Friday, February 26, 2021

The Great Resist

 

Call me old-fashioned, but if you choose to speak to me through a cloth covering most of your face, I consider it as disrespectful as being addressed from horseback. Consequently, when neighbors chat me up this way, outdoors in the sun, at a good distance and with no one else about, I feel compelled to mention, pleasantly, that I simply cannot engage in our usual banter if they remain in costume.

Mostly, they peel off their rag and let loose a series of explanations as to why they were wearing it in the first place – they’d just been with people, they forgot they had it on, or some such.

It is not my intention, or my place, to make them uncomfortable or order them about. But in a world where others are permitted to command people as to what words they must use to refer to them, I reserve the right to circumscribe the sort of conversations I will have.

For a time, living as I do in the midst of go-along, get-along liberals who haven’t a clue that legitimate, differing opinions exist, I assumed this would mean a solitary, curmudgeonly existence. But green shoots of normalcy are giving me hope.

It is, as the Richard Harris incarnation of Marcus Aurelius described Rome, a dream you can only whisper. Nonetheless, it is there. It is conveyed in brief exchanges and knowing looks; a sense that people are ready to be done. Covid mania is like a hit song, loved at first but made sickening by too much play.        

There are, of course, Covid fanatics aplenty, and perhaps they will be with us for some time. One sees them on social media and in real life, but their energy is unsustainable and they are too unappealing for their influence to survive. On some level, one senses they know this.

On our street the other day, a nice couple were distributing a free newspaper, advocating an end to lockdowns and getting kids back in schools. They were accosted by a local woman of a certain age, who filled the air of our quiet neighborhood with righteous profanity. She reached her crescendo by screaming at the couple, “You should be SHOT!” (Why is that the go-to for certain people?)

That is not the behavior of someone serenely confident of victory. Nor is it the conduct of a dispassionate believer in science (or “The Science,” as it prefers to be called).

Politicians are a different matter. Thus far, with some pleasing exceptions in Florida and the Dakotas and elsewhere, they are intransigent in their refusal to let this madness die.

But one must remember, for all their deployment of that risible euphemism, “public service,” these are people who got into the racket so they could exercise power over others. Their actions will serve that interest, always. And when the winds change, so will they. For the moment, they suppose this is what people want, and it satisfies their need for control and self-drama.

The mayor of my hometown of Toronto, a pudgy non-entity named John Tory who has all the right opinions, has canceled all city events until at least July 1, the 154th anniversary of Canada’s founding. Ontario’s premier, meanwhile, a positively corpulent mouth-breather named Doug Ford, has evinced a level of stupidity and malevolence that has shocked his erstwhile supporters, including me. His latest move – on the heels of insulting and threatening his former voting base and canceling Christmas – has been to spend $2.5 million of taxpayer money on wristbands to be worn by citizens, and which will beep if people are fewer than six feet apart.

But as always, the most appalling performance has been turned in by Justin Trudeau, a deeply embarrassing young man who effectively inherited Canada’s leadership from his father.

As is the way of children and leftists, Justin has a cruel streak and lacks proportion. His most recent obscenity is to imprison citizens returning from abroad in hotels for days, while billing them thousands of dollars for the privilege, and transporting them to quarantine internment camps if they test positive for Covid.

To a normal person with reasonable expectations of a free country, the hotel arrangement is horrifying enough. Travelers are spirited from the airport in windowless vans, their families are not told where they are being taken, they are ushered down plastic-lined hallways and locked in rooms for days, unable to leave.

But now, allegations of sexual assault by hotel guards against female travelers have been raised. One would think the government of a self-proclaimed “male feminist” (a red flag if ever there were one) would be outraged and embarrassed that a policy of theirs has led to such a dreadful (yet predictable) result.

Rather, female ministers of Justin’s Cabinet have responded with the government’s robotic and minatory mantra: “Do not travel.”

Again, there will always be ghastly people who think this is a reasonable reply. One sees them in online comments, and their wording is often similar; something like, “I, for one, have ZERO sympathy for these people. You were TOLD not to travel in a pandemic!”

Benighted to the tradition of freedom they inherited, such individuals fail to understand it is not within a government’s remit to tell citizens that they cannot leave the country. But just as there have always been cranks who insist the Berlin Wall was erected to keep West Germans from availing themselves of all the free services in the East, their perception of reality is precisely inverted.

“You were warned” is no kind of governing policy, and it is a positively satanic response to victims of assault.

For those lucky enough to escape the hotel prisons and internment camps, government-funded stalkers have been dispatched to the homes of recent travelers to ensure they are remaining quarantined. In Ontario, one such agent has been charged with extorting a cash “fine” from a female target, and sexually assaulting her.

It is noteworthy that these are merely the stories that have been reported by the mainstream news – a cohort that by and large favors centralization and Covid restrictions. Politicians with a studied, lifelong ignorance of both liberty and human nature have re-created the Stanford Prison Experiment from coast to coast. Normal people see this, at once, even if their leaders do not.

Much of the media criticism of Justin’s Covid-handling focuses on his failure to acquire and distribute the new vaccine. The assumption of major news outlets is that these treatments are an unalloyed good and every reasonable person wishes to receive them as soon as possible.

Certainly, there are many who are eager to be injected. But there is also a widespread and respectable view that the inoculation should be delayed or eschewed, if it is necessary at all.

An experimental injection, mere months in the making, with a suppressed but unmistakable early record of deaths and complications, and which does not protect against infection or transmission, is not a vaccine in any practically understood sense.

A common defense of this new “vaccine” is to point to the improvements in quality of life attained through vaccines of the past. Sorry, but this parvenu does not get to trade on Jonas Salk’s street cred.

Consequently, allow me to go on record that I will never take that jab unless you hold me down and force it on me. Please note that ten to one is not a fair fight; you’re going to need more guys.

And it may come to that. In a world where I am forbidden to travel, where government stalkers will come to my home, and they seek to foreclose routine living unless I present medical papers, anything is possible. Ideologically, at least, I am on a war-footing.

That informs the ad hominem nature of much of this prose. These politicians and their fellow-travelling bureaucrats are not my friends or chummy compatriots with whom I have a policy disagreement. What they are doing, or attempting to do, is anathema to the founding of Western nations and antipathetic to the human spirit. They must be defeated, discredited, and the earth of their careers must be salted so they are never in proximity to power again.

Ironically, it is that matter of medical papers that has given me my greatest source of hope. Doubtless, you have seen news items regarding the supposedly forthcoming “Vaccine Passport,” without which you will be forbidden to travel, shop, or live anything resembling a proper life.

Such stories are ubiquitous and synchronized, to make you feel surrounded. But those green shoots find a way. In this case, they take the form of comments on videos and postings where vaccine advocates have not taken care to curate the responses.

When first I saw this reported, on Irish news last year, the item was positively destroyed in the comments (“ratioed,” as the kids say), without a single peep of support.

This week, in my native Canada, a similar story was broadcast by CTV News, Canada’s answer to CNN inasmuch as you know precisely their view on any given topic, such that one wonders why anyone bothers to watch. They interviewed a “bioethicist” – one of those modern professions that prompts one to ask what that person does all day – who averred that these passports are inevitable.

The reactions were glorious. Everywhere the interview was posted – including on CTV’s own YouTube channel – one could find thousands of downvotes and damning comments, with but a handful of upward thumbs and, as of this writing, not a single voice in favor.

The Great Reset, as you may have heard, is a program whereby nefarious groups, including everyone from the Davos crowd to Bill Gates to the Bay City Rollers, seek to remake the world in an image of their choosing. It is not some imaginary conspiracy, as a number of its proponents openly advocate it. The global legibility and attendant controls of the Vaccine Passport was to be an integral part.

But as with all the plans of those who love people in groups of a million or more, it fails to account for ground-level behavior. Similarly, it does not contemplate next steps.

Just as anyone over the age of 5 can see that locking people in hotels and sending government-deputized stalkers to women’s homes is wrong and will end badly, it should be obvious that grand, life-altering policies will require enforcement.

If a person wishes to do some grocery shopping, must they present their vaccine papers or scan their Ford-issued wristband at the door? Who will guard the entrance – police, private security, or some put-upon hourly worker with a nametag? And how long are we meant to live like this?

In an instant, normal people see this is madness and slavery, no matter how tidy it appears to international bien-pensants.

To be human is to be free, in equilibrium between good and evil and empowered to choose. They do not understand this and so they push too far, always.

They want you to believe their vision is inevitable. But do not be fooled. The Great Resist is stirring to life.

Theo Caldwell just wanted to be left alone. Contact him at theo@theocaldwell.com

Friday, January 8, 2021

The Lamps are Going Out

 

A common analysis of the First World War posits that European leaders failed to anticipate the effects of the Industrial Revolution. War had always been with us, but heavy artillery and mechanized weapons made it exponentially more dreadful.

Similarly, those who expect today’s global grasp for totalitarianism will run its course like all its predecessors are not taking into account the modern arsenal of enforcement.

Perhaps your bank has not closed your account, declaring that your conduct is inconsistent with their values. Hopefully, your heat and power have not been shut off, and police have not come to your home, because you have hosted family or friends on your property. Ideally, social media or some online marketplace where you make your livelihood have not decided to ban your presence.

If you ran afoul of those who make such decisions, how difficult would it be?

The question is not theoretical, and one need not be a major celebrity or some world-bestriding lightning rod of controversy for such things to happen. Friends not much better-known than I, with views not much more outrageous than mine, have found themselves unable to sell products or cash checks, simply for trespassing approved wisdom.

Remove politics from the equation, and all manner of non-compliance with central authority can result in this treatment. The mayor of Los Angeles, for just one example, has been explicit that private homes suspected of hosting guests will have their utilities shut off.

Across the formerly free world, we have seen video of police storming residences, assaulting citizens, and arresting them in their homes for so much as opining online against health and safety orthodoxy. And those are just the incidents during which someone had the presence of mind to pull out a camera and post the footage.

Until recently, Australia seemed most afflicted by the new penchant for jackboots. My native Canada has risen to the challenge, however, with viral footage of police violently separating six family members in their home over New Year’s.

Analysts of every ideology have long understood that socializing health care fundamentally alters the relationship between the citizen and state. The dawning of the Age of Coronavirus has revealed the dark side of that dynamic, particularly in the mother of the Commonwealth and world-leader in socialized medicine: Great Britain herself.

For generations, the British people have been obliged to bow down before their National Health Service as though it were Nebuchadnezzar’s statue. Now, sequestered in their homes across the Sceptred Isle, they can enjoy the consequences of that idolatry.

They may as well go ahead and sing the lyrics to “Rule, Britannia!” at the Last Night of the Proms, via Zoom, for all the good it will do.

Even so, polls show majorities of Britons favor the lockdowns and, in fact, wish for more of their freedoms to be curtailed. No doubt Britain’s Prime Minister, the formerly sane Boris Johnson, will oblige.

They are like the ancient Israelites, against all good advice, demanding a king (“Saul 1020 BC: Build Back Better!”).

Normalcy will return “after Covid,” some blithely say, as though there were any reason to expect such a day will come. Certainly, the routines and required sacraments will change – perhaps masks will be exchanged for vaccine verification, and the hand sanitizer you must dip into like Holy Water at the grocery store will give way to some cleansing light – but where is the glimmer that people great and small will ever let this go?

Mask fanatics and their scoldy looks, that sanctimonious toothache who makes a big show of walking 15 feet around you on an empty street on a beautiful day, the pursed-lipped, concern-addicted politicians announcing that yes, they have come up with something else to take away from you – they are all enjoying this too much. For all their pretense of heroism and self-sacrifice, the lot of them have the credibility of dancing Tik-Tok nurses.

And now, thanks to the global interconnectedness we hailed barely a generation ago, including the device on which you are reading this column, they have the power to keep that mask on that human face forever.

The carefree waving at this new regime as though it were some passing scene, the cheerful eagerness with which new restrictions are embraced, is reminiscent of those who thought soldiers of the Great War would be home by Christmas 1914.

One is reminded of the foresight of Viscount Grey who, in August of that year, mournfully observed, “The lamps are going out all over Europe. We shall not see them lit again in our lifetime.”

Theo Caldwell just wanted to be left alone. Contact him at theo@theocaldwell.com