Somewhere there is a private hospital that serves excellent food. Haven’t found it, yet. I was recently dining in a local “heart hospital” and was the alleged beneficiary of their “heart-healthy” diet during an unplanned stay at that fine facility. It claimed to be culinary fare for the long term health of my heart. Maybe. But anytime someone promises results way down the road, I figure the likelihood of any good result is questionable. And in the short term, pretty awful tasting.
It is easy to control what patients eat and make them happy about it. First, call it a “heart-healthy” diet. Second, offer nothing else on the menu. No salt, that amazing mineral. No tasty animal products. No fats, those wonderful couriers of flavor, fragrance, vitamins, and health. Did I mention no salt? No caffeinated coffee, that purveyor of health. No gustatory pleasures allowed. I’m not to question the wisdom of the dietician and cardiologist. Just give me the Egg Beaters, without salt, thank you. And a bowl of oatmeal. Plain. Hold the salt, butter, and sugar. Yum. I feel healthier already.
Rulers do the same—control the menu. Claim their menu is good for you. Promise long term results to make up for the tasteless and nutrition-deprived meals they give you today. They call their menu a “ballot.” But only offer choices that make no real difference and might actually make things worse. It reaches the most hilarious level when dictatorships offer ballots having only one candidate. Or in nations in which citizens are heard to say, “I voted for the lessor of two evils.” Now there’s a tasty menu—you can choose evil, or . . . evil. Enjoy your meal.
In overtly totalitarian regimes, there is zero tolerance of reading, writing, speaking, questioning, or sharing the truth. Unless you like living in jail or being shot. Effective? For a while, perhaps. But such regimes almost always fail in the end. In a world of forced silence, the sound of lies couldn’t be louder. The citizens under those regimes know the real truth—they are not free and are constantly lied to. Served up tasteless food and told that it is for their own good.
In more open societies as in the US, we have the pre-approved menu of political correctness. Our menu lists all the things that you are allowed to politically and socially discuss. Not to worry. Bringing up something not on the card will not get you into trouble. You won’t be thrown into jail or have a house call from your local door-breaking, dog-shooting SWAT team, as you might for having the wrong herb in your possession. You will simply be ignored. And if you are too loud about it, roundly demonized as a conspiracy nut. It’s not OK to discuss the slipshod 9/11 investigation and report. How in the world did Building #7 collapse? It’s un-American to even bring up. You will be written off by the media, politicians, universities, and most of your neighbors.
Our heart-healthy menu is controlled by the political parties, the governments, the media, and the educational establishments—the Fantastic Four superheroes of American society. You can discuss any subject on the menu—no problem. Even have a loud argument. America loves a heated exchange. Of the acceptable. It’s the heated exchange that provides the illusion that we have real choice in our government. FOX and CNN know their roles and play them well. One, for. The other, against. But only about things on the official menu. The only allowable discussions must reinforce, “Everything is awesome! Everything is cool when you’re part of a team!” Life is good because everything is awesome when everyone sticks together and nobody brings up uncomfortable topics. Really. It’s on the menu.
The official rules are simple–everything is awesome as long as you don’t color outside the approved lines. Don’t ask for a discussion of the value of having any government versus none, or one different than the one currently that rules. Oh, no, you’ve ordered a menu item that is not healthy. And don’t challenge the god called Democracy. You won’t be attacked by the media nor will any regime scholar or politician even engage you in debate. You simply are not allowed to discuss these off-menu items. So you will be ignored. Or deemed unhealthy.
But what’s unhealthy about discussing the dangerous side of democracy? It’s a discussion that threatens the current oligarchy that controls you, that’s what. Not Mr. Obama and the figureheads in power. Give the guy a break—he’s merely a lightening rod for diversion from the real crooks. The entire state apparatus from Wall Street to the universities is complicit. Their form of truth is that our government is the only sort that any modern person would seriously consider. If you are allowed to challenge that thought, their power over you becomes questionable. Even fragile. That’s certainly not a longterm heart-healthy diet, now, is it? Not for them, anyway.
We can’t even call out the liars. We are told that our government is based upon representative democracy—where one person represents several. According to the Constitution, not that we are allowed to seriously discuss that document, one representative is not to represent more than 30,000 citizens. That was changed by public law in 1911 when the number of representatives was frozen at 435. The same time that our rulers decided we needed a federal income tax. “Never more than a tiny amount, and only from the rich.” The same time they handed over the control of our currency and economy to private bankers. “It will prevent negative economic cycles–depressions and crashes.” No conspiracy or lies there.
So how is that representative government working, now? Not so good. About 700,000 citizens per representative to Congress. Had the rules not been changed along the way, there would be 11,000+ members of the House, instead of 435. And wouldn’t that be a truer representation of the people? But limiting the number to no more than 435 better represents the real rulers – Wall Street and the bankers. You can buy 435 congressman for a lot less than 11,000 congressmen. But don’t try to discuss the size of Congress or the reality that they are not representing the common citizen. It’s not one of the healthy menu items. Bringing up such things is not awesome. Not being part of the team.
The menu excludes most topics of serious interest—such as the idea of warfare as a possibly bad foreign policy. Sorry, that’s not open to debate, not even discussion. We’ve got terrorism to fight and democracy to force upon the world for its own good. You can feel free to discuss who to make war upon and when to declare war, but you shall not discuss whether the US should be attacking other nations and dictating who will be their new leaders. If you try, you will be deemed a nut case and ignored, as was done repeatedly in the case of Dr. Ron Paul when he used his position in Congress to publicly question the morality and wisdom of our wars in the Middle East. “What a kook!” sneered one of my own relatives, with emotions of clear hate and disgust in her voice. End of conversation.
America may be many things, but it is not a land of free expression and open minds, if it ever was. It is not a land of independent thinking, if it ever was. The good news is that the Internet and alternative news organizations are making some of us aware of our ignorant condition. Truth is out there. We just have to be willing to search for it.
Consider homeschooling of the sort facilitated by Dr. Ron Paul’s completely free K-grade 5 school curriculum. Or the Kahn Academy—completely free, highly-effective education that proves that the problem with the failing public education system is not insufficient funding. Any wonder the government rushed to force the Core Curriculum upon the public school system? Any coincidence that it is served up right along side the FLOTUS-mandated, inedible lunch menus?
Private organizations such as the Ludwig Von Mises Institute are beginning to make a dent. Their scholars prefer one of those chalkboard menus that you see outside popular restaurants. One that is creative and that offers unlimited variety, and even inexpensive but tasty specials. They are serving up sources of sound economic thinking and offering accurate presentations of history as it really happened. Sites like lewrockwell.com have increasingly become enemies of the think tanks, media, and political organizations that manipulate the strings of American economic and foreign policy. But despite their efforts to badmouth Lew and his fellow truth-minded economics and history scholars, they only serve to drive up visits to the site. When liberty breaks out, it’s hard to restrain.
Internet podcasts by freethinkers are growing in popularity. YouTube has provided a forum for thinkers who regularly challenge the “truths” that those in power have established as their version of reality. Stefan Molyneux, for example, and many others are posting videos that have the audacity to question truths presented by the establishment. No rebellion. No violence. Just a passion to explore truth and reality, and a sincere desire to educate viewers in ways to think logically and critically.
The search for truth and reality requires effort, but it can also be enjoyable. Even fun. Think of it as a grand quest to “Find the Waldo of Truth” amongst a landscape of close imitations. If there ever was a worthwhile treasure hunt, it is the search for truth, a journey that may be temporarily painful, but never unrewarded.
God created us in his image. With inquiring minds. With an awareness that good and evil both exist in this world, and that evil often masquerades as truth. God has affirmed that he is the ultimate and final Truth. He has painted it in nature, such that his existence is undeniable. And he wisely and lovingly commands us to test for truth and hold to it, not accept claims blindly. He warns of an Adversary that works to deceive us. Calls him the “Father of Lies.” We can treasure truth and teach it to our children. Share it with our friends and neighbors. Rejoice in knowing that it really exists. And that we are better people, very much in the image of God, when we find and study it.
So keep your heart-healthy menu, thank you. Eating cardboard for the rest of my life does not seem like much of a life, even with all the promises of benefits to come. Now pass me that juicy cheeseburger and anything written by that champion of truth, Murray Rothbard. And don’t scrimp on the fries. I’ve got a real heart to heal.
“It is also important for the State to inculcate in its subjects an aversion to any outcropping of what is now called ‘a conspiracy theory of history.’ For a search for ‘conspiracies,’ as misguided as the results often are, means a search for motives, and an attribution of individual responsibility for the historical misdeeds of ruling elites. If, however, any tyranny or venality, or aggressive war imposed by the State was brought about not by particular State rulers but by mysterious and arcane ‘social forces,’ or by the imperfect state of the world — or if, in some way, everyone was guilty — then there is no point in anyone’s becoming indignant or rising up against such misdeeds. Furthermore, a discrediting of ‘conspiracy theories’ will make the subjects more likely to believe the ‘general welfare’ reasons that are invariably put forth by the modern State for engaging in aggressive actions.” Murray Rothbard