The Merits of Spring Breakers: What governments can’t control

I always think of Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi when I think of topics like the Spring Break behavior that has been reported this year, more than most years.  I don’t think the Spring Break activity is much different this year than in other years going back to when I was in that age group.  I see Spring Break as a primal need and reaction young people must express due to overbearing socialist instruction in their colleges and grade school experiences colliding with a small window of freedom that they have as young adults seeing the stars for really the first time in their lives.  Unfortunately for most of them, if not all of them, and most everyone reading this, they never break that escape velocity into space and become free to orbit themselves in some reality they make as a creative impulse into their own lives.  It was Csikszentmihalyi thought who has been working out the details of this behavior in his books on Flow, which I’m a tremendous fan of.  I find Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi interesting because his work has validated my own thoughts on these kinds of matters and have brought some authority to the subject that is very relevant to our present circumstances, which is why I support the antics of Spring Breakers and motorcycle rallies such as Sturgis, but I would condemn riots in the streets, because to me, they are very different things although they make look the same to the naked eye. 

With all that said, I am not a partier, I do not dance in public, I don’t drink, I don’t get “funky” in private or in public in any way at all.  If I’m in a room by myself or in public, I’m the same person and I have no desire or inclination as I said in the video above to lose myself to the tides of pop culture and alcohol.  I see Spring Breakers as off center and agents of chaos hell bent on their own self destruction.  Yet I find comfort in their rebellion because it points to an essential ingredient when it comes to countries that attempt self-government and is a lesson to every culture that attempts to micromanage the affairs of their people.  If people are robbed of their impulse to live, if they do not have personal autonomy, they tend to find ways to break the rules of any society as a means of self-expression, which is precisely what is going on in these Spring Break acts of lawlessness and chaos that have been reported this year, specifically.  And the reason the press is interested now as opposed to five years ago or 10 is due to the experiments by the government in using Covid-19 as a means of controlling populations and the slight shock that after a year of this behavior, people still bounce back to lawlessness when it is discovered that too many rules and regulations have been placed on them by whatever institution they have been interacting with. 

For instance, much has been said about the New Zealand gun registry attempts that have been going on there over the last few years in an attempt to remove guns from that society, as a progressive push to remove them all over the world.  Many progressives and socialists especially in the current Biden administration for instance are pointing to New Zealand and Australia and wondering why we can’t treat gun rights in America more like they do in those places, with gun buybacks and massive confiscation from gun registries, where they coax people into listing the guns they have then once the government knows, they come to your house and take them by force.  Well, first of all, capitalism and gun ownership are closely related, which is why socialists and communists want to get rid of them.  If they want to get rid of capitalism, then the guns must go in that type of society so that the government can have complete control over the population and the means of production can then be centralized.  So in America, guns are a very personal thing for the way of life we expect to live, unlike other places in the world where guns are just an extra thing in their lives, and people do not feel that passionate about their freedoms, because they have become used to not being free in their lives for generations. 

Such as in China, when communism took over there, the people were coming out of a long war with Japan and were already skeptical of more fighting.  They were in effect an already conquered people and many of those people today still reflect this approach to their government.  They are much more open to being controlled by their government than Americans are.  Yet communists have seen success in taking over Central America, especially Cuba, and Iran through revolutions since the last World War and still believe through their study of history that America can be toppled in the same way.  This is where Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi comes in, humans desire autonomy.  Americans have had autonomy for many years, we decide when where we go and what we do when we get there.  Choice is the centerpiece of our culture.  For instance, if one state taxes people too much, then people will leave and go to a state where there are lower taxes—because they have choice.  In communist countries, choices are all controlled by the state, so people are said to not have any choice and at some point, they accept that reality.  But deep inside them all is the desire to have choice and autonomy over their lives. 

Back to New Zealand, people largely have chosen not to participate in the government gun registry program leaving that government playing chicken with the inevitable train now that the public has called their bluff.  They can’t confiscate what they don’t know about because they simply don’t have the resources to go door to door if the society will not cooperate with them.  We are seeing the same kind of rebellion in the United States with mask mandates and Covid vaccinations.  There is a panic emerging among the government types because for their big plans to work, people would have to be much more compliant.  People do reach a saturation point when it comes to rules.  If a government issues too many, they lose the people who truly desire autonomy in their lives, even in China.  The communist government there has had to give illusions of some autonomy to keep control over their society.  And the balancing act means that they must control what their people see and hear to maintain their desires for freedom. 

When I see Spring Breakers acting crazy in the street, perhaps for the first and only time in their lives, I see humans craving freedom.  It may be misdirected and even dangerous, but what I see are humans striving for autonomy, the Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi kind.  And even twenty years later when those young kids in their college bodies are 90 pounds heavier and have raised kids of their own, they will still have a tendency to rebel against an out of control government.  They might follow the rules to get along, to stay employed, and to live in a civil society.  But they will vote with their heart, and they will push back against too many rules and will defy laws not well thought out by out-of-control politicians, such as we are seeing today with the Biden administration.  The element that truly does keep us free won’t be an armed rebellion but the inability of politicians and a ruling class in general to take control of our massive population because inside each and every one of us is an old Spring Breaker who wants to be free of everything and to face tomorrow on our own terms. 

Cliffhanger the Overmanwarrior
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