L. Neil Smith's
THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 267, April 18, 2004
Sing The Song, Children!
Learning to Sing
Exclusive to TLE
Looking at the news over this last week or so, I can't help but wonder if we are seeing our future in Iraq. What I see is a theocratic state, under the heel of a power that most of the people don't want. What I see is a the common people, for whatever motivation, fighting back against what they consider to be a brutal occupying power.
Why do I ask if this is our future?
As with any analogy, it is possible to go too far in comparison, but think of what is happening in our country. With the religious Right growing ever more vocal and powerful, it is not beyond conception that a de facto state religion will eventually force it's views down the throats of the many more moderate Americans. Combine this with a so-called elite group of politicians who fear for their own safety if the American people ever reach the point of total disgust with them (we're not far from that point now), who are consequently trying to disarm the American people totally, in order to further their socialistic schemes. At this point all you need is a trigger to set off a massive round of civil unrest. What will that trigger be?
Let's look at some possibilities.
Abortion/gay marriage: This is one possibility, for several reasons. As any responsible parent knows, you don't withdraw priviledges from children arbitrarily, when the child has done no wrong. If you do, you cause resentment, disobedience, and rebellion. While the American people are not children, you have to follow the same principle. While you and I may not agree with abortion, it has been considered the right of a woman to choose since Roe v. Wade. Take away that right, and you cause problems. Not to mention the incredible bureaucracy that will be required to enforce such a ban, which in and of itself could be a trigger point.
Along with this, is the idea that if a religious basis is used for moral arguments and legal actions, this will disenfranchise millions of Americans, many of whom will react violently, seeing that their own religions and morals are now considered wrong, 'evil', or suspect. If this country had been founded on the basis of one religion, this move toward a religious view of laws and morals might be survivable. However, this country was founded on acceptance of all religions, and by and large, we have stuck to that for over 200 years. Yes, we all know that there have been exceptions, but religious wars have not broken out here because of that little thing called the First Amendment. Once the barrier is broken, the First Amendment scrapped in favor of any religious viewpoint, the fuse is lit.
Gun control/victim disarmament: If the politicians ever succeed in passing any act to disarm the American people, chaos will ensue within months. One of the reasons this has not already happened is that there is a perception on the part of the people that as long as they are armed, they have the means to resist tyranny. Knowing that safety blanket is there has caused many people to be more tolerant of government indiscretions, believing that when it gets too bad, they will be able to resist. Unfortunately, when or if this safety blanket is taken away, and people are forced to face the reality of what our government has become, a violent backlash will erupt, caused by the fear and hate that our government has already engendered against itself, and fueled by the fears of how far it will go.
These are just the two most likely causes of civil unrest that I see at this point. There are many others, ones I am sure that all of you can see for yourselves, even many that are or may be particular to your own locality, state, or province.
What will be the effect if massive civil disobedience breaks out? No one knows for sure, but with over 70% of our military combat power (ground troops) otherwise involved overseas, it won't be good. It is conceivable that our society could break down totally. It is even more possible that a US president, especially if it was a one-world government type like Kerry, might call for UN 'peacekeepers' to 'restore order'. Never mind that this would make my original question true in all particulars, that this can and probably will lead to a complete civil war, he might think that this is the only way to survive. He would be wrong, but by the time he realized it, it would be too late. America would have Balkanized beyond redemption.
Many years ago Sir Richard Burton translated the Arabian Nights into English. One of the tales was about a thief, who told the king that he could teach the king's horse to sing within a year, if the king spared his life. Intrigued, the king agreed. The thief spent every day down in the stables brushing and caring for the horse, singing to it constantly. One of his friends asked him why he was doing this, that it was impossible to teach a horse to sing. The thief replied, " A year is a long time. The king might die. I might die. And, who knows, the horse might learn to sing!
Sometimes I get tired of seeing and saying things that are negative about the future of our country. Unfortunately, on our present course, there is very little positive in our future, at least not for freedom-loving, individualistic Americans. America has become or is becoming what we fought for so long against in the Soviet Union.
I sincerely hope that I am wrong, that we can weather this storm without becoming a police state, a theocracy, or a land at war. Either way, I am going to keep writing, trying to make people see the dangerous course our present leaders have us on.
Who knows? Maybe the horse will learn to sing!
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