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Selling freedom to the loudest bidder: A modern-era Hundred Years War

By Charlotte B. Cerminaro
web posted November 8, 2021

When individuals and companies seek the advice of a skilled economist or financial advisor it can seem as though they're hiring a fortune teller and asking them for their best guess. Obviously this isn't the case; mathematicians, statisticians and economists apply predictive analysis based on current events, patterns from the past and elements of probability calculated to more accurately anticipate major shifts. One could say that the best economists are those who are capable of discerning subtle patterns in the vast chaos of history and using these as a template to understand current geopolitical and economic activities, including their most likely outcome. The common denominators of cause and effect are well documented by the greatest minds of the 20th century, by economists such as Milton Friedman and Thomas Sowell.

In 1858 Karl Marx laid out his theory of historical materialism (an unpublished work called Grundrisse) as a proposal for social revolution based on the idea that economic struggle is a struggle between classes, and that capitalism--the free-market system of supply and demand--has been the main cause of societal struggles throughout history. This early work was more like a loose collection of ideas, neither cohesive nor consistent; later works, such as Das Kapital, are a radical "epistemological break" reflecting a shift in Marx's worldview, according to philosopher and analyst Louis Althusser. Various interpretations of Marx's ideas were not only condemned as inaccurate, but an extreme overreach of his beliefs and intentions. The latter sections of The German Ideology were actually written by Marx, not Friedrich Engels--and these are perhaps the most revealing writings of all. In them Marx openly satirized the "linguistic apostasies and word-mongering of 'Left-Hegelian' philosophers and politics".

While naive and utopianistic, Marx's idea of "a society free from class and struggle" was not a forerunner of the harsh and unnatural division created between proletariat and bourgeoisie--it was the opposite. Radical opportunists expediently twisted these ideas to seize power and moral high ground with a supposedly well-thought-out philosophical system--and the ubiquitous, worn-out claim that it's "for the greater good of society."

For the past century this has been communism's battle cry: From Pol Pot's Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia to MaoTsetung's China, Lenin, Stalin, Hitler and dozens of less-known but no less dangerous revolutionaries stated the cause behind their genocidal actions as, ostensibly, for the benefit of society, the safety and welfare of the state. With few exceptions (Dub?ek in Czechoslovakia seemed to uphold a pure Marxist ideology) their hallmark traits led nations into collapse.

Socialism's claims always come with a caveat: In order to protect society from greedy and selfish individual liberties, the blight of capitalism, free enterprise and ownership, and the various plagues that free individuals will cause or proliferate within this society, everyone must sacrifice freedom and be subordinate to the state, as represented by its unelected bureaucrats. Engaging in civil disobedience or resistance, reporting the suffering and cruelty under draconian laws, and anything not belying every hint of economic collapse or human tragedy, is expressly forbidden. The death toll is always catastrophic. Law-abiding citizens lose their freedom, jobs, families and ultimately, their lives.

In a recent commentary titled, "Why Do People Give Up Freedom?" research from Belgian psychologist and statistician, prof. Matthias Desmet, helps clarify this oft-repeated phenomenon. Studies have shown that there is only a small portion of the population (approximately 15%) that is actually deceived by the bureaucratic narrative and false information spoonfed to the public through carefully sculpted media coverage. About 55% of people do not believe the information they are being given but prefer the false sense of security they get if they just "follow along." They are uncomfortable with the probability of disagreement. Even if most people haven't been personally affected by "Cancel Culture" they are aware that this is a potential problem for anyone, including themselves, if they ever question popular opinion or challenge it with facts. About 30% of the population, on average, will openly disagree with a false narrative and will actively resist unlawful or unconstitutional actions that are an unethical means of enforcing compliance.

For the past hundred years this "resistance" has been vilified, marginalized, labelled, punished, threatened and silenced, if possible, all for the supposed greater good of society. This thirty percent is often the only blockade between freedom and immediate totalitarianism--and the same predictable pattern has repeated with such regularity that economists, psychologists and statisticians can predict with a large degree of certainty, the probable outcomes and losses in economic and human terms.

When did our hard-won liberty and basic freedom become disposable, for sale to the loudest and most persistent bidder? Can a false and temporary sense of security ever replace our most priceless inheritance? Securing the blessings of liberty that are specifically promised in our constitution--understood as a universal human right granted by our Creator, not by fellow humans--has been among the noblest endeavors throughout civilized history. On these points we will not and cannot negotiate. We are in possession of a gift, the evidence of our unique design; ours is a purpose and a future that's not yet fully understood but nevertheless irreplaceable, and it is most certainly not for sale. ESR

Charlotte B. Cerminaro is a Juilliard-trained classical musician who, in addition to being a studio and orchestral musician, enjoys writing and has a degree in Molecular Biology. © 2021

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