We here at The Price of Liberty, and indeed most people in North America (even Mexico) do not have a gut understanding of what the price of liberty actually can be – actually has been. But even more, we do not understand the price of silence – the nigh-absolute silence imposed by totalitarian tyranny on every member of society – even the very top echelons of their government and other institutions.
Perhaps we can get something of a feel for that price by listening to (and watching) a recent video interview of Dr. Jordan Peterson of a lovely young lady who is an escaped “enemy of the state” from the People’s Democratic Republic of Korea – North Korea. Her tale is both encouraging and enlightening, and terrifying.
But are we willing to learn from her tale – and the story which was part of her personal pathway to liberty? That among other things, silence is the ally of tyranny, and that the price of silence is staggering and often measured in part by blood and tears?
The better we can understand and price of that silence imposed by tyrants, the more prepared and motivated we are to resist that tyranny. Not just resist, but actively work to identify, isolate, and ELIMINATE the tyranny long before it asserts even limited power over the people of a farm, a town, a county, a state or province, or a nation-state.
If there is silence, enforced or voluntary, that does not happen.
Thomas Jefferson wrote: “A well informed citizenry is the best defense against tyranny.”
How well informed? The more we can recognize even the “small-change” cost of tyranny and its elements? The more we can anticipate the small thefts of our freedoms of our liberty? The better we can respond and prepare to respond. Most libertarians know the parable of the wild pigs – or alternatively the boiling of a frog. That CAN be avoided if we recognize the signs. And IF we point it out and listen to those who see it. If we are observant. If we are NOT silent.
But do we? Worse to ask and realize, have we? I fear not.
Again, Jefferson wrote: “The time to guard against corruption and tyranny is before they shall have gotten hold of us. It is better to keep the wolf out of the fold, than to trust to drawing his teeth and talons after he shall have entered.”
It is clear that just as in North Korea, as in Russia and Spain and Germany and Italy and then China, we here in the States have invited the wolf into the fold. And silence was and is a large part of that process. “I did not speak up” when they came for everyone else – and there was no one left to hear when they came for me. For so many people, so many nations, they were silent until too late.
But today, in the States and around the world, it is not, I offer, too late. We can, we must, shatter the silence. Yes, it is harder and more dangerous and risky to deal with the wolf inside our fold than outside. But it CAN be done.
If we learn from the likes of this young woman’s experience, if we listen to people like Peterson. And so many others. And if we are not silent!
And if we have the courage not just to listen but to act. Not just act to but to speak out. To refuse to be silent, and refuse to let those people who know and have suffered – and those who have won out over tyranny – to be silent. Or worse, allow them to be silenced.
My choice, your choice.