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Anarchy in the US


Manchester, Michigan is a 2,000-person village about 25 miles southwest of Ann Arbor. It’s roughly as white as an Osmond Family reunion (per the 2010 census seven black people lived in the town). Now the People have risen up against the local school board enacting a mask mandate for students attending Manchester’s high school:

This little incident is a reminder that compliance with legal and quasi-legal rules, at least in any society that isn’t a long way down the road toward outright totalitarianism, is always going to rely to a significant extent on voluntary compliance on the part of the populace.

Here’s William Paley in 1785:

Could we view our own species from a distance, or regard mankind with the same sort of observation with which we read the natural history, or remark the manners, of any other animal, there is nothing in the human character which would more surprise us, than the almost universal subjugation of strength to weakness; than to see many millions of robust men, in the complete use and exercise of their personal faculties, and without any defect of courage, waiting upon the will of a child, a woman, a driveller, or a lunatic. And although, when we suppose a vast empire in absolute subjection to one person, and that one depressed beneath the level of his species by infirmities, or vice, we suppose perhaps an extreme case: yet in all cases, even in the most popular forms of civil government, the physical strength resides in the governed. In what manner opinion thus prevails over strength, or how power, which naturally belongs to superior force, is maintained in opposition to it; in other words, by what motives the many are induced to submit to the few, becomes an inquiry which lies at the root of almost every political speculation. It removes, indeed, but does not resolve, the difficulty, to say that civil governments are now-a-days almost universally upholden by standing armies; for, the question still returns; How are these armies themselves kept in subjection, or made to obey the commands, and carry on the designs, of the prince or state which employs them?How Subjection to Civil Government is Maintained

I think it’s safe to say these questions are taking on a new salience in our own time and place, as the right wing in this country increasingly comes to adopt a political philosophy that can be expressed by such apercus as “You’re not the boss of me,” and “Fuck your feelings” (Just so there’s no confusion on this point, I mean your feelings, not mine).

. . . I just learned that fellow Ann Arborite Cub Koda went to this very school!

It’s like fascism on your wedding day.

. . . in case you were still retaining any shred of hope for our polity/species:

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