Happy Australia Day to our many friends (and Mark Steyn Club members) Down Under. As I write, it's still pre-Australia Day in the non-Oz part of the world, but I believe midnight has struck in Cloncurry. After the Australia Day weekend, I'll be joining Chris Kenny on his brand new Monday show on Sky Australia - I believe that's 8pm Sydney time in the antipodes. Not sure what that translates to in New Hampshire time, so I may have already missed it.
On Thursday's edition of "Tucker Carlson Tonight", I joined Tucker to consider one of the more disturbing trends of our time - the convergence of Big Government and Big Tech. Click below to watch:
That Tocqueville passage I mentioned is quoted in my bestseller After America:
As Tocqueville wrote: 'There was a time in Europe in which the law, as well as the consent of the people, clothed kings with a power almost without limits. But almost never did it happen that they made use of it.'
True. His Majesty was an absolute tyrant - in theory. But in practice he was in his palace hundreds of miles away. A pantalooned emissary might come prancing into your dooryard once every half-decade and give you a hard time, but for the most part you got on with your life relatively undisturbed. In Tocqueville's words:
'Although the entire government of the empire was concentrated in the hands of the emperor alone, and although he remained, in time of need, the arbiter of all things, the details of social life and of individual existence ordinarily escaped his control.'
Just so. You were the mean and worthless subject of a cruel and mercurial despot but, even if he wanted to, he lacked the means to micro-regulate your life in every aspect. Yet what would happen, Tocqueville wondered, if administrative capability were to evolve to make it possible "to subject all of his subjects to the details of a uniform set of regulations"?
That moment has now arrived.
As much as radical Islam, an assertive technology fills a vacuum. In Karel ÄŒapek's once famous play RER - wherein he invented the word "robot" - the machines take over as man ceases procreating and degenerates into a life of solipsistic whimsy. I'd say more but I believe the new iPhone 432D is out today with a navel-gazing app.
For the full episode of "Tucker Carlson Tonight", click here. And, the end of the world notwithstanding, personally autographed copies of After America are exclusively available from the SteynOnline bookstore.
If you like me with Tucker, try me with Dennis Miller. We'll be live on stage together for the first time, kicking off next month in Reading, Pennsylvania and Syracuse, New York. Two on the aisle makes a great treat for your loved one - especially if you book a VIP ticket, where you'll not only enjoy the best seats, but also get the opportunity to meet Dennis and me after the show. Full details on the Miller/Steyn tour here.