Friday, April 17, 2020

The New Sheepdom

     I am thoroughly disheartened – nay, sickened — by the sheeplike behavior of so many of our countrymen. I cannot believe they think the proper response to “our leaders’” overweening usurpations of authorities never granted is to politely ask for their rights back.

     Americans don’t do that. Americans exercise their rights openly and confidently. They don’t ask for anyone’s permission.

     Your rights are not permissions. They are yours, not because some “authority” has granted them to you, but by virtue of your membership in the human race. To treat them as permissions is to surrender them, such that any “crisis,” whether real or notional, can be used to nullify them. And there are plenty of wannabe dictators who are grasping at that opportunity — with the support of the left-wing media:

     Remember what Matt Walsh wrote:

     All of this may seem quite oppressive and gestapo-ish, but a police chief in Colorado put those worries aside by explaining that the act of leaving your house and going outside is not a right but a “privilege” that can be revoked if it is “misused.”… The point is that there is no current emergency in Minnesota or many of the other states currently under lockdown. There is, rather, a model that projects an emergency. And if projected emergencies can justify the effective nullification of the Bill of Rights, where is the limit? Haven’t we now granted the government the power to seize near-total control on the basis of any real or phantom threat?

     It hardly matters what rights you claim if you refrain from exercising them. That’s how the Second Amendment was gutted. It’s how the rest of the Bill of Rights is being reduced to meaninglessness. And if we permit it to go one millimeter further, we are unworthy of the term “free people.”

     I am an old man with several chronic diseases that would put me in the “high risk” category for the Wuhan virus. Yet I will go forth and live normally. Indeed, I’ve been doing so from the first. No one has even said a cross word to me. You, twenty, thirty, or forty years my junior: What do you think you have to worry about? The police? Do you think the police can arrest tens or hundreds of millions of us?

     I received a plaintive note from a colleague just yesterday: another old man who’s sickened by the New Sheepdom:

     I relinquish any claim on the lives of the young. As an oldster who is presumed to be peculiarly susceptible to the ravages of COVID-19, I will not ask anyone to sacrifice days, weeks or months of their time, love, life, and livelihood on my behalf. It is grotesque for the old to ask the young to sacrifice for them. Go. Live your lives. Enjoy the beautiful spring weather. I have no claim on you for my welfare.

     Who among my fellow oldsters will release any claims on the lives of young people?

     It’s not about the economy. It’s not about the virus. It’s not about “science.” It’s about freedom: holding onto the pitiful amount we have left after two and a quarter centuries’ incursions upon it, usually in the name of “crisis: or “safety.”

     Free men accept that life entails risk.
     They don’t ask their “leaders” to “protect” them.
     When “leaders” tyrannize them “for your own good,” they rise up.
     Such “leaders” become lamppost decorations, pour encourager les autres.

     Are you a free man or a sheep?

     “Can you not see that Rome is burning? Up on your feet, you ward heelers, you courthouse loafers!” – Robert A. Heinlein, The Puppet Masters

     “There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations, and who will raise up friends to fight our battles for us. The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave. Besides, sir, we have no election. If we were base enough to desire it, it is now too late to retire from the contest. There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! Our chains are forged! Their clanking may be heard on the plains of Boston! The war is inevitable—and let it come! I repeat it, sir, let it come.

     “It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace— but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!” — Patrick Henry

1 comment:

Malcolm said...

The … crisis we face is unparalleled in modern times,” said the World Health Organization’s assistant director, while its director general proclaimed it “likely the greatest peacetime challenge that the United Nations and its agencies have ever faced.” This was based on a CDC computer model projection predicting as many as 1.4 million deaths from just two countries.

So when did they say this about COVID-19? Trick question: It was actually about the Ebola virus in Liberia and Sierra Leone five years ago, and the ultimate death toll was under 8,000.