Martial Arts as War (MAW) and Martial Arts as Sport (MAS)—these are the two paradigms that, by and large, define the contemporary universe of the martial arts. Or so I have argued in previous essays. Now, it’s true, of course, that—as my own Master-Instructor observed to me in one of our countless conversations over this […]
It is Big Government and Big Media actors that are responsible for having inflicted incalculable damage, of all conceivable sorts, upon hundreds of millions of human beings within the United States.
To be clear, it is not “The Pandemic,” COVID-19, i.e. “The Virus,” that has forced tens of millions of American workers, as great as any number since the Great Depression, to join the ranks of the unemployed.
It is politicians, thanks to no small measure of assistance from their apologists and fellow fear-mongers in Big Media, who are responsible for this.
It is the agents of Big Government and Big Media and not some virus that have forced countless thousands of small business owners to shutter their doors, hence forgoing their American Dream and the thousands upon thousands of hours of blood, sweat, and tears that they invested in pursuit of realizing that Dream.
It is Big Government and Big Media actors and not some virus that have systematically undercut what Edmund Burke referred to as “the little platoons,” all of those institutions in the absence of which civilization would be inconceivable. These are the institutions of family, friendships, and all of those local communities, religious and otherwise, that constitute the identities of their members, invest their lives with value, meaning, and purpose, and, insofar as they are intermediate between the individual and the State, serve as a “check and balance” on the power of government over the citizen.
Through the decrees of states’ governors, supported by a propaganda campaign that is as incessant as it is ubiquitous—Flatten the Curve! Stop the Spread! Stay at Home! Social Distancing! Save Lives!—Big Government and Big Media actors have eroded away at these life-saving, life-enriching, associations, these “little platoons.”
It is the agents of Big Government and Big Media and not some virus that have relegated the Bill of Rights to something that is “above the paygrade” of the very people, those like New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, who swore an oath to defend it.
It is the agents of Big Government and Big Media and not some virus that have indefinitely revoked both the United States Constitution as well as the constitutions of the individual states that are based upon it.
It is the actors of Big Government and Big Media and not some virus that have recently spent trillions of dollars in “relief” aid to American citizens who they never should have forced into unemployment in the first place.
It is the men and women in Big Government and Big Media and not some virus who, in arranging for the closure of parks, commerce, schools, and all recreational events, have shuttered civil society.
It is the agents of Big Government and Big Media and not some virus who, despite assurances that our hospitals could be overwhelmed, have left hospitals across the country, including New York City’s largest emergency room, largely empty, and possibly “soon closed for good.”
It is the agents of Big Government and Big Media and not some virus who assured us that even with “mitigation protocols” observed, as many as 1.1 million Americans could die from COVID-19 (a number that some of us knew then was preposterous on its face and that has since been revised down to 60,000—about that of the seasonal flu but still, because of CDC guidelines that can only result in the inflation of Virus deaths, is still undoubtedly too high).
It is the agents of Big Government and Big Media and not some virus who are responsible for the increases in the instances of suicide, domestic violence, depression, drug and alcohol use, anxiety, despondency, dejection, and loneliness that accompany the state of alienation into which hundreds of millions of Americans have been forced.
It is the agents of Big Government and Big Media and not some virus that have set neighbor against neighbor by establishing and encouraging the use of “snitch lines”: a ready means by which citizens can facilitate the arrests of those of their fellow citizens who they believe are defying “social distancing” decrees.
It is the agents of Big Government and Big Media and not some virus that are undoing the glue holding civilization together by fostering social distrust via fiats demanding the wearing of “facial coverings.”
The Mask—there is possibly no greater symbol of distrust, alienation, and fear than this.
It is the agents of Big Government and Big Media and not some virus that have further severed American society by discouraging such perennial expressions of human affection, friendship, trust as the exchanging of handshakes and hugs (If Dr. Fauci has his way, we’ll never return to shaking hands again).
It is the agents of Big Government and Big Media and not some virus that have transformed, within just weeks, those of us who dare to leave our homes and still try as much as possible to live our daily lives—even when this requires us to travel for “non-essential” purposes—into dissidents.
Since President Trump unveiled his Economic Task Force, the national focus, thankfully, has shifted from The Virus itself to talk of “reopening the economy.”
But when COVID-19 begins to recede into the background and, as we draw nearer to this November’s election, we really start to take stock of all the economic, communal, and psychological devastation that litters the land, those of us who value truth, liberty, and the victims of injustice must be sure to correct the record:
It is Big Government and Big Media actors, and not some virus, that are responsible for it.