please to call it so, a voluntary, and therefore precarious, acquiescence in the people.”

We now know, from investigation into our animal cousins in wolf packs and ape troops, that the establishment of hierarchies in the simplest societies is often a matter of contest, the play of aggression and counter-aggression. The acquiescence of females (on the one hand) and beta and gamma males (on the other) to the dominant, alpha male does not nearly so closely resemble explicit contracts, and is not anywhere near so civilized as admitted even by Hume.

This amendment to Hume’s analysis only strengthens his main point. There is scant evidence, he argues, for any government to be founded by contract: “we find, every where, princes, who claim their subjects as their property, and assert their independent right of sovereignty, from conquest or succession.”

Not only is there no evidence for a historical “social contract,” original and binding on everyone, but the bulk of humanity seems to accept government as binding even though aggression is at the basis of governments they encounter, and grow up in.

So, why do the many acquiesce to the dominance of the few, particularly those in government? Elsewhere, Hume established this as the basic puzzle: “Nothing appears more surprizing to those, who consider human affairs with a philosophical eye, than the easiness with which the many are governed by the few.” Since there are always many more subjects than rulers, he reasoned that it must be opinion — not force — that effects this great accommodation that allows for dominance by the few. Popular opinion. In the present essay he identifies, but does not concisely name, a driving factor of opinion: fear. Hume argues that the specter of “a total dissolution of government” is the most terrible of all events, and that people prefer the dominance of the few to the liberty of the multitude.

The observation is undoubtedly correct. People tend not to trust each other very far, absent some force to restrain their rapacity. This likely derives not merely from observation of others, but also from history and rumor and fiction, as well as from introspection — not all of it reliable — about fantasies of dominance and criminality and bloodlust and revenge. It is easy to abstract from one’s own darkest thoughts and impute them to others. And it is not entirely irrational.

Yet the possibility that human beings can co-operate without aggression is not lost on Hume. He admits that contracts are ideal. He even admits that contract is “one just foundation of government.” But there are other foundations, which have pertained more often than not.

All through Hume’s essay there exists an interesting tension, one that the reader may be cued by other writings of the author to notice: between fact and value. The value of a government somehow confined to contract — to defending a society based on contracts, criminalizing and opposing duress and aggression and fraud — is not lost on our skeptical Scotsman. But the history of government loomed over all else, for him, as a matter of fact. There could be no doubt: governments traditionally have been agents of aggression and counter-aggression — duress that in a court of law would spoil the authority of any defendable contract by private parties. 

We can accept this as a fact — and all the particular facts that Hume parades before us. But he may have missed something. The social function of the myth of the original contract may have been mainly to elicit attention to perfecting government in the direction of contracts, of restraining rapacity in government, of tying it down to justice seen as requiring contract and not domination through coercion. Could it be that it is not as a fact that we should approach the idea of an “original contract”?

Hume himself most ably articulated the distinction between fact and value— that is, between is and ought — in his Treatise of Human Nature

In every system of morality, which I have hitherto met with, I have always remarked, that the author proceeds for some time in the ordinary ways of reasoning, and establishes the being of a God, or makes observations concerning human affairs; when all of a sudden I am surprised to find, that instead of the usual copulations of propositions, is, and is not, I meet with no proposition that is not connected with an ought, or an ought not. This change is imperceptible; but is however, of the last consequence. For as this ought, or ought not, expresses some new relation or affirmation, ’tis necessary that it should be observed and explained; and at the same time that a reason should be given, for what seems altogether inconceivable, how this new relation can be a deduction from others, which are entirely different from it.

In this famous passage, Hume cautioned that, by not attending to this distinction, philosophers get caught up in “vulgar” errors. The literature on this observation — which has been dubbed “Hume’s Guillotine” (clever) and “Hume’s Law” (yawn) — has become vast. Philosophers have designated the rhetorical move from is to ought as “the Naturalistic fallacy,” for example.

Another way of looking at “Of the Original Contract” is to consider another offshoot of Hume’s Law, the “Moralistic fallacy.” For too many people, ought influences their notions of is. Things “should” be this way or that, and so they pretend that they are that way or this, the better to bolster their prejudices. One can commonly observe this, today, in the intersection of political morality and biology. For instance, it is a characteristic dogma of our age that people “are equal,” in some very literal sense, not the very narrow and artful sense that Whigs in Hume’s day meant. So our contemporaries, believing that people should be “treated as equals” or “possess equal wealth,” can often be witnessed resisting scientific findings about the inherent genetic differences among not only individuals and groups. (We, today, are perhaps over-sensitive about matters relating to “race” and ethnic groupings, because these groupings have had so much to do with conflict in the past.) Thus they let their moral ideas utterly rule their appraisal of the facts. We may call this the Ought-Is Hegemony, but “Moralistic fallacy” does nicely.

The Moralistic fallacy could be at play in the notion of a historic social contract. Its theorists have valued contracts highly. The peace and co-operation demonstrated by a society made mostly of contracts? More than merely charming. Our contractual dealings have an order and friendliness and mutuality about them that our political and legal dealings do not. The accumulation of mutual advantages through such exchanges seems the very source of progress.  

But that provides no valid reason to pretend that, once upon a time, government was founded on contract, and therefore can be re-made because of the obligations of that contract. That is a fallacy.

Hume was right. 

But, as mentioned, his more general conclusion is almost certainly too rash. The Whig notion of a social contract may be fictional, but that does not mean that the values for which radical Whigs concocted to bolster their story could not be valid.

Hume’s prophecy, at the end of his essay, has certainly been shown to be unfounded: “New discoveries are not to be expected in these matters.” Explorations of the possibility of voluntary contracts to subsume even government have not only yielded new discoveries, they’ve engendered whole new disciplines, such as constitutional economics (a part of Public Choice theory). There may be even more than mere interest, but hope, in further work in this area. 

Regardless, Hume’s influence on later liberal (“Whig”) thought can be seen in the fact that most of the leading liberal thinkers in the centuries immediately following Hume’s critique abandoned the notion he attacked. For Henry David Thoreau, Herbert Spencer, and Gustave de Molinari — to name just three — a progress in chaining the institutions we think of as “political government” to exacting, duress-free contracts provides the key to civilization’s advance. 

That the world’s governments have not yet discovered this may be seen as tragic or as comic. Readers of Hume’s essay will likely guess, as I do, that Hume would have seen this stunted progress as in keeping with the usual course of history, government authority resting, as it has so far, on popular acceptance of coercion, aggression, and hierarchical power.

Timothy Wirkman Virkkala*
January 2016

BIOGRAPHY: David Hume (1711-1776) was a Scottish philosopher, historian, economist, and essayist whose influence on modern thought has been vast. He wrote a popular multi-volume history of England, but is best known, today, for his philosophic work, A Treatise of Human Nature (1739) and two inquiries, one on morals (1751) and the other on human understanding (1748). Several of his short treatises on economics have been republished by Laissez Faire Books, with forewords by Pierre Lemieux and Timothy Wirkman Virkkala.