A Few Steps More Toward Authoritarianism

A few days back, the Harris-Biden administration floated a proposal that would require banks to report data to the Internal Revenue Service on transactions over $600. This would apply to both business and personal accounts. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen defended this proposal, citing the “enormous tax gap” where information pertaining to income “can be hidden” by tax dodgers as the reason for this information-gathering exercise.

Also fairly recently, Attorney General Merrick Garland sent a memo to the FBI directing it to protect schools from the "imminent threat" of parents sending "threatening letters and cyberbullying" school officials, terming these activities to be akin to "domestic terrorism." The move is probably in reaction to an increased number of recent community meetings at which parents expressed grave concern that their children are compelled to follow gratuitous COVID-19 restrictions and are being indoctrinated in material unrelated to their education.

A few days back, Joe Biden urged more U.S. businesses to compel their employees to take COVID-19 vaccinations, he cited ending the pandemic and sustaining the economy as the reason. This has successfully be implemented for employees of the federal government. Obviously, those who refuse will be sacked. 

Also, recently, the Harris-Biden administration warned Arizona that the state stands to lose millions of dollars in pandemic recovery funds if it continued to use grants to undercut school mask mandates.

It may seem like stating what is blatantly obvious, but a free and democratic society is defined by the inherent freedoms and rights a citizen possesses. They are inherent because they are not given to citizens as an offering from the state, they belong to the citizens by virtue of their birth.

The citizen owns the right to absolute freedom of expression without fear of repercussions. The citizen owns the right to protests without fear of repercussions especially if they witness their values or morals being trampled upon. The citizen owns the right to decide what to consume, which includes medicine or vaccines. The citizen owns the right to privacy in matters pertaining to health, finance, and personal activities. The citizen owns the right to move freely in public places.

The state cannot revoke what it does not own and this categorically applies to the freedoms and rights of a citizen.

Absolute power always lies with the citizen, the power is lent on a temporary basis to an elected government, via a vote, since it is impossible for every citizen to govern simultaneously. Those who are occupying various seats of power are merely representing the citizen.

Over decades the state has bloated up to the extent that it thinks of itself as a self-sustaining body whose power never diminishes and whose coffers will never be emptied irrespective of electoral verdicts. The state also has considerable firepower and the military might be at its disposal which makes it a formidable adversary.

The primary goal of the state was once to govern and serve the citizen. That sadly is no longer applicable, the state functions now only to ensure self-preservation. 

To accomplish this permanent presence, the state has steadily but successfully captured, politicized, and compromised regulatory institutions, armed forces, intelligence organizations, and institutions whose function is to keep the state in check.

These groups no longer consider it their function to report to the citizen, their services are dedicated strictly towards the maintenance of the state.

The news media that should have been serving the people by holding the state accountable have been devolved into propaganda merchants. They function as stenographers who gratefully transcribe and present talking points from the state. It is a regular occurrence that various media personnel across organizations use identical phrases or idioms while they discuss any key political occurrence.

The only impediment that the state sees is the free-thinking, opinionated, vocal, and freedom-loving citizen.

The state knows that it cannot crush this citizen with brute force, that would just be too obvious and raise alarm.

The state, therefore,  is perennially on the lookout for situations or crises for the state to use or misuse in a way allowing it to gradually encroach upon the rights of citizens.

The COVID-19 pandemic was a gift from heaven for the state.

COVID-19 was used or misused to alter the manner in which a presidential election was conducted and left ample scope for fraud. This has resulted in many citizens no longer trusting the outcomes of elections.

COVID-19 was also used to force citizens to take vaccines irrespective of their personal desires.

COVID-19 was also used to restrict movements in public places and mandate masks.

A large section of citizens has been conditioned into think that all of these draconian measures imposed by the domineering state are for their well-being so they gladly comply with folded hands.

The education system has been hijacked to indoctrinate students such that they surrender their free-thinking and willing prostrate with awe before the state.

The mass influx of illegal immigrants in specific states is used to gradually erode the value of the vote of the contrarian citizen.

The state may not care specifically about the vaccine, or transactions above $600, or parents scolding teachers. These are merely shows of force to intimidate the citizen and force him to surrender. The state wants to remind the citizen that the power lies with it not him.

If the citizen protests he is called a terrorist by the state. Nobody wants to be subjected to a painful and prolonged investigation into their personal and financial affairs. Hence the citizen surrenders.

It also must be remembered that once the state trespasses over a right, there is no going back to freedom. The state owns that right to restrict on a permanent basis. The state may revoke restrictions arbitrarily and momentarily only to impose again later.

During times of crisis, the function of the opposition is to be the voice for those people. Alas, the Republicans either lack the killer instinct or simply don’t care about the citizen.

Some make noise on Fox News or during hearings on Capitol Hill, but very little is done in the form of concrete action.

They seem to be content enjoying the privileges offered by the state.

Thus, the state is domineering, the institutions, the armed forces, and the mainstream media are compromised while the opposition is in deep slumber.

The citizen is relentlessly subjected to misinformation, mandates, and restrictions. When nothing else works, there is demonization and intimidation.

This is how modern authoritarianism functions.

There will be no grand proclamations or sinister warnings. There will be no announcements made from megaphones. The armies of darkness will not be goose-stepping down your streets.

The state slyly takes baby steps toward seizing your rights that are not immediately noticeable. The changes are subtle. The will appear in the footnotes section of a lengthy policy document that few bother to read.

The state hopes the citizen is busy watching Netflix, Tik-Tok videos, or television reality shows.

This is a crisis that is getting worse with every passing day.

If there was any time to wake up, it is emphatically now!

Image: Pixabay / Pixabay License

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