The American Herd Creature Reply

I’m not going to lie to you: I’m an American. I was born in the very cultural heart and soul of this blessed land — I mean Oklahoma, of course — and I have lived here for nearly seventy years, never residing abroad for more than six months at a stretch. So, you might think that by this time I’d understand the American people. But, strange to say, the older I get, the more bizarre they seem to me.

They simply do not know who their real enemies are, even though these enemies never leave them in peace for a moment. In every hour of every day, these enemies occupy themselves in plundering, bullying, humiliating, and degrading the American people. Yet — mirabile dictu — the people not only fail to recognize their real enemies, but they believe preposterously that these impudent leeches are their true friends, indeed, their indispensable protectors against a host of alien enemies, most of whom are trivial treats, if real at all.

The typical American reminds me of a slave whose master treats him terribly, ordering him about imperiously, seizing a large part of what he produces, dictating rules for every aspect of his personal and social behavior, and whipping him mercilessly at frequent intervals. One day an abolitionist sneaks onto the plantation and tells the slaves that their master is treating them worse than they realize, because he has secretly installed a device to listen to every conversation they have among themselves in the quarter. How does our slave react? Throwing logic to the wind, he cheers as the master sets out to discredit, apprehend, and torment the abolitionist. – Robert Higgs

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