From 99endof by IAN ANDREW PATRICK
Freedom is a word I rarely use
Without thinkin’, mm hmm
Without thinkin’, uh huh
Of the time, of the time
When I’ve been loved
Throughout recorded history, freedom and love have been inseperable. The idea that these two are essential partners underpins the poems, songs and literature of every generation: you can’t have one without the other. This pairing has the power of inarguable truth, because we all understand that while love can be offered, given, accepted or rejected, love cannot be compelled. Only an exchange involving choice can be described as love. (Exemptions are available for BDSM enthusiasts and Arsenal fans).
Compulsion, then, is the opposite of love, and by definition, the opposite of freedom. Love is a carrot; compulsion a stick. At its most extreme, compulsion involves imprisonment or execution, which are clearly the antitheses of freedom. Compulsion, however, is the iron fist that dangles from the long arm of the Law. In the 2020 Corona Jungle, a 300-pound gorilla of Law has bust out of its cage and is swinging from tree to tree down a high street near you.
In a so-called “democracy” we are supposed to think long and hard befiore creating new laws: because laws put limits upon our behaviour, like chains on an animal. In a “free” society, then, laws should only limit activities which compromise the freedom of others. That’s why, historically, most laws centre upon preventing some kind of theft, violence, destruction or obstruction. When a citizen inflicts such harm, the law will dictate the punishment – and that, m’lud, is where the trouble starts.
Just as normal people love freedom, the politipunks adore compulsion -placing limits on the public – because limits show power. Power must be seen to be respected, and politicians -aware they are widely regarded as blustering parasites- crave respect above all else. When you are loathed by the herd and secretly disgusted by yourself, respect is like heroin, and you will do whatever it takes to score. Remember, the public tend to respect a demonstration of power even though they despise the powerful. They have little choice. And the simplest demonstration is, of course, to place a new obstacle in the public’s path and shout “JUMP!” At which point, a remarkably large number of people will reply “how high, master?”
Here is a minor 20th century watercolour artist, Adolf Hitler, explaining the nature of the common people, or as he called them, the masses. “…their intelligence is small, but their power of forgetting is enormous. In consequence of these facts, all effective propaganda must be limited to a very few points and must harp on these in slogans…until every last member of the public understands what you want him to understand…by your slogan.”
You wouldn’t have expected Der Fuhrer’s crude philosophy to be adopted as the template for practical politics in the 21st century, but the exact technique he described in Mein Kampf has been employed by every ‘democratic’ government since 1945, most keenly at times of percieved “crisis”. Consider some of the slogans hammered into the public mind after (a) the events of 911, and (b) Coronavirus…….