The Invisible Reality

Column by Alex R. Knight III.

Exclusive to STR

Let’s try to unmask and decipher a few things right now, and to make things a bit easier, let’s also take as our example a topic that is front and center stage politically at the time of this writing. In order to get there, however, we’ll have to provide some background.

John and Jane and their baby Adam all live together in Anytown, USA, and have, by any modern standards, what most would consider a decent life. They are not affluent, but nor are they abjectly poor, and so manage to have a modest house in a suburban neighborhood, and a pair of used economy cars in order to get back and forth to work. For of course, unlike the majority of their parents’ lives – and certainly unlike their grandparents’ entire lives – both John and Jane must work full-time. Inflation, brought on by government’s acquiescence to the Federal Reserve’s fiat currency creation scheme, coupled with the high rates of taxation this fosters in turn – all while government expands in size and scope to accommodate the welfare-warfare state it has become during the past century of its existence – have made this necessary. During the era of both of Adam’s grandmothers’ working lives, the idea of both parents working was sold to the public as “Women’s Liberation,” but it was actually closer to enslavement: It got former housewives onto the income and Social Security tax rolls, away from the family, and government has never been the same.

But all of that is four decades in the past, and now, after John leaves for his job, Jane prepares to leave for her own, dropping little Adam off at daycare, where he enjoys only the company of other kids, and few nannies who are paid blue-collar wages (after taxes, of course). They look after Adam and the others, and see that they don’t get into mischief while playing with blocks, toy cars, and coloring books, until Jane comes back from her own job to retrieve Adam. Then she brings him home to John (Dad) and dinner and some TV before bedtime. This process confuses the young Adam: Why he is left alone so often by his parents, to whom he otherwise feels so close, but he is still too young to articulate any of this, and so things go on as such for a while.

Flash forward a few years, and Adam is able to then ride each weekday morning on a bus that picks him up in front of his house or on a nearby street corner, and takes him to a government building known as “school.” This alleviates Jane from the responsibility of transporting Adam – although his attendance at this “school” is something which those in government have made mandatory at any event. John and Jane would, pending a certain measure of government approval, have the option of sending Adam to a private school of their choosing, or homeschooling him, but alas, inflation and taxation – even worse still than when Adam was in daycare – have made this an impossibility. And since they must pay the taxes levied against their house (in addition to the mortgage and interest) even if Adam were to receive an education elsewhere than at this one-size-fits-all government “school,” John and Jane both shrug their shoulders and agree that sending Adam to this place is their best available option. Plus, they reason, Adam will learn to enjoy the company of his schoolmates.

This “school,” however, is very different from the daycare Adam once attended. There is a different classroom he must be in for each subject he is being taught. A bell rings at the end of each 45 or 50 minute period, telling him and his classmates that it is time to move to the next room and the next topic and the next teacher. Lunch is served in a cafeteria on plastic trays not unlike meals are eaten in a prison. And indeed, a full-time police officer is permanently posted at this “school” in order to monitor the students’ conduct, search for drugs or drug use, and stand by the metal detectors Adam and his classmates must pass through each day to prevent weapons and other banned objects from entering this important government building.

While Adam is in each classroom, he is expected to be seated, be quiet, and do as he is told. He cannot get up, move, leave, or go to the bathroom without permission. If he rebels or resists in any way, he risks punishment in the principal’s office, or even arrest by the on-duty officer. All his movements are monitored by closed-circuit cameras, the locker he is assigned may be searched for any reason at any time, as can his own clothing and person, and his conversations with classmates are routinely overheard by the faculty. Anything he says that is deemed in any way controversial will likely be reported to the principal or the police.

Many of the kids adapt to this environment. Though they, like Adam, are full of youth and hormones and curious energies, they manage to sublimate these natural qualities of development and conform to the dictates of the government “school.” But Adam does not – although this is apparent only in subtle ways at first. He finds difficulty in making any lasting friends. Upon arriving home each day, he prefers to withdraw to his room, watch TV, or mope about the house. Over time, his grades begin to slip. He begins to find more and more excuses to not go to “school.” He just doesn’t want to be there anymore.

John and Jane become understandably concerned. They arrange for Adam to see a “mental-health professional.” After this individual asks Adam a series of widely divergent questions and subjects him to a battery of visual tests, he then tells John and Jane in confidence that Adam is simply suffering from something a whole lot of teenagers are these days. It’s an attention disorder that is often also accompanied by depression, and if they’ll just take this prescription to the “school” nurse, Adam should come around soon. If not, this “professional” assures them with a friendly smile, he’ll be more than happy to schedule another appointment for Adam in a few weeks or so.

Thus, with “professional” permission, the school nurse sees Adam once a day to administer a cupful of pills allegedly designed to curb his depression and increasing feelings of alienation. At first, these pills do little but make Adam feel kind of funny, but his depression lifts a little bit. He smiles a little more, is a little more outgoing with classmates. His appetite – usually robust for any teenager – improves.

But a month in, and Adam is feeling worse than ever. He’s still taking his prescribed “medication,” but now he finds himself forgetting huge chunks of time. He has trouble distinguishing between things he dreamed while asleep, and events that actually happened. And he’s becoming increasingly frustrated with doing homework, and the guff he’s getting from his teachers about not handing it in on time – or not doing it at all. In fact, Adam has had short episodes of downright anger, of late, and his parents again grow concerned.

Another round of talks between John, Jane, and the mental-health “professional.” It is agreed that Adam should come in for another round of tests, and that, pending the results, perhaps Adam’s “medications” ought to be altered, or reduced -- or maybe even increased. These things are not always an exact science, reassures the “professional,” and as such often require some touch-and-go experimentation before a happy medium can be achieved.

During the time both John and Jane have taken away from their respective jobs in order to meet with this “professional,” however, nothing Adam is involved in at present is either happy, or medium: He has skipped going to “school” today – an increasingly common occurrence – and has retrieved his father’s 9mm pistol and two extra clips of ammo from the lockbox where they are kept secured. John had purchased the gun in reaction to a series of break-ins in the neighborhood a couple of years ago (it was later revealed that the thieves were looking for money and valuables they could use to purchase drugs that the Drug War had made too expensive to procure through honest after-tax earnings), and due to the very stringent gun-control laws in the government jurisdiction where the family resides, kept the gun both on the property and locked up at all times (rendering it virtually useless against an actual attacker or invader).

However, Adam has long known where his father hides the key, and so after tucking the weapon and ammo in his waistband, he jumps on his bike and rides the relatively short distance to school. He also knows that, unlike when arriving on the bus wherein he and the others must pass through metal-detectors positioned at the front doors, that there are side doors which are unlocked and not so monitored due to local fire codes and a lack or misallocation of tax revenues, and so he slips into the building with relative ease – only subsequent examinations of the video camera footage by police and others will reveal his entry into the building.

Adam begins shooting in the doorway of the room where his math class usually takes place, and finishes 15 minutes or so later in a stairwell between floors by shooting himself in the head, ending his own life. In between both events, he also manages to kill two teachers and seven kids, while wounding a dozen others. He does pause to reload once, as the alarm is sounded and faculty move to evacuate the building, while the on-duty cop radios for additional police backup. One clip of ammunition is never used.

In the days and weeks and even months that follow, hysterical cries for even “tougher” gun-control laws are put forth, along with stricter security measures for government “schools,” and steeper penalties for gun crimes.

Guns and government buildings – schools and prisons – are visible things, you see. They are tangible. There is a clear way to act towards or against them, regardless of whether such actually addresses or solves any actual problems. They are easy targets in that, and all ways.

Not so easy to identify, or extricate, or unweave, is the invisible reality, however – the actual set of government-engendered circumstances responsible for such tragedy in the first place. Certainly not without stepping all over a lot of firmly-held, emotionally-charged political convictions with utterly zero basis in substance. Which is why the real problems never get solved, but only grow worse. And why all the wrong tactics, all the missolutions, are the only things that get employed – in the name of political expedience, and growth of government power. To admit otherwise would be, after all, to tear at the very foundations of the structure of society – to effectively uproot and deep-six some 7,000 plus years of human endeavor.

Yet, this is what is required.

It’s time to see the reality for what it is, and damned well do something about that.

The next Adam, and his victims, are already on their way. They never had to be. They don’t have to be.

Identifying the problem is the first step. Eliminating it – all of it – is the next logical step.

That’s reality. See it, for once. Own up to it. Live in accordance with it.

Change it.

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Alex R. Knight III's picture
Columns on STR: 111

Alex R. Knight III is the author of numerous horror, science-fiction, and fantasy tales, including Tales from Dark 7.  He has also written and published poetry; non-fiction articles, reviews, and essays for a variety of venues; and is former Communications Director for the Libertarian Party of New Hampshire.  In 1998, he was awarded Activist of the Year for that organization.  He now lives and writes in rural southern Vermont where he holds a B.A. in Literature & Writing from Union Institute & University, and looks forward to living in a governmentless society of liberty.

Comments

Jim Davies's picture

Alex, this is one of your very best. Well done, indeed!

ReverendDraco's picture

Well done, sir!

If only more people were as astute, we wouldn't be having this insane "gun-control" debate.

mjackso6's picture

Spot on, as far as I can see, but unfortunately, logic and facts have little effect on the majority these days. I'm going to test that hypothesis by posting a copy of this on Facebook and seeing how many flames I receive from my otherwise-rational friends (and how many of them unfriend me, of course). I'm just too curious to pass that one up...

Alex R. Knight III's picture

Thanks, all.  :-)  This was another spontaneous one that just kind of poured out. 

KenK's picture

I believe that american society is too far gone to be brought back, and without a complete raze and rebuild brought on by  complete social collapse, our sons and our son’s sons will be dealing with this same crap 100 years from now.
I don't disagree with anything you've written here except this: "The next Adam, and his victims, are already on their way. They never had to be. They don’t have to be."
I have concluded that they do "have to be". There is no reform or series of reforms that are going work now. I know it sounds nihilistic but that's how i see it alex. Something i learned as a volunteer firefighter is that some fires are just so bad that all you can do is step back to a safe distance and let it burn. All any of us can do now is wait and see what is left after the ashes cool.

Jim Davies's picture

That's a pretty bleak assessment, KenK. Presumably you share the view of Root Strikers that freedom is the answer, ie that government must vanish, right?
 
If so, may I ask what alternatives you have considered? - what methods of causing it to vanish?

KenK's picture

Jim,
Yes, i prefer liberty. But the state, like a cancer, is not going to "vanish" easily or quietly.
I'm not a political philosopher Jim. I'm not the grand marshall of the anarchist militia either. I have no strategic plan to cause it to vanish. Like Max Stirner, "i have set my affairs on nothing". The coercive entity of the state is growing in scope and violence daily and i honestly don't see any way for its unorganized, chaotic, and endlessly argumentative opponents, (i.e., "us") to defeat it. I wish for me and mine to live through the bad times that i see coming. That will be "victory" enough for me.

Jim Davies's picture

So if I read you right, KenK, your reply is that you haven't considered any alternative ways of terminating the state.  That being so, your bleak assessment is readily understood.
 
I have. One way, which seems to me remarkably simple and fast and which involves no violence or "marshaling of militia" or any such thing, is described in this STRticle.
 
Perhaps you can design a better way. But it seems to me that pessimism is appropriate only if all possible ways of accomplishing that vital task have been exhaustively examined or tried and found wanting.

Glock27's picture

If I knew of a Militia (legitimate) that were near by I would join in a heart beat, yet I hold out hope. Stherre is something like 20 states now crafting legislation to overturn the S. emi-auto ban and accuterments. Some insisting they will arrest any federal agent whom comes in to try to procure records, hassel gun shops and etc. Slow growth and it will take more than 20 to overcome the fed maggot. More than 50 manufactures of arms and munitions are dropping contracts with the gov to sell guns and etc to them. This is what the conservative front is doing. I am puzzeled at what the anarchist, agorist, voluntaryists and libertarians are doing. Me, as I subscribe to none of these sit back and write worths letters to worthless minions of my senator and representative.
Once our economy collapses in upon its self I have enough to get me through about a year. Some bartering tool useful in these times will be sugar packets from the resturant along with salt and pepper if they are out, I am stocking whiskey of different sorts and small bottles, toilet paper, toothpaste, dental floss and shaving materials. That's about it for me Ken except to buy a bullet making die to covere 5.56, .40, .9mm and 357 mag. My wife is mad because I dumped $2000 into a scary black gun an 500 rounds. I must have around 8000 rounds of varying ammunition now, but I hav been stocking for quiet some time now. You don't prep overnight. Have fun.