Though neither a jackbooted National Socialist German Workers Party (aka the Nazi’s) clone, nor a USSR Politburo copy it nonetheless has been thus far effective in its efforts to make the State totally synonymous with society.
The Left routinely confuses the notion of social interaction with government and does so with ill effect and results.
The results of the total state are easily identifiable – from the two sides of the same coin that is the shrinking tax base and growing welfare constituency, our astronomically high incarceration rate that is the failed “war on drugs,” our ghettoizing of conscience and religion, the monitoring of electronic communications, the limiting our of natural right of defense, to the regulation of trans-fats, salts, and sugars in the foods we are deemed too immature to consume responsibly.
That many find particular policies of this totalitarianism objectionable has not slowed the juggernaut for the communitarian pitch of “everyone pitching in”, “carrying their weight,” “you have nothing to fear if you’re not a criminal” is a seductive and soothing siren for many. Regardless of political affiliation, sex, age, race, religion, or ethnicity – since the solidification of the New Deal and Great Society into the historical memory government (at the expense of responsibility and liberty) has become the answer of first resort to any and all problems.
In this mindset, the mandatory anger and negative critique of particular services that government provides, from the DMV to health care, is made irrelevant for what alternatives could their ever be. The Total State has eliminated personal responsibility / liberty and replaced it with the annoying but easier pro forma complaints about efficiency. Who decides just what “weight” everyone should carry, how much we all need “pitch in,” who defines what is and is not “criminal” and just what societal division of wealth is “fairness” are questions too infrequently thought of and almost never actually asked.
Instead, the easy bromide against “inefficiency” is made, emotions are inflamed, equality-of-results (the inverse of disparate impact) invoked and further down the rabbit hole of Total State social disfigurement we go.
In this live-action real-life dystopian drama classical liberalism – entailing the protection of the minority, the right of loud and unmonitored dissent, free and unregulated assembly, to determine the fate of your own belongings, to be unafraid of random detention – is dead.
The question isn’t how we save the Constitution and the Republic, for the end of their tenure in America is a fait accompli; the question is how we bring classical liberalism back.
Simply put, it will not be reborn by just the Luddite masses (myself included) but in large part by patriots of the technocrati.
Just as the foundering fathers were a small determined band, classical liberalism’s future will depend on a small segment of society – but instead of the landed elite and some yeoman farmers tomorrow’s freedom fighters are known today as programmers and makers.
Will programmers, white hat (good) hackers, write ciphered communication systems for the masses? Will they refuse to program back doors for the government snoops? Will they design a system that allows the identification of communications coming from overseas before being tapped so we can dispense with the government canard that to find the terrorists in Herat they need warrantless access to skype calls from San Fran to NYC? Will programmers refuse to write code that records the non-toll travel of EZ pass costumers (in NYC and probably elsewhere)/ will makers hold classes to popularize faraday bags to stymie this as well as tracking and eavesdropping by remotely activated cell phone? As the old media continues to function as an arm of the state in order to prolong its diminishing life, will programmers throw a monkey wrench into their machinations? When websites of free people engaging in free exchange both of goods and ideas are inevitably shutdown will they write code so that ten new one spring up and are harder to take down? Will they help the techno-illiterate crowd source funds to support the wrongfully incarcerated and organize an American Spring without fear of the cyber snoops hunting them down with the very same tech they use to organize?
The Total State will not be taken down and classical liberalism not restored until those who have given us social media, the vast world of the web, digital communications, and more decide to stop cooperating with it. It won’t be done by them alone but, without the programmers, hackers, and makers freedom, it has no future.