The events of the last five months have given rise to a new class of Americans. An awakening of a characteristic that was already present, much like a sleeper cell being activated by a late-night phone call.
Welcome to the world of the American micro-tyrant.
In late July, on a beautiful sunny afternoon, Ash O’Brien and her husband, Jarrett Kelley, were minding their own business eating lunch alone at a picnic table in a San Diego dog park. Having not yet mastered the art of pushing food through a mask, they sat with nobody around enjoying lunch with masks off.
That’s when an older lady came over to their table, hurled insults at them for not conforming to Big Brother’s mask mandate and proceeded to empty a can of mace into the husband’s face. It’s not clear whether she was wearing a brown shirt or an arm band, but, regardless of attire, she had acted as a member of the people’s citizen police force.
Back in May, a video went viral showing shoppers chasing a woman out of a Shop-Rite store in Staten Island, New York, for not wearing a mask. Wanna-be actress Alyssa Milano posted on Twitter, “Never been prouder of growing up in Staten Island.” Apparently, nothing about that borough’s rich cultural history can compare to seeing citizens turn on one another in support of the “general will.”
Across the country the stories abound of citizen turning on citizen in order to administer the “state’s” effort to micromanage human behavior and force conformity. However, it is difficult for a monolithic state to be everywhere all the time. The state, by its very definition, is “macro” in nature.
That is why, when it comes to tyranny, a necessary component is micro-tyranny. Tyranny it turns out, is a team sport.
What we are seeing at work in America is the impact that fear has on human behavior when it is coupled with empowering citizens to act as agents of the state. We are also seeing the emergence of a sort of sociopathic behavior where under the guise of having “public conscience,” people are showing they have no actual personal conscience, like the mace-armed woman in San Diego.
This behavior of micro-tyrants is being fueled and manipulated by the macro-tyrants — the governors and mayors across America who have seen the COVID-19 virus as an opportunity to put their boot on the throats of citizens and start to manage every aspect of their daily lives.
It has been further fueled by the riots that have come in the wake of George Floyd’s death, which has been used as a pretext to legitimize the spreading of chaos throughout American cities. That sense of chaos created by the riots, coupled with the fear they generate, multiplied by the fear of the virus, will make people demand strict government control so they can feel protected.
Here is an example of how the process of macro-tyrants creating micro-tyrants actually works. On Aug. 6, Los Angeles’ very fascist Mayor Eric Garcetti issued an order that homes where large parties are held which violate social distance guidelines will be subject to having their water supply shut off by the city.
Water is tied with oxygen as the most vital element needed to preserve human life. Here is the mayor of the nation’s second-largest city telling people he will take that away from you if you violate his edict. To know that such action will be taken by government is frightening to almost any citizen. But thanks to the macro-tyrants and witless robots in the media, they are already more afraid of the coronavirus and “systemic oppression” than the man with the suit on.
They quickly make the connection: “If we give the man what he wants, we can get back to the way the world was before the chaos and the riots and the plague. I better help!” Remember in Los Angeles, snitches get rewards.
Earlier during the lockdown, a friend in a posh Chicago suburb told me a local beat cop said that more than 90% of the calls coming into the station were neighbor turning in neighbor. That’s the kind of team spirit needed to make a dictatorship really take off.
While the politicians foster this through the use of heightening fear, there is also another element at work. One that is even more sinister.
Creating an environment that encourages miniature despots suddenly allows the person who might be the gate attendant, or the checkout girl, or the barista (I recently was scolded for pulling down my mask while buying coffee so I could use the facial recognition on Apple Pay) to become self-important, and drunk on the power. A toxic combination of fear, chaos and control helps condition the sociopath in everyday citizens. Suddenly, that underappreciated worker becomes the applauded servant of the state.
When people think of the Soviet gulags, they think of the tyrant Joseph Stalin ordering dissenting citizens to be put on trains and sent away to prison camps. What they tend to overlook is that it took hundreds of micro-tyrants to put those people on the trains.
The choice is clear. To stop our slide into tyranny we are going to have to stand up and fight back. Micro-acts of tyranny must be met with micro-acts of patriotism, bravery and decency. These individual choices, being made by 333 million individuals as I type, will determine if we are to remain a constitutional republic or the next failed communist experiment.
• Charlie Kirk is the author of “The MAGA Doctrine: The Only Ideas That Will Win the Future” and host of “The Charlie Kirk Show.”
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