Don't Burn This Country: Surviving and Thriving in Our Woke Dystopia

Don't Burn This Country: Surviving and Thriving in Our Woke Dystopia

by Dave Rubin
Don't Burn This Country: Surviving and Thriving in Our Woke Dystopia

Don't Burn This Country: Surviving and Thriving in Our Woke Dystopia

by Dave Rubin


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A guide for anyone who wants to revive the American dream while the woke mob tries to burn down the country.

You don't have to be a conspiracy theorist to see that something dark is happening in America. Just look around: Massive corporations monitor our every move. The Thought Police stand ready to cancel any who dare think for themselves. Brainwashed activists openly attack the American experiment.

The dystopian future we've been warned of is here.

Dave Rubin has been on the front lines of the culture wars for years. Now, he offers tactics you can use to protect yourself from today’s authoritarian rule—from resisting the grip of Big Tech to staying sane in a post-truth world. What’s more, he offers a vision for the next generation of patriots who will need to face the future head-on, holding fast to their values and creating a meaningful life no matter how frenzied and fabricated the news of the day is.

In order for free-thinking people to thrive in this era of woke lunacy, we need to step up and create freedom for ourselves. While exposing Progressive lies and offering practical advice you can employ right now, this book is a call for Americans to live the freest life possible—and a roadmap for saving the greatest country in the history of the world.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780593332146
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 04/12/2022
Pages: 240
Sales rank: 137,771
Product dimensions: 9.00(w) x 6.10(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Dave Rubin is the creator and host of The Rubin Report, the most-watched talk show about free speech and big ideas on YouTube. He is the author of Don’t Burn This Book, which was a New York Times bestseller, and the co-founder of the community building platform Locals. He currently lives in Los Angeles with his husband, David, and his dog, Clyde.

Read an Excerpt



There Are No Other Letters in "I"


The question isn't who is going to let me; it's who is going to stop me.


Ayn Rand, The Fountainhead


The Fight for Individual Rights


As political unrest in the Middle East exploded in the second half of 2021, I noticed a trend online that really knocked me off my chair: a new social justice movement called "Queers for Palestine." The movement, almost exclusively driven by people who live, unsurprisingly, in the US, is pretty straightforward. Gay and/or transgender American hipsters decided they empathize dearly with the oppressed people of Palestine, so they paraded in the streets of cities across the country declaring their solidarity.


All I have to say to these kids is there's no gay pride parade in Gaza. The simple truth is that Queers for Palestine is very different than Palestine for Queers, which usually ends in a fierce and fabulous trip off a rooftop for a pink-haired, genderqueer nonbinary Latinx lesbian.


Especially since the summer of 2020, ignorant displays of wokeness like these have become insufferable. What's worse, I can guarantee not a single soul who attended a Black Lives Matter rally on the mean streets of Park Slope, Brooklyn, has ever experienced true oppression in their lives. And the fact that the majority of the social justice crowd-woke liberals-does not understand just how lucky they are is very, very dangerous.


Yeonmi Park would know this better than anyone. Park was born in the northern part of North Korea in 1993. Growing up, she would regularly go without food and was made to believe that Kim Jong Il could read her mind. Her father risked everything to provide for his wife and two young daughters, but he was later imprisoned and tortured by the regime for trading on the black market.


When Yeonmi was thirteen, the Park family faced a difficult reality: die of starvation or die trying to be free. They chose the latter. Weighing sixty pounds and having just undergone a botched appendectomy, she crossed the Chinese border and waded through the icy Yalu River guided by human traffickers.


The moment they successfully escaped North Korea, they became sex slaves in China. Her mother was bought for sixty-five dollars. Yeonmi was bought for two hundred. She tried to kill herself, but one of the traffickers took a sick form of pity on her and said that if she became his mistress, that he would buy her mother and bring the family back together.


While in China, Yeonmi learned that she could be free in South Korea. So with seven others and armed only with a compass and the North Star, she escaped her captor and walked across the freezing Gobi Desert to Mongolia, and was eventually caught by a Mongolian soldier. Defectors carry poison with them in case they are caught and sent back to North Korea. As she reached for the poison to end her life, the soldier sympathized and contacted South Korea instead of North Korea.


During our conversation on The Rubin Report, I asked Yeonmi if life in China was better than her life in North Korea. She responded, "At thirteen, somehow I learned not to feel. It wasn't like I was thinking, Am I happy here? It was that every second was survival."


In South Korea, she learned that thinking for herself took a lot of effort. Instead of being told what to wear, what to listen to, or what to watch, she suddenly had to decide on her own. Despite the freedoms and quality of life being drastically better, Yeonmi felt a deep loneliness setting in, as no one seemed to understand her plight and most South Koreans looked down on North Korean defectors.


Years later, she moved to America-"the land of the free and the home of the brave." She was excited for the new life that awaited her, far away from the totalitarianism of her homeland and the loneliness of South Korea. One day, at around 2 p.m., Yeonmi was walking down Michigan Avenue in Chicago when three women forcefully stole her wallet. When she tried to grab hold of her attackers, they punched her in the face, stole her purse, and held her down as the one with the bag ran away.


As she yelled, begging for help, the surrounding Chicagoans told her to stop yelling-that she was being racist. The three women who attacked her happened to be black.


This was a strange moment for Yeonmi. This was not what she had expected from America. Worse than that, it felt oddly familiar. She knew this feeling of being silenced-of not being able to ask for help-more than anyone. She said, "What I see in America is that when I was born in North Korea, I was the third generation of this oppression. I didn't even know what the alternative was like. But my grandmother knew. She was living under the Japanese colonization before Kim [Jong Il]. People who lived before that time knew that it was different. But they kept their silence, and by the time he came to us, we didn't even know that we were slaves to a dictator. And so when they ask why there's no revolution in North Korea, I ask, 'How do you fight when you don't know you're a slave?' . . . We can't take freedom for granted-it's a very fragile thing."


Yeonmi then shared something that truly shocked me: She's not scared of what's coming in America. She's afraid of what's here. She came to fight for her people in North Korea but now finds herself having to fight for freedom in America too-a fight for individual rights.


To fight for individual rights is to be, in essence, an individualist. It's to believe that each person is of more value than any single role or function in society-that each is a unique, living, breathing, thinking human being-and as long as one person's freedom doesn't directly infringe on someone else's, then you're good to go. In other words, lots of power given to individuals and less power for government, groups, or institutions.


By having an understanding grounded in the US Declaration of Independence-that life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are birthrights and that the government can't give it to you nor take it away-this right here, folks, is truly the only way to make progress on a national level and still be authentically inclusive. Because where a true democracy exists there will be individualism, and where individualism exists there will be a true democracy.


The term individualism itself was first coined by Alexis de Tocqueville's Democracy in America. Tocqueville, forever the invested far-off onlooker, understood American democracy-what he called "the equality of conditions"-not merely as a way to govern but as a way to live. Individualism was a lifestyle, not rooted in selfishness but in self-reliance, empowering the individual to be dependent on no man nor entity other than himself.


But this also meant that there was a distinct kryptonite for the individual-a make-or-break thing that this young, budding democratic experiment hinged on: other individuals.


This is where it gets interesting. Tocqueville knew then that there was a danger in the shadows. He feared that democratic individualism would produce a "tyranny of the majority." In essence, he warned the majority could easily amass too much power and impose large, sweeping systems of control on local communities. The result would be a society not comprised of independent people but instead reliant on large, centralized systems that they wouldn't be able to survive without. (Think: What if Google deleted your Gmail account? What if Chase bank decided you couldn't bank with them anymore? What if Amazon removed your website?)


A centrally ruled society risks devaluing individual freedoms.


Eventually this kind of democracy morphs into a creepy little monster. The monster has a name. A horrible name.


The collective.


The Collective Doesn't Exist


While dystopia may feel imminent, utopia, my friends, is fiction.


Currently, there are about 333 million people living in America-that's more than 130 times as many people that lived in America at the time the US Declaration of Independence was written-and here we are still trying to smooth out the political and philosophical wrinkles in this great ongoing experiment in democracy that Tocqueville warned us about.


It's never going to be perfect. Sure, it would certainly be a heck of a lot easier if America was made up of one monolithic, singularly thinking collective. I mean, we'd look like North Korea (again, very little social unrest going on there)! But instead it's made up of 333 million diverse individuals-all with different stories, ideas, dogmas, and backgrounds. America was an idea that everyone can come from every walk of life-whatever religion, region, nationality, sexuality, and skin color-and come together to make this nation better. Although we arrive at the proverbial American dinner table equal, our lives and beliefs will differ because we the people differ.


Or at least that's true to some extent. It seems that there are some things we can agree upon.


According to a study by the Cato Institute, nearly two thirds of Americans said the current political climate prevents them from "saying things they believe because others might find them offensive." The percentage of Americans who self-censor has risen several points since 2017, when 58 percent of Americans agreed with this sentiment.


These fears cross partisan lines. Majorities of Democrats (52 percent), Independents (59 percent), and Republicans (77 percent) all agree they have political opinions they are afraid to share.


The survey found that many Americans think someone's private political donations should affect their employment. Nearly a quarter (22 percent) of Americans would support firing a business executive who personally donated to Joe Biden's campaign. Even more-31 percent-would support firing a business executive who donated to Donald Trump's reelection campaign.


This isn't all that surprising, is it? I mean, it's the twenty-first century. You're either woke or you're not, and to merely think out loud is to doom oneself to the collective's loud judgment and ultimately its cancel-culture gulag.


But these marginal differences in percentages highlight a much deeper point-one that I've been harping on for a while now on The Rubin Report and during my own political shift away from the Left: Although neither side is perfect, I find the Right to be exponentially more tolerant, way more respectful toward individuals, way more supportive of individual thought, way more interested in diversity, way more progressive, way more inclusive, and honestly, just a way more fun side. The Right is a toga party with a bunch of people drinking and smoking and sharing different and often competing ideas. The Left thought it was a party, when in reality it was just a mob of angry, sex-deprived people who kick people out of the "party" and who find themselves alone at the end of the night, calling the police because the party on the right is having too much fun-and then demanding we defund the police.


Put simply, the Left is for collectivism and judgment based on group identity; the Right is for individual thought, individual expression, and personal liberty. From an American perspective, people on the right believe in the US Constitution, meaning you believe that all people should have equal rights to pursue whatever it is they want, period. You don't give two shits about a person's gender, you don't care about a person's sexuality, or where someone came from, as long as that person is a legal, naturalized citizen. Individuals on the right believe that we should have equal laws for all people, and they believe in equality of opportunity, not equality of outcome. That's a foundational principle that in many ways sprung from the US Constitution. As mentioned, we didn't have it perfectly, but we eventually expanded those freedoms over time. We freed the slaves, and we gave women the right to vote and people the right to marry whomever they wanted.


Then there is the woke mob-small but mighty-creating a tyranny of the majority, not by numbers but by being the loudest, most active, and most oppressive. Always prowling. Always lurking. Always trying to suppress any form of individual thought: don't think for yourself, think as a collective (or don't think at all).


If we diminish the importance of individual thought and expression, we diminish free will. And if you take away free will, what are we? Not unique three-dimensional humans; just meaty blobs of genes.


In other words, if the individual mind isn't in control, it must be immutable characteristics like skin color or sexuality that are. So people start getting grouped collectively instead of being seen as unique. White people are evil. Black people are victims. If you're gay and you vote for this person, you're actually not gay. (Trust me, I've heard this one a shocking number of times.) Ultimately, collective grouping collapses into the idea that different groups need different rights, which is the opposite of what our founding fathers fought for, which is-wait for it-actual equality.


America was founded on the principle that the government's sole purpose is to protect the rights of the individual, not the collective. It was not to protect certain groups of Americans, whether identified by race, gender, age, or any other identifiers. And yet, here we are, being pressured to identify ourselves by our sexuality, gender, or the color of our skin. Pretty sure that is the reverse of what that Martin Luther King Jr. guy would have wanted, but who cares about him anymore, right?


Americans were even lumped into groups based on their response to the coronavirus itself. Thousands of people gathering to celebrate Biden's election: good! Thousands of people gathering for political rallies for Trump: bad! Protests for BLM: good! Protests for election fraud: bad!


No person or idea should be expected to join a side merely because of their skin color or sexual preferences. Do we expect one hemisphere of our thinking brain, with its right and left sides, to fully dominate and define who we are? Of course not. We've got to embrace our status as holistic individuals-as fully fleshed and (hopefully) fully formed autonomous people.


So, what happens if your thinking brain doesn't align with the white-hot collectivist-thinking of the day? The mob gets you canceled-and no one is safe. Take once-well-beloved author J.K. Rowling, for instance. She got canceled for tweeting, "Dress however you please. Call yourself whatever you like. Sleep with any consenting adult who'll have you. Live your best life in peace and security. But force women out of their jobs for stating that sex is real?" after Maya Forstater, a British researcher, lost her job at a nonprofit think tank following a series of "transphobic" tweets. It wasn't long until a bunch of preteens in Sussex voted to drop Rowling's name along with Winston Churchill's (a guy who, you know, literally fought the Nazis) as house names. They haven't kicked Harry Potter out of Hogwarts yet, but I hear there is a petition.

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