I’m sorry for going so long without posting.
I didn’t intend to, but for weeks every time I’ve thought of blogging, I’ve been overwhelmed with disgust. If my disgust were only about politics and the current woeful state of the world, I’d blog my way through that. That’s mere business as usual.
Politics and its attendant idiocies, however, are only a minor component of the bile that rises in my soul. The much larger component of my disgust continues to be triggered by the depleted and degraded state of freedom in the minds of so many who ought to be defending it
Wow, how quickly some skeptical libertarians turn into dogmatic statists.
Of course, by not speaking to defend freedom myself for this month or so, maybe I’m guilty, too. I make no claim to being a paragon of virtue; never have, never will.
But I believe that preaching freedom (and skepticism and independent decision-making and tolerance and all the puzzle pieces that make up freedom) to a contemporary audience is vanishingly futile. Right now, freedom is best spoken to those in the future who, beaten down by what’s being created for them today, might hear and understand. People who might, again, be interested in the principles of individual liberty and willing to accept freedom’s risks and rewards
A month or two makes no difference.
Still, it makes a difference to you good people who read and support this blog. So to you I apologize.
Loathing — as in the title of this post — is the wrong word. I don’t loathe anybody, even those most responsible for creating, promoting , and taking advantage of the current panic and economic destruction to gain power over others. Nor do I loathe their legions of useful idiots; neither those burning and looting unchecked, nor those snitching on their neighbors at the drop of a
hat mask. I don’t know many people who do loathe them.
But I had to go for that Hunter Thompson parallel, you know. Words like disgust, despair, contempt, sorrow, dislike, antipathy, nausea, aversion, dejection, discouragement, incomprehension, and complete shock over the mind-bending and rapid-rushing insanity of our age (however true for me and for millions of other sensible folk) just didn’t do it.
Fear, on the other hand (and being the other key word in the title), is exactly the word. Do you feel it, too?
So many different forms of fear. And plenty of fear to go around, plenty for everybody of every political, social, and economic inclination.
Sufficient fears for the business owners being ruined by arbitrary shutdowns.
Fears for millions in third-world countries who might actually starve to death from political and economic folly.
Fears for unemployed workers.
Fears for renters facing eviction, for homeowners who might face even worse ruination than they endured just 12 years ago.
Fears for people who know that free minds and free speech are essential to civilization.
Fears for lovers of history.
Fears for black individuals and communities who see their interests exploited and destroyed under the claim of Black Lives Matter.
Fears of sports fans seeing their cherished diversions disappear into clouds of political correctness.
Fears of parents for the futures of their children.
Fears (however laughable) of politicians who encourage riots in urban neighborhoods and business districts — but who cry like spoiled two-year-olds when the “protests” they support come to their own multi-million dollar neighborhoods.
Fears of smart people who see both the roots and the fruit of the current toxic chaos and fears of not-so-smart people who understand little but see doom ahead — both unable to do a damn thing to halt the juggernaut of tyranny and ruin.
Petty fears. Life shattering fears. No shortage of fears of any kind.
One fear — certainly one that I and people in the prepper world face every day — is of how shockingly fast the panic and ruin of 2020 descended. And how many more such sudden turns we might face.
Oh sure, the groundwork for tyranny and economic disaster has been being laid for decades — more than a century, really. But we got used to the “progress” toward ruin being slow. Each time some new tyrannical power grab has been passed into law or by fiat, we’ve gotten used to jumping up in alarm … then finding out the new Bad Thing was a little less harmful, or at least a little more tolerable, than we feared it would be. And that’s been true since great-grandpa’s day.
Creation of the Federal Reserve? Survivable. Imposition of the income tax on wage-slobs as well as millionaires? Hey, we got by and even enjoyed a new level of prosperity — for a while. Abolition of the last remnants of the gold standard? Not good, but nevertheless the collapse we trumpeted back in 1971 didn’t arrive. Social Security numbers as universal identifiers? Real ID drivers licenses? We survived those and more. Curbs on “dangerous” books (followed by the end of those who published them, like Loompanics and Paladin Press)? Well, even the most dangerous materials are still available if you know where to look. No catastrophic loss. Federal licenses to sell firearms? Federal permission to buy firearms? All these years later guns are still available by the millions.
The ever-promised pandemic and all the apocalyptic horrors it would bring? Didn’t materialize and anyhow, maybe it would mostly hit Africa or China or some godforsaken place like that. Surely resourceful first-worlders like us — the people of science, reason, and progress who conquered smallpox and polio and typhoid and parasites and childhood contagions and whose mundane sewers and hygienic practices perform lifesaving miracles every day — could overcome mere germs, however novel they might be.
Then came 2020.
And we can’t handle a damn thing.
Yes, the groundwork has long been laid. But when the world flipped heels-over-head and landed on its arse this year, it happened that fast. It was as if we’d been tip-toeing along a path strewn with banana peels, thinking that because we’d avoided slipping on them until now, we always would. No need to de-litter that path; we were safe because, well, we’d always been safe. We’d always managed. Then … cosmic freakin’ pratfall. And now we’re sitting on a century’s worth of banana peels and as the embarrassing old TV ad used to say, we’ve fallen and we can’t get up.
Or, as the more recent non-joke goes: “How did you go bankrupt?” “First, slowly. Then very fast.”
Even those who “saw it coming” didn’t see this coming. Even those who knew in theory that things can change in an instant couldn’t have predicted this change, and that instant.
Fear and loathing. A cosmic head-smack and now what do we do?
I’ve put heads together with some of the smartest freedomistas I know and we’ve discovered that, despite decades of our supposed foreknowledge of what was coming, we were unprepared for the specifics and in many big, big ways we don’t know what to do now.
Oh sure, we had toilet paper when other people were scrambling for it. Bet you did, too. But we don’t have answers, particularly about where our lives and those of our loved ones go from the here and now.
One thing we can be pretty sure of: it’s going to get worse, much worse, before it gets better. Civil war? A new Dark Age? A Greater Depression? Revolution? Devolution? Buildings and bridges collapsing? (Yes, for sure, as real knowledge is replaced by magical thinking.) A new burning of “witches”? An apparent recovery followed by a deeper collapse? A global takeover by the foolish, arrogant mastermind billionaires of Davos (who are now openly admitting that’s their aim)? All of the above?
Yet — as usual — here in the hinterlands life goes on. And preps go on. And tribalism goes on, but in our case tribalism comes with pleasant and heartening overtones of neighborliness. Common sense goes on, as does independence. Practicalities go on. Even economic life goes on, despite the best attempts of politicians and bureaucrats to prevent it.
And hopefully some details about the going on part will be in part II of this screed.