America Will Be (More) Authoritarian

History is full of surprises, but this prediction is a pretty safe bet:

In the next 10 years, America will become even more authoritarian.

It probably won’t be called “America,” though that change might take a little longer. The continent was named after Amerigo Vespucci, who was one of them. And you know who they are: the cause of every evil since the beginning of the universe.

I’m one of them. You probably are, too. Even if America is cleansed of every trace that we were ever here (e.g., no electricity, antibiotics, or running water), the name would still have to change. “Bedlam” is available.

But as for why it’s such a sure thing that America will become more authoritarian, I’ll let Edmund Burke tell you:

“Society cannot exist, unless a controlling power upon will and appetite be placed somewhere; and the less of it there is within, the more there must be without.

It is ordained in the eternal constitution of things, that [people] of intemperate minds cannot be free. Their passions forge their fetters.”

Their passions forge their fetters.

In order for society to exist, people must cooperate. That requires them to follow the rules and to control their own actions.

If they can’t follow the rules and control their own actions, then:

  • Either society will disintegrate into anarchy, a war of all against all; or
  • Government (or its equivalent) will impose control so that society can survive.

There’s no third option. If America exists at all, it will be more authoritarian.

About N.S. Palmer

N.S. Palmer is an American mathematician.
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