Scrounging for Respect in Soviet America


In his Netflix special, famed comedian Dana Carvey uses a simple analogy to explain the main difference between free market capitalism and socialism.

“To me,” the former Saturday Night Live star launched, “capitalism is an Apple store.” But socialism, he continues, “is the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) … [where] sweaty, pissed off workers … can’t get fired.” What’s worse, Carvey added, is that “they laugh at you … ha, ha, ha ha … ‘you got the wrong line you f***ing idiot’.”

Perhaps unbeknownst to the comedian, this analogy may also help to describe a sentiment shared by any American or resident whose life was forever changed by the hand of government. Respect for the individual and his needs and desires, Carvey’s bit seems to suggest, is an ideal that may only exist in an environment unblemished by bureaucracy. And he’s right.

The idea the individual is sovereign and retains the sole ownership of his life is a farfetched fantasy to the bureaucrat. Instead, the average faithful and inept government worker may contend that we all exist to pay taxes, follow the rules, and shut up while they are talking. Whether you’re in line at the DMV or at a Social Security Administration office, you are just a citizen who, for lack of a better term, is nothing but a number. Making us happy is not part of their employer’s mission.

But why?

You might even know a bureaucrat or two who are perfectly nice people. They might be your neighbors and wave, wishing you a good morning when leaving for work. They might even offer to go the extra mile to help you solve a problem at a given time. Those — the exemptions to the rule — are such because they often understand that they are dealing with individuals, but will often remain silent throughout their career, helping their employer to perpetrate injustices. When asked why, hey often answer: I was just doing my job.

With the creation of government agency after government agency overseeing everything under the sun — from nature to LEGO sets — the United States embraced the practical and progressive repeal of a free-from-government-interference pricing mechanism. Without a free, competitive pricing system in place, employees lose touch with what it means to be a service provider.

Their goal shifts from competing to continue to provide a good or service to pushing papers. Sometimes, quite literally. That’s when the individual before him becomes just another “dimwit.” The customer, therefore, becomes the compulsory patron whose need reflects nothing but a request for a mandated service. There is no place to run to and nobody to hear your complaints. And accountability is perpetually absent. Under these circumstances, employees lose their humanity precisely because their employment does not depend on their grasp of customer contentment or satisfaction. All they have to do is follow the rules. But even if they don’t, nothing bad will happen.

In a country where government runs our lives, respect is a word that exists only in literature, or perhaps in a food truck festival or even an Apple store. The solution is simple: The utter abandonment of government as an administration force in our lives. But who’s willing to make it happen?

Folks are too busy working two, three jobs to make ends meet. Some are even too busy and broke they can’t afford being healthy. And taxes are so high, prices of commodities also rise as a result. The individual is stuck in a cycle of deception, and breaking with it completely means drowning into the Pacific. After all, there are few unclaimed pieces of land out there in need of an Anarchist haven.

What’s left? Ideas. And that’s what Carvey has helped us spread even further. The ideas of freedom.

As President-elect Donald Trump preps to take office, the country is forced into an open debate that compels us to discuss all kinds of political ideas.

Much like what former congressman Ron Paul did while running for president, Trump indirectly helped us to discuss the alternatives to government, even if he doesn’t necessarily  support them. Now, mainstream newspapers help to defend secession as a viable option while others openly discuss libertarian principles even if they do not know they are doing so.

In Soviet America, we might still be standing in line just to be yelled at and made fun of by a government worker regularly, but different ideas are beginning to spread far and wide. And much like wildfire, ideas can consume everything quickly. Here’s hoping it finally does, and for good.

Born and raised in Brazil, Alice always knew America was her home. From the moment she first lived in the United States as a 14-year-old up until now, she has never stopped fighting to make it freer.

She lives in Compton, California and writes for The Advocates for Self-Government and Anti-Media.

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