June 17, 2007
as the noose tightens, the hangman becomes respectable
In more posts than I can count, I've raved against AB 1634 (mandatory spay and neuter), and my position on anthropogenic global warming is beyond that of a mere denier; I'm a defier. Not that I advocate using incandescent bulbs or not spaying pets for other people; my position is a very simple one. I don't want the government telling people what to do in their personal lives.
My house, my dog, my car, my guns.
It's my business whether I own (yes own, not act as a state-appointed "guardian" for) my dog, or my car and my guns, and it's my business what I do behind closed doors in my house.
So let's all go ahead and laugh at California!
In particular, let's have a good laugh at Berkeley.
In Berkeley's green future, there will be no incandescent lightbulbs, Wedgewood stoves or gas-powered water heaters. The only sounds will be the whir of bicycles and the purr of hybrid cars -- and possibly curses from residents being forced to upgrade all their kitchen appliances.Ah, silly Berkeley! Big Brother in Birkenstocks! Ha ha ha ha ha!
Laugh at your peril.
The problem is, they will outlaw almost everything while enforcing very little. Imprisonment by stealth. People will not know they are encircled until it is too late - like putting in all these very deep, robust fence-posts with no fence panels. All seems open. One day you will wake up and the panels are in, you are trapped and they can decide what law they wish to impose to nail whomsoever they desire.I'm reminded of the line from the movie Goodfellas, in which the local mob boss locks the doors to the bar from the inside, then turns around and says, "Now youse can't leave."
But the problem is, people vote for it, and we live in a democracy. Perry de Havilland has also called the process "Democratic totalitarianism":
...a total state really is what a great many people have in mind for us all. They seek a sort of 'smiley face fascism' in which all interactions are regulated in the name of preventing sexism, promoting health, and defending the environment. The excuses will not invoke the Glory of the Nation or the Proletariat or the Volk or the King or the Flag or any of those old fashioned tools for tyrants, but rather it will be "for our own good", "for the Planet", "for the whales", "for the children", "for the disabled" or "for equality".It would be an error to dismiss such warm and fuzzy totalitarianism as the product of top-down rule by a Leviathan state. Pliant and well-meaning citizens (some of whom I suspect in my darker moments are wannabe eunuchs) voluntarily condition themselves first to accept self-imposed limitations, following which it becomes easy to impose them on others. The "fairness" principle lies at the heart of this
We have all been doing our part in fixingFreedom be damned. Your "liberty" is unfair to the rest of us! You're polluting us all -- and we must stop your, your footprint!
"I saw you driving your car to the store yesterday!"
As I say, the noose is tightening. As California goes, so goes the nation. You think there's an escape? Think again. I admit, I sometimes fantasize about escaping:
....here I am, minding my own business and not so much as inconveniencing anyone, while an ever-growing number of people want to make me into a criminal. As it is, I'm forced to live as an exile from California, where my dog and my guns would be criminal activities.The way things are going, I almost prefer returning to Berkeley. I was ahead of the game there.
Here I sit and wait for the ideas to spread, and then wonder what the hell is wrong with everyone. In Berkeley I knew what was wrong with everyone, and they knew what was wrong with me. In a city of kooks, I'm just one more kook -- even if I'm on the "wrong" side. The difference here is that once the ideas spread, they've become so trendy and entrenched that people don't realize how kooky they are.
I guess I'd rather be tyrannized by kooks than by the normal majority. It has less of a sting. True, freedom is lost either way, but it's comforting to the soul to know that your enemies are as crazy as you are. Seen another way, it's better to be rended by wolves than suffocated by sheep. (More dignified, anyway.)
But those are just my personal issues. The rest of society be warned.
Now youse can't leave.
posted by Eric on 06.17.07 at 09:25 AM
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