Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Rothbard, Einstein, & The Silence of Dissent

By Shane Kastler
Conformity often leads to a slow destruction.  But then again, non-conformity often leads to a quick execution.  The question, then is whether you wish to live long as a slave.  Or die young as a freeman.  Of course we all hope for a third option.  We all hope to be able to speak out against “wrongs” we encounter, while having our liberties protected so that we can freely do so.  But who will protect our liberties?  The State?  Not hardly.  In actuality, it is the State itself that most threatens our liberties.  And it is the State, and subsequently, “society” which is controlled by the State that seeks to silence any opposition to its power.
Most people simply do not speak out against the obvious ills they see in the world.  The herd mentality of “go along and get along” rules the day.  Sometimes various members of the herd notice something is amiss.  But as quickly as they do, and speak out about it, they are promptly shouted down by the oxen around them who have been conditioned to assume that the one leading them into the slaughter house has their best interest at heart.  They assume the State exists to take care of them and the State’s motivation is benevolence.  And if the independent minded dissenter suggests that the State might have more sinister motives, they must be silenced.  The State wants no threats against its power.  And the people have been brainwashed to acquiesce to the State’s wishes. 

In his book Anatomy of the State, the late Murray Rothbard wrote, “The greatest danger to the State is independent intellectual criticism; there is no better way to stifle that criticism than to attack any isolated voice, any raiser of new doubts, as a profane violator of the wisdom of his ancestors.”  This can be seen in countless ways in modern America.  Any liberty-loving individual who tires of the status quo and points out the State’s hypocrisy will be ridiculed as an “extremist” or a “conspiracy theorist” or just a general “nut case.”  If, for example, a divisive supreme court justice dies alone under mysterious circumstances, the mere SUGGESTION that something might be amiss is greeted with catcalls from the robotic masses.  The mere SUGGESTION that sinister forces MIGHT be at work will get you mocked and shouted down by those who assume that “all is well” because the government told them “all is well.”  And we know that the government never lies.  Right?
This is the way in which “society” does the State’s bidding by enforcing the herd mentality they’ve been taught from day one.  Since the government controls the educational system, they have the ability to brainwash the citizenry from cradle to grave.  By seizing resources through excessive taxation, the State can offer education for “free” to the sheeple, who all too gladly conform for the sake of financial expediency.  And Heaven help the independent spirit that rises up and seeks to educate their children through non-State means.  Under the guise of “standards” the governing powers often attack non-conformists who seek to educate their own children in accordance with their own beliefs, either through homeschooling or through privately funded schools.  If the government loses students, then it loses power, which means it potentially loses tax dollars, which also means it loses the monopolistic chance to brainwash students into unquestioned fealty to the State.  And as is often the case, the brainwashed don’t realize their condition and will in fact assume the independent voice is the crazy one for refusing to drink the Kool-Aid.  The government wants the students to place their hand over their heart and “pledge allegiance” to their idolatrous overseers.  But how will they pledge allegiance if their parents choose to opt for “non-traditional” educational methods?  Thus, ironically, in America where “independence” is so frequently proclaimed, true independence is punished by masses who are controlled by the self-proclaimed elites.  The true independent voice is mocked and scorned.  And the State sits back and smiles at the monster it has created.
Sadly, it is often the religious leaders who do the State’s bidding by keeping the people in line.  Liberal and “mainstream” clergy are tools of the political left who have sold their souls under the guise of “social justice” and concern for the poor.  Yet, strangely enough, the politicians who control them live like pompous royalty.  They gain votes by going to the ghettos and convincing the populace that “I’m on your side.”  Then they go back to their armored limousines that transport them to their secure mansions to hatch their next plan.  And the dolts inexplicably keep them in power.  Because if any dolt rises up and calls the hypocrisy what it is, they will promptly be shouted down and ridiculed.
Of course the political right has its religious pawns as well.  For them, many conservative “evangelical” clergy will shill for the leaders under the guise of “family values” or “Constitutional government.”  They too are often duped by smooth talking con men who crave power and easily keep it by saying one thing publicly and doing something much different in private.  As long as the right-wing politician gives the aura of spirituality by uttering evangelical catch phrases, he can be assured of support by those who see him as a quasi-Savior.  How different this is from the way the early Christians in New Testament times swore allegiance to Christ alone and were willing to die for that declaration!  In Rome, Caesar alone was to be honored as “Lord” yet the Christians instead worshiped Jesus.  And for this many died.  Today, most would never risk dying when it’s more expedient to bow the knee to State masters.
Yet, perhaps there might be an awakening to this idolatry of the State.  Maybe the independent voices will grow in their dissent and in their numbers.  Maybe some will refuse to be silenced and thus inspire others to speak up and speak out about the mythological “land of the free” that they live in.  Of course this would require courage because swimming against the tide is never easy.  Albert Einstein famously said, Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds. The mediocre mind is incapable of understanding the man who refuses to bow blindly to conventional prejudices and chooses instead to express his opinions courageously and honestly.”  Courage and honesty go hand in hand.  They are both in short supply these days.  Instead coward conformity marks America.  True independence is rare.  And rarer still, the individual willing to stand alone and face ridicule for veering way from the herd.  But remember this.  The herd is careening toward a cliff.  The herd is being corralled into a slaughter house by smiling politicians who promise riches, but deliver rubbish.  But you don’t have to swallow it.  Endure the hostility of being “outside the box.”  Point out the emperors (plural) nakedness.  Be aware of the shenanigans going on.  And plan to die free; rather than to live long as a slave of the State in the mythical land of the free.
Shane Kastler is Pastor at the Heritage Baptist Church, Lake Charles, LA and Co-Host; "Church & State" KELB Radio, 100.5 FM. He blogs at The Narrow Road.


  1. Rothbard and Einstein two greats in their respective fields. Imagine how much better a world we would live in if Rothbard's conclusions were accepted in the same manner that Einstein’s theories are by both academics and laypersons.

    Einstein’s theories are status quo while what Rothbard promoted would turn the world on its head, or more accurately put us back on our feet. Interesting on both ends of this the status quo is wrong. To the extent that these things are “provable” Rothbard would be proven correct and Einstein will be proven incorrect (to a large degree).

    Even Einstein himself had doubts about his theories. Einstein has been quoted to have said, "You imagine that I look back on my life's work with calm satisfaction. But from nearby it looks quite different. There is not a single concept of which I am convinced that it will stand firm, and I feel uncertain whether I am in general on the right track." Einstein to Maurice Solovine 28 March 1949. Quoted in the book Einstein: A centenary volume Edited by A.P. French Harvard University Press 1979, page 158.

  2. "All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident." - Arthur Schopenhauer

    1. Yeah, great. Even Hitler adopted the saying. Check "Mein Kampf" chapter 6.