Another “quick takes” on items where there is too little to say to make a complete article, but is still important enough to comment on.
The focus this time: Vox Popuii; Vox Tyrannis
First, a little mood music:
When “democracy” becomes just a synonym for “people power” by an obsessed few who view themselves as a vanguard
“However, events of the past week have convinced me that one of the fastest-growing censorship threats on the Internet today comes not from nation-states, but from super-empowered individuals who have been quietly building extremely potent cyber weapons with transnational reach.
“More than 20 years after Gilmore first coined that turn of phrase, his most notable quotable has effectively been inverted — ‘Censorship can in fact route around the Internet.’ The Internet can’t route around censorship when the censorship is all-pervasive and armed with, for all practical purposes, near-infinite reach and capacity. I call this rather unwelcome and hostile development the ‘The Democratization of Censorship.'”
Of course, as bad as that is, at least is it not the state itself… yet.
When the true common civic heritage collides with the so-called “General Will” as exercised through Leviathan, conflict becomes inevitable.
“One would hope that the stakes would be lower in this domestic debate, but judging from some of the rhetoric surrounding the issue, they are not. The Chairman of the USCCR [US Commission on Civil Rights], Martin Castro, recently commented publicly that ‘The phrases “religious liberty” and “religious freedom” . . . remain code words for discrimination, intolerance, racism, sexism, homophobia, Islamophobia, Christian supremacy, or any form of intolerance.’ And there are powerful echoes of that position in a statement by five of the commissioners—Castro, joined by Roberta Achtenberg, David Kladney, Karen Narasaki, and Michael Yaki—who write: ‘These laws’—which seek exceptions to the antidiscrimination laws—”represent an orchestrated, nationwide effort by extremists to promote bigotry, cloaked in the mantle of ‘religious freedom.”‘
“These claims are dangerously hyperbolic in the same-sex marriage context. In making my argument, I will put aside all constitutional questions and examine the issue solely as a matter of first principles. The central point is that there is a heavy and real burden, frequently ignored, on those who wish to make claims of bigotry and phobia.
“Let’s define our terms. ‘The English noun bigot,’ Wikipedia tells us, ‘is a term of abuse aimed at a prejudiced or closed-minded person, especially one who is intolerant or hostile towards different social groups (especially, and originally, other religious groups), and especially one whose own beliefs are perceived as unreasonable or excessively narrow-minded, superstitious, or hypocritical. The abstract noun is bigotry.’ Phobia, meanwhile, is defined as a ‘persistent, abnormal, and irrational fear of a specific situation that compels one to avoid it, despite the awareness and reassurance that it is not dangerous.’ The issue is whether these terms are more applicable to the people of faith attacked by the commissioners, or to the aggressive commissioners themselves.”
Sooner or later, those who cherish the rule of law the most will not take usurpers kindly.
“In the last few years, we’ve learned that the Left doesn’t stop with laws of government. They’re going after the laws of nature itself. Nature says the family is rooted in the sexual compatibility of male and female. Study after study demonstrates a child raised by his or her natural parents is the surest ticket to success. But the Left seems to think the broken lives and families you see in the poor parts of our nation should be programmatic for the rest of society. ‘Who needs dads? Or moms?’ says a Left which must shortly see such designations as gender-construct micro-aggressions.
“And then there’s the law of scarcity: the law that drives the cold realities of economics. No, everyone can’t have everything if we just tax the one percent. But in the fantasy-induced, law-defying reality of the Left, that 90 percent tax rate for the wealthy is the one thing between me and Shangri-La.
” A common respect for the rule of law, fortified by a media which actually does its job and investigates corruption, can weather the back and forth of partisan governance. By contrast, the view that laws are mere reflections of whichever archons happen to be in control—and that the Left’s archons are on the side of light, opposing conservative darkness—erodes any sense that the law is accessible to all parties. When the losing party wakes up to that reality, that’s when the fun begins.
“Several years ago—I think it was during the Obamacare debates, when Democrats were doing all their “sausage making” shenanigans—I was at a red light at the end of my road. The light is unbearably long. No one was coming from either direction.
“I said to myself, “F*** it,” and turned left on the red light. At that moment the red light became an icon of everything I was coming to hate about government: a coldly mechanized totem of inefficient government management, pretending to be the height of rational governance.”