Getting to Galt’s Gulch: Everyday Secession (Reblog)

I also have issues with the imperialist minded among me. It is one thing that common Americans don’t benefit at all, but it is another that all it does is make us look like crap to most people around the world.

To paraphrase a famous Colombian: Silver or Lead

I don’t think that we should put the choice in front of them to begin with.

I also detest most country singers. It is marketing patriotism at best.

=———————————————->>>>>>>>>________________________

Felicia A. Jones

This month, the United States once again celebrated her independence on the Fourth of July. After a year of lockdowns, masks, and now even mandatory vaccinations in workplaces and universities, the idea that the USA is a beacon of freedom to the rest of the globe seems far-fetched. This attitude was reiterated in the new Toby Keith song “Happy Birthday America.” Keith’s downtrodden lyrics reflect on his observed disappearance of the American patriotism which had been present not long ago. 

The problem with the version of national pride of the singer of “Courtesy of the Red, White, and Blue” is that it equates love for his country with approval of imperialist tendencies. When invading foreign countries and toppling their governments is the source of pride in one’s country, then diminishing military power and a disrespected flag at the Olympics feels crushing.

For the libertarian with a foundation in property rights, personal responsibility, and financial literacy, the way forward is not joining in left-right political boxing matches, but secession. When the rule of law fails Derek Chauvin and common sense regarding gender-based separation in sensitive spaces disappears, libertarians need not wallow in their pillows and chocolate like after a devastating breakup. The political pendulum brings hope or disappointment for those loyal to a particular party. Instead, journal the grievances against Uncle Sam and hypothetically block him from dominating your life. 

Secession is needed daily, especially in education and healthcare. The immense suffering of individuals in 2020 caused by government bureaucracy and politics illustrates the importance of personal independence. 

Education

The character of the public education system revealed its true colors. Many teachers protested over returning to in-person teaching in the classroom despite the unsubstantiated fears that children are superspreaders. Where schools resumed formally, administrations and states masked children without evaluating secondary consequences such as extended exposure to bacterial growth on masks. 

The outcomes of virtual schooling were worse. Accusations of virtual truancy prompted Child Protective Services visits, especially where internet access was problematic. The “learning loss” disparity was largest in low-income communities, hurting academic outcomes for black and Hispanic students.

Unfortunately, the priority is not the health outcomes of children even now, a year later. With covid vaccination being required for school attendance, there is concern that for children, the vaccines are statistically more deadly than the illness. In Washington, DC, minors may be coerced by school administrators into vaccination without a parent’s consent or knowledge.

The public education system is failing children and, thankfully, school secession provides a silver lining. Homeschooling rates approximately tripled during the pandemic, when public education options were unsatisfactory. In 2021, a plethora of options for home education are present, ranging from self-paced curriculums to more community-based plans. Support for this lifestyle can be obtained through formal online communities, co-ops, and homeschool groups. 

“Unschooling” for the elementary grades supports flexible education styles where children are free to discover and obtain skill proficiency based upon their interests. This early learning supports specialization and entrepreneurial tendencies from youth, benefitting children far into adulthood.

If the purpose of education is to enrich the whole child, public schooling clearly falls miserably short of this goal. Secession enables primary caregivers to raise their children with their values, over those of government overlords, and keep them safe physically from bullying, emotionally, and socially from teachers and students with misplaced priorities alike.

Healthcare

Similar to public education, American healthcare already had preexisting conditions of inadequacy. The pandemic clearly demonstrated the problems that plague the US medical care system, directly covid related or otherwise. Mothers suffered poor birth outcomes resulting from the policies of hospitals and government bureaucrats. Inexpensive, unpatented drugs such as hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin were either made unavailable altogether or certainly more difficult to obtain despite having positive success at treating the manifested illness. 

In the current healthcare system, doctors, even those with good intentions, are restricted by hospital procedures and follow the recommendations given by larger authorities, both public and private. The reality is that the American medical system is not free market in any sense of the word, no matter how often the claim is countered.

Doctors in mainstream medical care do not have the autonomy to make specialized decisions for their patients. For example, insurance companies require that a certain percentage of children be fully vaccinated according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) recommended vaccine schedule, otherwise the pediatrician may not meet the threshold for quality of care bonuses. Unyielding support for these one-size-fits-all recommendations comes not only from the governing agency and the health insurance company, but also from the major professional organization for pediatricians, the American Academy of Pediatrics. Swimming counter to the stream is neither financially nor reputationally wise for physicians, even if specific patients have a higher risk of adverse reactions.

In the specific treatment of covid, procedure dictated that hospitalized patients be placed on ventilators (with a death rate for covid patients on ventilators being approximately 58.8 percent). Oxygen supplementation, a noninvasive treatment, should have been provided initially for low oxygen levels but there were financial incentives to diagnose for covid-19 and ventilate. Thanks to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) bureaucracy, doctors were limited in their ability to prescribe drugs with high success rates to patients earlier in the pandemic. How many lives were needlessly lost due to red tape?

With the release of Dr. Tony Fauci’s emails, the public may now observe that the CDC pandemic recommendations were not based on “science” or concern for the public’s health. Fauci understood masking was inefficacious at halting viral spread, kept successful treatments from becoming widely practiced, and knew that the covid death rate was similar to that of a severe influenza season. Shutting down the economy was never warranted.

Under a system bogged down with the conflicting interests of regulating agencies, medical practice procedures, and health insurance companies, patients may have a simple solution: fire the doctor. Demand more midwives and home births because of better health and birth outcomes. Visit alternative care providers who prescribe highly successful vitamin C and zinc treatments. Take business to noninvasive practitioners like chiropractors and naturopaths, who desire to treat the underlying conditions rather than purely symptoms.

Fear is sadly associated with taking this leap. But the overlooked reality is that preventable medical error persists as the third leading cause of death in the US. Secession from health insurance networks may not only provide better overall health outcomes but may be more affordable as practitioners resort to refusing health insurance payments to gain greater autonomy.

Getting to Galt’s Gulch

The success of libertarianism is independence from the state’s influence. Increasing one’s reliance on free markets, where personal responsibility and decision-making prevail over complacency, makes for an effective patriotism. Stopping the Randian motor of the world so that libertarians may thrive in the hypothetical Galt’s Gulch beyond government’s grasp (i.e., in external markets) requires exit. Leave a school or healthcare system which does not deliver desired ends.

Finally, be brave. Courage is not restricted to standing in the public square at Tiananmen. The defense of liberty is often more mundane: removing your children from the influence of tyrants in schools or exiting a job where an employer requires injections, which violate your moral principles. While these actions seem daunting, and they indeed are, those who love liberty are the ones who will be the impenetrable bulwark against evil. In the words of Mises’s favorite motto by Virgil, “Tu ne cede malis, sed contra audentior ito.” (Do not give in to evil, but proceed ever more boldly against it.) Author:

Contact Felicia A. Jones

Felicia Aileen Jones works as the registrar and student services coordinator at the Mises Institute. She is a former summer fellow and a Troy University graduate, earning her MA in economics in 2020 and her BBA in economics in 2017.

https://mises.org/wire/getting-galts-gulch-everyday-secession

(Courtesy of M.C. Viewpoint, this reblog was originally his idea. Feel free to peruse his site.)

https://mcviewpoint.com/

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What I’m Reading, Listening to, And Concerned About

Reading:

Tim Reigle discusses how he keeps the “fire” in his marriage and he gives you some tips. Not all of it is directly connected to marriage but having a healthy self too.

https://intothewildernessblog.com/2021/07/21/how-to-keep-the-fire-alive-in-marriage/

Listening:

Jon Parker teams up to talk with Benjamin Saxon about his book; The Buddha and The Wolf.

Additional Listening:

I share with you a video of a speech from Phil Foster. The time is now.

Additional Reading:

Jeff Putnam @ Defend the Perimeter talks about how masculinity is an art. And in this article, he tells you why.

https://www.jeffputnamauthor.com/post/the-art-of-modern-man

Concerned:

I decided to not share a concern but a link to something that I find a blessing; art.

E.R. Morgan, just like a few artists and creators I know, should be celebrated.

https://ericrydermorganart.com/

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Western Nations Have the Wrong Aristocracy (Reblog)

I have made an argument close to the one mentioned in the following posting. I feel like most politician’s families/kids, and for the most part tycoons, fail to be the aristocrats that we had in the past. Or at least the one’s that had some sense of nobility in the Nietzschean sense.

I make teh argument that Theodore Roosevelt’s family was one of the last set of nobles in the US.

Today, we have drug addicts and glorified p*ssies among us.

———->>>>___________________________________________________________-

Inequality among men is as natural as breathing or eating.  Understanding this truism will generally save a person about 90% of the frustration that they would otherwise feel towards human societies and political systems.  Never in the history of mankind – not even in the most hopelessly utopian of efforts by social levelers – has this natural inequality ever truly been overcome.

The natural outcome of these inequalities (and I am speaking here within national and cultural bodies, not of relations between them) is that elites will always arise.  Within nations, aristocracies will always occur for a variety of reasons.  Even within democratic systems, Robert Michel’s Iron Law of Oligarchy will operate, ensuring that a leadership caste rises to the top to effectively dominate the politics and social system within a nation or political subunit.  Looking to classical history, we see that even in places and at times when rampant democritisation took place (e.g. Athens from ~525 – 350 BC, late Republican Rome), the initiative for these efforts arose not from the demos themselves, but from popular (and generally aristocratic) leaders who wielded the people as a weapon for gaining political power.  Let us not forget the Cleisthenes, whose reform of the Athenian constitution set that city on course for direct democracy, was of the aristocratic Alcmaeonid family; Julius Caesar and other late Republican leaders of the populares came from aristocratic senatorial families.

No less a democrat than Thomas Jefferson himself said, “There is a natural aristocracy among men.  The grounds of this are virtue and talent.”  Though Jefferson was (obviously) a vigourous opponent of formal aristocracy, his statement is nevertheless true, and explains why aristocracies – elites within societies – originate.

Aristocracies generally originate and evolve during periods in which a society is expanding and growing, and thus needs the expansion of its leadership caste.  It is during these periods that “new blood,” generally demonstrating a mix of intelligence, talent, and audacity, is given the opportunity to assert itself and join the previous hereditary elite, if such already exists or hasn’t been overthrown (in which case, the “new blood” replaces the old).  This nobility is generally made up of those with the courage, cunning, skills, and enterprise to seize opportunities that present themselves and to motivate men to follow them to glory.  This is, in a nutshell, pretty much the story for the establishment of the feudal aristocracies that evolved out of the Germanic conquests of western Europe after Rome fell.  In many cases, petty chieftains or enterprising warriors were able to establish themselves in the new lands and initiate dynasties that lasted, in some cases, for centuries before being absorbed into the growing medieval nation-states.  The Counts of Anjou, for instance, established a county that produced many illustrious members, such as Fulk III (the Black).  Indeed, the great duchies, counties, and baronies largely began as statelets carved out by the ancestors of those whose names we are more familiar with from medieval history.  At least at the times they gained power, aristocrats were true to their titles – they were the best and the brightest in their societies.

However, we need not think of aristocracy solely in the sense of hereditary nobles bearing titles and coats of arms.  Even nations in the West which have more robust republican or democratic traditions and which either decimated or else consciously avoided the older-style hereditary aristocracy (such as France and the United States, respectively), still possess elites who have risen to the top of the political and social systems in place.  In our systems, these elites generally rise through a combination of statesmanship, education and scholarship, and juridical capabilities, though not a few have entered the “democratic” aristocracies through prowess in warfare and their natural leadership abilities.  In these cases, membership tends to be more fluid and less hereditary, though the presence of multigeneration American political clans from the Adamses to the Kennedies and Bushes shows this to not always be the case.

The problem with aristocracies is that they tend to become decadent and degenerate.  To them often applies quite well the plaintive words of Horace,

“Time corrupts all. What has it not made worse?
Our grandfathers sired feebler children; theirs
Were weaker still – ourselves; and now our curse
Must be to breed even more degenerate heirs
.”

This most closely applies to hereditary aristocracies whose membership is much more closed to new blood, as the European aristocracy became.  Not only do the morals and the capabilities of such lines tend to degenerate, but very often their genetics do as well – witness Charles II, the last Habsburg king of Spain, a man who could barely chew his own food because of the extreme genetic deformity of his jaw and who was virtually ignored by his own advisors and regents.  So-called “democratic” aristocracies are not immune to this degeneration; however, their degeneracy tends to take on an institutional and systematic form, rather than familial and personal.  What degenerates is not necessarily the individual members, but the “aristocratical system” set into place by the ruling class.

As an aristocratic system degenerates, its members become more and more unworthy of the position to which heredity or connexions have placed them.  This is certainly the case with the present “elite” which we see in the United States and other Western nations.  Traditionally, the democratic elites in the Western nations that adopted some form of republicanism or parliamentary democracy in the 18th and 19th centuries were – despite the “democratic” nature of their systems – genuine elites.  Those who really rose to the top in terms of esteem and respectability were men who genuinely had the best interests of their nations at heart, and who had the statesmanship, education, and intelligence to guide their respective ships of state.  Unfortunately, this aristocratic system degenerated as well, and led to the present crop of “elites” have now completely broken with this tradition.

Starting in the late 1960s, these “elites” (which we would identify today as the “progressives” and other left-liberals who largely dominate the political, media, educational, and other culture-driving institutions) began their Gramscian “long march through the institutions.  Through the intervening decades, they were able to usurp control over these from the traditional elites who guided them previously.

This “elite,” however, is fundamentally different from the earlier aristocracy which guided our politics and institutions.  Membership in the current progressive elite is not derived from ability, intelligence, a genuine classical education in the humanities, or the ability to learn and apply the law.  Rather, membership in this group is centered about one thing – adherence to (or at least submission to) the progressive ideology.  The more closely a progressive holds to the doctrinaire ideology of socialism, communism, and cultural marxism, the more successful they will be.  While earlier elites were typically characterised by such things as martial virtue, statesmanship, and classical education, the present progressive “elites” do not embody any of these traits.   Indeed, the typical progressive is diametrically opposite to these.

Progressives are, to put it frankly, stupid and unlettered people.  While they like to think of themselves as “educated” (and may indeed possess multiple degrees from educational institutions, degrees which they could only “earn” because other progressives were in power to grant these to them), the average progressive is grossly ignorant about a wide range of topics that are vitally important to the possession of true leadership abilities.  Progressives, by virtue of their transnational and globalist leanings, cannot by definition be “statesmen,” since that term necessarily implies devotion to the guidance of a nation-state.   In many cases, progressives are actively hostile toward the military, cultural, and political success of the nations over which they exercise influence.

As a result, we must recognise that these progressive “elites” are a wholly and completely unnatural phenomenon.  Natural aristocracy is based on the inequalities of abilities, intelligence, daring, and other qualities that exist between different people, and which allow those who possess them to rise to the top, if they will exercise these natural advantages.  Because claims to elite status made by progressives rely solely on unthinking subordination to an artificial ideology, their “aristocracy” is also artificial.  This aristocracy exists because it tries to bend reality to meet the demands of ideology, rather than the other way around.  This explains why, in places dominated by these progressive elites, so many stupid, unworthy, and outright ridiculous people nevertheless rise to the top in the system.  This amply explains how people like Barack Obama, Loretta Lynch, Justin Trudeau, Angela Merkel and others like them end up where they are today.

These people are wholly unworthy of their “elite” status.  I believe that, at least on a subconscious level, this is widely recognised, and explains why there is so much growing opposition to them in just the last few years.  Having reached the point where they are so ridiculous that their unnaturalness can no longer be ignored, a backlash appears to be in the offing. Will the impending Trumpening of the United States represent the beginning of the end for the current progressive, transnational, globalistic, anti-western “elite”?  The rise of the nationalists all across Europe, as well, suggests that the end may be nearing for the elite status of the progressives.  Now is the time for those on the broad alt-Right to prepare themselves to emerge as the new aristocracy that replaces the old, much as the German chieftains replaced Roman senators all across Gaul, Spain, Italy, and Britain fifteen centuries ago.  We are the new blood, and now may well be our time.

https://neociceroniantimes.wordpress.com/2016/05/30/western-nations-have-the-wrong-aristocracy/



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FreeMatt in Review: 7-19 to 7-23

If you are feeling hollow and sad, don’t. In the meantime, check out this week’s FreeMatt in Review.

July 19, 1989: A Day That The Human Race Should Know

Out of a tragedy arises the heroes that are never mentioned. On this day, I celebrate the crew of United Flight 232.

Usain Bolt Beaten By A Naked Man On Speed

We are all capable of losing to someone. I share with you a rambling, anecdotal story to entertain you.

The Matters w/ Matt: Control+ Alt+ Get Lost

A lady runs her mouth, watches her man leave her, then she wonders why he does think she is the queen. Embrace some bizarre schadenfreude in this post.

Sunny Side Up Book Review of Candice Millard’s “The River of Doubt”

I review a book that speaks about a time in Theodore Roosevelt’s life that many historians gloss over; his exploration of the River of Doubt.

Dope Things From Canada: Part. XII

I look at our northern neighbors with awe and I share a reminder that some of our heroes are Canadians.

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Dope Things From Canada: Part. XII

I wanted to avoid some type of moral lesson that I had felt pushed to write. Of all things, I was inspired to write about something “nice” for once. I found several.

Even as a kid, I would laugh at Canadian jokes. It didn’t matter if it was stereotypes or some “north of the border” joke. I faintly remember seeing the America skewering Canadian Bacon film, which was really a warning that we are capable of dumber things.

In reality, Canada has sent me some great colleagues in work and in “culture:. I held up Don Cherry as a cool dude, who made it okay to watch and enjoy hard hitting hockey. I also enjoyed Rian Stone’s literary work. Mr. Stone is entertaining and does a great job at being informative. I even have a soft spot for “Hockey Rob” Stanfield, who was one of the few guys that made their rounds playing hockey while I was overseas.

But I wanted to celebrate another set of Canadian “greats”; the folks behind the Gimli Glider.

Its has been nearly forty years since it originally happened but it was one of the airline miracles I can remember talked about on television. The short and skinny for you folks that haven’t heard of it, an airliner ran out of fuel and the pilot steered it like a glider to an old air force base where races were being held. After these years, still cool as hell.

Props to our “pale necked” brothers and sisters to the north!

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Why “Good” People Enable Totalitarians (Reblog)

Never to make waves, we remain silent. We watch the useless assholes gain ground by default.

We are steps away from people being sent to “camps”. Instead of slavery, it will be “holding”. We have already seen the powers create the systems and infrastructure.

I do not subscribe to conspiracies but every government, in any political party, are capable of horrific things.

————————————————>>>>>>>>>>>>_____________________________

Barry Brownstein – July 21, 2021

In the searing Soviet-era novel Life and Fate, Vasily Grossman reveals the mindset that supports totalitarianism, sparing neither fascism nor communism. 

As a journalist, Grossman was there in the aftermath of the genocide of Jews in Ukraine by Nazis and their civilian collaborators. Grossman describes how the Nazis (abetted by the crimes of Stalin) had first to stir feelings of hatred towards Jews before citizens would follow orders. 

Grossman sets the stage with a matter-of-fact description of how infected cattle are disposed of:

“Before slaughtering infected cattle, various preparatory measures have to be carried out: pits and trenches must be dug; the cattle must be transported to where they are to be slaughtered; instructions must be issued to qualified workers. 

If the local population helps the authorities to convey the infected cattle to the slaughtering points and to catch beasts that have run away, they do this not out of hatred of cows and calves, but out of an instinct for self-preservation.” 

Anti-Semitics are not necessarily bloodthirsty, so to gain compliance, special campaigns shaped the mindset of the general population:

“Similarly, when people are to be slaughtered en masse, the local population is not immediately gripped by a bloodthirsty hatred of the old men, women and children who are to be destroyed. It is necessary to prepare the population by means of a special campaign. And in this case it is not enough to rely merely on the instinct for self-preservation; it is necessary to stir up feelings of real hatred and revulsion.”

Grossman explains how Stalin’s previous use of hatred assisted Germans: “At an earlier date, in the same regions, Stalin himself had mobilized the fury of the masses, whipping it up to the point of frenzy during the campaigns to liquidate the kulaks as a class and during the extermination of Trotskyist–Bukharinite degenerates and saboteurs.”

The result of such campaigns is that “the majority of the population obey every order of the authorities as though hypnotized.” Yet, more is needed. In such a totalitarian atmosphere, Grossman writes, “There is a particular minority which actively helps to create the atmosphere of these campaigns: ideological fanatics; people who take a bloodthirsty delight in the misfortunes of others; and people who want to settle personal scores, to steal a man’s belongings or take over his flat or job.” 

“Most people, however, are horrified at mass murder,” yet Grossman observes, “One of the most astonishing human traits that came to light at this time was obedience.” 

A mindset of obedience was fostered, trumping other human virtues. Grossman asks us to learn from this history lesson. He ponders, did “a new trait…suddenly appear in human nature?” Grossman answers his question, “No, this obedience bears witness to a new force acting on human beings. The extreme violence of totalitarian social systems proved able to paralyse the human spirit throughout whole continents.”

Grossman explains how dividing people into the “worthy” and “unworthy” was justified by the trick of redefining humanitarianism:

“A man who has placed his soul in the service of Fascism declares an evil and dangerous slavery to be the only true good. Rather than overtly renouncing human feelings, he declares the crimes committed by Fascism to be the highest form of humanitarianism; he agrees to divide people up into the pure and worthy and the impure and unworthy.”

Grossman, whose novel was finally published in 1980 after a microfilmed copy was smuggled from the Soviet Union, rightly warns that the future of freedom depends on our individual choices: 

“Does human nature undergo a true change in the cauldron of totalitarian violence? Does man lose his innate yearning for freedom? The fate of both man and the totalitarian State depends on the answer to this question. If human nature does change, then the eternal and world-wide triumph of the dictatorial State is assured; if his yearning for freedom remains constant, then the totalitarian State is doomed.”

Just a few years after Grossman observed the aftermath of the massacre at Babi Yar, another journalist/novelist/philosopher, Canadian-American Isabel Paterson, offered her observations on human nature and freedom in her book, The God of the Machine. Paterson wrote: 

“Most of the harm in the world is done by good people, and not by accident, lapse, or omission. It is the result of their deliberate actions, long persevered in, which they hold to be motivated by high ideals toward virtuous ends.” 

Paterson added, “The percentage of positively malignant, vicious, or depraved persons is necessarily small, for no species could survive if its members were habitually and consciously bent upon injuring one another.” 

Like Grossman, Paterson too observed how “good people” acquiesced and even enabled the slaughtering of millions for a “worthy object:” 

“Therefore it is obvious that in periods when millions are slaughtered, when torture is practiced, starvation enforced, oppression made a policy, as at present over a large part of the world, and as it has often been in the past, it must be at the behest of very many good people, and even by their direct action, for what they consider a worthy object.” 

Paterson reminds us that the “good” enablers demand censorship so they can stay comfortable in their wrong mindedness: “When they are not the immediate executants, they are on record as giving approval, elaborating justifications, or else cloaking facts with silence, and discountenancing discussion.”

Then Paterson asks us to reflect on the “grave error” made by good people “who would not of their own conscious intent act to hurt their fellow men:”

“Then there must be a very grave error in the means by which they seek to attain their ends. There must even be an error in their primary axioms, to permit them to continue using such means. Something is terribly wrong in the procedure, somewhere. What is it?”

The grave error Paterson points to begins with the belief that an individual can have as their primary purpose “helping others” by commandeering the resources of others. Once that false belief is entrenched then the only means possible “is the power of the collective; and the premise is that ‘good’ is collective.”

Tyrants cannot come to power except, Paterson writes, “with the consent and assistance of good people:”  

“The Communist regime in Russia gained control by promising the peasants land, in terms the promisers knew to be a lie as understood. Having gained power, the Communists took from the peasants the land they already owned; and exterminated those who resisted. This was done by plan and intention; and the lie was praised as “social engineering,” by socialist admirers in America.” 

Of Stalin, Paterson writes, “We have the peculiar spectacle of the man who condemned millions of his own people to starvation, admired by philanthropists whose declared aim is to see to it that everyone in the world has a quart of milk.”

Grossman asks us to look at ends shaped by totalitarians to erode freedom and justify violence. He explained that both fascism and communism “call people to carry out any sacrifice, to accept any means, in order to achieve the highest of ends: the future greatness of the motherland, world progress, the future happiness of mankind, of a nation, of a class.”

The result, “The violence of a totalitarian State is so great as to be no longer a means to an end; it becomes an object of mystical worship and adoration.”

When a totalitarian State demands “worship,” we understand why totalitarians must control the narrative. We know the Covidocracy demands allegiance to their one best way, first lockdowns and now vaccines. Dissenters must be silenced. Government claims it must maintain lists of spreaders of “misinformation” and then partner with Facebook to ensure only correct “narratives” are available. Health ambassadors must be sent door-to-door to share the good word about vaccines

Those who disagree must be demonized, the impure separated from society if they don’t accept a vaccine. Those who make different choices than we do, we mentally condemn and righteously proclaim they threaten others. Although lockdowns have ended, as Ethan Yang writes the intellectual war against them has not been won.

In 1944 in his book Omnipotent Government: The Rise of the Total State and Total War, Ludwig von Mises wrote, “It is in the nature of the men handling the apparatus of compulsion and coercion to overrate its power to work, and to strive at subduing all spheres of human life to its immediate influence. Controlling others through the power of the state “is the occupational disease of rulers, warriors, and civil servants.”

In other words, politicians, their corporate cronies, and the faceless administrative state will use their monopoly power of force for destructive purposes. If totalitarianism comes to America, it will have its own flavor, but as Grossman and Paterson warn, tyranny must have citizen enablers. During the pandemic, many good people have had difficulty interpreting events of this time in light of this basic history lesson.

If freedom is under siege in America, it would be wise to quicken our intellectual pace by attending to the emerging illiberal mindset shaping citizens to enable a totalitarian social system. Forces are acting to paralyze the human spirit. We should deceive ourselves no longer. Without the consent and assistance of good people, totalitarians have no power. Governments, Mises warned, “become liberal only when forced to by the citizens.”

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Sunny Side Up Book Review of Candice Millard’s “The River of Doubt”

I find myself with a few sporadic minutes during my day and I often fill them with the consumption of books. These readings lead to the notes that often become the inspiration of my articles. I have had a few people I consider friends publish their own books. After this alarming fact, I decided to jump on the opportunity to be lazy.

I wanted to start reviewing these books the NY Times won’t do due to the lack of connections. Amazon doesn’t mind burying those that lack a PR backing. But I choose to read and “embrace” them. I present to you the “Sunny Side Up Book Review”.

A few years ago, I had met a man that made a living as a Theodore Roosevelt impersonator. His dress, eyeglasses, and knowledge gave me the second-best opportunity to meet the former president. I was impressed and disappointed in the fact that we have very few men among us like the real Theodore Roosevelt.

I had found Candace Millard’s The River of Doubt digging around in a collection of eBooks. I had always been a fan of the concept of Theodore Roosevelt. He seemed to be more than a president. He wasn’t a fetishist for the concept of “grit”. He believed that resiliency gave purpose to a man’s life, and he did his best to live within this concept.

Roosevelt never seemed to turn down certain challenges. He believed that man was capable of doing great things. He was presented with an opportunity to challenge himself for an actual purpose. To be a part of a survey team investigating the River of Doubt, a source of the might Amazon.

The book speaks of the principal characters and how they got to where they needed to be. Millard’s work avoided hero worship and let everyone’s story be important, considering involved parties served a collective purpose to their eventual success. Even the mildest of men had great purpose in the larger scheme.

I looked past the obvious details of existing in the jungle to find that the challenges brought the men together. The harder the conditions got, the harder the corps of the men got. The weak of moral spirit were set aside to allow those worthy to be delivered from the jungle’s clutches. I admired the fact that the more “noble” of the explorers were made “equal” in the long run, earning mutual respect. The former president looked up to his rugged contemporaries in awe instead of in spite.

I was personally thrilled to see commentary from his son Kermit and from many of the other notables that accompanied them. I believe that this is an inspirational story to show others that hardship can be survived if undertook by those of integrity. The book that showed that it was Theodore Roosevelt’s final hurrah, capping a life of excitement with a final challenge.

I am loathe to tell this book’s story when you should get a copy and read it yourself. You may do so at the link below.

http://www.candicemillard.com/river-of-doubt.html

Posted in book review | 4 Comments

New Video: Pro Sports Time Suck

Forgot that I had a new video out. In this video I discuss why you should stop putting time and effort into pro sports. Much of it has to do with the fact that you have plenty of other things you need to be doing.

Posted in Advice, Videos | 1 Comment

The Matters w/ Matt: Control+ Alt+ Get Lost

Every Wednesday, I never fail to be disgusted with advice columns. I am unsure why they still get paid to do what they do. As always, I am in awe when it comes to awful examples like Dear Prudence and Dear Abby. The columnists seem to get rewarded for giving you bad advice. I think that people get terrible advice from them. I don’t blame anyone that calls advice column responses garbage. I use my postings to correct these responses and help society by being an utmost asshole, (as always, a hat tip to Aaron Clarey at Asshole Consulting).

Consider this piece from The Science Advice Goddess’ column (courtesy of Arcamax)from July 20, 2021:

My relationship with a man I’d been dating was getting serious. His previous relationship ended when his girlfriend dumped him. Last month, he ran into her and told her he was seeing me. She began crying and begged him to take her back. He was torn about what to do. I told him his feelings for her weren’t romantic but stemmed from a sense of obligation, and that he should be angry at her for trying to make him feel bad about moving on with someone else. He still went back to her, and now they’re engaged. I’m furious. Why would he choose to be with someone who dumped him? He could’ve moved forward with someone who really cares, with whom he could have a relationship based on love, not guilt (over making this other woman cry). How can I prevent this from happening to me again?

“Outraged”

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Dear Outraged:

Although I can’t justify why your boyfriend went back to someone that left him, I can tell you why you don’t have him today. You made the assumption that you could speak for him. He might have been torn about his ex-girlfriend supposedly wanting him back, (which I would argue that she found it appealing that he was wanted by another woman and decided that the competitive edge in her drove to keep him away from you), but you made some gross errors.

You chose to tell him what he was feeling or should be feeling, which seemed a little controlling. You didn’t have the appropriate level of buy in to do this. You didn’t lock down an actul level of commitment before you started nagging him, which you shouldn’t do when you are married or committed anyway. You gave him two shit sandwich options and you spoiled one of the options to the point that he could justify taking a huge bite out of the other sandwich.

If you want to prevent this happening again, don’t count your chickens before the eggs hatch. You need to resist the idea of telling other people how they should feel and act. Leave these steps to a counselor or therapist. (I would dare to say that your next partner should lean on a trusted friend instead of going to you. Feel free to tell them that they should have a third party person to discuss these sensitive matters with that don’t have a vested interest).

His relationship in the future will have its own problems. If I were you, I would wish him well. He should have decided to be alone and fall back to gather his efforts. Please do the same and reflect on what you might could do differently in the future.

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I don’t imagine that I will have a shortage of emails to answer. I would love to start doing this for anyone that sends me an email. If this is you; email us at freemattpodcast@gmail.com

If you hate advice columns; I don’t blame you. If it isn’t soft people giving advice; it is someone trying to justify acting like an insensitive asshole. Till next week.

https://www.arcamax.com/healthandspirit/lifeadvice/scienceadvicegoddess/s-2544446

Posted in Advice | 1 Comment

What’s the harm in visiting Russia? (Reblog)

I have asked the same of many countries. Outside of you being a vapid moron, who is devoid of social knowledge, like a few Swedish female backpackers in Morocco, you shouldn’t have any problems.

Be mindful, understand and follow the laws/rules, and learn. Communicate in good faith.

Tell Comrade Vladimir I said “hello”.

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Stephen Kinzer July 15, 2021

“Travel is fatal to prejudice,” Mark Twain trenchantly observed after a lifetime of wandering. The US State Department seems to fear he was right.

Last month it issued a scary warning to Americans: “Do not travel to Russia.” The official reason is that American tourists could be victims of terrorist attacks or “harassment by Russian government security officials.” That’s hard to swallow. This warning is the latest blow in a campaign to discourage Americans from learning about life in other countries.

As the Biden administration warns Americans against traveling to Russia, it is also making it comically difficult for Russians to visit the United States. In April the State Department announced that it will no longer process visa applications from Russians anywhere inside Russia; applicants now must travel abroad to file them. This will naturally lead many Russians to spend their vacations elsewhere.

The end result will be two nations that know and understand each other less and less. When people are kept ignorant of each other, they are easy prey for official narratives that reinforce prejudice.

This is hardly the first time the US government has sought to limit travel by American citizens. During the 1950s the State Department strenuously enforced a ban on travel to “Red China.” The ban was so absolute that when the Chinese offered to free two imprisoned CIA airmen if Secretary of State John Foster Dulles would allow a group of American journalists to travel to China, Dulles refused. In the 1960s, US passports carried a note saying “Not Valid for Travel to Cuba.”

Today such explicit bans are out of fashion. If the State Department makes it difficult for Russians to apply for tourist visas, however, and if Americans are warned that they face danger in Russia, the chilling effect is comparable.

“I have always been afraid of the ‘Iron Curtain,’ only now it’s not being imposed by our side but by the other side,” laments Ksenia Sobchak, a former Russian presidential candidate.

Much American news coverage of Russia — and of China, Iran, Syria, Cuba, and other places our government considers enemy territory — is written in the United States and deals with diplomacy or geopolitics. It’s not easy for consumers of our mass media to learn what life is like for ordinary people in other countries, or how the world looks to them. One way is to travel to those countries. But that carries a risk: It may provide insights that contradict what our leaders tell us.

A couple of years ago I traveled in Russia. At one provincial capital, Novosibirsk, I left my train and wandered alone for several hours. I was far off the beaten tourist track, but no one seemed to notice or care. The same was true everywhere I went. This experience naturally leads me to wince when I hear the State Department warning Americans to avoid Russia because of the danger of terror attacks. My impression is confirmed by the Global Terrorism Index, which reports that Russia has lower levels of terrorism than the United States, Britain, or France.

For the last year, US travel advisories have been unusually tough as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. As the pandemic recedes, the State Department has begun loosening those advisories. They should not be twisted to serve political purposes. Americans should be encouraged to educate themselves about the world, not protected from contact with “hostiles.”

Discouraging travel is not the only way the Biden administration promotes the closing of the American mind. In recent weeks the State Department has “seized” dozens of websites that it says disseminate propaganda or false information. All of them broadcast views that challenge US foreign policy. One victim was Masirah TV, which is run by the Houthis in Yemen, whom we consider unfriendly. Another was Press TV, the main English-language station in Iran. Press TV is sponsored by the Iranian government. Stations like these take an approach to world news comparable to that of the Voice of America, which is required by law to broadcast only reports that are “consistent with the broad foreign policy objectives of the United States.”

Does that make Masirah TV, Press TV, and the Voice of America propaganda outlets? Sure. As Americans, though, we should be allowed to watch foreign propaganda and judge it for ourselves. Stories about Syrian torturers, Iranian militias, and Russian cyberattacks do not tell us everything important about those countries.

It’s easy to understand why governments seek to restrict what citizens learn about other countries. An ignorant population is easier to manipulate. The United States, though, was founded on the Enlightenment principle of free inquiry. We should not exaggerate threats abroad as a way of keeping Americans at home. For those who cannot travel, the next best thing is to hear the news as people in other countries hear it. We should ban foreign news outlets only in the most extreme cases.

At the very least, we could ensure that our diplomats are informed. Last year the State Department closed the only two remaining US consulates in Russia. There is no American ambassador in Cuba, Syria, or Iran. Our intensifying self-isolation promotes misunderstanding and conflict. “Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things,” Twain reminded us, “cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.”

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