What many might not realize about the coronavirus lockdown is how much like prison America and American society is becoming in its wake. And if I learned anything after working 25 years in the bowels of law enforcement as a corrections officer, I’ve learned to recognize a prison when I see one.
During one of his recent Corona addresses Gov. Cuomo told reporters (@ 42:50) that there was never any “such thing as an essential worker before this,” which is untrue. He and everybody in the Department of Corrections under his direction, from the commissioner on down, knows very well that there has been an established differentiation between “essential” and “non-essential” workers for quite some time when it comes to running prisons.
In certain times of high security risk, lockdown, or other emergency situations, non-essential staff are or can be removed from the facility and “locked out” per long-standing policy and procedure directives. Meanwhile, all essential workers, namely security and a small handful of essential civilian personnel (like the cook and medical staff) are ordered per the same directives to either stay on the job or report to work as per the protocol of the given situation.
What has never existed before are the prison terminologies, policies, chain of command, and control measures being applied to society at large. And now that they exist, what was once a free society consisting of free and enterprising independent people has effectively been regulated into a planned society, with the status of what inmates in prison have always been — wards of the state — and our only due process being the executive dictates banning the Liberty necessary for the pursuit of our happiness and the ability to provide for ourselves.
Conveniently for the planning elite, the state now finds itself in the position of having to provide for us the things they have determined are essential items and services to ensure an “adequate standard of living.” And just like that, the transformation from our free and natural individual rights and liberty to the conditional collective “human rights” of food, water, housing, recreation, healthcare, and what are essentially the “3 hots and a cot” rights of prisoners has been made.
It’s a dream come true for any revolutionary collectivist, be they of the communist, fascist/national socialist, humanist, or anarchist persuasion! And as we’ve seen repeatedly, they can’t print or digitize the money needed to pay for what liberty provided our once free society at a taxable profit fast enough.
Just like prison, this lockdown isn’t going to be lifted without a new plan, additional security measures, increased surveillance and frisks, check points, and tighter “movement and control” policies being instituted. And it’s not just the Democrats doing it; politicians across the board from the Trump Administration to Cuomo’s have called for nothing short of a “national surveillance system” utilizing “contact tracing” and/or drones to clock us all. Additionally, progressive planners and politicians alike are re-conceptualizing a post-COVID-19 America far removed from the constitutional Republic of our founding and in full compliance with the collective needs and mandates of the “new normal.”
Refuse to comply with or otherwise threaten to impede the smooth operation of the “new normal” by doing “business as usual,” and just as it is in prison, you can and will be charged with any number of violations akin to “unlawful assembly” or grouping up, “unauthorized exchange” of personal property, “disobeying a direct order,” interference and/or “insurrection.” And consistent with the history of prison administrators, kings, and tyrannical dictators alike, efforts are under way to reward snitches and recruit social enforcers to publicly “shame” and/or “rat out” those refusing to, as we say in prison, “get with the program.”
In the end, it’s not just the “economy” that’s on locked down, it’s liberty itself! It’s not just our businesses or pay checks we’re being denied, we’re being denied our way of life, our Liberty, and our supposedly “unalienable Right” to the “pursuit” our own free and independent happiness along with being denied the right to the fundamental free exchange of private property.
So it is that what no foreign enemy has ever been able to do to us with armies, bullets, and bombs, our own politicians and government officials have enthusiastically accomplished with nothing more than an administrative wave of their collective hands.
If it’s no longer freedom our servicemen and women are fighting for, what is it?
Joe Marshall was born and raised in the Finger Lakes Region of Upstate NY. He is a married father of two grown sons, an outdoorsman, a landscape contractor, a former stock car owner and driver, a certified 4H firearms instructor, and a retired New York State corrections officer.
Joe is the author of the book, Last Call for Liberty