What’s in a name? Why did I name this soundboard Bacon, Books, and Bullets? Everything! It epitomizes my political, social, and economic philosophies.
These three items are particularly relevant to a trend I have witnessed in the past twenty-five years: the compelled collective. Perhaps it has gone on longer. All items represent materials that demand social controls as defined by “progressive” elites. They embody all that is wrong with you and I. They are the reason you must be controlled. They are dangerous because they represent different facets of individualism: the recognition and acceptance of consequences (Bacon), the knowledge necessary to make informed, if possibly heretical decisions (Books), and the ability to defend your right to be an individual (Bullets). Let me explain…
Bacon: This one is for Mika Brzezinski and it dovetails with an eye opening experience I had at the Fletcher School in a microeconomics class.
For those of you unfamiliar with the Fletcher School, it is one of the most elite schools for public policy makers as well as high ranking bureaucrats and military officers. It is the oldest school dedicated to international studies and diplomacy in the United States and it is incredibly influential in American foreign policy. Aspiring future foreign policy leaders of the Republican and Democrat parties attend the school. Politically “neutral” current and future bureaucrats, as well as a cadre of senior military officers, also attend the school.
During one particular microeconomics class the professor asked a question of the roughly thirty students: “Why does McDonalds sell so many cheeseburgers?” He was about to make a point about supply and demand (i.e., Do people like their cheeseburgers, causing them to buy them, or do they like the price?) Not one hand was raised, so I raised mine: “They taste good and they’re cheap.” He asked the class, “Is that true?’ No one answered. He then asked, half-jokingly, “Has anyone here ever had a McDonalds cheeseburger?” NOT ONE PERSON – OTHER THAN MYSELF – HAD EVER TASTED A McDONALDS CHEESEBURGER. Not one.
That was astounding to me. Individuals that purport to represent the United States have never eaten a McDonald’s cheeseburger. How is it possible to avoid that iconic name brand their entire lives?! More importantly, how could they possibly represent the interest and values of an American public that, due to budget, time constraints, or simple tastes, eat at McDonald’s or its varied competitors routinely? But there was more…
The conversation ultimately turned to social impacts. “Is McDonald’s responsible for making its patrons fat?” My position: NO! If you eat at McDonald’s than you have to know the consequences and trade-off: (a) work-off that which you have just eaten (i.e., exercise – probably a lot), (b) choose healthier menu options, or (c) get fat and live with the ramifications of being over-weight. Yet again, I was the weirdo.
I was the ONLY person in class that took this seemingly logical position on the consequences of choice. It was at that time that a fellow student of mine voiced the opinion of the classroom’s super-majority: “McDonalds is at fault because it serves fatty meals.” She stated before adding that, “…the Government must step in to save the average American from McDonalds because the average American does not know what he or she is eating. This is a Government responsibility – to protect the people from predatory behavior. McDonalds preys upon those who do not know what they are doing because they are too poor to understand nutrition.” WHAT?!
But the classroom nodded in agreement. The Government must save people from fatty foods. Enter Mika and Bacon.
If you are not familiar with Morning Joe, the MSNBC morning political show, it is worth watching to follow the exchange. That stated, one host is Mika Brzezinski, the daughter of the former Carter National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski. She is also the voice of the Left (typically) on the show. She frequently argues for greater dietary controls as part of government policy. Her position is gaining traction and it is growing more so as the US Government has entered into a new realm: health care.
Leftists want to protect you from… you. You being the individual. They do not trust your ability to make your own decisions. Thus, if you are eating something unhealthy, such as BACON, you are not just a threat to yourself, but with national healthcare, you are a threat to the economic viability of a system that demands you act responsibly. After all, bacon leads to higher cholesterol… higher cholesterol leads to heart problems… heart problems lead to higher medical bills. If you smoke cigarettes, you are a threat to you and that system. If you eat cheeseburgers, Big Government must stop either you or the purveyors of such irresponsible tastiness. This is creeping into every day facets of our lives. From Jack Daniels to Ring Dings, an ever encroaching government is coming for your version of BACON because they care, and they do not trust you.
Ironically, this is the same political party and ideology that advocates for pro-choice as a women’s rights issue. Regardless of which side of the political spectrum you fall, pro-choice or life, you must admit that the following seems pretty silly: it is a right to abort a fetus or a child, but it is not a right to eat what you want. There is no religion, with which I am aware, that overtly bans the consumption of sugary carbonated beverages in ridiculously large containers. That cannot be said about abortion. Yet, the same group that advocates choice over one’s womb, advocates control over one’s belly.
I trust you… so should you.
BOOKS: I love them. I love books. I love reading a host of different, primarily nonfiction books, from Plutarch to Paulson, from Foote to Chernow, I cannot get enough. But in this case, books are merely emblematic of all forms of informative or thought provoking media. Movies that once received accolades have been deemed socially derisive. Television shows are being edited for content because they do not reflect the mores of today. Let’s simply ignore for a moment that embodied this media is a clear view of history through the panes of time. Crtain books are being defined as socially coercive. Why? Because they lead to dangerous thoughts that erode the compelled collective.
When intellectual thought is handcuffed by the political whims of a given class, it is troublesome. When it is banned because the content does not fit the values of one group, that is dangerous. Not only does it stymie personal growth and development, it leads to something else: intellectual inbreeding. This is the antithesis of progressive behavior.
When a group thinks the same what is the impetus to progress? Where does it exist? If we all sit at the table and equally agree that cheeseburgers cooked medium well with cheddar and ketchup is the only way to eat them, why would we ever try anything else? Why try blue cheese? Why try onions… mushrooms… medium rare? Why try salmon… chicken… vegetables? Group think among the masses is terrifying because it is possible. All you need to do in order to achieve your objective is to control that which is read and learned.
Do you think that is impossible? We are only eighty years removed from that having happened in Germany. We are only twenty five years since the collapse of a state predicated on this utopian vision enforced through a single system maintained by government controlled state approved information. This is crucial. Independent thought is the enemy of the collective because the collective cannot thrive in an environment in which an informed participant chooses not to submit. Individualism must be destroyed and that begins with how everyone thinks.
In order for Leftist ideals to work, it must be all or none. The individual that embraces capitalism and opens a black market as a counter to a socialist trading system immediately threatens the vitality of the socialist market based system. He begins to introduce the one truth of market dynamics: where there is demand, supply will soon follow. This goes for so many other facets of “progressive” concepts as well.
Books that introduce concepts that lead to personal manifestations of conscience erode the compelled collective. That is a dangerous concept to a leftist. The lack of compulsion and the onus of personal responsibility to choose a collective runs directly into the face of the progressive movement because it allows for someone – anyone – to stand up and say, “No.”
In the 1950s and 60s, Leftists were right to challenge the authoritarian control of the Religious Right’s stranglehold on reading material. To ban Salinger and promote the Bible was wrong. It is not that I agree or disagree with either, but certain libraries should have carried To Kill a Mockingbird and All Quiet on the Western Front next to the Bible. Let the reader decipher the lessons of those great novels, or for that matter, religious texts, and determine the messages through the lens of their own moral vantage point.
Today it has unfortunately gone reverse.
Banning a Bible is the same as banning Catcher in the Rye. The Bible, whether you view it as a religious text or a novel, is a great book. Its influence is hardly debatable. Then why ban it? Or for that matter, why not promote it for its intrinsic value as a contributor to the development of Western society and allow students to make up their own minds as to whether or not it is “bad,” “good,” “inaccurate,” or otherwise useless? Such thought provocation is scary to those who need you to see through a particular political lens. Hiding behind the oft-inaccurately applied separation of church and state, there is a movement to ban scriptures from all publically funded buildings.
Why? Can we not learn about Judaism, Christianity, or any other faith while exploring the merits of Marxism? No you cannot.
The great irony of religion is that each organized faith is a collective in its own right. Baptists choose to commune with Baptist congregants. They go to Baptist schools. They attend Baptist Fellowships. But the difference is compulsion. Baptists are not forced to go to Church or for that matter accept Christ as their Savior. Those are choices to which an individual must derive through personal reflection. Consequently, Baptists baptize when the adherent is cognizant of his or her decision. Other faiths, such as Catholicism or Judaism, while removing the conscience decision to join those faiths, do not penalize for leaving those faiths, either.
Ironically, the very same books once banned by the right are now being banned by the left because they do not comport with a particular collective ideology. The independence of a “Holden Caufield” is as much a threat to the left as it once was to the right. Thus, when my daughter explained that Huckleberry Finn was banned by her teachers in Connecticut because it used derogatory language to describe Jim, I knew we had reached a new crescendo as it pertained to the erosion of independent thought. Children should know there was a time in the US when such language was used to describe a black male. They should be allowed to see all angles of that 19th century perspective. Hiding it achieves nothing.
But this assault on literary works does not stop at books. It includes newspapers, magazines, and news organizations that question the champions of the compelled collective. Why do you think FoxNews is so vehemently attacked? Is it really “faux” news or is there something else? Typically, that channel is weeks ahead of every other news agency when exposing crimes committed by the left. Is that wrong or is that journalism? Assaulting the legitimacy of authors is a tactic used since the dawn of time. Just ask Socrates.
While I do not consider Rupert Murdoch a modern day Socrates, I see an interesting parallel. Law is often used as a tool to compel, control, or kill an ideological opponent. Yesterday’s hemlock is today’s “Fairness Doctrine.” The Fairness Doctrine was a policy originally introduced in 1949 to counter potential communist communications from infiltrating the airwaves and corrupting American minds. It essentially requires an equal amount of playtime for competing political ideals. It ignores the fundamental truth that, if an ideal has a market of listeners, they will listen (or read… or watch). In 1987 the doctrine was eliminated. But in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2011, prominent Democrats, including President Obama, advocated for its return. Why?
Books must be protected because knowledge is the foundation of Free Speech and Free Speech is required to maintain a Free Society. Stifle Free Speech you handcuff the ability to disseminate knowledge. Stifle knowledge and you intellectually enslave a people.
BULLETS: the Founding Fathers could not possibly conceive of a crackhead breaking into your home and stealing your flat screen television. The ideological reason to ensure a population enjoyed the right to bear arms was grounded in something far scarier: the Government could break into your home and steal your flat screen television. The ability to fight back against government over-reach was a very real threat to the newly independent United States of the 18th Century.
Whereas I highly doubt that the US Government truly wishes to deprive you of your property or your rights in a violent manner, the threat always exists. That is because power is corrosive to the soul. The PATRIOT ACT, while well intended, has grown the power of the police state within a country that introduced the revolutionary concept of the Fourth Amendment. At what point does another 9/11 become the catalyst toward its alteration or abridgment?
While many would say this is a crazy position, I ask them to consider the following: why is it crazy? Absolute power corrupts absolutely. When did that maxim become obsolete? The regulatory environment of the 21st Century United States is governed not by Congressional consideration and voting, it is governed by Executive authority. The President’s varied cabinets choose the mechanisms by which they determine the law should be enforced. Presidential discretion is left wide open for interpretation.
If the Government has no inclination toward a hostile take-over of an individual’s rights why therefore does it fear an armed populace? The Mexican Standoff of consequences should be an accepted balance because the Government will never pull the trigger, right? Maybe not. A Mexican Standoff is called Armed Robbery when only one party has a gun. Is there a desire to take away your civil rights? I would argue that such a possibility exists.
Many Leftists will argue that guns lead to violence. Thus, gun removal is required. I can give several reasons why this is untrue, but I will say they have something right. A population of individuals that are forced into a collective will ultimately fight back. That is the definition of violence.
Thus, now we have a war with that quintessential American tool of independence and resistance. Little boys that shape their peanut butter and jelly sandwiches into the shape of guns are expelled from school in Massachusetts. Parents in New Jersey had Child & Family Services called upon them for allowing their pre-teen son hold a gun and publish a photo on Facebook. The demonization of guns has clearly begun.
In this new environment, Davy Crockett never would have killed a bear by the age of three.
Some moderates like to attack the Libertarian notion that an armed population is a great counter to Government intrusion upon civil liberties. They will argue that, even if it were the case that the Government would like to take your rights away, what would your semi-automatic .308 rifle do for you against tanks and air strikes? To that I give the following simple answer: Afghanistan.
Bullets represent the last stand of the individual. It is the ability to fight back against the compelled collective. A dog without teeth is just an easily dispatched animal. A dog with teeth is a weapon. Pull the teeth while you can – preferably while it is sleeping.
Do not underestimate those who wish to disarm individuals from fighting against compelled collectivism. They mean you harm. This is the last step necessary to steal your individual rights. If you cannot fight back, what can you do? Die or accept.
Bacon, Books, and Bullets… symbols of independence, impediments to compulsion. I deeply believe in the power of the individual. I strongly believe in the power of the galvanized, voluntary collective. Plato and Machiavelli feared Republics. Republics can achieve so much when the contributors independently derive to a self-serving conclusion and engage in collective action.
But that is a matter of choice versus compulsion. Independent choice is a powerful weapon. The individual is a powerful force for good. In fact, it is the most powerful force for good. So much more has been achieved when individuals choose to enter social compacts freely… to reinvent those compacts… reform them… Every society that has been stagnant, violent, and predatory has been a society in which a party or parties were forced to submit and individualism was suppressed.
In other words, every society that has been repressive has been a manifestation of Leftist compelled collectivism. Fascism is a leftist ideal (socialist economics)… Communism… oligarchies (economic control centered by a power elite at the top)… Political systems predicated on a maximum value of independent choice may be messy, but they are ultimately better societies.
Freedom is the soil, the sun, and the water necessary for the individual to blossom.
This website is dedicated to the political preservation of Freedom and Individualism.