A few days ago a freedomista friend cried, “That’s it! I quit.”
He’s going to live strictly for himself and his family from now on. So he says. Forget politics, forget organizing, forget publishing, forget “movements” and “isms” and activism, and hopeful enthusiasms. He. Has. HAD IT.
Well, that’s common enough. I may have said things like that myself a time or two; perhaps you have, too.
But this isn’t just a case of burnout. Burnout is part of it, yes. But there’s something more, and more ominous, to it, as we’ll see below.
My friend is afraid.
Then this morning I ran across the acroynm TINVOWOOT. The expression is new to me, but the thought’s not new to anybody who reads this blog: There Is No V*ting Our Way Out of This. (Thank you, RedPillJew).
Apparently the slogan is making its way around the ‘Tubes, though I don’t know how far around or in which political corners.
The natives are getting restless – again.
Okay, the natives who know what’s going on have been restless for a long time, but the drumbeats are getting louder and more insistent.
“History doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme,” said Mark Twain.
Today’s political climate is is a lot like the one we suffered through (and I wrote my way through) in the mid-1990s. Sentiments like my friend’s were increasing then. Nothing is doing any good! Nobody’s listening! We’re running out of alternatives!
In fact, it was that hair-tearing frustration that drove me to open a book with the now-infamous quote. For me, it was come up with other solutions or (as we put it in those years) go postal.
And things were bad back then. We’d witnessed Waco and the Weaver persecution and murders, and watched the state-funded villains get away with both.
Antigunnery was triumphant. The first moves toward universal ID were being made. Militarization of every tiny police force was proceeding; asset forfeiture was an ever-growing boon to government.
The resounding “Republican Revolution” of 1994 had proved to be nothing but a PR scam designed to put a new bunch of power-mongers into office.
The Clinton administration was busy federalizing a whole lot more crimes. Controversial books were being pulled from the catalogs of publishers because merely sharing the information they contained could be a federal crime with Feinsteinian penalties.
Congress was skillfully sliding its way around the Constitution’s treaty requirements in favor of a “free-trade agreement” that had nothing to do with freedom, but continued the economic handover from the many to the few.
Those were bad, bad times and the groundwork was being laid for worse.
On the other hand, those were also the days when we could get angry at Bill Clinton for bombing an aspirin factory in the Sudan – an act of aggression that seems positively quaint now that we’ve had 18 years of forever-war (courtesy of three administrations, both R and D), bombings of weddings and funerals, the deliberate “collateral murder” of good Samaritans, and deepening military involvement in countries hardly anybody could locate on a map.
Oh, my. The “advances” we’ve seen in our political/cultural/economic situation since the days of Monica Lewinsky’s little blue dress!
The Un-PATRIOT act. The TSA. The crashes of 2000 and 2008, with the bottomless bailout of companies with sufficient political connections. The toxic influence of F*c*b**k and Twitter. The triumph of the surveillance state. A media that no longer even pretends to be impartial. Politicians so bereft of concepts of good governance that all they can do is try to outshout each other with promises of FREE STUFF! “Tolerance” that demands 100% agreement and “values” that shift with every random cultural breeze.
It’s “great” cities becoming sewers, in which young millionaires have to tippy-toe over the sidewalk leavings of drunken, addicted, but oh-so-entitled bums.
It’s every group for itself, and every branching subgroup for itself, and every splinter group of every subgroup clamoring for fulfillment of its own newly invented prerogatives.
And if you don’t agree with the conventions of the moment, you just might get your head kicked in on the street by freelance thugs – that is, if you haven’t already done something to earn a head kicking by government thugs who increasingly understand that they’re not to be held accountable to anybody. Certainly not to us mere peasants.
Nope; TINVOWOOT. Definitely.
But we already knew that. We knew it decades ago. Some of us have understood damn near all our lives tyranny can’t be v*ted away.
But if we thought we were on the brink of pitchfork time ca. 1996, how much closer are we now? And how much less hope is there that we’re going to come out of this with either freedom or mutual respect intact?
What shocked me about my friend’s declaration of independence was that he is of the generation that’s going to see the current mess through to its eventual stabilization, for good or ill. He’s been a leader in organizing and equipping a grassroots resistance.
He’s been frustrated a long time, for sure, and mostly by people who are supposedly on his own side. Let me count the aggravations: yammerheads, sloppy opsec, big egos fed by social media, refusal to train and prepare, snitches and agents provocateurs, people so foolish they might as well be snitches even if they don’t intend to be, backstabbing, sexism, profiteering and credit stealing, inability to see beyond tacticool toys, etc. etc.
Yet my friend isn’t merely personally burned out from hard, often futile, freedomista work; he’s perceiving that a force rising now is beyond all reason. Literally beyond reason, as in both unwilling and unable to think coherently.
Here he is, an intelligent, skilled leader, but he fears the people on his own side and his opponents’ side who are now careening toward a head-on crash without benefit of reasonableness or respect for one another’s humanity.
He doesn’t merely want out because he’s tired; he wants out to avoid being swept away and drowned in the very currents that he himself helped unleash. He didn’t mean to play a role in unleashing the torrential forces he sees sweeping down on us; he started out believing that there was enough good sense and solid grounding in freedomista principle remaining among the loyal (or disloyal) opposition that TINVOWOOT wouldn’t necessarily mean shooting the bastards.
Now? God knows. All he can think of is personally scrambling, with his loved ones, onto high ground. He fears both what the enemies of freedom and what freedom’s supposed upholders might do.
Of course, my friend remains a political junkie (it’s a lifelong affliction, I can tell you). Within days of his declaration he was sending alarms to his contacts about a developing situation that ultimately didn’t develop. (Yet another price of practicing fabled and impossible freedom vigilance 24 hours a day.)
Perhaps his reversion to alert status means his original outburst was less than it seemed. However, I know he is ultimately headed for the exits, even if with a few detours and delays.
The upcoming political/cultural revolutionary crowd will have its own ways – and those ways may be violent or socialistic (or socialistic, then violent; or violent, socialistic, then violent again). They may be theocratic, jingoistic, nihilistic, fascistic – or heaven knows, something else altogether.
Whatever those ways are, they won’t be the ways of the past, though the past will always influence them. Even my friend – who is still quite young and under other circumstances might have provided rational leadership for decades – recognizes that his day, the day of forceful, but well-reasoned action, is over.
And whatever else those ways of the near future are, they won’t be based on sound philosophical or economic principles. They won’t be based on a comprehensive knowledge of history. They won’t be based on each side’s recognition of the other side’s shared humanity. They won’ t be based on anything except the chaotic urge for destruction.
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