The Politics of Obedience

“A people enslaves itself, cuts its own throat, when, having a choice between being vassals and being free men, it deserts its liberties and takes on the yoke, gives consent to its own misery, or, rather, apparently welcomes it.”

We believe the 16th-century French political theorist Étienne de La Boétie hooked onto a truth here.

We plucked this passage from his masterly work The Politics of Obedience by title.

We believe it enjoys high relevance in this, the 21st century. More from which:

It is incredible how as soon as a people becomes subject, it promptly falls into such complete forgetfulness of its freedom that it can hardly be roused to the point of regaining it, obeying so easily and so willingly that one is led to say, on beholding such a situation, that this people has not so much lost its liberty as won its enslavement.

Thus the frog goes into its pot of gradually heating water — and never jumps out.

Perfectly Imperfect

Yesterday we wondered why so many continue to accept the verdicts of Dr. Fauci… his understrappers within the field of public health… and the elected officials who boss us.

In nearly every particular they have proven mistaken — intentionally or unintentionally…

Mistaken on masks. Mistaken on lockups. Mistaken on medicines. Mistaken on vaccines.

What they claim one day is proven false the following day. What they deny one day is proven true the following day.

If not the following day, then the following week. If not the following week, then the following month.

It is not the erring that flusters us. Sincere men — men of good faith — can botch badly.

We are merely confounded and discombobulated that so many continue heeding them… and submitting to their blemished authority.

And why do so many have such blistering heat against those who point to holes in official theories, who announce that the emperor is well and truly nude?

Would they prefer to be foxed, conned and tricked — to believe the emperor is garmented?

These are the questions we tackle today…

No Judgment

We do not hector, we do not preach, we do not badger, we do not hold forth today.

Nor do we judge. A man shoots an accusing finger outward and three shoot back at him… as is said.

We are merely out to solve a puzzle, the way a detective is out to solve a crime, the way an autopsist is out to solve a death.

For light, we turn to Professor Mattias Desmet. This fellow professes psychology at Belgium’s Ghent University.

A people acquire an acute anxiety, he explains. In the case before us, acute anxiety of the virus.

Coney-catchers, sharpers and opportunists — that is, political leaders — emerge in response, holding out salvation.

The people accept the outstretched hand. It soothes and comforts them.

Anyone who slaps away this hand is a hellcat, a hobgoblin, a menace to the public happiness.


Here the professor speaks of “Mass-Formation.” As summarized:

In Mass-Formations people become radically intolerant of dissident voices. This person threatens to wake the people up and they get angry when confronted by the initial anxiety and discontent they experience by challenges to the official doctrine.

The crowd directs all their aggression at dissident voices.

At the same time they are radically tolerant of their leaders who pronounce the mainstream narrative. These people can lie and cheat and do everything they want and will always be forgiven by the crowd. All the lying, dishonesty and misbehavior is seen by the crowd as doing it for their own safety.

We suffer the acquaintance of certain individuals who fit this description to a fare-thee-well… as perfectly and precisely as the size 10 foot fits the size 10 shoe.

They, like your editor, are reasonably sane. They are reasonably reasonable, they are reasonably tolerant.

They are generally pleasant and agreeable.

Jekyll and Hyde

But tell them that Dr. Fauci has been less than fully truthful. Tell them that masks are minimally effective. Tell them that lockups fail to jail the virus. Above all…

Tell them that these vaccines are not as safe or as formidable as the drummers claim.

Now you have a demon on your hands.

They will scourge you as a conspiracy theorist… a delusional… an imbecile… a witless dupe of the bedlamite fringe.

Here we speak with the invincible authority of personal experience. We know such gentlemen and ladies.

We had best keep the names dark, lest our attorneys receive a sharp note claiming character defamation.

No matter what you hurl against them, it bounces off unbreachable armor… spitballs off a tank.

They simply will not listen. They are sunk in a sort of intoxicating hypnosis.

And woe to anyone out to shatter the spell…

Why Facts Don’t Work


Similar to hypnosis, people in this hyper-focused state are narrowly focused. In hypnosis, only the hypnotized are focused in this way… In Mass-Formation, leaders emerge which are even more narrowly focused than the followers.

When people experience this mental intoxication it no longer matters if the narrative is wrong or even blatantly false. What matters is that it leads up to this mental intoxication. This is why they will continue to go along with the narrative.

The resistance to understanding the narrative is false or wrong is driven by the fear of returning to the state of Free-Floating Anxiety and wanting to continue to experience the mental intoxication.

This explains why arguing based on facts will not work. Facts no longer matter to them. Given the facts, they are unable to come to sensible conclusions, even in their own best interests.

Here we believe the author lowers his hammer square upon the nailhead. We believe his thesis holds vast explanatory powers. It is immensely plausible.

Again: We do not judge or condemn whom we consider the entranced. They consider us entranced.

They are of course correct.

For example: This editor of yours believes he is the reincarnated soul of the Emperor Nero. He believes that he is a masterful lover. He believes that he is nice.

He accepts them as fact… though in honest moments he concedes he lacks all confirming evidence.

But let it go…

The Real Blame

Our grievance is not with the entranced, but rather with the spellbinders who entrance them.

That is, with those who would wreck a society over a virus rate with a survival rate in excess of 99%…

With those who would decry the use of safe and effective drug treatments because they would harpoon the legal justification for experimental, emergency-use vaccines…

With those who promised us we could discard our facial masks once we took aboard the vaccines…

With those who would torture statistics to declare a false “pandemic of the unvaccinated”…

With those who deny that these vaccines have murdered many thousands of people and mangled hundreds of thousands more…

With those who would inform mothers-to-be that these vaccines will not injure their child…

With those who would vaccinate young children, young children who face infinitesimal risk of sickness or death and who are far more likely to perish from the vaccine itself…

With those who believe they can and should dictate the medical choices of free men and women.

It is they who frost our nose. It is they who wring our gizzard. It is they who rile our customary serenity and our detached indifference to the world’s events.

Time for Inaction

We conclude today’s issue where we commenced — with Monsieur Étienne de La Boétie.

Here is how to break the hypnotist’s spell… for those who care to break it.

His counterspell requires not action — but inaction:

You can deliver yourselves if you try, not by taking action, but merely by willing to be free. Resolve to serve no more, and you are at once freed. I do not ask that you place hands upon the tyrant to topple him over, but simply that you support him no longer; then you will behold him, like a great Colossus whose pedestal has been pulled away, fall of his own weight and break into pieces.

The time for inaction is now…


Brian Maher

Brian Maher
Managing Editor, The Daily Reckoning

The Daily Reckoning