Some believe the government has gotten so big and overreaching that it no longer represents the people, but rather its own self-interest. Alexis de Tocqueville, a French philosopher and author of “Democracy in America” in two volumes (1835, and 1840), wrote in Volume II about the vibrance of the American system of government and how the virtue and spirit of the American people made government and freedom work. In this second volume, he astutely described, however, how “democracies” fall into a tyrannical reign through years of deception and growth of government. Tocqueville described the resulting power of such a government toward its citizens as “soft tyranny.”
He wrote: “It covers the surface of society with a network of small, complicated rules, minute and uniform, through which the most original minds and the most energetic characters cannot penetrate, to rise above the crowd. The will of man is not shattered, but softened, bent, and guided; men are seldom forced by it to act, but they are constantly restrained from acting. Such a power does not destroy, but it prevents existence: it does not tyrannize, but it compresses, enervates, extinguishes, and stupefies a people, till each nation is reduced to nothing better than a flock of timid and industrious animals, of which the government is the shepherd.” With dissent labeled “misinformation,” corporations beholden to the government narrative, and media motivated by agenda, soft tyranny may be more prevalent than ever in US history.
The Department of Homeland Security February 7 issued a National Terrorism Advisory System Bulletin: “The United States remains in a heightened threat environment fueled by several factors, including an online environment filled with false or misleading narratives and conspiracy theories, and other forms of mis- dis- and mal-information (MDM) introduced and/or amplified by foreign and domestic threat actors.” DHS says the threat hasn’t significantly changed over the last year, but there is increased volatility in three main areas: “(1) the proliferation of false or misleading narratives, which sow discord or undermine public trust in U.S. government institutions;
“(2) continued calls for violence directed at U.S. critical infrastructure; soft targets and mass gatherings; faith-based institutions, such as churches, synagogues, and mosques; institutions of higher education; racial and religious minorities; government facilities and personnel, including law enforcement and the military; the media; and perceived ideological opponents; and (3) calls by foreign terrorist organizations for attacks on the United States based on recent events.” The Government ‘s own policies on border security, protests that turn violent, police defunding, censorship of dissent, and mandates may be contributors to what DHS describes. Is this a warning about terrorism or to dissenting law-abiding citizens like parents questioning school board decisions? As Christ said in Matthew 24:4, “Take heed that no man deceive you.”