“If the machine of government is of such a nature that it requires you to be the agent of injustice to another, then, I say, break the law”
― Henry David Thoreau
Imperial conditioning is the means by which a state through subtle and overt means make obedience to government a habit and sole course of action for citizens. It may not necessarily be a conscious effort on the part of the state but merely the inevitable outcome of the initiation of aggression on a mass scale. Absent violence, the state cannot exists.
One can read many of my previous essays on cops to see that they are the foundational element that makes governments work. Absent the armed praetorians to conduct “law enforcement” (one of the more honest labeling enterprises of government), the state has no engine to uphold its legions of edicts and diktats over the unfortunate inhabitants in the tax jurisdictions.
I just went on a trip overseas. As usual, every stage of travel within the American borders was awash in a sea of uniformed agents of the state directing one to do this or that on the condition that non-compliance would be most unpleasant. At one point after my return to the vaunted home of the free, I went through the porno-scanner to save time for a connection we were close to missing to return to Arizona. When directed to put my hands on my head so that they could get a better view I rendered the appropriate one-finger salute east and west to which one of the unemployable TSA drones said “that is unnecessary” to which I replied then that there is no more fitting tribute to an organization for whom the word unnecessary should be part of the slogan for the blue-shirted shamblers. Of course, this resulted in a punitive grope and rifling of my carry-on bag. No surprise. Discretion on their part to harass those who object is part of their charter. One is supposed to grin and bear every infringement on liberty in the name of national (read government) security. They are, in fact taken aback, nay offended, when one of the cattle resists or says no. Much like the ritual at the Border Patrol checkpoint 40 miles north of the border south of Tucson in Arizona where all inquiries are answered with a firm no.
One reason these enforcement drones are so incensed when a mere mundane refuses the easy compliance they expect is that so many do comply with bad laws, it is rather unusual for one of the subjects to get uppity. Sometimes it ends badly and lethally as Mr. Grigg has so expertly and poignantly pointed out to us.
The biggest head-scratcher of all is the notion that violence and theft will never be tolerated in the behavior of mundanes but absent both of these tools, the cops much less the state could not exist. The virtue of zero aggression and embracing the non-initiation of force is a principle embraced by most ethical individualist anarchists and abolitionists.
Most folks have become so inured to the state of nature that they live in that they accept that police practice of terrorism is simply the way of the world for them to retain their freedom and safety. Quite simply, two pillars must be established to keep these systems afloat: they must be able to instill fear through the threat of fining, kidnapping, caging, maiming and killing anyone who refuses to comply with the whims of the system. The second, and arguably more important pillar, is to convince the populace that not only is this the way of the world and the only way but that we must eventually find a way to put a happy face on it. So we see large public spectacles like the 2012 Grand Old Politburo Convention in Tampa, Florida where thousands of drones not only pay obeisance to the police state but insist on more of the same and the additional burden of paying for their enslavement out of their own earnings.
The state is very savvy when it comes to the manipulation of convenience in the service of slavery. There are ways to poach people’s time in a fashion to influence their selection of state means versus private means. It is much easier to go through the porno-scanner instead of submit to a grope and be threatened with missing one’s plane unless you and yours submit to sexual assault. It is much easier to get the government library card and have your internet usage monitored and recorded than finding a wireless system available that has even a modicum of privacy. It is much easier to go to the grocery to purchase FDA approved death food than sneaking around to procure raw milk or fresh vegetables without a government stamp of approval. It is much easier to pay for your local property tax that funds the government schools that are quite literally churning out huge populations of unreflective and shambling drones whose sole notion of reality is largely electronic and virtual. It is much easier to present your “government issued” ID than dare to defy the authorities by refusal.
Like critical thinking, protection of individual sovereignty is hard work. Your refusal is the foundational stamp of individual liberty. It is the state’s primary job to ensure that you never practice or acknowledge that. Think about it, if you can simply refuse to comply with anything you suppose violates your self-ownership, the government would not have a leg to stand on, therefore they move heaven and earth not only to guarantee your compliance but to condition a willingness on your part to not only embrace evil but endorse it in all its bejeweled and patriotic awful beauty.
While most self-professed anarcho-capitalists and individualist libertarians (the Objectivists are a noxious and curious hybrid of collectivist libertarians but then again, all minarchist libertarians are in that camp de facto and de jure) are aware of the nature of this deal with the devil, most subjects in the American tax jurisdiction are proud of their fetters and will quite literally put their neighbors in jail who scoff or refuse to comply and applaud the wheels and machinations of law and order. They will even go so far as to approve of their maiming and death at the hands of the police because” they got what they deserved” for not being respectful or compliant with authority.
The recent abduction and detention of Brandon Raub in Virginia speaks to the next step in the Orwellian process of putting a happy face on official tyranny and violence. Like so many things in the old Russian Soviet system, the Americans are trying to improve upon the tried and true totalitarian tools employed by that extinct regime. Raub became ensnared in the American variation of psikhushkas, the Soviet inference that resistance to the state may have a psychiatric component. This may be a ramping up to begin a new conditioning regime to introduce the notion that resistance to government oppression and tyranny may be signs of mental illness. Raub may be part of a demonstration project to “shop” the idea that resistance to government is not only against the law but may betray a nascent psychological condition.Remember that this is the same government in the DHS that monitored the opposition to its snitch program it developed. In the end, the government goal is to pilot your Weltanschauung in the direction they approve of and no other.
The state needs a conditioning regime that is intergenerational and self-replicating which is why the government in the US desires such detailed control of the school system from pre-school through graduate studies in universities. Why do you think the government schools have cops innocently named School Resource Officers? The entertainment industry does the same thing. Even when portraying “corrupt” cops, good cops save the day. Huh?
So imperial conditioning makes the government work. The only refusal they will countenance is the admission that your self-ownership is sacrosanct. They refuse to believe it.
“I heartily accept the motto, “That government is best which governs least”; and I should like to see it acted up to more rapidly and systematically. Carried out, it finally amounts to this, which also I believe — “That government is best which governs not at all”; and when men are prepared for it, that will be the kind of government which they will have. Government is at best but an expedient; but most governments are usually, and all governments are sometimes, inexpedient.”
― Henry David Thoreau