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L. Neil Smith's
Number 567, April 25, 2010

Authoritarian sycophants in the lamestream media

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The Ratchet Principle of Tyrany
by Neale Osborn and Ann Morgan and

Attribute to The Libertarian Enterprise

Before we start, here is the genesis of this article. It is a re-print of two e-mails. Please read them before continuing.


Writing an article about the Ratchet Principal of tyranny, and NY city, and other stuff?

From: Ann Morgan ( Sent: Fri 2/19/10 1:01 AM To: Neale osborn

Dear Nealle: Well: I don't care. You can write an article about it if you want to, although I would appreciate it if you gave me credit and directed people to send their remarks to my email.


I have been mulling over some of the implications of things I have written in my first two letters this week, as well as the responses I have already gotten to them, and have stumbled across, what is, I think, a very important principal in politics and morality that has not (at least to my knowledge) ever been explicitly stated before, but which probably should have been, since it has had a very great effect on human history.

I realized this principle when I was thinking over what I wrote regarding fanatical Muslims, in that they did not wish anyone, indeed in many places have taken steps, to disarm most people, so that they cannot use a gun to defend themselves if fanatical Muslims try to assault them for not wearing a Burqa, and as a direct result of being disarmed, the only means left for people to deal with the problems which some Muslims cause regarding Burqas, was to create a government ban on all Muslims wearing Burqas.

I have since realized, that this is actually merely one small example of a much larger principle, which I will call (for reasons which will shortly become obvious) the 'Ratchet Principle of Tyranny'.

It has been a peculiarity throughout human history, that although countries often move slowly towards tyranny by degrees, they very seldom move slowly towards freedom. Freedom, or the removal of tyranny, is almost always acheived by violent revolution. In this regard, the motion towards tyranny is rather like that of a ratchet. The simplest example of such a device would be the humble zip tie. Once you fasten and start tightening a zip tie, it is very difficult to un-tighten it. Un-tightening it requires either extremely difficult poking around in the ratchet mechanism with a delicate tool, or else violent action in simply cutting apart the zip tie. Absent either of these two things, any changes in the zip tie will either leave it the way it is, or tighten it further.

There is a reason, I think, that the political movement towards tyranny functions like this. The reason is this: Once a person or group in a society uses collectivist, tyrannical, or rights violating means to either acheive a goal, or deal with a problem (perceived or actual) another person or group is causing them, by doing so, they then create conditions under which it becomes more difficult (or impossible) for anyone else in that society to acheive any goals, or deal with any problems by means other than those of tyranny and collectivism.

The long term result is that the group that first used tyranny to acheive goals at the expense of others, or deal with a problem they had with others, will inevitably find tyrannical methods used by others, to acheive different goals, or to deal with the problems that others have with them, because the imposition of tyranny has made difficult or impossible the use of non-tyrannical methods.

The example I gave was that of the Muslims. They advocate the methods of tyranny, namely disarming most people, so that it is safer for them to assault those who do not wear a Burqa. But by doing so, as I mention, they create conditions in which the only means for which others to deal with the problems they have (or think they have) with Muslims, is tyrannical actions, that of a government ban on ALL wearing of Burqas, rather than individual, free actions, namely shooting the individual Muslims who attempt such assaults.

There are other obvious examples, now that this principle has become clear to me. When you tax other people to acheive you personal goal (whatever it might be), you then create conditions under which the only way for other people to acheive their goals, is by taxing YOU. Earning their own money to acheive their goals, without getting tax money, is far more difficult for the other people, once you start taxing them in the first place.

Anyway, that's my thought for the night. I'd appreciate any feedback on this principle that people might have, especially if someone else has thought of it before that I don't know about.

—Ann Morgan

* * *

The reason for these two e-mails is simple. I am giving Ann Morgan full credit for originating it. It is an expansion on an idea coined and created by a friend of mine, done with permission from same, and the complete original text of the Principle.

Ann would appreciate it if anyone who cares to comment directly to her, do so at her e-mail address, listed above.

Now, on to the meat of the matter. I have been pushing for, and explaining the reasons for, a peaceful revolution. One that will take place at the ballot box. I have laid out the baseline for my political beliefs, and where they differ from my party's platform (The Libertarian Party). Now, having read the RPT, I am wondering if I am wasting my time.

Obama campaigned against the Patriots Act, yet he keeps it. CLICK. He campaigned against lobbyists, and has a cabinet FULL of them. CLICK. He promised "Transparency", yet has failed to even try to be. CLICK. Every Click, the zip-tie tightens. Can we loosen it? How about this question—"Should we even try to loosen it??" If we succeed, are we actually fixing the problem? Or are we simply postponing the inevitable point, where the Zip-tie is so tight, that it cuts off circulation to the Constitution, kills it, and forces us to start over, trying to force America to wake up and do it right this frigging time!!

Now Ann, an intelligent and thoughtful person, has had the type of life that most people only experience in nightmares. This has naturally left her pessimistic. I have had a life full of triumphs and tragedy, laughs and heartbreak, and I am mostly an optimist. I want to tell Ann "C'mon, Ann, it isn't that bad!!" But in reading the principle, and thinking long and hard on it, I realized the exact moment we strarted down the path to the RPT. The Whiskey Rebellion, in the 1790s. And we've been tightenning the Zip-tie ever since. The question is, can we cut it, loosen it, or are we screwed, forced to wait for the Constitution to gasp out it's final, pitiful days, a pale shadow of the glorious document it once was. Killed, because we gave up everything in the name security, sloth, and, finally, tyranny?

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