VIDEO The Way Out – Authoritarian Madness – 300% Increase in Cancer

 • Volume 50, Number 11 •

Larry P. Arnn
President, Hillsdale College

The following is adapted from a speech delivered at a Hillsdale College reception in Overland Park, Kansas, on November 18, 2021.

Here are two questions pertinent to our times: (1) How would you reduce the greatest free republic in history to despotism in a short time? and (2) How would you stop that from happening? The answer to the first question has been provided in these last two disastrous years. The answer to the second has begun to emerge in recent months. Both are worthy of study.

Reducing a Great Republic to Despotism

To establish despotism in a nation like ours, you might begin, if you were smart, by building a bureaucracy of great complexity that commands a large percentage of the resources of the nation. You might give it rule-making powers, distributed across many agencies and centers inside the cabinet departments of government, as well as in 20 or more “independent” agencies—meaning independent of elected officials, and thus independent of the people. 

This much has been done. It would require a doctoral thesis to list all the ways that rules are made in our federal government today, which would make for boring reading. The truth is that very few people not directly involved know how all this works. Although civics education is practically banned in America, most people still know what the Congress is and how its members are elected. But how many know how the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) came to be, under what authority it operates, and who is its head? Here is a clue: it is not Anthony Fauci.

Admittedly, this new kind of bureaucratic government would take—has taken—decades to erect, especially in the face of the resistance of the Constitution of the United States, which its very existence violates. But once it has been erected, things can happen very fast. 

What, for example, if a new virus proliferates around the world? There have been procedures for dealing with such viruses for a long time. They begin with isolating the sick and protecting the vulnerable. But suddenly we have new procedures that attempt to isolate everybody. This is commanded by the CDC, an element of this bureaucratic structure, and by a maze of federal and state authorities, all of which see the benefit to themselves in getting involved. The result is that large sections of our economy were closed for months at a time, and citizens placed under the equivalent of house arrest. This has not happened before. The cost of it, and not just in monetary terms, is beyond calculation. 

To set up a despotism capable of pulling this off you would need the media’s help. Those controlling the media today are trained in the same universities that invented the bureaucratic state, the same universities the senior bureaucrats attended. The media would need to be willing to suppress, for example, the fact that 50,000 doctors, scientists, and medical researchers signed the Great Barrington Declaration. That document reminds people that you cannot suppress a widely disseminated contagious virus through shutdowns and mass isolation, and that if you try, you will work immeasurable destruction of new kinds—unemployment, bankruptcy, depression, suicide, multiplying public debt, broken supply chains, and increases of other serious health problems. Some of the signatories to this Declaration come from the most distinguished universities in the world, but never mind: their views do not fit the narrative propagated by the powerful. They have been effectively cancelled, ignored by the media and suppressed by Big Tech.

You would need some help from business, too. As far as influence is concerned, “business” is dominated by large institutions—those comprising big business—whose leaders are also educated in the same universities that conceived bureaucratic government and trained the bureaucrats and media heads. This provides a ground of agreement between big business and the bureaucratic state. Anyway, agree or not, businesses are vulnerable to regulation, and to mitigate the risk of regulatory harm they play the game: they send lobbyists to Washington, make political contributions, hire armies of lawyers. If you are big enough to play the game, there are plenty of advantages to be won. If you are not big enough to play the game—well, in that case you are on your own.

Amidst the unprecedented lockdowns, imagine there comes an election, a time for the people to say if they approve of the new way of governing and of this vast, unprecedented intrusion into their lives. Then let us say that in several states the election rules and practices are altered by their executive branches—the people in charge of enforcing the law—on their own, without approval by their legislatures. Say this brazen violation of the separation of powers takes place in the name of the pandemic. One does not need to know what percentage of votes in the final tally were affected to see that this is fishy. No sensible person would place control of the election process in one party—any party—or in one branch—any branch—of the government, alone. In some crucial states, that was done.

Finally, to sustain this new kind of government, you would need to work on education. You might build a system of centralized influence, if not control, over every classroom in the land. You might require certification of the teachers with a bias toward the schools of education that train them in the approved way. These schools, poor but obedient cousins of the elite universities, are always up on the latest methods of “delivery” of instruction (we do not call it teaching anymore). These new methods do not require much actual knowledge, which can be supplied from above. 

As far as content, you might set up a system of textbook adoption that guarantees to publishers a massive and captive market but requires them to submit proposed books to committees of “experts,” subject of course to political pressures. You might build a standard approved curriculum on the assumption that everything changes—even history, even principles. You might use this curriculum to lay the ground for holding everything old, everything previously thought high and noble, in contempt. 

Doing this, incidentally, deprives the student of the motive to learn anything out of fashion today. It is a preparation not for a life of knowing and thinking, but for a life of compliance and conformity. 

This is by no means an exhaustive account of what it would take to build a thoroughgoing tyranny—for further instruction, read Book Five of Aristotle’s Politics or George Orwell’s 1984. But it gives an idea of a mighty system, a system that seems unassailable, a system combining the powers of government and commerce, of education and communication. Money and power in such a system would accrue to the same hands. The people who benefit from the system would be the ruling class. Others would be frustrated. And such a system would tend to get worse, because the exercise of unchecked power does not bring out the best in people.

Any elaborate system of government must have a justification, and the justification of this one cannot simply be that those in the ruling class are entitled on the basis of their superiority. That argument went away with the divine right of kings. No, for the current ruling class, the justification is science. The claim of bureaucratic rule is a claim of expertise—of technical or scientific knowledge about everything. Listen to Fauci on Face the Nation, dismissing his critics in Congress as backward reactionaries. When those critics disagree with him, Fauci said recently, “They’re really criticizing science because I represent science. That’s dangerous.”

The problem with this kind of thinking was pointed out by a young Winston Churchill in a letter to the writer H.G. Wells in 1901. Churchill wrote:

Nothing would be more fatal than for the government of states to get into the hands of the experts. Expert knowledge is limited knowledge: and the unlimited ignorance of the plain man who knows only what hurts is a safer guide, than any vigorous direction of a specialised character. Why should you assume that all except doctors, engineers, etc. are drones or worse? . . . If the Ruler is to be an expert in anything he should be an expert in everything; and that is plainly impossible. 

Churchill goes on to argue that practical judgment is the capacity necessary to making decisions. And practical judgment, he writes in many places, is something that everyone is capable of to varying degrees. Everyone, then, is equipped to guide his own life in the things that concern mainly himself.

Another thing about the experts is that they are not really engaged in the search for truth. Instead, the powerful among them suppress the obvious fact that there is wide disagreement among the experts. There always is. 

God save us from falling completely into the hands of experts. But God has given us the wherewithal to save ourselves from that. So let us move to the second question posed above.

How to Defeat a Rising Despotism

In answering the second question, I will tell two stories that are suggestive.

The first took place in the small town of Jonesville, Michigan, five miles north of Hillsdale College. In our state, as in most places where the lockdowns were enforced, businesses were crippled or destroyed en masse. Restaurants were chief among them. One of our local restaurants is a 30-year-old diner called Spanglers Family Restaurant. Mitch Spangler is the proprietor. The business was founded by his late father, and Mitch was purchasing the business from his mother. The payments to his mother depended upon the revenues of the business, and his mother’s retirement depended upon the payments. The life’s work of two generations was at stake. Mitch was also helping to support a daughter in college.

This is not to mention the more than 20 employees whose livelihoods are dependent on Spanglers. “Our employees are moms who have kids,” Spangler told the local paper. “One of our employees is pregnant; another is a 19-year-old kid. This is his first job, and he just bought a car.” Our leaders in Washington treat it as a small thing when trillions are being thrown about. To the Spanglers and people like them, their relatively small revenue streams are everything.

Mr. Spangler was not prepared to surrender all this. When a second lockdown was ordered by Michigan’s governor a year ago last month, he kept his restaurant open. He put a sign on the door and posted on Facebook to make clear, among other things, that he was acting out of necessity for the sake of his business and the livelihoods of all those dependent on it; that precautions would be taken, including the installation of an electrostatic fogger that would disinfect the air; that he understood the thinking of those who would choose to stay away from his restaurant, but that he hoped they would understand his own thinking. “If you cannot support us, we understand,” he wrote, “but please allow us to have the freedom to do what we have to do.” 

The wheels of bureaucracy began to grind. Spanglers was visited repeatedly by the health department, by the licensing authorities, and even by the agriculture department (one wonders what they had to do with it). Spangler was fined and threatened with forcible closure. But he persevered, never backing down, and his busines did well. On a typical weekend, not only locals but supporters from the neighboring states of Indiana and Ohio lined up outside to show their support.

Mitch Spangler is our kind of fellow, and the College gave him some help organizing his legal representation. We did not wish to be in the newspaper about this because we were facing our own pressures, and we too were determined to resist them. But Spangler was no good at keeping a secret: he wore a Hillsdale College t-shirt on FOX News and thanked us for our help. And when he had a little ceremony in his parking lot in the spring to thank his staff and his customers, I was honored to say a few words.

This may not seem on its face a big story, but it is a most important story. It is important because it is a story about the nature of human beings and of citizens and of our rights. The nature of a thing is the essence of a thing. One aspect of the nature of a human being is that he must eat to live. In condemnation of slavery, Abraham Lincoln loved to say that every man was created with a head, hands, and mouth, the implication being that the head should guide the hands in the feeding of the mouth. Because we are made to live this way, we are also determined to live this way. The alternative is dependence, which does not make us happy. 

It should not therefore be surprising that, if you try to destroy the business of a man whose family has spent over 30 years building it, he will resist. Trying to strongarm people like Mitch Spangler is not a good idea. There are millions of them, and they have always made up the core of this greatest of free republics.

The second story is more famous, but it too is about nature—indeed, about that word’s most basic meaning. The word nature, as I said, refers to a thing’s essence, but it comes from the Latin word for birth. Our nature begins with how we are born and how we grow. Just as we are attached by nature to the way we get our livings, so we are attached by nature to our parents, and still more to our children. And this second story, set in Loudoun County, Virginia, is about parents and children. 

In schools throughout Virginia, including in Loudoun County, children are being subjected to critical race theory (CRT). This involves lecturing children, especially those belonging to the non-preferred races, about the “structural evils” of which they are told they are part. Being taught alongside CRT is a distorted view of the history of our country, which true enough has its warts, but which surely has its glories as well—including glories about equal rights regardless of race. Between fighting the armies of the English monarch, the Confederacy, the Nazis, the communists, and Islamic terrorists, something nearing a million Americans have died for the cause of equal rights. These Americans have come in all colors.

Amidst statewide controversy over the teaching of CRT, the Loudoun County School Board also adopted a broad policy of recognizing “transgender” students in preference to their “biological sex” (excuse the redundancy). Even before this, boys were permitted to use girls’ bathrooms, in one of which there was an assault and rape of a female student by a “gender-fluid boy.” The boy in question was then allowed to attend another school in Loudoun County, where he assaulted another girl. This first girl’s parents were understandably outraged and, at the risk of being called narrow-minded, went so far as to complain to the school board.

Groups of parents who had already been protesting CRT and policies promoting transgenderism joined in the complaint. There was no violence at the school board meetings with one exception: law enforcement was summoned, and the outraged father of the assaulted and raped girl was bloodied and dragged out of one meeting. It is true, however, that voices were raised. 

The National School Board Administration called upon the Biden administration to investigate these protesting parents as potential perpetrators of “domestic terrorism or hate crimes.” Remember, these parents were citizens attending a meeting of an elected body to tell their representatives what they think. The rights of petition and assembly are protected in the First Amendment. Except for certain preferred groups, these rights today appear to have been repealed.

U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland intervened, instructing the FBI to investigate these parents and others around the country. The FBI’s Counterterrorism Division has reportedly deployed tools and resources normally reserved for terrorist threats against parents who are angry at school boards for what is occurring in their children’s schools. All this provoked massive support, across Virginia and around the nation, for the parents of Loudoun County.

This support is not surprising. By nature, parents love their children and feel responsibility for them. Citizens, especially one hopes American citizens, feel entitled to state their grievances. The Declaration of Independence itself contains a list of grievances against the King. The Biden administration reacted to these protests just as King George III reacted against the American colonists in the years leading up to the American Revolution: he called in law enforcement. And the people of Virginia reacted in a way reminiscent of the American colonists: they defeated the candidate for governor who took the position that parents should have nothing to do with their children’s education. 

What do these two stories—one of them taking place in Hillsdale County, Michigan, a deep red county, and the other in Loudoun County, Virginia, which is deeply blue—have in common? In both stories we see reactions against violations of our rights, rights that we have by nature as human beings. 

The story about Mitch Spangler is about our right to work and to store up the product of our labor so that we and our families can eat and thrive. The American Founders put this in terms of our natural right to property. The story about the parents of Loudoun County is about the natural right of mothers and fathers to raise their children. To interfere with these rights is to interfere with the nature of the human being.

These facts about nature were well known during the American Revolution, the very Revolution that is besmirched by the members of our ruling class today, just as it was besmirched by the ruling class at the time of the Revolution. It was the interference with the colonists’ natural rights by that former ruling class that led to the American Revolution. These recent stories from Michigan and Virginia show that we Americans do not seem to like that interference any better today.

In addition to the right to make a living and the right to raise our children, we have the right to participate in our government, even if we are not experts, and the right to look to the heavens and not to our ruling class for guidance. We have these rights because we—every single one of us—were born with them sewn by God into our nature, and we cannot find our earthly fulfillment without them. 

If we put these facts together as a people, we will have recovered the understanding that produced the American Revolution. We will stop these current predations upon our rights. We will bring this overwhelming government back where it belongs, under the control of the people. 

The signs of such a movement are emerging. Pray they are enough.


Larry P. Arnn is the twelfth president of Hillsdale College. He received his B.A. from Arkansas State University and his M.A. and Ph.D. in government from the Claremont Graduate School. From 1977 to 1980, he also studied at the London School of Economics and at Worcester College, Oxford University, where he served as director of research for Martin Gilbert, the official biographer of Winston Churchill. From 1985 until his appointment as president of Hillsdale College in 2000, he was president of the Claremont Institute for the Study of Statesmanship and Political Philosophy. From October 2020 to January 2021, he served as co-chair of the President’s Advisory 1776 Commission. He is the author of several books, including The Founders’ Key: The Divine and Natural Connection Between the Declaration and the Constitution and Churchill’s Trial: Winston Churchill and the Salvation of Free Government.

https://imprimis.hillsdale.edu/the-way-out/

Authoritarian Madness: The Slippery Slope from Lockdowns to Concentration Camps

By John W. Whitehead & Nisha Whitehead January 26, 2022

“All the Dachaus must remain standing. The Dachaus, the Belsens, the Buchenwald, the Auschwitzes—all of them. They must remain standing because they are a monument to a moment in time when some men decided to turn the Earth into a graveyard. Into it they shoveled all of their reason, their logic, their knowledge, but worst of all, their conscience. And the moment we forget this, the moment we cease to be haunted by its remembrance, then we become the gravediggers.”— Rod Serling, Deaths-Head Revisited

In the politically charged, polarizing tug-of-war that is the debate over COVID-19, we find ourselves buffeted by fear over a viral pandemic that continues to wreak havoc with lives and the economy, threats of vaccine mandates and financial penalties for noncompliance, and discord over how to legislate the public good without sacrificing individual liberty.

The discord is getting more discordant by the day.

Just recently, for instance, the Salt Lake Tribune Editorial Board suggested that government officials should mandate mass vaccinations and deploy the National Guard “to ensure that people without proof of vaccination would not be allowed, well, anywhere.”

In other words, lock up the unvaccinated and use the military to determine who gets to be “free.”

These tactics have been used before.

This is why significant numbers of people are worried: because this is the slippery slope that starts with well-meaning intentions for the greater good and ends with tyrannical abuses no one should tolerate.

For a glimpse at what the future might look like if such a policy were to be enforced, look beyond America’s borders.

In Italy, the unvaccinated are banned from restaurants, bars and public transportation, and could face suspensions from work and monthly fines. Similarly, France will ban the unvaccinated from most public venues.

In Austria, anyone who has not complied with the vaccine mandate could face fines up to $4100. Police will be authorized to carry out routine checks and demand proof of vaccination, with penalties of as much as $685 for failure to do so.

In China, which has adopted a zero tolerance, “zero COVID” strategy, whole cities—some with populations in the tens of millions—are being forced into home lockdowns for weeks on end, resulting in mass shortages of food and household supplies. Reports have surfaced of residents “trading cigarettes for cabbage, dishwashing liquid for apples and sanitary pads for a small pile of vegetables. One resident traded a Nintendo Switch console for a packet of instant noodles and two steamed buns.”

For those unfortunate enough to contract COVID-19, China has constructed “quarantine camps” throughout the country: massive complexes boasting thousands of small, metal boxes containing little more than a bed and a toilet. Detainees—including children, pregnant women and the elderly— were reportedly ordered to leave their homes in the middle of the night, transported to the quarantine camps in buses and held in isolation.

If this last scenario sounds chillingly familiar, it should.

Eighty years ago, another authoritarian regime established more than 44,000 quarantine camps for those perceived as “enemies of the state”: racially inferior, politically unacceptable or simply noncompliant.

While the majority of those imprisoned in the Nazi concentration camps, forced labor camps, incarceration sites and ghettos were Jews, there were also Polish nationals, gypsies, Russians, political dissidents, resistance fighters, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and homosexuals.

Culturally, we have become so fixated on the mass murders of Jewish prisoners by the Nazis that we overlook the fact that the purpose of these concentration camps were initially intended to “incarcerate and intimidate the leaders of political, social, and cultural movements that the Nazis perceived to be a threat to the survival of the regime.”

As the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum explains:

“Most prisoners in the early concentration camps were political prisoners—German Communists, Socialists, Social Democrats—as well as Roma (Gypsies), Jehovah’s Witnesses, homosexuals, and persons accused of ‘asocial’ or socially deviant behavior. Many of these sites were called concentration camps. The term concentration camp refers to a camp in which people are detained or confined, usually under harsh conditions and without regard to legal norms of arrest and imprisonment that are acceptable in a constitutional democracy.”

How do you get from there to here, from Auschwitz concentration camps to COVID quarantine centers?

Connect the dots.

You don’t have to be unvaccinated or a conspiracy theorist or even anti-government to be worried about what lies ahead. You just have to recognize the truth in the warning: power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

This is not about COVID-19. Nor is it about politics, populist movements, or any particular country.

This is about what happens when good, generally decent people—distracted by manufactured crises, polarizing politics, and fighting that divides the populace into warring “us vs. them” camps—fail to take note of the looming danger that threatens to wipe freedom from the map and place us all in chains.

It’s about what happens when any government is empowered to adopt a comply-or-suffer-the-consequences mindset that is enforced through mandates, lockdowns, penalties, detention centers, martial law, and a disregard for the rights of the individual.

The slippery slope begins in just this way, with propaganda campaigns about the public good being more important than individual liberty, and it ends with lockdowns and concentration camps.

The danger signs are everywhere.

Claudio Ronco, a 66-year-old Orthodox Jew and a specialist in 18th-century music, recognizes the signs. Because of his decision to remain unvaccinated, Ronco is trapped inside his house, unable to move about in public without a digital vaccination card. He can no longer board a plane, check into a hotel, eat at a restaurant or get a coffee at a bar. He has been ostracized by friends, shut out of public life, and will soon face monthly fines for insisting on his right to bodily integrity and individual freedom.

For all intents and purposes, Ronco has become an undesirable in the eyes of the government, forced into isolation so he doesn’t risk contaminating the rest of the populace.

This is the slippery slope: a government empowered to restrict movements, limit individual liberty, and isolate “undesirables” to prevent the spread of a disease is a government that has the power to lockdown a country, label whole segments of the population a danger to national security, and force those undesirables—a.k.a. extremists, dissidents, troublemakers, etc.—into isolation so they don’t contaminate the rest of the populace.

The world has been down this road before, too.

Others have ignored the warning signs. We cannot afford to do so.

As historian Milton Mayer recounts in his seminal book on Hitler’s rise to power, They Thought They Were Free:

“Most of us did not want to think about fundamental things and never had. There was no need to. Nazism gave us some dreadful, fundamental things to think about—we were decent people‑—and kept us so busy with continuous changes and ‘crises’ and so fascinated, yes, fascinated, by the machinations of the ‘national enemies’, without and within, that we had no time to think about these dreadful things that were growing, little by little, all around us.”

The German people chose to ignore the truth and believe the lie.

They were not oblivious to the horrors taking place around them. As historian Robert Gellately points out, “[A]nyone in Nazi Germany who wanted to find out about the Gestapo, the concentration camps, and the campaigns of discrimination and persecutions need only read the newspapers.”

The warning signs were there, blinking incessantly like large neon signs.

“Still,” Gellately writes, “the vast majority voted in favor of Nazism, and in spite of what they could read in the press and hear by word of mouth about the secret police, the concentration camps, official anti-Semitism, and so on. . . . [T]here is no getting away from the fact that at that moment, ‘the vast majority of the German people backed him.’”

Half a century later, the wife of a prominent German historian, neither of whom were members of the Nazi party, opined: “[O]n the whole, everyone felt well. . . . And there were certainly eighty percent who lived productively and positively throughout the time. . . . We also had good years. We had wonderful years.”

In other words, as long as their creature comforts remained undiminished, as long as their bank accounts remained flush, as long as they weren’t being locked up, locked down, discriminated against, persecuted, starved, beaten, shot, stripped, jailed or killed, life was good.

Life is good in America, too, as long as you’re able to keep cocooning yourself in political fantasies that depict a world in which your party is always right and everyone else is wrong, while distracting yourself with bread-and-circus entertainment that bears no resemblance to reality.

Indeed, life in America may be good for the privileged few who aren’t being locked up, locked down, discriminated against, persecuted, starved, beaten, shot, stripped, jailed or killed, but it’s getting worse by the day for the rest of us.

Which brings me back to the present crisis: COVID-19 is not the Holocaust, and those who advocate vaccine mandates, lockdowns and quarantine camps are not Hitler, but this still has the makings of a slippery slope.

The means do not justify the ends: we must find other ways of fighting a pandemic without resorting to mandates and lockdowns and concentration camps. To do otherwise is to lay the groundwork for another authoritarian monster to rise up and wreak havoc.

If we do not want to repeat the past, then we must learn from past mistakes.

January 27 marks Remembrance Day, the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, a day for remembering those who died at the hands of Hitler’s henchmen and those who survived the horrors of the Nazi concentration camps.

Yet remembering is not enough. We can do better. We must do better.

As I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People and in its fictional counterpart The Erik Blair Diaries, the world is teetering on the edge of authoritarian madness.

All it will take is one solid push for tyranny to prevail.

https://www.rutherford.org/publications_resources/john_whiteheads_commentary/authoritarian_madness_the_slippery_slope_from_lockdowns_to_concentration_camps


MILITARY: 300% INCREASE CANCER, 1000% RISE IN NEUROLOGICAL ISSUES AFTER COVID VACCINES



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