“Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains.” — Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Think about that for a second.
In the twenty-first century — with all our human rights, technological advances, scientific breakthroughs, and philosophical machinations — there is an elite British family that still plays dress-up and thinks they own a significant percentage of all the dry and damp land on planet Earth.
And 62% of their nation believes them.
Talk about mass insanity.
Imagine the amount of media control one would need to muster in order to maintain such a collective delusion.
After all their centuries under serfdom, maybe the British masses just understand history better than we do in the New World.
Maybe they understand that humans aren’t naturally free.
Normally, we’re just slaves.
Democracy under siege
Democracy has been in decline for fifteen straight years.
Anti-human corporatism and ideological fundamentalism continue to tear down the human rights and freedoms so hard-won by the sacrifice of tens of millions of lives in World War II.
The elites should be ashamed of themselves.
(So should their mothers.)
Instead of seeking widest-spread wellbeing for our global family and our host planet, private interests grapple for unchecked power in order to advance their anti-commons agendas.
But of course, using the word “democracy” to describe varying degrees of oligarchy and corporatocracy doesn’t do the word justice. America, nor ancient Athens, nor the United Kingdom, nor any other nation on earth, has ever been a democracy, not for one minute. The elites would never allow a real democracy to last for long.
But maybe we don’t need to worry about the inevitable disappearance of democracy. Maybe it’s our fate.
After all, we’ve been here before.
The first civilizations in Sumer, Egypt, and the Indus Valley were ruled by priest-kings and rife with slavery and subjugation.
Africa was ruled by pharaohs and tribal chieftains, the eastern dynasties have been ruled by hyper-violent warlords from 2070 BC to this very day, and France and Britain have been dominated by outrageously abusive monarchs for most of their histories.
Some people will argue this wasn’t the case during our hunter-gatherer days, but it’s quite clear that humans have always had a tendency to lord our might, strength, and advantages over others. If you don’t believe tyranny can’t exist in a society as small as two, you’ve obviously never seen two children play in a sandbox, or known a woman with an abusive spouse.
All of human history is a story of dictators, tyrants, warlords, priests, popes, kings, queens, emperors, caesars, czars, tsars, autocrats, führers, duces, chairmen, rajas, khans, sultans, shahs, pharaohs, witch doctors, chiefs, bullies, and abusers, all practicing their own form of authoritarianism or totalitarianism.
We just got lucky.
There is nothing new under the sun
Freedom, of course, is a sliding scale. When choice and control erode, there comes a point where people are pushed over the Rubicon from free to not free. We’re currently crossing over.
Last night on our star-saunter, my wife and I passed a delivery driver who works for an Amazon affiliate. He was deep in the bowels of his van, desperately searching in the 9PM dark for a package to deliver to one of the dozens of Airbnbs that pock our neighborhood like skin cancer. It was late, and freezing cold, and we felt sick to our stomachs.
Because we know this man.
He’s mentally challenged and physically handicapped, earns minimum wage in a costly area plagued with land-lorders and Airbnbs and no other jobs available, his car is constantly in the shop for repairs, and he works like a dog from sunup to nearly midnight and will continue to do so until Amazon automates his job and he dies homeless.
How is this man not a slave by another name?
He will never be free.
It’s the same for tens of millions of Americans that have been permanently left behind.
It’s the same for the two billion people who will move into slums in our lifetime.
Mean reversion: A theory that suggests that prices eventually revert to the long-run average level of the entire dataset.
What if we aren’t currently witnessing a loss of freedom?
What if this is just a reversion to the mean?
We’ve had 6,500 years of documented subjugation and oppression for the masses, blended with a few centuries of moderate freedom for a tiny subset of the Western population.
And now we’re reverting back to the long-term average.
Think about all the macroeconomic factors that are currently coalescing to strip your freedom, rob your wealth, and destroy your future:
Average house prices skyrocketing to $10 million.
The end of ownership, leading to subscription serfdom.
Job automation leading to economic irrelevance for billions.
Democracy in irreversible decline.
The cost of living soaring as real inflation devours purchasing power.
Runaway environmental destruction, species collapse, and soil extinction.
Corporatization taking over governments and their judiciaries.
Clearly, freedom and democracy’s best days are in the past.
And if we can’t protect it, maybe we don’t deserve it.
Maybe that Brit biologist Darwin was right.
Maybe this is a dog-eat-dog, survival-of-the-fittest, winner-take-all, losers-can-go-die-quietly world in which most of us were born to be subjects, servants, serfs, and slaves.
After all, fewer than a fifth of all people on planet Earth live in a nation that is considered fully free, and this is the best it’s ever been.
Sadly, that freedom is diminishing everywhere and I honestly don’t see how things will ever turn around without a widespread revival.
The United Kingdom, for its part, never gave up on aristocratic rule. Sure, it temporarily put on the sheen of democracy, but a quick leaf through the House of Commons and the House of Lords reveals a tight-knit club of kissing cousins who all went to Eton and Oxford and call each other by made-up titles like Duke, Earl, Viscount, Baron, Knight, and Lord.
It’s adorable, but frightening. After all…
Less than 1% of Brits own half the country’s landmass.
Just six families own all of central London.
The monarchy believes it owns the British Parliament itself.
Meanwhile, tens of millions of hard-laboring contributors work themselves to the bone to pay heavy taxes and astronomical rents just to keep the extractive elites afloat.
And, despite the fact that the monarchy is little more than a 7,936-property land-lording operation made wealthy through ten centuries of bloodshed, war, slavery, and genocide, British taxpayers are still forced to support the lecherous institution to the tune of $109 million per year.
At least the British public knows they’re getting screwed: According to a new poll released last week, just 5% of voters said British politicians were in office for the welfare of their country.
And do you know what?
Those 5% are wrong.
It’s every man for himself now.
(And if you don’t like it, then it’s time for you to make a radical change.)