One Road: Authoritarianism
May 1st, 2012 - D. Stone
"A good deal of tyranny goes by the name of protection.” - Crystal Eastman
Whether a socialist or a conservative, one thing is certain: your ideology is headed in the same direction. That direction leads to inevitable totalitarianism. Your confused perception of freedom is the reason for this.
Crystal Eastman was a socialist and a feminist. She likely believed that socialism was the avenue to freedom. She was wrong in the same way that conservatives are wrong to think that their ideas are the bridge to freedom and happiness. Whenever either ideology gets into office, laws inevitably end up being passed. These laws are always designed to protect us, whether it's from external physical threats or from ourselves. Liberals and socialists take a more subjective approach to what is considered harmful, while conservatives take a more objective approach.
When it comes to economics, socialists want a kind of existential freedom and a government that protects people from subjective existential ills like sadness, anxiety, and financial stress. Conservatives have a more basic and logical approach that involves personal responsibility and free will in fiscal matters. The left often views the right's position as cruel and heartless. Over my time of researching political ideologies, I have come to the conclusion that the left is subjectively oriented while the right is almost strictly objective when it comes to economic matters. This leads to the left being perceived as more sympathetic and in touch with the needs of the people.
The truth is that both sides have policies that contradict and undermine individual freedom. Both sides have their own factions that don't necessarily adhere to the principles and doctrines that are attributed to the right and left by the media. The left has communist fringes while the right has libertarian fringes. Unfortunately, we're told that there are only two sides in politics, so whatever fringe happens to take hold, the actions of that fringe become representative of the whole side. An example of this is the evangelical and hyper-religious fringes of the right. This has led to the right being recognized as socially conservative and fanatical, leaving the libertarian and more secular segments of the right misrepresented. The same happens on the left with liberals, socialists, and Marxists. They become unequivocally synonymous, which is why so many genuine moderates are referred to as socialists or commies by their opponents.
In the United States, there are only two mainstream political parties, and their leaders are forced to unite as many fringes as possible under one single brand. When Canada becomes a two-party nation – which it will – we will finally begin to see how difficult it is to avoid the erosion of freedom.
By uniting fringes, a leader must cater to as many ideologies as possible. With the right catering to social conservatives and the left catering to socialists, we will inevitably end up with zero economic freedoms and zero social freedoms. Both roads will eventually fork into one. That one, single road leads to one place: authoritarianism. Both roads lead to the very same place. Right and left merge into a single dead end.
Unless we meet a detour between now and then, we will end up with pure, unabashed authoritarianism.
As Canada's left becomes more determined to defeat the Conservatives, the Liberal Party and the NDP will become one single party, whether they officially merge or not. If the two neutralize each other through a statistical tie in any future election, they will need to merge to form a non-Conservative government or form a long-term coalition (which would eventually become a permanent merge). If one party supersedes the other and squeezes the inferior party out, it's over. The voters from the defeated party will be left with one choice, thus strengthening the surviving party.
When Canada is left with only two parties, authoritarianism could be achieved inadvertently by two sides that are naturally inclined to expand the reach, scope, and size of government. Like most Liberal legislation (minus the long gun registry), most big government Tory laws won't be repealed by any successive government. This means that the Omnibus crime bill is probably here to stay, even if the NDP forms government in 2015. Statistically, very few laws and regulations are ever repealed three years after their implementation. Essentially, laws pile on top of each other over decades and eventually become accepted as the status quo.
Today you can no longer drive without a seatbelt. You cannot buy gas without paying an additional tax. You cannot ride a bicycle without a helmet. You can no longer defend your own property or yourself without the risk of being charged as a criminal. You can no longer board a plane without being profiled. When you compare our freedoms to the freedoms of our great grandparents, they seem to be in a state of perpetual decline. Yes, we have gay marriage, almost legal marijuana, and freedom of choice, but Canada has been able to achieve this through its multi-party system. Once this system of democratic checks and balances vanishes, there will only be two sides to every story. Every dilemma will have only two solutions. There will be more dead ends and only three directions: left, right, and backwards.
Equality rights can be viewed more as an effort by government to create a sense of acceptance and contentment in order to create a warm perception of benevolence. The last thing any government wants is a protest or revolt which could hinder the ability to rule and collect taxes. Creating equality also creates complacency, acceptance, and compliance on a wider scale. Any smart government would use the guise of equality to ensnare all walks of life. You can be openly gay, pay for sex, smoke pot, party and have fun – but when it comes down to brass tax, you have no property to call your own, because anyone can take it from you in the name of the common good. You have no salary or income to call your own, no ideas to call your own, no wealth to keep for yourself, no real choices, no real privacy, and no real freedom to prosper independently without the permission of the nanny state.
Whether Canada actually evolves into a country with minimal freedoms is questionable, but the fact that we are closer to having only two choices is indisputable. Usually, having fewer choices equals having less freedom.
Suggesting any of these things usually garners the infamous title of Conspiracy Theorist. This is odd given the facts that history presents. Ancient Rome was a democracy before it turned into a dictatorship. Actually, history has proven that most democracies are temporary. Dictatorship usually weasels its way in through means of fear, vulnerability, and poverty. The key to any dictatorship is big government and the degradation of a person's self reliance, personal responsibility, and individual freedom. The road to tyranny involves taking away a person's individual identity and cloaking it with nationhood.
The best example of true self reliance, personal responsibility, voluntary community, and independence lies within the history of Canada's First Nations people. Anyone who makes the claim that libertarian societies are unfeasible need only to look at Aboriginal culture and the customs and views of Canada's First Nations. They were, in fact, the first libertarians on North American soil. Although they were considered primitive compared to 19th Century Europeans, they were simple, tribal communities that retained personal identity, responsibility, and free will while coordinating and cooperating in voluntary groups.
We're often told not to forget history, but we seldom ever bother to take any of it into account. We suffer from amnesia, which is why socialism and statism run so rampant in our culture. Big, intrusive governments have repeatedly failed throughout history, yet we continue to acknowledge them as inevitable solutions to inevitable problems.