Coping with Life Under a Dictatorship

What can you DO about living under a former rights-respecting republic, rapidly transforming — executive order by executive order — into a dictatorship? Not a whole lot. It’s not defeatism to say so; it’s simply the truth. “President Trump will save us in 2024” does not apply. He may WANT to save us, but he can’t save us from a dictatorship, particularly when it’s a dictatorship that millions of people WANT. He’s out of the White House, isn’t he? And just wait to see what an unhinged and 100 percent politicized DOJ and FBI do to the former President and his family. We are dealing with monsters here, inept and stupid ones as all monsters are, but still monsters.

It’s too late for an election to save us. Sure, try; but don’t kid yourselves. Perhaps President Trump could find another way to “save us”, but that’s not really how freedom works. Freedom doesn’t come about because the equivalent of Superman comes to the rescue within a 60 minute window (43 minutes with commercials). Freedom is the complex result — and climax — of many, many things. And I probably don’t have to tell you: The Republican Party, upon whom Trump would depend, is no Superman.

The one thing you can do is REFUSE TO PRETEND. Refuse to participate. Within reason. You’ll have to decide what “within reason” means, in your particular circumstances. Resist wherever possible. Even passively. Think Martin Luther King. Think Ayn Rand — going on strike, even quietly. Mask rules are not going anywhere. Vaccination mandates are coming, even if only indirectly by using private airlines, grocery stores and banks to compel you to obey. We’re talking double and triple masks, even when alone in your bathroom. These people are beyond nuts.

If nothing else, just be silent, and don’t pretend to agree unless your physical life literally depends on it. The approval of your insane, crazy big-mouthed leftist neighbors, relatives or associates does not mean anything. YOU DON’T WANT THEIR APPROVAL, BECAUSE FRANKLY THEY ARE NOT GOOD PEOPLE. And they are not smart people. But in the worst case, even if a gun is pointed to your head when you don’t pretend agreement with insane idiocy, nobody will ever be able to get inside your mind and inhabit your cognition, your emotions, or your innermost values. Not even Joe Biden or Kamala Harris can access those, not even with a trillion executive orders.
So protect your mind and mental state, first and foremost. Under a total dictatorship, in the extreme case, that’s all you will have. Now’s a good time to buy or download books and articles that will later be censored or cancelled. Ditto for movies. Minds and books, like music and movies or television shows, are critical, even if you have never been a reader or much of a movie watcher. We’ve come to expect whatever we want at our fingertips, but as it becomes clearer that most of the Internet is controlled by “private” companies who are part of the emerging dictatorship, you won’t always be able to access what you once took for granted.

I don’t know how far the dictatorship will go, and I don’t know how long it will last. I know it’s here, and evolving right before our eyes. It seems surreal, but it’s real. I don’t recognize the America I grew up in; I don’t even recognize the America of 2019 in today’s insane reality. The Soviet dictatorship lasted 75 years. The Maoist regime — the peak of the madness — lasted a decade or two, but China never fully abandoned dictatorship; neither did Russia. Cuba and Venezuela are Communist for as far as the eye can see.

America, on the other hand, began after armed rebellion against a dictatorship, and there’s no guarantee that history won’t repeat itself in some 21st century form. Don’t try to predict the future. There are too many variables, and you can’t do that. Be kind to yourself and accumulate everything you can (materially, intellectually, and yes, weapons of self-protection) to preserve what we once took for granted in this great country, and what we’re progressively losing by the day. And, like I said, most of all: Respect your mind. You’re always going to need your mind, whether you live under freedom, or tyranny. Dictators may rule your bodies, but they can never rule your souls; not if you don’t let them.

Michael J. Hurd, Daily Dose of Reason

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