Editor’s Note: Liberty Nation’s Washington Political Columnist Tim Donner and Liberty Nation’s Managing Editor Mark Angelides down to discuss what’s happening in the realm of liberty. This is the transcript of Liberty Nation Radio heard coast-to-coast on the Radio America Network. A podcast version of this program is also available by clicking the link.
“Whether it remains in the mind as the year of the COVID-19 pandemic, the year of questionable election results, or the year of Black Lives Matter and riots in the streets, there is, as they say, something for everyone. But perhaps the greatest legacy of this nefarious year will be the shift toward tyranny and the destruction of freedoms.”
Those, the words of Libertynation.com, Managing Editor and host of the highly civilized Liberty Nation Podcast, The Rabbit Hole Politics and Prose, where past is prologue, Mark Angelides, who joins us from his perch in the UK to analyze the many freedoms that have come under attack during this Annus Horribilis – the Queen’s words – known as 2020 and how profoundly these incursions into our liberty are likely to impact our lives in the near and distant future. Mark, welcome to Liberty Nation Radio.
Tim Donner: Let’s start with the liberties you believe that have been lost that are not likely to return.
Mark Angelides: I think perhaps the ability to move freely and to interact with other people is the least likely to return in full, based on what’s happening at the moment. I mean, you look on the news. There are so many airlines in so many countries that are demanding that without a COVID passport, essentially a vaccination certificate, that you can’t either travel on their airline or enter their countries.
Of course, we’re seeing these particular restrictions also at a local level, as well. I don’t see us getting that back easily, especially with the stay-at-home orders in place in California at the moment. There you can get fined for going outdoors when the government tells you you can’t. That’s a big one, but I think that’ll also be one of the ones that come back slowly, if it comes back at all.
I mean, this happened in Melbourne, Australia, and it has come back now, the right to actually leave your home. But people were arrested for leaving their homes and traveling more than five kilometers away from their front door. Of course, you get fined for something. If you can’t pay or you refuse to pay, the next step is prison. That’s how it works. They either take your home to pay your fees, or they send you to prison. Yeah, I’d say that those are the ones that are least likely to come back.
Then, of course, there’s the First Amendment curbs as well. That’s a big issue. I mean, when your content on different channels that you put out – which are essentially your thoughts – they’re your thoughts that you’re passing on to other people. It’s your ability to communicate to more than just the person you’re sat in front of. These are being subjected to censorship and even account removal if you’re going outside the government-approved narrative.
TD: What liberties now threatened do you believe people in the US, but also in the UK and around the world, will fight the hardest to win back?
MA: I think that would be the right to protest and the right to associate freely. You see, the need to be in contact with other people, it’s really fundamental to who we are as people. I’m reminded there was an experiment done with young rats, and they were denied contact, not just from other rats, but from the researchers as well, who would tickle their bellies with erasers on the ends of pencils. The ones that didn’t get any contact, do you know what happened to them?
TD: I couldn’t guess.
MA: They died. That’s really how fundamental it is. Now, obviously, we’re not rats. We’re very different creatures, but that need for touch and for stimulation, it’s very cross-species. So, I think the one that people will fight hardest for is to be able to congregate, whether that’s for a protest or at the Christmas dinner table. I think that will be the one that really pushes people to the brink.
TD: Do you get the sense that people in the US and the UK and other international locations are prone to fight back hard against increase in government restrictions? Or is it more that they’re resigned to losing liberties that they’ve always taken for granted?
MA: Sadly, I think it’s the latter, Tim. It’s like the frog in the boiling water. If you just drop it into hot water, it jumps straight out. If you turn the heat up gradually, it’s not even aware that there’s a temperature difference. What happened with obviously, the COVID restrictions, is it started off – it was bars that were not allowed to be open or only if they serve a substantial meal, is the one that we had in the U.K. Then that went, and then restaurants went, then non-essential shops went. Then you’re stuck at home, and you’re not allowed to visit your family. Then you can’t go and visit your elderly parents or grandparents, even when they’re at death’s door. It’s a gradual turning up. I think that not enough people have had the shock of just being dropped straight in the hot water, to really fight back.
I think that many people are really just resigned to these are the rules. I mean, we have, I guess they call them government snitch lines – is what they’re called over here – where you can report your friends and neighbors for breaking COVID regulations, if they have more than six people at their home. If they go out for unnecessary exercise. People are informing on their friends and neighbors. When you’ve got half the population informing and half the population ignoring, you’re going to come to some kind of a head, but I don’t think there’s enough there yet to be a major fight back.
TD: Now, you are Liberty Nation’s resident world historian, and you have a podcast that really ties history to current events, and how – as I like to say from the book of Ecclesiastes – there’s really nothing new under the sun. What instances in history would you say are particularly instructive to the loss of freedom and how the citizenry reacted?
MA: Well, one I spoke about on a recent podcast was Isaac Babel, who was a playwright in Stalinist Russia. He was treated as a grandee of the Russians, the Communists, and he thought everything was great until they decided to turn against him. That’s not really the people issue, but I think that’s quite an instructive one that you can never really trust whether the government’s on your side or not. But, for an example of the people actually reacting, the one that I guess springs to mind is Jack Cade. I’m not sure how familiar you are with Jack Cade, but he was a Sussexman from England. In, I think it was 1450, he led an uprising against the King and the King’s counselors and the local officials. This was because obviously there was mismanagement, but it was really about the abuses of power that local officials would do.
They would overtax. They would apply arbitrary rulings. They would attempt to control more than they had any right to control. So, Jack Cabe, he decided he’s had enough. He started to march towards London, and he got a few others with him who happened to be – what you have to remember is, he had a lot of people in the region who had just come back from fighting Wars in France. These were the longbowmen of British fame. They joined up with him, and then all the people on the path, on the way to London, from the nearby villages, they joined up with him. What you ended up with was an estimated 5,000 people turned up at the Gates of London, ready for battle.
A battle is what they got. It didn’t turn out well for Jack Cade in the end. He did manage to get away from the battle, but I believe that he died of his wounds, but was then taken back to London and had a show trial, and had his head chopped off, even though he was already dead. But that’s the one that springs to mind because that was people just joining together to walk towards and challenge the powerful that were abusing the rights of the people. That’s the one that springs to mind for me.
TD: Mark, thanks for joining us.
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