It is en vogue, in certain circles, to decry Federal overreach, the Deep State, and corruption. The current newscycle is full of diversionary crap from Gun Regulation, to the Muller investigation, to cops who can’t be counted on to deter crime. There is no shortage of low hanging fruit-type examples. But, change is incremental at best and non-existent at worst. So… with all the outcry and easy examples to draw from, why is there no “revolution”?
It is popular to opine that “humans are creatures of habit”. And, while that’s true, it bears unboxing that statement a bit to understand why things are as upside-down as they are.
I think it is more correct to say that humans are creatures are prone to take the path of least resistance. Which is to say, people are lazy. Let’s take income tax as a prime example:
The income tax was instituted, permanently, during WWI by the Wilson Administration. At the time, the public was assured that it was temporary and would never exceed 1% of an individual’s income. Of course, in prime .gov fashion, that was an intentional lie.
Over time, and understanding that human nature would not support the voluntary “giving away” of one’s hard earned cash, it was deemed necessary to create a Law Enforcement agency (Internal Revenue Service) to ensure that folks complied. “Complied”. Tuck that term away for a bit. We’ll come back to it.
Additionally, as the percentage that the Feds wanted from each individual grew, the likelihood of individuals continuing to pony up decreased. So… in addition to the IRS, the Gov’t created the Social Security Administration, ostensibly to create a Ponzi scheme to provide retirement monies to the elderly. Then, by the 1970s, a Social Security Number was being requested on job applications. That’s right, the Feds pressed employers, via regulation, into service as defacto tax collectors. Income tax and FICA were now being collected via employers as the price one had to pay in order to earn a living. Nifty, yes?
So, in predictable human fashion, the people complied. “We” complied as a result of coercion but, we complied nonetheless. “We” felt it was better to make something than to make nothing. And, the system had made it so cumbersome to get around it that our liberty was simply made inconvenient. The path of least resistance was to “go along” and continue to make enough to survive even though we were being robbed blind in the process.
Now… apply that “fable” to other issues of our time. For instance, Gun Control.
All the media sockpuppets are up in arms, on one side or the other, about gun prohibition. The one side is in favor of .gov rounding them up and incarcerating the noncompliant. The other side vehemently states that gun prohibition is unconstitutional and will spark the next revolution/civil war. The reality is, neither is correct. They are simply foaming at the mouth for the purposes of drama-based ratings.
Enforcement never happens. Coercion is applied and compliance occurs. Because… path of least resistance. Enforcement doesn’t occur because, to enforce is an active sort of thing. And it requires willing human resources. Bear in mind, enforcement is the job of cops. And, bear also in mind, most cops are fat.
Coercion, on the other hand, is performed through delegation and regulation. All that’s needed is a regulatory environment that makes noncompliance uncomfortable enough to encourage otherwise liberty-minded folks toward the path of least resistance.
And, in the end, that’s why substantive, liberty-focused change will never occur for the masses. Individuals, maybe. We are sheep by nature. Blissfully grazing. Blinders on. Enjoying our panem et circenses while the Republic burns around us. All the while, averting our eyes from or, outright decrying the troublemakers who dare to point out the error of our social, sheep-ish ways. Munch, munch, munch… pay no attention to the boxcar we were just herded into.
They aren’t “coming” for your guns or other liberties. At least not in the sense that someone will stop by your house. That sort of thing is messy. And, humans have no stomach for “messy”. If the Broward County Sheriff’s Office had no stomach for confronting an armed, untrained youth… odds are, they aren’t looking for a face-off with those of us are bit more… uh… belligerent.
.gov had it’s first lesson in this with Washington’s suppression of Shay’s Rebellion. And was reminded again with the Moonshiners and Bootleggers of prohibition.
As I said, enforcement is a numbers game the Feds can’t win. And they know it. Enforcement types are typically low-IQ and prone to the same human foibles (laziness) as the rest of us. The smart money is in the long game of coercion. Choose your pet activism and apply that principle to it.
Change causes friction. Friction causes discomfort. No one enjoys discomfort.
It’s about the difficulty of overcoming inertia and of building momentum. O’Sullivan’s First Law, the Overton Window, et al.
Cops are fat.