Evaluating 2020 has been difficult. The facts of this past year are available, in any form or flavor you want. That complicates things. If you lean progressive, believing centralized and authoritarian government should shape the directions and quality of humanity, you should be delighted. Whether under the administration of the progressively-hated Trump, or despite it, human action has been constrained, deformed, warped and most certainly altered by authoritarian government, and its media handmaidens – in the name of saving lives and keeping people out of the hospital. It “worked:” deaths by influenza (and perhaps all deaths) were reduced, and hospital visits and stays for a wide array of both emergency treatments and elective surgeries were drastically down this year.
The same data also suggests that authoritarianism and its associated propaganda has been, and is increasingly, ignored, scoffed at, tuned out and ridiculed by the population at large. Every harsh mandate seems to crystallize the disobedient from the public pool, over time creating thousands of spectacularly unorganized pike squares.
Go Vacation - Nintendo... Best Price: $48.94 Buy New $55.70 (as of 07:08 EST - Details) On COVID alarmism and shutdowns, 2020 closes in a draw. For every government submissive, we’re getting another person who is thinking about secession for the first time. For every suggestible and fearful but otherwise healthy person, we have his or her parents, grandparents, children and grandchildren debating whether they’d rather see their friends and relatives and spend their last days satisfied, or die angry, lonely and disappointed.
The vaccines, touted as a key step in getting back to normal, demonstrate the problem. Government-funded, crony capitalist-created (without liability and using pre-existing experimental technology designed for a far less profitable purpose), these vaccines are increasingly doubted by an anxious public. This investment ($18 billion and climbing) is nearly matched by federal and state spending on PPE and other COVID reactions, consisting largely of over-priced disposable white and blue single-use masks one finds discarded in every car and truck, parking lot and sidewalk.
Experimental vaccines, and ineffective and throwaway PPE, seem to be the model for the nearly $4 trillion in fiat handed out by the two main COVID spending bills, CARES I and II, and the Paycheck Protection Act. Tulsi Gabbard called the latest bill a slap in the face; Thomas Massie said it was a secret-theater omnibus catchall; it includes billions of dollars in foreign aid, and builds more museums that we may or may not be able to ever visit in person.
Latice Hawaii Strategy... Buy New $34.99 (as of 07:08 EST - Details) On top of this festering pile of spending (or perhaps buried underneath) is the lost economic productivity, the result of government mandates. The destruction of small businesses and churches is compounded by government corraling of all human interaction onto the internet, where it is completely monitored and analyzed by Big Tech, and by law served up on request to the DoD and other parts of the USG. This trend could be called in military logistics jargon “Containment, Government Issued, First and Second Amendment, One Each.” It is a great re-set. It works in concert with, and is facilitated by, the ongoing war on dirty filthy money, the rise of digital cash, and global central banking.
Technology has slashed overhead for doing business decade over decade, and increased growth and productivity, empowered us all and improved countless lives, and lengthened them. But where is the government’s portion? With debt and unfunded liabilities looming large, our ruling class (part of, and protected, by that government) wants to know.
We should not recall 2020 for its awkward authoritarian assertions of power – after all, none of us personally endured the years preceding the War of Independence, or the election of Abe Lincoln and the war on the South, or the rise of Wilson and the progressive prohibitionists, or even FDR’s sly machinations. If anything, 2020 has offered us a real example of the limits and vulnerabilities of simple government authoritarianism in America. While Etienne de la Boetie would certainly not understand modern America, he would have liked the fact that state houses and the White House faced never ending rallies and protests this year. Surely, de Toqueville would give us a nod as well.
Itu2019s in The Bag! |... Buy New $27.99 (as of 07:08 EST - Details) 2020 will be noted as a year where government interference in the free market was as vulgar as it gets, complete with blatant choosing of winners and losers, political identification of the essential workers, and the dead-to-me non-essential. And yet, in this key area, government institutions and elected officials alike demonstrated pure, almost continuous, incompetence, while sociopathically projecting every failure on the people. This arrogance delivered a miraculous new awareness, among taxpayers and non-taxpayers alike, of the native decrepitude of government, with its conflicting and ever-changing rules and edicts, and general silliness. Take public schooling (please)! 2020 is the year the government education was finally recognized by just about everyone to be little more than government funded daycare for the young, largely unnecessary for teenagers, with residential four year college an overpriced and disappointing option for high school grads. Life in full color beckons, excites, and is suddenly possible and real for so many of our young people – rule-obsessed entitled educational tyrannies, listless and smelling of death simply cannot compete. Not bad, 2020!
As we look back, we will also recognize that 2020 was the year where statist visionaries revealed their true hearts, and gave away their strategy in a war that pits them against their own irrelevance, and incidentally, all of us. The Klaus Schwabs of the world understand very little about the actual world; when they echo “Build Back Better” (as did Joe Biden and Kamala Harris throughout 2020) they do so as people who don’t know how to build anything, how to grow anything, how to process or create anything, how, in fact, to do anything. To paraphrase Hayek, from The Fatal Conceit: The Errors of Socialism they are “naive minds…[conceiving] of order only as the product of deliberate arrangement…” Economic reality, that is to say, reality, will demonstrate to these men, and all of us, “how little they really know about what they imagine they can design.”
That is not to say that the war is not serious, nor that Capitol trolls under multiple bridges do not scheme to strengthen their grip over people and property, raw materials, produce and livestock, every productive mechanism and endeavor, from sea to shining sea. They undeniably intend to achieve their goals, enslave the willing, and imprison or destroy the unwilling. If they fail, they will cease to be powerful, will lose wealth and security, and they may face public humiliation, guillotines, or both. The clock is not turning back. The future really is at stake. Let’s take a moment to thank 2020 for shining a cold harsh light on the designs of our “betters.” As Americans, let us be grateful to her for leading more than a few million people, from all philosophies, political leanings, and backgrounds, to liberty’s boot camp.