Are You Freer than You Were Two Years Ago?
Everywhere you look, you're told what to think, what to say, what to do, what to buy. We are enslaved as never before in this country, and half of us want more enslavement and for government to "take care of us," even at the cost of enslavement.
What does it mean, to be enslaved? First and foremost, it means that we have lost freedom of choice, and with it, acceptance of the fact that choices have consequences. That blank stare at the screen that I see in so many viewers reveals just how brainwashed they have become. Vote for Biden — yes, vote for Biden. Biden for democracy, Biden for prosperity, Biden for your Social Security, Biden for another COVID check or loan forgiveness. And half of Americans vote for Biden.
At the heart of freedom is independent thinking, and to think independently, one must ditch the media, even the media one normally agrees with. It's not enough to let Fox News do the thinking for us. We must be ferociously independent, and we must respect one another's independence. I enjoy talking with those who have different ideas about the border, the budget, or socialized medicine so long as they are not mental zombies. Nothing is more refreshing than meeting an actual free-thinking human being, one whose beliefs emerge from independent thinking and true concern for others.
That kind of thinking is independent of party or ideology, but it is inherently conservative since it is conservatives, not liberals, who think deeply and compassionately about choice, consequences, self-reliance, and human happiness. One cannot think in this way if one is a liberal or progressive.
After all, the ultimate goal for progressives is global enslavement under the aegis of a world government following the abolition of nation-states and the destruction of individual freedom. The progressive world order would look a lot like North Korea, which we would do well to study if we wish to understand the enemy we face. Most North Koreans are not forced to support Kim Jong-un — they love Kim Jong-un because long ago they surrendered their freedom of thought and traded their human rights in exchange for what they believed to be the security of an average 2,032 calories per day, much of it noodles and vegetables.
When Kim speaks, there is silent acquiescence to every syllable, and, again, not just for fear of disagreeing. Within a totalitarian state, most people want to agree. On April 15, the Day of the Sun (the anniversary of the birth of North Korea's founder and eternal president, Kim Il-sung), the crowds that gather are not just bussed in or conscripted from nearby apartment blocks, as some believe. They worship Kim Il-sung and his heirs not because they are afraid to think for themselves, but because they have lost the ability to think for themselves. And that is what progressives wish for America.
A good example was the frantic reaction of progressive mobs opposed to the Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade. These mobs did not want to have individuals at the state level deciding the issue, nor did they distinguish between early and late-term abortion. They insisted on an absolute, nationwide, government-funded right to abortion up to and even after birth because they had been indoctrinated to believe that abortion is a right, and that belief had become a point of faith that was beyond discussion or distinctions. That is the bedrock nature of totalitarian indoctrination and of the enslavement that goes with it.
Another element of enslavement is that it is perpetual. One cannot be enslaved just for a few minutes a day; one is enslaved all day, every day. Those who are "woke" refuse to think in terms other than race, class, and sex, and they think in those terms all the time and insist that others think in those terms. In this way, progressives are willingly and obsessively enslaved. Wokeness offers a socially accepted, safe way of thinking, and once an individual becomes woke, which is to say he fully supports the privileging of certain racial and gender groups over white heterosexual males, he becomes woke all the time.
In place of government control, freedom implies self-control. Food, shelter, clothing, transportation, and medical care are necessities, and individuals should pay for them and choose what they think they need out of what they earn and can afford.
It is obvious that different levels of earnings will afford different standards of living, and government must not attempt to equalize them. Once government begins to provide for necessities, the incentive to work, and work hard, is lost, and society as a whole suffers from stagnation and from inflation and shortages as we have since Biden was elected. Not only will the incentive to work be lost, but rational choices regarding capital allocation and spending will be misguided. A trillion dollars has now been appropriated for green energy, and hundreds of billions will be lost through foolish initiatives or outright graft. When individuals choose to allocate their own capital, they are more careful. Just as they are more careful when maintaining their own house or driving their own car.
Freedom is the basis of human happiness, but a hundred and fifty million Americans seem eager to surrender their happiness in exchange for censorship, a false sense of security, and the meager benefits of a centralized economy. Increasingly, Americans are told what to believe, what to say, and what to do, and they face fines or imprisonment if they defy the State.
The consequences for what the left considers "hate speech" are very real: in many cases, loss of employment and virtual exclusion from society. Yet so-called hate speech might simply mean a statement that there are fewer female engineers than male ones (currently 15% vs. 85%), or an acknowledgment that blacks commit murder at a higher rate than whites or Asians (black males commit murder at a rates that approach four times than of whites). These statements are factual, not hateful, but the left considers them inappropriate and even criminal.
In essence, freedom means the right to decide for oneself. America has become an enslaved society in which, via the media, schools, and government, individuals are subjected to ceaseless propaganda. I have freed myself from control by my willingness to live simply on a small income and by imposing a blackout on woke media and government propaganda. I walk alone; practice meditation and martial arts with a small group of friends; read the best books; and tune out television, social media, and government propaganda.
With self-discipline and self-sufficiency, it is still possible to live a relatively free existence in our society, though that is changing, as one is now judged on one's use of pronouns and willingness to champion woke fantasies of black, gay, and transgendered privilege. It may not end until millions of Americans are imprisoned for their refusal to accept progressive lies. At that point, even for those who attempt to maintain their self-sufficiency, freedom will have lost most of its meaning, and only a saving remnant will remain that knows the meaning of freedom.
Jeffrey Folks is the author of many books and articles on American culture, most recently Heartland of the Imagination (2011).
Image via Max Pixel.