“There is no slippery slope towards the loss of liberty, only a long staircase where each step down must first be tolerated by the people and their leaders” Alan K Simpson.
We are all on some slipery slopes to some unpleasant place called tyranny. A lot of people say I don’t want tyranny, I want to be free. But what is freedom? People need to be able to define it. To believe in it. To defend it. To implement it. The problem these days is that society seems to have fallen into some kind of torpor led by unquestioning obedience towards the establishment and the mainstream narrative. We all know that “power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely”. History is littered with examples of the “savior” becoming the oppressor.
When Ernest Hemingway was asked how he became bankrupt he answered, Gradually, then suddenly. Similarly, governments become tyrannical gradually, and then suddenly. Living in a democratic society gives you a false sense of security because it makes you believe that all is rosy and the system is here to protect you and your right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Except that, for those who have eyes to see and ears to listen, we can see that some democratic governments are eating away people’s freedom inch by inch in a sneaky kind of way, all for your own good, of course. Beware of the wolf wearing sheep clothing.
The question, is are we all on a slippery slope towards a very unpleasant place? I think so, but the good news is that more and more people are waking up from a long period of torpor and are responding with admirable courage and fortitude to the continuous assault on their liberty.
Slippery slope ahead: man was born free but everywhere you look he is in chains
Man was born free, but everywhere you look he is in chains. If you live in a tyrannical society, would you know it?
“When you see that in order to produce you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing. When you see that money is flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favor. When you see that men get richer more easily by pull than by work, and your laws don’t protect you against them but protect them against you. When you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming self-sacrifice. You may know that your society is doomed. Such is the nature of a sick society; lies are truth, violence is love, sociopathic behavior is leadership, and most important of all, slavery is freedom.” Ayn Rand
The ideas expressed below are coming straight from Chapter 7 of my book “This Is Your Quest”. According to Jean-Jacques Rousseau “Man was born free, and everywhere you look he is in chains”, but it doesn’t have to be this way. It is possible to find freedom in an unfree world. It is not a given to think that everyone wants to be free. Most people are willing to sacrifice freedom for security. In a free society, the primary role of the government is to protect individuals and their property from aggression by others.
Rulers have always needed some kind of excuse to justify their authority and the fact that they alone have the power to dictate to the masses how they should lead their lives. Originally Kings defended their right to rule by citing the Divine Rights of Kings. No one would dare to question the authority of the King because his power was given directly to him by God. But with kingdoms falling, a new justification for rulership was required. Thomas Hobbes came to the rescue and provided the justification that the elite needed.
Hobbes’ book Leviathan” established the foundation for modern political philosophy. Hobbes said that life without government would inevitably lead to conflict, to a war of all against all, life would be solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short. To escape this sorry state of affairs, Hobbes argues that all individuals must yield their rights to a sovereign authority for the sake of their protection. And if the Sovereign was to act badly, men must accept it as the price for peace. Hobbes, however, was manifestly wrong.
On the other end of the spectrum, we find Etienne de la Boetie who was a French Judge, writer, and founder of the modern political philosophy that emerged in France during the Renaissance era. He is best known for his essay “Discours de la Servitude Volontaire” — “Discourse on Voluntary Servitude” attacking absolute monarchy and tyranny. The essay asserts that tyrants have power because people give it to them.
“Once liberty has been abandoned by society, it stays corrupted and prefers the slavery of the courtesan to the freedom of one who refuses to dominate as he refuses to obey.” Etienne de la Boetie
La Boetie linked obedience with domination; by advocating a solution of simply refusing to support the tyrant, he became one of the earliest advocates of civil disobedience and non-violent resistance. To him, the great mystery of politics is obedience to the rulers. Why in the world do people agree to be looted and otherwise oppressed by government overlords? It is not just fear, La Boetie explains, for our consent is required. And that consent can be non-violently withdrawn. If you give your power away, it will be recycled against you in the form of tranny; if you don’t give it away the tyrants have no power.
Slippery slope ahead: the ignorance of the power inherent to all of us by Natural Law
Natural law is the idea that there are rational objective limits to the power of legislative rulers. Aristotle is often said to be the father of natural law. Aristotle defined human beings as rational animals. He believed that the highest human happiness or well-being is found in living a life that is consistently, excellently, and completely in accordance with reason. The natural law thesis holds that if a human law fails to be backed up by decisive reason, then it is not a proper law at all. The most important aspect of natural law is that a man is forbidden to do that which is destructive of his life or take away the means of preserving the same.
We should remind ourselves that the government is working for us and not the other way round; the government derives its power from the consent of the governed. This implies that we the people have the power but we have consented to the surrender of some of our rights in order to elect a government whose role is to represent and protect their people. Government should not encroach upon our natural rights, which are sacred to us as human beings, and those rights cannot be taken away by legislation. The presumption of liberty declares that the rights that we did not surrender to the government we retain ourselves and they can never be taken away from us by the government, by legislation, by decree. In an ideal world, governments should only limit themselves to the protection of our natural rights. But this is not what is happening today.
Today, what we live in is a world where the thought police are out there waiting to cancel us, censor us, demonize us and lock us up just because we dare to think for ourselves and step away from the official narrative. What is right for you may not be right for me. What is right for me may not be right for you. But what is not right for either of us is being stripped of the freedom to choose what is right for ourselves. There is nothing extreme about wanting the freedom to make our own decision. Freedom of expression is the lifeblood and cornerstone of a free society, without the freedom of expression to think and express ourselves freely, there is no free society. So, we’d better start thinking for ourselves quickly before it becomes illegal.
“If we don’t believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don’t believe in it all .” Noam Chomsky
“Freedom ultimately means the right of other people to do things that you do not approve of.” Thomas Sowell.
We are currently living in a society where the government can restrict your freedom of movement to the limit of your own house, where hugging and kissing are forbidden, where adults are being infantilized and children are made to grow up with a victimhood mentality and a guilty conscience for who they are. Freedom should never be a reward for good behavior, that is how prison works!
Who would have thought a couple of years ago that we would be living in a society that denies your children the right to an education? A society where parents and normal hard-working citizens would be labeled domestic terrorists just because they dare to ask questions? Who would have thought that we would be living in a society where the government would prevent you from earning a living, deny you access to food supply chains and medical facilities; a society where the government would be able to confiscate and/or freeze all your assets including your bank accounts, all without due process for your own good, of course. All of those are big slippery slopes.
“If you have to be persuaded, reminded, pressured, lied to, incentivized, coerced, bullied, socially shamed, guilt-tripped, threatened, punished, and criminalized; if all of this is considered necessary to gain your compliance, you can be absolutely certain that what is being promoted is not in your best interest.” Ian Watson.
“All tyrannies rule through fraud and force, but once the fraud is exposed, they must rely exclusively on force.” George Orwell.
Courage is the most important of all the virtues
“Courage is the most important of all virtues because without courage you cannot practice any of the other virtues consistently” Maya Angelou
We are not born courageous, we learn to be. Courage is a skill that needs to be practiced. Courage is contagious.
At the end of the day, we should always remember that grapes must be crushed to make wine. Diamonds form under pressure. Olives are pressed to release oil. Seeds grow in darkness. So, whenever you feel crushed, under pressure, pressed or in darkness, you are in a powerful place of transformation. Good things are coming down the road, just keep walking but make sure to avoid all the slippery slopes along the way. May the road you choose be the right road.
And this my dear friend is your Quest.
This article is dedicated to the Canadian truckers who demonstrated to the whole world what heroes are made of. Heroes don’t always wear a cape, some of them drive trucks.
I have been working closely for the past months with Data-Driven Investor (DDI) Publication. DDI has recently launched a new marketplace/platform where people can book a paid one-to-one session with an expert of their choice. DDI asked me to join their panel of advisors/experts in the Leadership, Coaching, and Personal Growth category. Here is my profile. If you wish to book a one-to-one chat with me you can do so on this platform.
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