“TEOTWAWKI is Coming!”…Really?
I once suggested here that I am not a believer in some conspiracy to destroy the freedoms Americans enjoy. That hasn’t changed. I don’t see conspiracies as being generally believable. You could argue that’s part of what makes for a successful conspiracy, I suppose, but far too often that sort of logic degenerates into a sort of “everything that might cast doubt on the existence of the conspiracy is proof of the conspiracy” type of argument. I ran into that last year on a social media platform that shall remain nameless. The other party had been a “real life” friend of my wife, years ago. Then, she wanted to “friend” both of us on social media. “Sure” I thought. “Why not?” I’ll tell you why not. Because she is a wide eyed lunatic! I made the mistake of countering her assertion that contrails seldom form and that they always dissipate quickly by noting that we have photographic records of contrails dating back to the early 1900s. The argument shifted, then, to discussions of “X” shaped or crossing contrails as proof they could only be “chemtrails.” My suggestion that the sheer volume of air traffic in 21st century America virtually guarantees such things was not well received. Ultimately, everything I said was proof of the conspiracy and ultimately, my complicity (Huh…who knew?). As it turns out, I’m also complicit in denying the truth of targeted mind control techniques that are used on both individuals and groups. Anyway, the point isn’t to attack her. It’s to point out how quickly such logic can, if opposed, turn into something truly odd.
Are our freedoms at stake? I believe they absolutely are. I just don’t buy into the whole conspiracy thing, for a couple of reasons. First, once one goes down that road, there seems to be no end to the conspiracies. Everything and everyone becomes suspect, if one is to be consistent. I refuse to live that way. The seemingly overwhelming fear, suspicion and anger I see on the part of some is truly disturbing. Second, it just doesn’t make sense. The seven Watergate conspirators were unable to keep a secret and I’m supposed to believe in a widespread conspiracy with far more conspirators that spans generations, crosses continents and transcends nationality? I don’t think so. Third, especially when we get into the idea of “targeted individuals” and mind control, it makes no sense that if such a thing were possible that there would even be any discussion of it. We’d simply be “mind controlled” into believing otherwise. If there is no conspiracy, then why do I believe our freedoms are at stake?
History suggests, I believe, that governments always seek to increase their power and control and give up power and control over their citizens slowly and reluctantly. This is easily seen in totalitarian regimes, like North Korea. It’s somewhat more subtle in countries with a strong democratic or republican tradition (think about how long it has taken to go from freedom of speech to “free speech zones”). It doesn’t really matter whether it is benign or nefarious, the results are the same. This tendency of governments to increase their power over citizens goes a long way towards explaining why our freedoms are at risk, without requiring us to embrace theories that see both enemies and conspiracies behind every bush.
Rivers are interesting things. The Pigeon River begins in North Carolina. Eventually, it flows into the French Broad River, which flows into the Tennessee River, which flows into the Ohio River, which finally flows into the Mississippi River. Each of these has some rather obvious things in common with each other and with other rivers. For instance, they contain water and flow downhill. At each confluence or convergence of rivers, the resulting or receiving river is larger and carries more water. It occurs naturally. I’m unaware of any confluence of rivers that results in a smaller river with less volume. I think it’s this way with governments, businesses, other organizations and people. We tend to both seek out and attract those with whom we have things in common, including common interests, beliefs and goals. The result is often a group or organization that has far more influence and power than any of us might have alone. If we go so far as to say “hey, we should all do ‘x’ and push for ‘y’” the results can be even greater influence and power. When an HOA is comprised largely of people who, perhaps, dislike pickup trucks, the decision that pickups are not to be parked in the driveway doesn’t have to be based on a desire to deprive others of their rights. It can just sort of work out that way, especially if the HOA is comprised of people who think they know what’s best.
That’s the way I generally see it with the US government. It’s comprised of a lot of people, many of whom believe they know what is best for its citizens. Once I become convinced I know what is best for you and others, it’s very tempting to try to bring that about, especially if I have any power or access to those with power. As I meet and build a network of people similar to me, the power grows. I’m not trying to deprive you of anything. On the contrary, I am with the best of intentions trying to keep you from being a danger to yourself or others (or even society as a whole). I’m making things better. There are very few who can, every day, look at themselves in the mirror and say “I am a bare faced liar. My goal is to eradicate freedom for all but a select few and turn this country/world into the exclusive property of (insert group).” Most of us, including I believe most of those (including our current president) in our government, simply can’t do that. We don’t like to think of ourselves that way. If and when we do lie, we have to have a reason we can accept as justification. More than that, we tend to use similar justifications for our otherwise unacceptable behaviors. Convergence. Confluence. Synergy. All normal. All natural. And, if not closely watched and guarded against, all capable of eroding freedom.
What on earth does this have to do with “the end of the world as we know it?” A couple of things. First, if there is some widespread conspiracy that stretches back for decades or centuries, the people running it suck at planning, given how many times we’ve been told “this year is their deadline for complete control.” Second, if TEOTWAWKI is coming, it will not be because of a vast conspiracy to bring about mass chaos and disaster, but because of the natural, and sometimes incidental, confluence or convergence of people, policies and events. I see no reason to look for conspiracies when there seems, to me, to be a far more reasonable explanation. So, is TEOTWAWKI coming? Maybe. I don’t pretend to know for sure. I am, however, pretty sure it’s not coming about as the result of some vast conspiracy.