Things are being done to us that we seem unable to countervail. The destruction of the dollar. The strangulation of our energy supplies. Limitations on our travel. The privatization of censorship. The monitoring of our personal communications.
We could see much of it coming from far off, decades ago. The explosive acceleration of federal spending. The massive influx of illegal immigrants. The PATRIOT Act and the Department of Homeland Security. The federalization of airport security. The unleashing of the “intelligence community.” The rise of victimism and identity-group politics. The ascension of Big Tech. The implications weren’t difficult to see.
A single thread runs through all of it. The Founding Fathers called it consolidation. It was one of their direst fears. It remains as fearsome as ever, but the terminology has changed. Today we call it centralization. By either name, it refers to the steady accumulation of ever more power in ever fewer hands: hands that are inimical to Americans’ rights as specified in the Bill of Rights.
The great need of our time is for countermeasures.
I don’t think we can rely on politics to undo any of the above. Our political class is completely corrupt. Perhaps one percent of the elected officials in Washington aren’t beholden to some deep-pocketed sponsor that dictates their every move. The other 99% either actively promote the centralization of all power in their hands, or have been instructed by their backers not to “rock the boat.” What would it be reasonable to expect from such people?
As for “voting the rascals out,” the election system is firmly in their grip. The rash of legislation at the state level, aimed at thwarting the corruption that made the 2020 elections a farce, will barely slow them down. There are simply too many ways to cheat, and too few ways to redress even the most blatant cheating. Joe Stalin never had it so good.
Of course, politics can’t or won’t touch the part of it that “we did to ourselves:” i.e., the rise of the Internet Goliaths that have become its de facto censors and hall monitors. That we could undo simply by refusing to use their “free services.” But how many people are willing to forsake Google, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube and return to the anything-goes Blogosphere? That even Web hosts are exercising censors’ powers over their customers doesn’t help with the motivation.
Perhaps John Derbyshire was right after all.
As the political class no longer responds to the private citizenry and the masters of the corporate behemoths are on the side of the New Oligarchy, traditional citizen recourses – e.g., “peaceably petitioning the government for a redress of grievances” – are pointless. Unless there’s a nationwide armed uprising dedicated to restoring Constitutional government and the public order your grandparents enjoyed, your best bet lies in striving to preserve yourself and your family despite the Sturm und Drang, Thus, we have entered an Era of Evasion and Escape (E3) in which three general approaches are available:
It’s difficult today to be completely invisible to the powers that be and their allies. It can be done only at a great cost in latitude of action and standard of living. Yet even today there are some who pull it off. Here’s how:
- They work off the books, when they work.
- They transact only in cash or barter.
- They maintain no fixed address.
- They resist the use of ID documents.
- They never court the attention of the State.
Most Americans are too intertwined with “normal” life to adopt this approach. Obscuring one’s activities, such that one makes use of “normal” institutions but is hard to find unless “clued in,” is almost as difficult. I know of only one person who’s managed anything like it.
Disguise is a more practical approach for most of us: to look like a compliant subject of the Regime while quietly going about a different sort of business. The main point is not getting flagged as suspicious or sustaining damage from other unfriendly forces. There’s effort involved, and a degree of forethought most people find unfamiliar, but the approach is within the capabilities of most Americans, assuming the desire is there.
To disguise yourself for best protection from the Usurper Regime and its loyalists, there are a few things you shouldn’t do:
- Don’t communicate via “social media.” Discourage your spouse and children from doing so.
- Don’t answer polls, public opinion surveys, or questions about your views from strangers.
- Don’t talk politics in a group whose members you don’t all know personally.
- Don’t answer the door unless you know who’s knocking.
- Don’t court the attention of any identity group.
There are also a few positive things you can do:
- Get as well-acquainted with your neighbors as you can. Know which of them will stand by you in a crisis…and which won’t. Make sure they know that reciprocity applies, as well.
- Let trustworthy persons know that your services – i.e., whatever you can do that others might value – can be purchased without anyone else becoming aware of the transaction (e.g., taxing authorities). Be discreet about it.
- Join a quiet barter-and-precious-metals exchange, preferably one that’s difficult for anyone to join without first establishing his bona fides.
- To the extent possible, move your savings out of the dollar and dollar-denominated instruments (e.g., bonds, equities).
- Read this old book.
And of course, regardless of all the other details of your preferred approach, get armed: distance and melee weapons both. Practice with your weapons. Contrive to keep them handy at all times.