We've been trained to think that endless rule by tiny minorities of really horrible people is the natural order of things, but that turns out to be just another lie
Even if we're 100% destined to lose and fall into tyranny, that's no reason to just submit.
Amen to every single word and syllable of this essay Matt! I can't praise this enough and I'll say that I'm ride or die with you and everyone else here, and elsewhere, with these views. We have a choice, we can stick together, and we can have our rights, freedoms, and country back. Nothing is predetermined and I want to say again, we have a choice. I'm proud to be your subscriber.
Although I don't disagree with the overall point, never underestimate the ability of technology to empower a soulless, autocratic minority. (Although, of course, it can also be used for good.) I'm not much of an expert of finance, politics, or most of the other things you write about, but I do know technology.
The Blob is currently beginning a HARD push for Central Banking Digital Currency, as well as mandatory internet ID systems, either one of which would be absolutely disastrous for the average person. This is not theory or conspiracy, there are state level bills being debated and passed right now. Internet ID is fairly obvious, but Central Banking Digital Currency would basically allow the Federal Reserve, an unelected group, absolute control over the finances of private citizens. You think debanking is bad NOW, just wait until your money comes with expiration dates, purchase restrictions, and a social credit score.
I'm not saying it's hopeless, and I cautiously share some of your optimism. But the fight isn't over. They say that's the price of freedom.
I love the fact that Matt's in an optimistic mood and has delivered a rousing speech to his team, those of us here in Substack exile who were/are convinced that Big Brother/Sister are only in the beta phase of their plan to smother us all in Digital Groupthink, and are amped because we just scored a big surprise win.
But hey, I pay my $5 to quibble, so here goes:
As for the Karens of Homeland Security, "the public rightfully recoiled from these arrogant power-worshipping mediocrities", but that was only because a competent and credentialed sheriff's posse were able to assemble (Taibbi Shellenberger et al.), and were given a big boost by Elon. It makes me think of the early days of the FBI vs John Dillinger: yeah, they stopped one bank job, but how many more plans are in the works? (Also, that poor hideous Singing Censor woman is an emetic in human form.)
Most of my friends are in the Blue Bubble and they've never heard of the Twitter Files (their outlets don't mention them), and there is literally almost nothing that could penetrate their certitude: politics to them means defeating and erasing the hated Deplorables, nothing more, nothing less.
It makes sense that our ideological junkies are in rehab now that it's early 2023, they need to regain some sanity and credibility, but we're about 18 mos out from "the most important election of our lifetimes!" with "democracy on the ballot!" and "literal fascism!": all these ghouls will be unleashed by then and ready to lie, cheat & steal to "protect democracy" aka make sure we all do as we're told.
"It is beginning to dawn on sane, tolerant people everywhere that there are more of us than there are of them, and this still matters in a democracy."
Yeah. It'll be interesting when their bubble bursts and they realize most people don't see them as the heroes and experts they think they are.
Unherd released a study showing that only 30% of Brits thought the lockdowns were a bad idea. Dr. Vinay Prasad believes that number will rise significantly over the next few years. I hope he is right. I doubt he is. The effectiveness of getting people to turn on one another and blame each other was breathtaking. Even today, rather than blaming BirxBidenTrumpFauciWallenskyPfizerModerna, there are people still clinging to the idea that 'the science changed' instead of realizing they got conned by parasitic, dishonest, integrity-free political and public health leaders who even today continue to lie, cover up, distract and point at any other 'evildoer'.... anyone other than themselves.
Until 40-50% of we the people pull our heads out, this will continue. It's still happening now. See Ukraine, East Palestine, SVB, Nordstream2, the demonization of Tick Tock to benefit entrenched social media companies, the deliberate destruction of Crypto and on and on and on.
"...without lots of sweeteners wouldn’t go well..."
Careful, this will just encourage Jankowicz to sing "Just a Spoonful of Sugar makes the Orwell go down, the Orwell go down..."
I’m willing to try being hopeful
I have been saying for the last 6 years, only the liberals can save us from the progressives. Unfortunately, most liberals are largely weak and sheep-like and decided to endure any level of tyranny from the far left vs. being called a racist, homophobe, transphobe or god forbid - MAGA! Thank god there were a few old school liberals like you, Walter and Elon, who all refused to take the knee. Because of this small group if courageous liberals, others are slowly coming out of their bunker, now that it seems possibly safe. While I agree with you that we may have turned the corner, the gutless liberals who enabled this tyranny for the past 6 years need to be called out and shamed for the pussies they are.
Bravo Matt! You have never been more eloquent in defense of human rights!
Great essay, Matt! I appreciate that you called out the growing realization that apologies are not the proper response to the vocal minority's attempts to cancel and shame. It doesn't fix anything because it's not what they are seeking, and it builds resolve within the ideologies that are threatening to tear this society apart.
By the way, Jan-6 was a constitutionally-protected protest and yet the protesters are being sent to prison... by a tiny minority of horrible people fully supported by a percentage of the general population that are absolutely sure they are not horrible people by being gleeful that these protestors are being sent to prison.
How do I know the 1st Amendment is doomed? Because when the government's role in censorship was uncovered and made public, the left cheered and said good, it's as it should be; because when Biden announced his Ministry of Truth, the left cheered and said good, it's as it should be.
If ours is a government that derives its authority from the consent of the governed, the governed have sent a resounding clarion of approval for repealing the 1st Amendment.
They've already trashed the legal foundation of innocent until proven guilty in the name of the #metoo crowd. Was it really such a stretch to use the foundation of harping innuendo and tantrums to destroy freedom of expression? The strategy was sound; the reach just right, and the worm will make its way through the Bill of Rights eating away at one right after another.
We were warned repeatedly before the Patriot Act was rammed through, that “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety”. And here we are some 2 decades later with a decimated Bill of Rights hanging on by the thinnest of threads, and a more dangerous world than ever before.
Devastating takedown paired with principled hope. A masterpiece of an article for the times. Matt, beautiful and inspiring work. Good luck.
I'm waiting for the Sy Hersh insider scoop on 9/11. Like how Building 7 fell at free fall rate, because of a fire in the basement. Until that sunlight shines through, we will continue to have these bacteria crawling all over everything.
Write in Assange for President!
He looked the Beast in the eye and didn't blink.
I hope you're right, and a corner's being turned. I hope there's enough quality left in your country that that can be true.