In the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone, formerly known as part of Seattle, WA, a militia of armed citizens patrols and defends a hard border walled off with barricades. The protesters declared their independence from what they considered a tyrannical government and spend a good portion of each day just talking about how equal everyone is and how they don’t need no stinkin’ police state anymore. Have they cracked? Have these leftwing nuts finally had more insanity than the human brain can handle and collectively snapped 180 degrees and a couple of hundred years back to the thinking of our Founding Fathers?
If only they had – and if only that were the inevitable endpoint of progressive evolution – then lovers of liberty could just sit back and wait for the statists to come to their senses. Sadly, that’s not the case. It didn’t take long for these “freedom fighters” to demand racial segregation and beg for government assistance, including free vegan food – or should we call that foreign aid now? But if any good can come of the CHAZ School of Politics, it’s that – all of a sudden – radical leftists inside the zone are no longer anti-gun or anti-border, and those outside now want to reduce the authority of the police state and do away with business licenses.
Maybe Liberty Ain’t So Bad After All?
On the one side, the people of CHAZ have thrown off the shackles of oppressive leftist government and armed themselves to define and defend their border, for the security of their tiny little zone of freedom from state influence. On the other side of the border, city leaders are working on defunding and demilitarizing the police. Even the police chief was aghast at reports of businesses being charged a fee to operate. Extortion, she called it. Hallelujah, she has seen the small-government light! How long have libertarians been saying that mandatory licensing – and taxation in general – is theft or extortion?
So when this is all over, the leftists inside the zone will stop trying to disarm their fellow Americans and whining about how racist the border is? The city of Seattle will put an end to business license requirements and local taxation and employ a much smaller law enforcement agency that doesn’t have the authority to infringe on the rights of the people? Don’t hold your breath. What’s good for the goose is rarely good for the gander from the leftist perspective; virtue signaling over equality be damned.
Historicity – Well, Kinda …
In his Salon article defending CHAZ, Matthew Rozsa explains that “History is rife with utopian projects similar to the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone.” That’s true in some ways and false in others. He cited as examples Freetown Christiana in Copenhagen, Kowloon Walled City in Hong Kong, New Harmony in Indiana, the two-month-long Paris Commune, and, of course, Occupy Wall Street.
Historicity is the quality of being historical. For example, a sword is just a sword. But a blade that saw battle and took lives centuries ago has historicity – and a much higher price tag – even if the materials and craftsmanship are identical to our modern “just a sword.” With the exception of Freetown Christiana, which is still going today, and Occupy Wall Street, which was basically just CHAZ 2011, these examples of autonomous zones all demanded less government interference, not more, and were either conquered by the state or collapsed under the burden of trying to maintain socialism in such a small population. If CHAZ is allowed any connection to the historicity of these previous examples of autonomy, it is only their brevity of existence; these people certainly aren’t earning the right to call themselves autonomous or self-reliant.
The Price of Autonomy These Days
The demands of the “collective black voices at Free Capitol Hill” are, in Mr. Rozsa’s words, “reasonable and overdue.” Nothing short of ridiculous – that’s what the list of demands is. These social justice warriors want to bring back segregation – from schools to hospitals and everything in between. They want every “person of color” in prison for violent crimes to be immediately released and retried by a black-only jury. What about the white ones? Nope, they’re stuck to rot. So much for equality.
They want to do away with prison entirely. There’s certainly merit in carrying out a massive overhaul of policing and prison in America, but this isn’t the way to go about it. They want rent control, free college, and the removal of Confederate monuments, of course. In short, just like every other left-wing wannabe ward of the state, they want more government intervention, not less. Rather than actually planning to start their own government and rule themselves, they’re hoping the temper tantrum will convince Mommy and Daddy State to welcome them back with open arms – and free stuff to mollify their bruised feelings. What they need is a solid kick in the butt – not free vegan food and cigarettes.
Time for a Personal Story
I usually don’t break into the first person for these articles, but in this case, I’ll make an exception. When I was 19, I lived with my father, who, at the time, was a truck driver. One day, Dad got tired of me being a lazy freeloader and told me I had better figure something out because when he left out in the morning, he would be gone for three weeks, and the door would be locked – with me on the outside. Like any immature and entitled little turd, I didn’t believe him.
When Dad came home three weeks later, I had a job, a car, and was almost 30 pounds leaner. Turns out, he wasn’t bluffing – and I got hungry. I rode my bicycle the 12.5 miles one way into town every day to find a job, then came back and slept in the camper. It didn’t take long to find work. You could say I was a motivated applicant. I got to eat again on day four, and when that first paycheck came in, I made a deal with the neighbor to buy a trashed 1980 Toyota Celica for $200. I’m talking a five-speed manual that only shifted as high as fourth gear with a clogged-up fuel filter, no air conditioning, and a critical need of some body/interior work trashed.
We All Have to Grow Up Someday
Apparently, tough love really does work – and my dad still brags about that story today, 16 years later.
Sadly, Seattle and Washington will almost certainly cave to these so-called adults in CHAZ – that, or they’ll send the police/National Guard back in and crush them. Either way, no good will come. What these children need to finally grow up is some tough love. Leave ‘em be for a while. Let them sweat it out with no support at all from the state and force them to take responsibility for their own lives for a change. They’ll figure out a way to make it work when they get hungry – maybe even before day four.
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