In describing what he called “soft despotism,” Alexis de Toqueville wrote:
“The will of man is not shattered, but softened, bent, and guided; men are seldom forced by it to act, but they are constantly restrained from acting. Such a power does not destroy, but it prevents existence; it does not tyrannize, but it compresses, enervates, extinguishes, and stupefies a people, till each nation is reduced to nothing better than a flock of timid and industrious animals, of which the government is the shepherd.”
America has been sliding toward soft despotism for years now. And in a lot of ways, too many of us were already reduced to a flock of timid and industrious animals before the Wuhan pandemic struck. Which might explain why, when the lockdowns began, Americans agreed to be herded into their homes with minimal opposition.
The only thing necessary for Tyranny to triumph is Free and Sovereign Americans allowing themselves to be treated as a flock of timid and industrious animals.
Only a flock of timid and industrious animals would voluntarily play the role of snitching busybodies policing those who refuse to comply with the COVID lockdown orders.
The COVID response has hardened soft despotism in America. In fact, it’s no longer “soft” despotism at all.
There was a time once when Americans would have refused to comply with unilateral dictates imposed on them by executive fiat. But not anymore. Now too many Americans praise despotism from the likes of Andrew Cuomo or Gretchen Whitmer, while scorning governors like Ron DeSantis or Kristi Noem for refusing to treat their citizens like pliant sheep.
Yesterday, former Democrat Presidential candidate Andrew Yang suggested the government require some kind of identifier so we know which of those timid and industrious animals have been vaccinated for COVID and which have not.
Perhaps, and I’m just spit-balling here, we should require an ear tag like the kind they use for sheep.
Or is that too on-the-nose?
Sadly, too many of our fellow Americans believe these tyrants are the good guys too.
Meanwhile, government bureaucrats are deciding who among the timid and industrious animals will be first to receive the COVID vaccine. And they aren’t leaning toward those at highest risk of the virus. Nope. Not at all. Instead, they’re leaning toward those with the highest quantity of melanin.
After all, some timid and industrious animals are more equal than others.
And, sheep that we are, we must simply accept what our government shepherds decide.
A year ago I never would have imagined that Americans would simply allow themselves to be herded into their homes because their governor ordered it. I never would have imagined that Americans would bully, harass and report their fellow citizens for the crime of going maskless, or playing in the park with their kids, or keeping their business open so they can make ends meet.
As I said back in April in my column “The Tyranny of the Karens,” I’m terrified by how many of our fellow citizens welcome being bossed around by their Karen Overlords.
Eight months later, I’m still terrified by it, but I’m no longer surprised. After years of soft despotism, we were already timid and industrious sheep conditioned to obey.
And by and large we have obeyed, haven’t we?
We stayed at home, hid ourselves behind masks, closed our businesses, and closed our schools.
We allowed ourselves to be divided into two separate herds – the “Essential” and the “Non-Essential.”
With our livelihoods gone, we now expect our Government Shepherds to pass a “stimulus” and give us money rather than demand that they back the hell off and let us freely go about our lives.
We’ve surrendered our Liberties for the promise of “safety.”
And many of us willingly took on the role of Neighborhood Stasi – dutifully reporting to our Shepherds all those unwilling to behave like compliant sheep.
If America was still a nation of rugged individuals, would we have permitted these lockdowns to continue for nine months? Would we have simply gone along with orders that sacrificed our incomes, our businesses, and our freedoms?
The decades of soft despotism resulted in exactly what de Toqueville warned. So many are now conditioned to unquestioningly obey. Soft despotism sapped from us a love of liberty while it eroded Individual Sovereignty.
Will there be a push-back?
Are there still enough freedom-loving Americans to stand up against this tide of tyranny?
A year ago, I would have said yes, Americans would never permit themselves to be treated like mindless sheep.
But after nine months of watching my fellow Americans do just that, I am beginning to wonder if there are enough of us left to put a stop to it.
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