Over the weekend a close friend sent me the following image, which was found spray-painted somewhere in Brooklyn:
The words above reflect a state of mind and disposition that has been expressed by philosophers and revolutionaries for thousands of years. It is not a novel or new concept, but it is a concept that seems to have been forgotten across much of these United States. The population has largely been domesticated and this is the primary reason why there has been such little pushback to the global oligarchs looting the landscape. A pathetically large percentage of the population would rather not think, they’d prefer to be told what to believe. They would rather not have any risk in their lives, they’d prefer to have shiny gadgets handed to them. They would rather not explore the wonderful expansive world around them, they’d rather sit on the couch and watch television.
Planet earth is a truly incredible place. Majestic mountains, glistening and seemingly endless blue seas, powerful dense forests. Its beauty is too profound for me to accurately put into words. At the same time, there are terrible tsunamis, horrific hurricanes, devastating floods and countless other natural disasters that pose a constant deadly threat.
I moved to Colorado in December 2010 for many reasons, but one of the main ones was the burning desire to get away from the big city. As a kid who had grown up in Manhattan and spent 90% of my life in that environment, I felt a deep longing to move closer to nature and vast open spaces. When weather permits I like to go on lengthy hikes at least once or twice a week. On essentially all of these hikes there are both bears and mountain lions active, amongst a host of other creatures. I mention the first two because of their ability to do severe bodily harm to me at any moment should they choose to. Being aware of such dangerous animals creates a sense of fear but also thrill. Do I carry a gun on my hikes? No, I don’t. Do I want the Colorado state government to go into the woods and hunt down all the bears and mountain lions so that I can be 100% sure of my safety? Of course not. I understand this part of the world is wild and potentially dangerous, and that’s a large part of what I love about it.
Two typical signs at Boulder trailheads:
The same could be said for the world at large and society itself. Beyond the obvious reality that we are all going to die anyway, there is the point that no matter how hard you try to avoid harm or hard times, those things can come to your doorstep any time they choose. At the end of the day, it really isn’t up to you. What is up to you is how you spend each day. The things you think about, the stuff you create, the people you love. All of those things can only reach their highest potential in a free society.
Now I’m someone who certainly believes in laws and such laws applying to everyone equally. I think the entirity of the Bill of Rights of the Constitution are absolutely essential. I also believe in the saying: “No Victim, No Crime.” Taking it a step further, I do not have a problem with societies and communities actively taking measures to protect themselves from both outside and inside threats as long as such measures are consistent with a free people. However, such protective measures cannot and should not be seen in a vacuum.
For example, after all we have witnessed in the past few years, is there any reason whatsoever that a rational human being would trust the U.S. government and intelligence agencies on anything? No, there isn’t. So then why would you trust them to protect you? Why would you trust them to use the Big Brother surveillance grid for your best interests, rather than as a totalitarian tool to squash dissent?
I find it incredibly bizarre that so many people who will claim in polls to distrust the government, will at the same time support the police state grid being built around them. Why? Fear. Fear of terrorists. A fear that has been nurtured and encouraged by the very government frantically trying to have every human being on the planet on watch 24/7.
While in my mind the trade-off between “safety and freedom” should always err toward freedom, there are times when it must even more aggressively bend in that direction. I believe that to be the case today since we have a government and elite power structure of oligarchs that has proven itself to be beyond corrupt and beyond morality.
These folks do not care about the country, or the Constitution, for the poor and middle class or civil society. Their actions have proved without a shadow of a doubt that they care about nothing but themselves and furthering their wealth and power. They are not constructing the largest surveillance society in human history to protect you, they are doing it to protect themselves. From you. The sooner we all recognize this, the better.
Follow me on Twitter!