The Personal Website of Mark W. Dawson
Despotism in America has been growing throughout the 20th century and has accelerated dramatically in the 21st century. Despotism is defined by dominance through the threat of punishment and violence. It is the nature of governments to accrue more powers over their citizens, but it has been the nature of Americans to resist this governmental accruement to preserve our "Natural, Human, and Civil Rights". This has been a unique feature of America – Freedoms, and Liberties for the individual. Or, as President Lincoln spoke at Gettysburg, “…government of the people, by the people, for the people”. In our past, our wariness of despotism has been of governmental actions. Today, however, it is non-governmental actions that are an assault on the Liberties and Freedoms of individuals. The Despotic Actions by persons, groups of people, and other entities are the current threats of Despotism in America.
As I have written in the “Terminology” webpage; the actions of the Mainstream Cultural Media, Mainstream Media, Modern Big Business, and Social Media, and the Political Correctness, Virtue Signaling, Cancel Culture, Wokeness, Identity Politics, and Greater Good versus the Common Good, are the actions of despotic persons. For the purposes of this article, these actions will be referred to as ‘Despotic Actions’. These Despotic Actions are an assault upon our Liberties and Freedoms as defined below.
I often distinguish between Liberty and Freedom, as they are different. The difference can be encapsulated as:
“Liberty is to choose the what and
how in exercising your Natural Rights, while Freedom is the
absence of repression before, during, or after exercising your
- Mark Dawson
Liberty and Freedom are not absolutes, as one person’s Liberty and Freedom ends where another’s Liberty and Freedom begins. While some curtailment of Liberty and Freedom is necessary for a just and orderly society, however, any curtailment must be narrow in scope and necessary and proper to assure the Natural Rights of all.
An example of necessary and proper is the Freedom of Speech. We are all free to speak our minds as a Natural Right, but we are not free to advocate violence or destruction against another person or their property. But this Freedom of Speech constriction must be limited to the direct words, and not indirect interpretations of what a person meant by their words, for if you utilize indirect interpretations, they become subjective of the reader's or listener's interpretation and not objective of the writer's or speaker's intent. A subjective interpretation that is fraught with possible misinterpretation that should not be utilized to condemn or prosecute the writers or speakers, as this would be a violation of their Natural Right of Free Speech. We must remember that there is no Free Speech unless there is Free Speech for all.
The same holds true for peaceable assemblies. A few people in an assembly that become unruly or violent should be prosecuted for their actions, but the many who were peaceable should not be condemned nor prosecuted by the actions of a few. However, the members of the peaceable assembly where violence occurs have a moral responsibility to try to quell the violence and assist law enforcement in identifying those people who were violent so that they can be prosecuted for their actions. To demonize the many for the actions of a few is also a violation of their Natural Right of Peaceable Assembly.
Religious Freedom is essential, as religion provides morality and ethics that guide our life. This Freedom of Religion is not limited to our private lives but extends to our public lives and our economic activities. If it does not extend to our public lives and our economic activities, then we need to have a legal or philosophical basis for our actions. As it is not possible to know all the law and “The Law is Not All”, nor is it possible to understand the philosophical basis without extensive education or knowledge of philosophy, as well as philosophy never providing definitive answers, it is not possible for us to guide our words and deeds without religious beliefs. And this guidance is required in our private lives, public lives, and our economic activities to have a peaceful and just society. In this I am reminded of the warning of President John Adams at the start of our constitutional republic:
“Because we have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”
The Natural Right to Keep and Bear Arms is the right to protect yourself, your family, and your society from violent acts that may be perpetrated against them. Whether these violent acts be from an individual, a group, or a government, you have the Natural Right to protect yourself against these violent acts. You also have the Natural Right to protect yourself from encroachments to your Natural Rights from individuals, groups, or government. And you have the Natural Right to arm yourself with sufficient and enough weaponry to protect yourself, and your family, and your society. And it is your right, and nobody’s else right, including a government, to determine what types and amounts of weaponry are necessary to protect your Natural Rights. Therefore, the second amendment to the Constitution has nothing to do with hunting and fishing but everything to do with protecting your Natural Rights.
Those of us who would constrict the Natural Rights of Freedom of Speech, Peaceable Assembly, Religion, and Firearms, along with other Natural Rights, are not interested in the Liberty and Freedom of a person and, indeed, are more concerned about the control of a person. A control that results in subservient or subjugated people. The hubris of a person that believes that they can direct or control a free people is astounding. Only a subjugated or subservient people can be directed or controlled.
You should also remember that you have no Natural Right not to be offended by someone, but you do have the Natural Right not to be harmed by another. Therefore, we should all be cognizant of our Natural Rights, exercise them appropriately, and defend the Liberties and Freedoms of all persons.
Despotism in America starts with the Tyranny of the Mind, which allows despotic people to impose Despotic Actions.
Having watched the movie and television miniseries of John Steinbeck’s book ‘East of Eden’. I decided to read the book, as a book often is greater than a film or a television adaptation. This book is primarily about good and evil, but it explores tangential issues as well, as I have Chirped on, “03/02/21 Timshel - Man's Ability to Choose Between Good and Evil”. Another tangential issue in the book is the following passage:
“At such a time it seems natural and good to me to ask myself these questions. What do I believe in? What must I fight for and what must I fight against?
Our species is the only creative species, and it has only one creative instrument, the individual mind and spirit of man. Nothing was ever created by two men. There are no good collaborations, whether in music, in art, in poetry, in mathematics, in philosophy. Once the miracle of creation has taken place, the group can build and extend it, but the group never invents anything. The preciousness lies in the lonely mind of a man.
And now the forces marshaled around the concept of the group have declared a war of extermination on that preciousness, the mind of man. By disparagement, by starvation, by repressions, forced direction, and the stunning hammer blows of conditioning, the free, roving mind is being pursued, roped, blunted, drugged. It is a sad suicidal course our species seems to have taken.
And this I believe: that the free,
exploring mind of the individual human is the most valuable thing
in the world. And this I would fight for: the Freedom of the mind
to take any direction it wishes, undirected. And this I must fight
against: any idea, religion, or government which limits or
destroys the individual. This is what I am and what I am about. I
can understand why a system built on a pattern must try to destroy
the free mind, for this is one thing which can by inspection
destroy such a system. Surely I can understand this, and I hate it
and I will fight against it to preserve the one thing that
separates us from the uncreative beasts. If the glory can be
killed, we are lost."
- John Steinbeck, East of Eden, Chapter 13
Having read this passage, I paused and cogitated on this subject and then began to reflect on how it applies to modern American society. Despotic Actions are an assault on the individual, and “I must fight against: any idea, religion, or government which limits or destroys the individual”. As such, Despotic Actions are a tyranny on “the freedom of the mind to take any direction it wishes, undirected.” Therefore, all Americans need to resist and oppose these actions as they are antithetical to American ideals of “Freedoms, Liberties, Equalities, and Equal Justice for All”. Such opposition is difficult and may come at a personal expense, as these forces will do whatever is necessary to crush their opponents. But opposition is necessary to preserve our American ideals. Let those who are, or would, oppose these actions remember the following quote about true patriotism:
“THESE are the times that try men's
souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this
crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that
stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.
Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this
consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more
glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too
lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value.
Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it
would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as FREEDOM
should not be highly rated.”
- Thomas Paine - The Crisis
Let all true patriots of America stand up and oppose this tyranny of the mind and banish it from our country. To not do so is to become a subservient or subjugated people and end the experiment of our American ideals.
In today’s America, we have begun to self-censure our words and deeds to ensure that we will not become the target of Despotic Actions for expressing contrary speech and actions to the policy positions and ideology of these despots. We have become so alarmed and inured by these possible retributions that we self-censure ourselves to avoid these retributions. Consequently, we have submitted to despotism - The Despotism of Self-Censorship.
This Despotism of Self-Censorship is oppressive to the mind and spirit of Americans. It is a constriction on our words and a constriction on our actions, which translates to a constriction on our Liberties and Freedoms. America has always been a land of actions, actions by individuals to improve themselves, provide for their families, and improve their communities. The Despotism of Self-Censorship limits our actions, which limits the growth of America. Not only economic growth, but the growth of our American ideals of “Freedoms, Liberties, Equalities, and Equal Justice for All”. And this all begins with the limitation of our Freedom of Speech by self-censorship, for, as it has been said:
“Liberty is meaningless where the
right to utter one's thoughts and opinions has ceased to exist."
- Frederick Douglass
Therefore, Free Speech is essential to Liberties and Freedoms, and there can be no Free Speech when you have the Despotism of Self-Censorship.
Another means of imposing despotism upon the American people is by threats of finding themselves in Legal Jeopardy and/or Financial Ruin. Threats of lawsuits and the lodging of lawsuits, or threats of harming your business or employment, are utilized to keep you in line. And these threats are a result of Despotic Actions.
In public, if you disagree with the above, you are one, some, or all of the following -- sexist, intolerant, xenophobic, homophobic, Islamophobic, racist, bigoted. At your workplace, you can be charged with inflicting emotional distress, practicing workplace intimidation, engaging in sexual harassment, and a variety of other offenses, then be dismissed from your job with little opportunity to defend your speech or actions. If you are the owner of a business, your business can be targeted with boycotts. All these actions could result in your being put in Legal Jeopardy and/or Financial Ruin.
Most Americans would rather acquiesce than challenge these actions, as it is emotionally distressing and a financial burden to challenge these actions. This despotism is another form of tyranny upon the American people. Liberty and Freedom can not only be crushed by unjust or Unconstitutional laws and malicious prosecutions but by the threats of frivolous lawsuits and potential economic harms if you should contravene the above prevailing social constructs. Let all who believe in our American ideals of Freedom and Liberty stand up and oppose this despotism of Legal Jeopardy and Financial Ruin and banish it from our country.
We must, therefore, rise above our acquiescence to combat these actions, or we will forfeit our Freedoms and Liberties. Let those who would threaten lawsuits or financial ruin for exercising our Free Speech Rights be banished from our society. To not do so is to become a subservient or subjugated people and end the experiment of our American ideals of “Freedoms, Liberties, Equalities, and Equal Justice for All”.
To be ruled by regulation and Executive Orders is to be ruled by despotism. When Executive orders are not about enforcing the law but extending or ignoring the law, when regulations are contorted to become more than the law intended and subject to the predilections of the regulators, and when laws are written and passed that allows for these actions, we are not a Republic of the Citizens but a Tyranny by the Bureaucrats.
All of these actions are an attempt to disguise the purposes of this rule by regulation by hiding under cover of obtuse language and stolid bureaucratic procedures to impose this tyranny. And all of this occurs with the tacit approval of the Legislative, Executive, and Judicial branches of government. Politicians do this so that they can obscure their intentions as not to be accountable to their voters and thus potentially lose votes, and bureaucrats do this to extend their fiefdoms and budgets, thus obtaining more power.
The fondness of the Biden administration for rule by regulation is hardly a secret by now, but this fondness has also been a characteristic of the Obama administration and somewhat of the Trump administration. However, the Biden administration is carrying this fondness to the extreme to obtain his political agenda. Congress, with both branches controlled by Democrats, have encouraged and abetted this fondness by not asserting their prerogative of lawmaking and turning a blind eye to this rule by regulation and Executive Orders to achieve their political goals. Modern Journalism has also contributed to this problem by not exposing this power grab by politicians and bureaucrats and, indeed, has been supportive of these political goals regardless of the means to achieve these goals.
And all of this must come to an end if we are to retain and maintain our “Freedoms, Liberties, Equalities, and Equal Justice for All”, for to impose Rule by Regulation and Executive Orders these noble goals cannot be achieved. If we continue to vote for politicians that allow this Rule by Regulation and Executive Orders, and if we give more power to bureaucrats to engage in this Rule by Regulation, then we are becoming a subservient or subjugated people.
Today’s dictators in America are not by government officials, although the Democrat leadership is in a rush to become dictatorial, but by our cultural leaders. As Salena Zito has written about her and her family’s experience in dictatorial Hungary:
“Many intellectuals in the U.S. frequently toss around the word "dictatorship" or "dictator" about political parties they don't like, and with such abandon, it is now deemed normal in some circles to use the terms without irony, primarily when referring to the Republican Party.
In their zeal to dismantle conservatism, they miss the true dictator in our country. They are our cultural curators. The corporations, much of the media, the entertainment industry, major league sports organizations, academia and Silicon Valley all demand that we fall in line with how they think. They want to approve of how we speak, what books we read, what movies we watch, what words we use, who we support politically, how we educate our children and what parts of history are acceptable to teach.”
In today's America, this is done by coercion and suppression by Despotic Actions. This constant harassment and haranguing by these forces are emotionally depressive and oppressive to our spirit. By acquiescing to these forces by remaining silent, not only are we self-suppressing our Natural Rights of Freedom of Speech, Peaceable Assembly, Religion, and Firearms, but we are enabling these forces to make us a subservient or subjugated people subject to the dictates of societal norms and governmental authority.
We must, therefore, rise above our silence or stupor to combat these forces to remain a people dedicated to Freedom and Liberty. Let the True Dictators be banished from our society, and "Proclaim Liberty Throughout All the Land Unto All the Inhabitants thereof".
I have often utilized the term ‘a subservient or subjugated people’ without examining its meaning. Most of us think of subservience or subjugation as occurring through the force of arms that imposes an Authoritarian, Autocratic, Dictatorial, Monarchic, or Tyrannical government upon a people. While this is true, it is not the only way to become A Subservient or Subjugated People. Another way is to start with a little rulership that slowly morphs into greater rulership that then morphs into Authoritarian, Autocratic, Dictatorial, Monarchic, or Tyrannical government upon a people.
This morphing often occurred by the people acquiescing to this morphing because they believed it was in their best interest and for the greater good of the people. In America, the twentieth century saw this slow morphing into greater morphing and now threatens to become Authoritarian. The symptoms of this are the Despotic Actions required for the implementation of authoritarianism to be accomplished. Therefore, it is extremely important that we resist and oppose this despotism as they are antithetical to American ideals of “Freedoms, Liberties, Equalities, and Equal Justice for All”.
These Despotic Actions are done by people that believe that they are more intelligent, better educated, and morally superior; they, therefore, believe that they are, of course, always correct. Those that oppose them, therefore, must lack intelligence and education and must be morally inferior (and sometimes evil). Those that reserve the determination of the quality of intelligence and education and moral righteousness to themselves or like-minded persons are themselves immoral, as they are intolerant of anything other than their own convictions.
With the inauguration of President Biden and the control of Congress by the Democrats, this despotism is starting to become enacted by law. The extensive Executive Actions by President Biden, many of which are contrary to American law and Constitutional protections, and the ‘For the People Act of 2021’, the ‘American Rescue Plan Act of 2021‘, and the ‘Equality Act of 2021’ are an acceleration and imposition of Despotism in America by governmental actions.
These Despotic Actions in America must come to an end if we are to retain our ideals of “Freedoms, Liberties, Equalities, and Equal Justice for All”. If you believe in Freedom and Liberty, then you can never acquiesce, or you will become subjugated or subservient. Americans must recognize this despotism and arise to defeat this despotism. For if we do not act, then we have lost our American ideals.