The Doomsday Clock, maintained by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, is meant to indicate how close the world’s chieftains are in bringing the experience of bright, white flashes and enveloping mushroom clouds to a neighborhood near you.
Even though the Bulletin’s clock has merit, I propose that we adopt a new clock that foretells a different kind of doomsday: a time when we live under Total Government, which means Total Tyranny. History teaches us that the closer we get to Total Tyranny, the closer we get to the breakdown of society, pervasive poverty, slavery and war (including nuclear war).
My version of the clock is divided into twelve five-minute slices, and the hands sweep towards midnight as follows:
1. Private property ownership: Presently, the state claims ownership and control over all private property through its self-appointed powers of taxation, eminent domain and regulation. Private property ownership is now only an illusion, a historical artifact. (+5 minutes; Clock at 11:05 p.m.)
2. Personal privacy: The state is now employing an ever-increasing, omnipotent, spy apparatus to single-out threats to its power. However, there are still pockets of privacy and it is possible to escape the information dragnet. (+4 minutes; Clock at 11:09p.m.)
3. Freedom of movement: Increasingly, citizens are randomly stopped in their travels on public and/or private property because every person is now considered to be a potential enemy of the state. Efforts are underway to make it illegal for some people to leave the country, though such restrictions are not yet the law. (+4 minutes; Clock at 11:13 p.m.)
4. Freedom of the family: Children are now considered to be the property of the state and can be legally kidnapped. Parents are increasingly arrested for failing to meet arbitrary government criteria on the raising of children including how they are fed and disciplined. However, most parents still have the freedom to legally home-school their children. (+4 minutes; Clock at 11:17 p.m.)
5. Morality of the justice system: Everyone knows that the judicial system is bought and paid-for by the ruling elite. Rarely are laws overturned or opposed even though the laws may be corrupt and immoral. Occasionally, justice is dispensed based upon moral principles, but it is becoming increasingly rare. (+4 minutes; Clock at 11:21 p.m.)
6. The rule of law: The smokescreen of public law is used as a means to allow the state to get away with crimes for which private individuals would be arrested. State bureaucrats and police are rarely, if ever, charged with criminal acts and they literally can get away with murder. Today the rule of law is essentially dead. (+5 minutes; Clock at 11:26 p.m.)
7. Victimless crime: Most laws on the books today make criminals out of non-criminals. No longer is harm required to constitute crime. Also, laws are so complex that it’s no longer possible to know if a law is being broken. Anyone can be a criminal without knowing it. The arbitrary will of the bureaucratic class now reigns supreme. (+5 minutes; Clock at 11:31 p.m.)
8. Economic freedom: Citizens are presently taxed at a total rate that far exceeds that of medieval serfs. The state mandates the use of its monopoly currency which it continually devalues to fund its pet projects and to enrich its politically-connected friends. The government is on the path of tracking every bit of money that changes private hands, though cash exchanges and barter can still go unnoticed. (+4 minutes; Clock at 11:35 p.m.)
9. Sate control over business: The decisions made by businessmen are entirely within the purview of government bureaucrats. Every enterprise is highly regulated and hampered by red tape. Free market competition has taken a back seat to government-corporate fascism. Being politically connected is required to get ahead and corporate welfare is pervasive. The state has taken over major segments of private industry, including health care. Small private enterprises can still succeed, but it is becoming more difficult. (+4 minutes; Clock at 11:39 p.m.)
10. The police and society: The local police are becoming increasingly politicized and militarized. Military outposts that once operated overseas now operate in your local shopping center parking lot. Drones buzz overhead. Torture with Taser guns is now viewed as acceptable police enforcement. Thankfully, most police encounters don’t end with torture or death at this time. (+4 minutes; Clock at 11:43 p.m.)
11. Perpetual war: The state is in a perpetual state of war engaging in a multitude of invented battles that cannot be won. They have no definite end. The enemies are contrived on an as-needed basis. We are now the Oceania of Orwell’s 1984. (+5 minutes; Clock at 11:48 p.m.)
12. War on the citizen: Anyone who opposes the will of the state is said to be a traitor. Indefinite time in jail in the absence of supporting evidence and a public trial can be a reality for any individual. Citizens can be imprisoned or murdered at the whim of a bureaucrat or political leader, though today the murdering is limited. (+4 minutes; Clock at 11:52 p.m.)
According to my clock, then, we have eight minutes before the hands strike midnight. Would your version of the Doomsday Clock of Tyranny look much different? The good news is that it’s still possible to turn-back the clock once the average voter realizes how dark things have become. At least now we have a clock against which we can measure our progress.