If there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation, it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion or force citizens to confess by word or act their faith therein.Justice Robert Jackson, 1943
As you may have heard, President Joe Biden just instituted a national vaccine-mandate for all federal employees and contractors, as well as all companies with more than 100 employees.
Regardless of the safety or efficacy of the vaccines themselves, I think it’s safe to say that all true Americans — included those who have been vaccinated — are appalled by the mandate.
Those who value “risk-management” by executive order over constrained government and self-reliance are not Americans in spirit, no matter what their birth-certificate may say. Freedom includes the right to be vaccinated — and also the right to opt out. When indirect effects on others are taken as justification to impose upon protected rights, then there are no rights, because everything we do has indirect effects. Some of those effects are “positive,” and some are “negative.” Every time.
If indirect effects justify losing your rights, then you have no rights.
Yet these indirect effects have been used as justification to write law from the executive branch, to censor dissenting speech, and to incrementally smother citizens in their day-to-day lives in order to enforce compliance.
If you have ever felt like a “1776-moment” is coming: this is it.
Warfare changes. Strategy and tactics change with technology and environment. Those who try to fight modern war using ancient paradigms are doomed to failure. If you think you will defeat this mandate with violence and rifles, with terrorism, or with some grand march on Washington, you will lose. In fact, you will cause your more strategic allies to lose.
That’s not how wars are fought anymore.
If you think it is, then you’ve missed the war that’s been going on around you for the past several years.
War is about changing who rules over whom. Winning modern warfare is the same as winning ancient warfare in that it requires strategy, but strategy isn’t trying to do what people in the 18th century did, except in a 21st century context.
Just as in ancient times, winning a modern war is about using the right tool for the job, and the tools have changed since General Washington crossed the Potomac. The tools that have been used against you are various, but they are primarily psychological and economic in nature.
Most of us don’t have the financial or political means to use economic weapons in response to those used against us. This is an asymmetry we’re just going to have to deal with. But we do have psychological tools at our disposal — tools which are proven to be effective and are entirely legal.
In a recent stream, persuasion expert Scott Adams said that to defeat the mask-mandates, all people had to do was walk in to their local stores without masks. If an employee asked them to put on a mask, do so, and be polite (politeness is key). At an individual level, this may feel like a loss… but stores don’t operate at an individual scale. They operate on economies of scale, and the time, attention, and morale of their employees is critical to their success. If only 20% of customers forced the employees to ask, that little bit of increased friction would crush the store. The employees would simply give up, or else become so demoralized over time that the store would eventually lose all functionality.
And it wouldn’t take everyone. It only takes a substantial minority.
If people wish to defeat a federal vaccine mandate, it will take a little bit more effort, but it is equally doable, and through similar means.
Don’t take this as the only approach to victory, but take it as an example of an effective tactic that can be used to win this kind of war, and which has already been used extensively (mostly by the left) to win similar kinds of victories.
Though the nominal “law enforcement agents” of our nation are the police, the actual agencies which distribute the citations for violating mask and vaccine mandates are not cops. The weak link in the state is not the police, though they may also deserve some criticism of their own.
In most cases, the weak link is Labor and Industries (L&I) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) offices. These are the people that do the inspections and give out fines. They are the key to the point of failure; without them, the mandate is meaningless. Without them, cops would have no “criminal” to detain for violating some executive mumbling.
So this is the whole strategy — so simple, it might even seem too easy.
Every day, call your local L&I office and/or OSHA office. It may take some effort to find a human (the particular phone-tree path doesn’t matter) but as soon as you get to a breathing person, follow the following flow-chart:
1. Ask them if they plan on enforcing Biden’s vaccine-mandate.
Hello, I’m calling to ask whether your office is planning on enforcing the recent vaccine mandate for large companies.
2.a. (if “no”): Express relief; thank them for being an American, and have a nice day.
Oh, that’s so great to hear. I know it’s tough right now, but I really, really appreciate you guys representing us and keeping our Constitution safe. Have a wonderful day.
2.b. (if “yes”): BE POLITE! Accept their answer, and then ask — with NO anger — how it feels to be a traitor.
Oh, okay. I see. So, how does it feel to betray your own country like that?
Oh, okay. I see. Out of curiousity, when did you decide to become a Nazi?
If they try to give some answer, just hang up.
Do this every day until the mandate is rescinded. If your office takes your side, start calling other regional offices. Make it a habit, like brushing your teeth. And never stop.
And that’s it.
The strategy works by repetition. You might be laughed at or condescendingly dismissed for the first call or three. It might feel cringy to accuse someone of being a traitor or a Nazi. But that’s okay. Over time, it might feel like nothing is happening, but just like building up muscle by thousands upon thousands of repetitions, you can’t expect psychological change to happen over night. You’ll know the strategy is working when they hear your voice, recognize it, and immediately hang up. If that happens, they already played through the sequence in their own head. They heard the accusation. You don’t need to say anything at that point.
You only need to make the phone ring. After a while, their brain will do the rest. Eventually — after a few months — the sound of the phone ringing itself will be that reminder.
“Nazi” is an especially punchy label because the usual bureacratic instinct is to think “hey man, I’m just doing my job”… which, when preceded by some Nazi reference, is going to bring to mind “I was just following orders.” Even in their own heads, many will begin to see the connection.
The politeness and steady affect is critical in step 2.b. because anger expresses uncertainty or a lack of self-confidence. Calling someone a traitor as a matter-of-fact — as if you were asking how long they’d worked for L&I — treats the contention as a given. It becomes harder for them to deny. Conversely, if they get angry, you know the strategy is working.
There are many outcomes of this scenario; perhaps enough employees quit that the office ceases to function. Perhaps the office changes its contacting or screening methods — the dedicated soldiers of Fourth-Generation Warfare may have to get more creative. Emails are probably not good, because addresses can just be marked as spam, and physical methods like letters or in-person visits aren’t scalable over the duration that will be required for this to work. Perhaps internal dissention becomes so serious that individual states begin to reject the Federal mandate, as Washington and Colorado successfully rejected the Federal ban on marijuana.
But one thing that we know won’t happen from such a program: nothing.
If the proliferation of flagrantly dishonest news media, of digital censorship, of political manipulation, and of the organized social campaigns of the last two decades proves anything, it is that repetition and demoralization works. We’ve all been subjected to it, to varying degrees, and have probably experienced the desire to just abandon it all at numerous points.
Some of us have.
But it doesn’t have to be like that.
There’s no better cure for despair and despondency than going on the offense. And there’s no better way to go on the offense than in a strategic and legal fashion.
It may not be as romantic or glorious as storming a beach, a dangerous but exhilarating moment accomplished in a day. Marathons are less exciting than sprints. But at the end of the day, you get a lot further. Even if there is less glory from strangers in wonder at great attempts, there is more gratitude from family and country who appreciated what you achieved without striving for personal recognition.
If you’re in the mood, give this strategy a whirl for a year or two.
Let’s see what happens.