Watch closely.

More quickly and more fervently than one could have imagined, the would-be authoritarian despots have emerged with a boldness and gall that must leave onlookers stunned.

Be aware that they are the face of socialism.

They are the adversaries of individual freedom, who regularly flout the tenants of the Constitution in favor of regulations and top-down directives.

As they seemingly gloat about a “new normal”, be aware that they are demonstrating exactly what they hope will be that “new normal”, which for them means to be in charge of your life.

Take note of the enthusiasm and glee with which they seize over-sight of all things. There is no minutia too inconsequential, or specialization so complex that they do not have a solution for any problem. Whether it’s directing cowboys to carry sack lunches to brandings, or shutting down a plant that destroys an entire food chain for a nation, there are no bounds to their prowess and omnipotence.

They have no compunction about forcing closure of an out-door movie theater or telling you what you can buy at Walmart. They know when you should get your hair cut or when you can have your gall bladder removed. They have a standardized solution for all problems, for all people, in all situations, and if it doesn’t fit then you are nothing more than sacrificial fodder for the “common good.”

If for a moment you are tempted to think that even if they are wrong they come with good intentions and a deep abiding concern for the plight of commoners, then remember the judge in Texas who with the full vindictiveness of slighted authority, sentenced a salon-owner and mother to seven days in jail for being so defiant as to want to feed her children and those of her employees.

Or, watch the wielders of this new found power try to desperately hold onto it, with righteous certainty and unwavering determination, as they refuse to allow citizens to reopen their businesses and resume living.

Just as astounding as the speed with which they seized power is the swiftness of the emergence of other aspects of closed societies — manifestations which are common in history and are functioning in current dictatorships — such as shutting down  the free flow of information. While historically that has meant government control of media, we are discovering that it makes little difference if it is government control of media, or the complicitness of the media.

Somewhat surprising , is the realization that a private company that has near monopoly  status can and will attempt to censor ideas and individual thought.  But no matter how it is done, a closed society requires the squelching of free thought and the free flow of ideas, a process fully underway.

A read of history also shows that centralized control requires the brainwashing and psychological intimidation of citizens. In Germany it was done through the schools and the marshalling of “brown shirts” – which was the organization of the brain-dead youth who emerged from it.

Under Russia’s Communism it was the requirement that, after a hard day’s work, citizens were required to go to community “re-education” programs, well into the night, so as, not only to leave people exhausted, with no free time and no personal or family life, but to attempt to convince them of the justness of what was happening to them.

This has materialized somewhat differently today, too. Besides the above mentioned censoring of ideas on social media, and indoctrination within the hallowed halls of academia, it comes with the persistent drum beat of repeated bromides by society itself, coupled with the oppression of political correctness – legal and social pressure aimed at silencing contradictory ideas and bullying those who dare to question.

And the most amazing phenomenon has been the “snitching” by citizens against citizens. Few things seem more un-American, but it started happening almost immediately. In Germany and in Russia they had neighborhood citizens as captains or chairman on each block, charged with the duty of “snitching.” And, voluntary snitching was rewarded with extra food or privileges.

Speaking of food. Who would have imagined that we in the US would be standing in food lines, with guards standing present, as we are restricted as to how much food we can buy? Just exactly as has occurred in many countries in the past, where food shortages and government- run distribution systems required citizens to spend hours and hours of each day waiting in line for a chicken or for their allotted pound of rice.

Of course, the theory of those who believe that top-down control is necessary to achieve desirable outcomes, is that we as individuals are uncaring, stupid and irresponsible, so much so that we cannot be left to our own devices, such as would be inherent in the alternative approach of persuading and informing. They seem unaware that if most people didn’t agree with the need for the conduct being dictated, their edicts would not be obeyed regardless of the force brought to bear.

Socialists believe that without coercion, individual citizens are not smart enough to realize that a virus can threaten life, or to understand that we might be well-  served by social distancing and being inordinately conscious of cleanliness. No – we cannot be depended upon to do the responsible things in the process of living our lives, running our businesses (businesses that would not exist without us), or interacting in an economy (which by the way we each by our own voluntary actions are responsible for building and maintaining.) The great irony is that while they have no confidence in the decisions of everyday people dealing with everyday life, these are the same people upon whom they rely to fulfill every need in their lives.

Top-down management is not a problem of WHO is in charge; top-down control of society encounters the same problem every time it is tried. The approach attempts to manage all things for all people, which IS SIMPLY NOT HUMANLY POSSIBLE. So it will always end badly.

That is why socialism does not work.

No human being or group of human beings can know all, do all and be all that micromanaging of society requires. While an open society of free-wheeling and voluntary actions and interactions of unrestrained individuals serving their own best interests — may not be perfect, it will always have the best outcome for the greatest number of people, far more so than the dictates of a highly- fallible  human being, trying to manipulate, intimidate and coerce everyone to a single utopian concept of what “should be.”

In other words, it is not the failing of a dictator but the impossibility of the task that leads to the failure of socialism – compounded by ego and arrogance. Of course, if one comprehends the depth and breadth of all that must be understood in order to successfully manage the world, it is understandable that the sanity of any would-be despot has to questioned.

So, indeed, watch closely what is unfolding before us on a daily basis, and hold fast to the knowledge that there are things in life worse than a virus.