Source: J.B. Shurk
For two years, Western governments have embraced COVID-1984 totalitarianism, and now a group of minutemen truckers are having their say. It is a recurring theme throughout history that the fight for freedom doesn’t really begin until the light of its flame is nearly extinguished. Then something almost magical happens: the human need for liberty ignites and starts spreading out of control. Everywhere around us today, Big Tech and Big Government are building monuments to a future of technocratic authoritarianism they envision as inevitable, yet whispers calling for freedom are turning into shouts.
Is freedom on the march? Freedom is always on the march when it looks almost licked. What started as gross government overreach may well end up as an army of truckers bulldozing over a police state that once seemed certain.
When honking, of all things, is outlawed for the government’s protection, then those with power are getting nervous. Pushing the “Great Rest” upon the world is backfiring. Instead of subjugating people to the will of the global “elite,” COVID-1984 may be remembered for subjugating the “elite” to the will of the people. I know this much: our Founding Fathers would all be driving trucks today, and they would have relished the opportunity to declare their independence while blasting their horns from the high perch of big rigs!
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
It doesn’t matter how sophisticated, wealthy, adored, articulate, or celebrated someone is; in a free society, there can be no ruling class holding perpetual power over everyone else. When political dynasties and nepotism become common; when political offices are treated as having bestowed titles of nobility; or when oligarchs write all the laws, then kings and queens have returned to power. When the aristocratic agents of government claim for themselves the authority to determine what rights the people may enjoy, then the people have become slaves to a system that claims to work on their behalf while doing the opposite.
Unalienable rights cannot be taken from a person. They are absolute and non-negotiable. The government is not entitled to produce a “really good” reason or excuse for abridging a person’s liberty. Governments depriving citizens of their individual rights under the pretext of an emergency is akin to thieves depriving citizens of their property under the pretext of taxation (so much for the IRS’s legitimacy). Most importantly, our rights and freedoms do not arise from bureaucratic decrees or the musings of politicians. They belong to us alone and never go away. They exist separate from any laws or institutions or forms of government created by man. They existed before America’s independence; they existed whether it was the Articles of Confederation or the U.S. Constitution binding the states together; they exist today despite a century of Supreme Court jurisprudence reimagining the Constitution as a “living, breathing document”; they exist regardless of whether the Department of Justice criminalizes “hate speech” or whether the White House censors points of view as “misinformation”; and they will exist long after the United States of America recedes into the pages of history.
That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed …
Societies that value innovation and self-determination cherish individual freedom. Societies that value orthodoxy and compliance cherish government force. Free will cannot exist in a system that first requires government permission. Free speech cannot exist in a system with thought police posing as “fact-checkers.” Liberty cannot exist in a system drowned in tens of thousands of criminal statutes and laws. Consent cannot exist in a system of medical mandates and threats.
When governments exceed their enumerated authorities, their power is unjust. When they act in direct opposition to their constitutional duties, their power is unjust. When they intimidate and punish citizens for exercising their free speech, freedom of religion, freedom of assembly, and every other natural and unalienable right that can never be abridged or abrogated through the impertinence of impermanent government, their power is unjust. Tyrants cannot gain the consent of the people simply because tyranny, by its nature, abhors and persecutes dissent.
That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government …
Politicians will not talk about freedom today. They talk exclusively about “democracy.” Why? Because nothing they impose on people today could be mistaken for protecting freedom. From vaccine mandates and digital passports to emergency orders and mass censorship, the medical police state they have created is communist in nature, arbitrary in practice, and tyrannical in spirit. When democracy is not held in check by constitutional guarantees for individual rights, democracy is just as prone as any other system to welcome tyranny. Freedom cannot exist in a democracy if the only people allowed a voice are tyrants.
Ask yourself whether you would rather live under a benevolent dictatorship headed by Thomas Jefferson or a democracy composed of nothing but Stalins, Hitlers, Mussolinis, and Maos. Democracy, no matter how “precious” government agents proclaim it to be, means nothing if it cannot protect the people from the people’s government. This understanding of human freedom propelled American independence. It’s the same understanding of freedom that fuels the truckers today.
But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.
Any government that attempts to reestablish rights and liberties as gifts bestowed by those with power is a menace. Any government that pretends rights and liberties survive only in times of peace is certain to keep society in an imaginary but permanent state of emergency and war. Any government that promises future freedoms in exchange for temporary obedience is certain to provide temporary freedom in exchange for total obedience in perpetuity. Any government that promises safety and security, yet will not promise to protect individual rights, is a government that leaves everyone less safe, less secure, and less free.
It is time for Western governments to step back behind the lines they’ve crossed before they discover one day soon that there is no one left behind them to do their bidding. Today we have “the honks heard around the world,” but what will tomorrow bring as governments outlaw honks, cover their ears, and learn nothing?
Freedom always finds a way. For those eager to be on the wrong side of it, well, best to look both ways before crossing the street. The spirit of 1776 is back in the air these days. And freedom convoys have a tendency to spring up where those shutting them down expect them least.