Oligarchy’s Response to the Freedom Convoy Bodes Ill for Them

Oligarchy’s Response to the Freedom Convoy Bodes Ill for Them. By Roger Kimball.

As I write, Canadian police, many dressed in military garb and supported by armored vehicles and snipers(!), are moving in to enforce several court orders and demands of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Ontario Premier Doug Ford, and others that the “Freedom Convoy” of Canadian truckers stop blocking the Ambassador Bridge, the major artery between the United States and Canada, and disperse. Some of the protestors are leaving while many others are standing their ground.

Will the heavy hand of the state succeed in crushing the protest? In the short term, perhaps. …

Officialdom’s response to the Freedom Convey is a desperate effort to put the genie of liberty back in the bottle. Ultimately, it will not work. But on the way to that failure there will be plenty of opportunities for the coercive power of the state to manifest itself. …

After the Berlin Wall fell in 1989, the oxygen of legitimacy rapidly went out of Communist dictatorships throughout Eastern Europe. Romania’s Nicolae Ceausescu was one of the unlucky tyrants. He went from delivering a speech to an angry populace to facing, along with his wife Elena, a firing squad four days later on Christmas Day.

According to the media, the Canadian truckers, and their imitators around the globe, are protesting COVID vaccine mandates. That’s only part of their complaint. They don’t like the government ordering them to inject substances into their bodies that have not been shown to be safe (or effective), made by drug companies that are protected from liability for years.

But the standoff is more basic. It is like the standoff between the American colonists and the British authorities in the late 1760s and early 1770s. That standoff turned on the question “Who rules?” So, ultimately, does the conflict between the established regimes and the truckers and other protestors. Legitimacy does not proceed from the barrel of a gun, although Western “democracies” everywhere seem to have ignored the lessons of history.

Although Canadian officialdom is bemoaning the fact that the truckers had, in effect, closed the U.S.-Canada border, Trudeau had essentially sealed the border between the two countries for more than a year. The Babylon Bee captured this side of the situation brilliantly with a story headlined “Trudeau Demands Protesters Stop Shutting Down City So That He Can Shut Down City.” …

The trucker protest has been conspicuous for its pacific nature. Unlike the riots that raged across the United States in the aftermath of the death of career criminal George Floyd, no police stations were torched, no property was destroyed, no one was killed or maimed. And yet the truckers get the armored vehicles, the SWAT teams, the snipers.

Who rules? The hissing sound you hear is the sound of political legitimacy escaping from the institutions that, bloated with too much power and too little accountability, are beginning to deflate in the face of widespread popular unrest. At this point, it is not clear what will happen to the truckers in Ottawa.

The bureaucratic left has been caught flat-footed, by a well-organized opposition who didn’t cave at the first cries of “racist” and “white supremacist”: