Note: I included this article not because I endorse civil disobedience, but because civil disobedience is enshrined in the Declaration of Independence.
14 Ways to Be Civilly Disobedient in the Face of the Corona Ban
By Allan Stevo
Let’s face it, these corona shelter-in-place orders are illegal and ineffective. Politicians, however, aren’t just going to back down over such a grandiose idea. They need to be pushed. The bigger the government mistake, the harder it is to kill. And the corona bans need to be killed if they are going to die.
Case in point, even the governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo acknowledged that the hasty and heavy-handed corona ban may have backfired, saying “If you re-thought that or had time to analyze that public health strategy, I don’t know that you would say ‘Quarantine everyone.’” Yet the corona ban remains firmly in place in New York.
Sometimes fell swoops work to enact change, other times a general change in attitude might get the job done. With the corona bans needing to be killed, here are a few ways to exert pressure.
Contact Your Favorite Closed Businesses, Ask Them Not Only To Re-Open But To Sue The City and State
Imagine this: local government asked them to shut down their livelihood for no good reason. You are asking them to protect their livelihood with every good reason. Some consider it poor form to act against the government. To the contrary, it’s wonderful behavior to tell your government to quit being so boneheaded when it is being boneheaded.
It’s certainly being boneheaded.
Send a personalized email to every closed business that you currently miss. Tell them what you miss about them and why. Tell them what a farce this corona ban is and why. Ask them to sue the city and state imposing a ban on them. Offer to help them find a lawyer.
If you need ammunition to describe the farce: 1.)this is illegal (you can’t be stopped from assembling with others, worshiping, or doing business with others), 2.) all services are essential , 3.) “essential worker” is a term which hauntingly evokes memories of the worst of the human experience, and 4.) for the utilitarians: this ban is not working: based on publicly available data from a large Oregon hospital, based on data from Italy about who gets it: the elderly and infirm (99% of those who died in Italy had other illnesses that predisposed them to die), and based on data from China collected by international research teams on how it is spread (85% through people sharing households, not through schools, businesses, or similarly casual contact – household contact is the driver of the epidemic).
Oh, and evil Florida – un-shuttered for two weeks longer than New York – has 13x fewer corona cases than New York in full lockdown.
David Stockman writes: “The infection rate in New York is 13.4X higher than Florida’s, while New York’s hospitalization and death rates are 21X and 22X higher, respectively.”
With so many potential variables in place, obviously it’s not the lockdown that’s the effective variable. The lockdown doesn’t work against corona. Researchers have known that for years. Far from being data-driven, there’s a great deal of uncertainty around the effectiveness of many of these dramatic interventions taking place. One must wonder: “If proven data is not driving these heavy-handed measures, then what is?”
Your email is intended to get your favorite businesses to quit participating in this farce and to re-open.
If at first they aren’t warm to the idea, keep bringing that up to them.
Get Your Church Re-Opened
Get your pastor on the phone and ask him if there will be a church service. Do that every day. Get your church council on the phone. Get everyone who you normally talk to in your congregation on the phone. If the church opens, they don’t have to attend church. No one is forcing them. But if the church stays closed, it harms those who want to attend, perhaps even feel a need to attend during these dire days. Those are the people church is most there for: those who need it.
To be courageous is among the roles of the church in society. “If no courage flows from faith then there is no living faith,” wrote a brave clergyman to me this past week.
It is cowardly to keep the church doors closed, especially in a time when the steadfast nature of the church is most needed in the face of such great anti-religious, secular pressure. Somewhere there is a Marxist laughing at the folly of Christian pastors lining up to be the first to virtue signal loudest by closing their churches down most dramatically.
Get your church re-opened as Becky Akers inspirationally calls believers to do. There are certainly dozens, probably hundreds, maybe even thousands of congregations across the country meeting in violation of the illegal local orders.
Some are meeting in open defiance of the illegal lockdown orders. Some are meeting in their sanctuaries behind closed doors. Some are even said to be meeting in homes, like Bethany Slavic Missionary Church in California.
Early Christians met in secret and were persecuted by both friend and foe. The courage being shown by some Christians today will serve as a source of pride for ages. The cowardly will want to sweep what took place in these months under the rug.
If they don’t re-open, get some friends together on the front steps or in the parking lot. Please celebrate the resurrection in a way worthy of being called glorious.
Eventually Pastors will open their doors to their parishioners who congregate outside each Sunday.
Get Your Favorite Restaurant To Serve You Speakeasy Style
David Hathaway paints a picture of what happens when heavy-handed politicians ignore market pressures: black markets arise. When a very much in-demand mug of beer was deemed illegal, speakeasies arose. When a sit-down meal is deemed illegal, expect restaurants to do the same. The more people who ask for this service, the more likely it is to occur, until even the cops are doing it in the face of the rules that even they know are silly.
There’s a reason a group like Oathkeeprs exist. Plenty of the people enforcing the law know how rotten the law is.
Lead Small Rebellions
Encourage those around you to ask questions. Laugh at the municipal “park ranger” when they come up to you and inform you that there might be viruses on park benches. Undermine their sense of pride in what they are doing. Encourage strangers around you to listen in and join.
During regular times, I would say encouraging strangers is a bad approach since at least 3/4 of those around you are likely to offer the Nuremberg defense: “Leave the park ranger alone, they are just following orders.”
But right now, those people are at home watching Fox, CNN, and the rest – getting their fill of fear porn and having their daily talking points downloaded to them.
The people who venture out into public, at this moment, are overwhelmingly people who aren’t falling for it. The lockdown has done you the favor of showing you who half of the troublemakers in your neighborhood are: they are the ones who leave the house. And they don’t believe what they are being fed. Open up the door to conversation, exchange contact info, get memorably disobedient together, and you might have a lifelong liberty chum that you might never have met any other way.
Need even more indication that you’re talking to a friendly: They didn’t don the obligatory fear mask starting on April 3, 2020, when the government started the top-down national fear mask movement.
To the last point: Take the risk of getting to know the people who venture out. Before you part ways, simply ask “How can I keep in touch with you?” For the moment, phone number and email seem to be more censorship resistant than social media. Send them this article. Invite them along on your acts of civil disobedience.
Be A Messenger Of Truth To Those Around You
Agitprop is everywhere. Lies are all around. Just be a listening voice with a few carefully selected facts and you will almost certainly beat the agitprop within your circle of friends. That can be as easy as being a reliable source. Not everyone will want to hear about it, but there are a lot of people who know that something isn’t right, and just identifying them is half the battle.
Ask People “Have You Run Your Own Numbers On This?”
A gadfly I know has brilliantly asked this question to anyone who thinks they know the whole story. If someone thinks they know the whole story about corona, chances are they are both wrong and partisan. I don’t mean politically partisan; I mean more interested in who is speaking than in the veracity of what is being said.
Curiosity is necessary around such quick developments and around a situation we are assured is so “novel.” Pretending to know the whole story in a moment like this is pure deceit. A question like “Have you run your own numbers on this, yet?” opens up that path to curiosity.
If they haven’t, encourage them to go to the CDC website and to see who gets harmed by corona, what age groups, what co-morbidities. Or go to Italian government data and run the numbers or to publicly available data from Oregon. World Health Organization corona data has notably been deemed too full of errors to be considered reliable.
Honestly, no data is completely reliable during a fast-moving ongoing crisis. It is field data that requires relatively uninformed apples-to-oranges comparisons, that will take years to process. However, even looking at the CDC data can help people to get past the headlines and the fear and to feel empowered to dive into the data with a sense of curiosity, rather than being told to passively listen fearfully to anyone claiming to be an expert.
Call The Police And Complain
I’m not talking about snitching on your neighbors for living their lives. I’m talking about calling the police to complain about the police. Give them an earful. Any corona nonsense you see from the police call it in. Did the police approach people correctly social distancing and harass them? Get their badge number and call it in. Did the police tell people following the law to move along? Get their badge number and call it in. Or ignore the badge number and just call it in anyway. Innocent bystanders can be very powerful. Did you read a news report you didn’t like? Find that sheriff’s number and call it in. Don’t be apologetic about it either. Demand that the police be on their best behavior during these tense times.
This police department – (818) 878-1808 – as an example, probably deserves a phone call for the sheer hypocrisy of violating the pointless rule of the week, “social distancing,” by coming in close contact with and arresting a man who was paddle-boarding in the middle of the ocean, nowhere near anyone. With behavior like that, clearly this isn’t about a virus anymore. This has grown into something so much uglier.
That doesn’t change the practical fact that no one likes to be complained to. The squeaky wheel gets the grease. If the good people are complaining more than the snitches, the police will sooner sit on their hands than to go out and engage in provocative behavior that will just bring more paperwork and hassle.
Go Outside To the “Closed” Parks & Beaches
If cautious mothers across the country can go out and try to keep life as normal as possible for their 15-month-olds by maneuvering around barricades and entering parks, many others have little to fear from doing so. Reason is not yet dead. Pushing on the periphery at which reason must fight, protects reason.
Don’t Wear A Face Mask
Face masks are tradition. They aren’t a data-based intervention. Not only are they ineffective; they are frightening. Their well-established limitations are demonstrated in this 2016 article, written before face masks curiously became a hot-button political issue.
Having a masked face – like that of a bank robber – pop into your field of vision multiple times daily is like sounding an alarm multiple times daily that something is very wrong. I’m not sure who that could possibly help.
If you wear a face mask write something on it like “All Lies” or “Corona Hoax.”
Say “Whatever, Man”
US News reports “Officials Losing Patience with Corona Scofflaws”. Associated Press reports “California Losing Patience With Those Violating Stay At Home Orders.” Timothy Williams reports “What I observed was Californians losing patience with ‘officials’ and their ‘orders.’”
“As Tom Luongo recently noted, we will defeat the tyrants not by marching through their institutions, nor by violent resistance, but simply because a growing plurality are tuning them out.”
Williams quips: “Wouldn’t it be a delightful irony if Californians led the fight against statism with a collective ‘whatever, man.’”
There are things about California worthy of derision, but the dismissive “whatever, man,” is a beautiful example of dispassionate civil disobedience in a moment that desperately needs emotional de-escalation and escalation of rational thought.
To disobey is the imperative. As Gary Barnett writes “Once any country’s people succumb to obedience, all that is left is slavery.” As Henry David Thoreau writes “Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty. The obedient must be slaves.” If there is one thing you do during your day, please let it be to disobey.
Be Sure To Smile A Little Each Day, Please
This is the worst thing that has happened to America in decades, it promises to be worse than 9/11. Corona is not the worst thing. The corona response is the worst thing.
Millions will die, and untold numbers of lives will be ruined, because of the corona communism in place. Kevin Ryan takes a cursory glance at the death toll of the corona response and attributes at least 2 million additional American deaths to government that would not have taken place had government not intervened.
If you take a moment once or twice a day to smile at the absurdity of it all, you’ll probably be in a better thinking frame of mind than if you just seethe in anger at the utter stupidity of it all and the human misery that’s been needlessly caused. Clear thinking is better than seething.
And while this is not guaranteed, perhaps it would also be good to smile once or twice a day at the real possibility of what happens next. This could all backfire in the faces of the experts who got us into this mess. This could be an event that doesn’t bring us down the road of “V for Vendetta,” but brings us toward greater liberty.
My hunch is that this will backfire. But only time will tell.
The bad lessons of the last century, the Century of the Great State (1917-2017), during which many millions died at the hands of socialists and other collectivists, is being repeated in this horrific first test of this new era.
The intellectual battle currently taking place is vital and will help dictate how future, similar battles will turn out. It is not a physical battle. It truly is a battle for hearts and minds. Western intellectuals are so notably out of touch, that it will be a surprise if this crisis ends in anything other than reduced trust in and reduced influence for the political and intellectual classes.
Unfortunately, I would expect more hysterical outcries like this largely manufactured crisis as the Western intellectual class struggles to be heard and to maintain relevance.
The apparent waning influence of the Western intellectual class that has brought about this crisis, is a cause to smile.
It can be no surprise that collectivists care not for the harm that they do. That is their nature. Reality is their enemy. Humanity is their enemy. Individuals are their enemy. Truth is not the goal. Clearer thinking or better comprehension of reality is not the goal. Their ideas and those who ascribe to them are their allies. Those are replayed in broken-record fashion with minor cosmetic changes. If you need any more proof of this, merely look at the effects of this thinking writ large across the Century of the Great State. Collectivists have proven what will come when society is left in their hands. It is the duty of individuals to prevent oneself from being so oppressible by the collectivists.
Courage Is Contagious
Show courage. Do not give into evil, but proceed ever more boldly against it. Call things as you see them. Ask the simple questions. Let others see you do it. Your courage will be contagious.
This article was originally printed here on LewRockwell
Allan Stevo [send him mail] writes about international politics and culture from a free market perspective at 52 Weeks in Slovakia (www.52inSk.com).