29 June, 2021

Where Are We Headed?

Western democracies like to consider themselves as the bastion of freedom, especially the United States. Even beyond that, people in Western democracies are taught and believe that Enlightenment Liberalism introduced freedom to society as never before, again, especially in the United States. Ironically, an actual examination of the pre and post revolutionary governments reveals that this was never actually true. As libertarian, John Attarian, points out, "... by every measure, our government is more tyrannical towards Americans than King George's at its worst."[1] From its beginnings, our federal government had more power to trample our freedoms than the English monarchy. As the English parliament gained more direct power over government, it also increased the power it had over the English people. While we have not (yet) gone quite as far as the Soviet Union, China, and other socialist regimes, Western democracies have relentlessly increased their totalitarian powers over their subjects. As we move further away from any form of subsidiarity dispersion of power in our societies, we should ask ourselves where we are headed.

In the last year, this trend toward the centralization of power to a tyrannical level has become plainly evident. While many people are still wondering if we can ever "get back to normal,"[2] we need to recognize that our society is based around strong centralized authorities that can dictate policies and ruin livelihoods with impunity, and it has been that way for some time. This change has been incremental, mostly consisting of small increases of power here and there over the last century. As citizens, we have become acclimated to relying on the highest levels of government to address our problems, even if they are essentially local ones. There is hardly an aspect of our daily lives that is not subject to some form of control from state and federal authorities. 

If we look back at the health scare we've been through for the last fifteen months, we can also see how the majority of our society has passively accepted the idea of turning over their lives to "authority figures." Even when the individuals don't have any real authority, we have been conditioned to treat them as such. Just looking at the scientific argument that was attempted, it became clear that only those scientists who went along with other accepted authorities would be accepted. Equally credentialed scientists who disagreed, and attempted to present evidence to back their claims, became lumped in with "the deniers." As "deniers," they became ostracized, banned from news and social media platforms. And the majority of our societies just accepted it. I don't deny that there was a significant portion who didn't, but it is undeniable that, at the same time police powers were used to crush our freedoms, there were also a lot of citizens who were more than happy to report anyone who didn't comply with those authorities. The commissars of the Soviet Union would be proud. Is it any wonder that there are some who now refer to the United States as the USSA? 

We were initially told to lock down for fifteen days to slow the spread of the virus so our health care facilities would not be overburdened. As that fifteen days came to an end, the lock down was extended "just to be safe" because the virus was still our there and work had begun on a vaccine. As fifteen days became three months, the reason we remained locked down was that no vaccine was yet available. After nine months of being locked down, vaccines were getting emergency approval. This means that they had not been fully tested, and some of these were types of treatments that had never been given to humans before, but we just need to trust our authorities, the politicians and their scientist partners who govern us. Over the course of nine months, it became increasingly clear that our government was not going to let us go on with our lives until at least the majority of us had submitted to these vaccines. Discussions were had, and are still being had, about issuing "vaccine passports," where citizens would need to prove their vaccination status on demand anywhere they go, in order to prove they were allowed to do whatever they were doing.
Vaccinations are generally accepted in society, but there are some who don't want them. People who refuse to get vaccinated do so for various reasons. Some for religious reasons, some because they don't trust them because they are only really tested by the corporations who make them and have a large financial interest in getting them approved, and still others believe that ingredients in the vaccines cause other health issues. Naturally, the officials say that this has been discredited, but it also seems that parental testimony on the sudden changes in the behavior of their children is just being ignored as "unscientific." Regardless, these people are in the clear minority because we are just so trusting of our central authorities. However, many who are very accepting of vaccines have reservations about these specific ones that were developed in a rush and have yet to be fully tested. Unfortunately, the drive to get as many people vaccinated as possible as quickly as possible is likely to interfere with the standard method of testing. They are eliminating the "control group" that is an essential part of clinical trials. While this is going on, government is continuing to exert authoritarian power over its subjects. If you had tried to convince people at the very beginning of 2020 that governments would be doing what they have been for the last fifteen months, they would have laughed at you and called you a crazy conspiracy theorist.  

The state of Oregon currently requires churches to either have everyone masked,[3] or to verify the vaccination status of those attending in person. The same requirement applies to businesses.[4] In Washington state, the guidelines not only seem to require employers to use some sort of vaccine passport, but if the various distancing and masking rules were actually implemented by any organization, they would result in the involuntary revelation of vaccination status, which should be a violation of federal HIPPA laws.[5] April Moss, an on-screen personality for CBS News has gone public about this. She claims that her station's policy of segregating employees based on vaccine status had the effect of revealing her vaccination status.[6] She tried to work through the corporation's human resources department to no avail, so she decided to go public.  
Lawmakers and media are actively warning people that they can get fired if they don't get vaccinated. This essentially makes businesses proxy agents of the government to enforce what the state may not be legally able to do itself.[7] As distributists have said for 100 years - big business and big government go hand in hand. It is getting clear, as some have said all along, those who don't submit to vaccination are being reduced to second-class citizens, not allowed full participation in the freedoms of society.[8] On the other hand, both government and businesses are telling people that having proof of vaccination will be needed. 
There is also a strong social pressure being exerted to convince people to get vaccinated. This social pressure includes government, businesses, news organizations, entertainers and sports figures. This social pressure is being exerted at all levels. Washington state has implemented a lottery to bribe people to get vaccinated - only the vaccinated are eligible to win.[9] Some businesses are offering perks and rewards to those who can show proof of their vaccination.[10] Nick Laughlin shows us how desperate we should be to get vaccinated with a song called "Gimme Gimme Gimme (A Vaccine Appointment),"[11] calling on Joe Biden to hear our prayers for vaccines as, apparently, the only means of deliverance from wearing masks and being locked down.  James Corden, Ariana Grande, and Marissa Jaret Winokur team up to show us how wonderful life will be when we're vaccinated, praising Joe Biden and Anthony Faucci for making it possible for us to be free and finally be able to hug our families with a song called "No Lockdowns Anymore."[12] News and Variety shows make sure to show us celebrities and public figures who get vaccinated.[13]

Why is all of this being done? Because in "the land of the free" we can tolerate many things, but not the refusal to comply with our masters. So, for example, when there are a large number of health care workers who refuse to follow directions and get injected with an untested vaccine, as reported in the New York Post in January of 2021,[14] something, anything, and everything must be done to get compliance, even if it means firing them or leaving them no choice but to quit like the hospital workers in Houston, Texas.[15] 

This is where we are headed. There is a strong effort to enforce compliance. The pressure is coming from the highest levels of government, from the news media, and from all kinds of public figures. This is only possible because the political and economic power of our societies has been increasingly centralized. This is not a problem of just one of the two major political parties in the US. The lock down was implemented during nine months of one party's administration and has continued through the six months of the other party being in charge. Governors of both parties enacted and maintained the lock downs in their states. In Ireland, all of the major parties are in lock step on this issue. In the United Kingdom, both of the major parties are in agreement. 

The only real solution to this is subsidiarity. The decentralization of government authority all the way down to the local communities. We can stand up to our local city council if it tries to shut down our livelihoods. The only reason that cities got away with it over this last year is that they knew they had the political and law enforcement backing of the state and federal governments. As I explained in the article, Is Small Government the Worst Government?,[16] you have much more voice and impact on your local government than you do over state and federal governments. What we need, is distributism. 
[1] John Attarian. "Hurrah for King George!" LewRockwell.com, 4 July, 2003. https://www.lewrockwell.com/2003/07/john-attarian/hurrah-for-king-george/

[2] David W. Cooney. "Can We Return to the 'Old Normal?'" Practical Distributism, 15 March, 2021. https://practicaldistributism.com/2021/03/15/can-we-return-to-the-old-normal/
[3] Oregon Health Authority. "Interim Guidance for Fully Vaccdinated Individuals." 18 May, 2021. https://sharedsystems.dhsoha.state.or.us/DHSForms/Served/le3727.pdf
[4] "New OHA guidance: Businesses must review proof of vaccination to drop mask, distance requirements." KTVZ News Channel 21, 18 May 2021. https://ktvz.com/news/coronavirus/2021/05/18/new-oha-guidance-businesses-must-review-proof-of-vaccination-to-drop-mask-distance-requirements/
[5] Mark Harmsworth. "Inslee administration to require vaccine passports in the workplace; to be enforced by business owners." Washington Policy Center, 24 May, 2021. https://www.washingtonpolicy.org/publications/detail/inslee-administration-to-require-vaccine-passports-in-the-workplace-to-be-enforced-by-business-owners
[6] "CBS 62 Insider goes public exposing network's forced vaccination rhetoric and bias." Bitchute, Project Veritas, 23 June, 2021. https://www.bitchute.com/video/0GkXCYsfY_8/
[7] Sarah Kopit. "Workers Refusing Covid Vaccine Could Lose Their Jobs." Insurance Journal, 5 May, 2021. https://www.insurancejournal.com/news/national/2021/05/05/612771.htm
Andrew Keshner. "Can you be fired for refusing to get a COVID-19 vaccine? America is about to find out." Market Watch, 5 May, 2021. https://www.marketwatch.com/story/can-you-be-fired-for-refusing-to-get-a-covid-19-vaccine-america-is-about-to-find-out-11620237075
[8] Harmeet Kaur. "How feasible is it for businesses to require proof of vaccination? Experts are split." CNN Business, 23 May, 2021. https://www.cnn.com/2021/05/23/us/proof-of-vaccination-enforcement-businesses-trnd/index.html
Reagan McCarthy. "New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy Hints That 'Vaccine Card' May be Mandated For Public Events." Townhall, 19 March, 2021. https://townhall.com/tipsheet/reaganmccarthy/2021/03/19/phil-murphy-n2586555
Sean Davidson. "Ontarians could face restrictions if they refuse to get COVID-19 vaccine, health minister says." CTV News, 8 December, 2020. https://toronto.ctvnews.ca/ontarians-could-face-restrictions-if-they-refuse-to-get-covid-19-vaccine-health-minister-says-1.5222009
[9] Debbie Cockrell. "Get a COVID shot and possibly win $1M? It’s one of many WA state incentives available." Tri-City Herald, 3 June, 2021. https://www.tri-cityherald.com/news/coronavirus/article251857973.html
[10] Suzanne Rowann Kelleher. "Keep Your Covid-19 Vaccination Card Safe - You’re Going To Need It." Forbes, 27 March, 2021. https://www.forbes.com/sites/suzannerowankelleher/2021/03/27/keep-your-vaccination-card-safe---youre-going-to-need-it/?sh=36e4b1a4648b
[11] "Gimme Gimme Gimme (A Vaccine Appointment) - A Sour Pickles Music Parody." YouTube, Sour Pickles TV, 6 April, 2021. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v509w85NGOc
[12] James Corden. "No Lockdowns Anymore w/ Ariana Grande & Marissa Jaret Winokur." YouTube, The Late Late Show with James Corden, 15 June, 2021. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v7TarriXFME
[13] "Celebrities get vaccinated at USC, encourage everyone to get one." YouTube, Fox 11 Los Angeles, 24 March, 2021. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VcawF1NiZ2Q  
"Here’s every public figure who has gotten a COVID-19 vaccine so far." YouTube, Good Morning America, 12 March, 2021. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E0rdgTyj2sg 

[14] Kenneth Garger. "Alarming number of US health care workers are refusing COVID-19 vaccine." New York Post, 1 January, 2021. https://nypost.com/2021/01/01/alarming-number-of-us-health-care-workers-are-refusing-covid-19-vaccine/
[15] Naledi Ushe. "153 Houston Hospital Workers Were Fired or Quit After Refusing to Get the COVID Vaccine." People, 23 June, 2021. https://people.com/health/153-houston-hospital-workers-quit-or-were-fired-after-they-refused-to-get-the-covid-19-vaccine/
[16] David W. Cooney. "Is Small Government the Worst Government?" Practical Distributism, 2 October, 2014. https://practicaldistributism.com/2014/10/02/is-small-government-the-worst-government/)

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