How to Turn Free Citizens Into Compliant Serfs

Free citizens have minds of their own and want to pursue their lives as they see fit. This is inconvenient for the elites, who wish to be in charge of […]

Free citizens have minds of their own and want to pursue their lives as they see fit. This is inconvenient for the elites, who wish to be in charge of everyone’s lives so that they can show their superiority and gain benefit for themselves and their friends. So the elites do everything they can to suppress citizens and turn them into compliant serfs.

The elites have many effective techniques that they use to “serfify” the population.

Instilling Fear

One major technique is to instill fear in the population so that people will look to the elite to be saved from the dire threats that the elite tells them about. This has been a very effective strategy in recent times.

We were told that there was a horrible disease spreading through the land that would kill us all unless we obeyed the “public health experts” and “followed the science.” So we had to isolate ourselves from other citizens, be imprisoned in our houses, wear masks for three years, and take experimental vaccines.

If stoking fear of the “pandemic” wasn’t enough, the elites doubled down on the “climate crisis,” claiming that, unless we made heroic efforts to transform our lives and society as a whole, the “world would end” and the “earth would burn up” in 12 years or eight or five. All individual freedom must be given up to “save the planet.”

The education industry has taken up this cause with fervor, frightening generations of children. Many of them, now adults, refuse to have children who will face being burned alive by the coming climate furnace.

Cui bono? Who benefits from this climate madness? Everyone in the “green energy” business that’s advanced by the elites. The ineffectual strategy of sporadic wind and solar power can’t work because of a lack of energy storage options. But China, as the world producer of wind and solar machinery, is the world winner, and elites who favor and side with China do very well for themselves.

Financial Dependence

A second major technique is making citizens financially dependent upon the government. This is little more than crass bribery, but it’s effective. When citizens depend on the government for their living, their willingness to challenge government policies is undermined. A dependent population is a submissive population, which is ideal for the elites who insist on controlling everything.

During the “pandemic,” citizens were told to stay home, businesses were forced to close, and many people received government handouts for lost jobs. The government paid people to not work. These pandemic payouts added to the myriad welfare schemes to subsidize a large portion of the population.

A free press to report the news, consider alternative policy options, and keep those in power honest is only possible when the press is self-supporting. With the development of the internet and digital news sources, the traditional press lost a large portion of its advertising dollars and struggled to maintain its businesses. To the “rescue” came the Canadian government, which now subsidizes with substantial payments many news organizations. Guess how many of those feel free to criticize the government and its policies?

Citizens and the “free press” are now bought and paid for by the elites. Population dependence is great for the elites, who are thus free to have their way with the country.


A third technique is silencing. In addition to dependency working to silence unwelcome opinions, an even more active silencing through censorship becomes a major tool of control. Elites for the past few years have been very agitated about “misinformation,” “disinformation,” and “malinformation,” by which they mean opinions that they disagree with. The solution of the elites is to censor those opinions.

At universities in both the United States and Canada, expressing opinions contrary to those of the political far left leads to silencing through loss of teaching, reeducation through authorized programs, or full cancellation through termination. “Diversity and inclusion” bureaucrats are in place to police thought and speech. Academic freedom and tenure no longer count for those who persist in wrongthink.

Censorship ensures that only elite-friendly ideas are allowed to be expressed, thus undermining free citizenship and advancing the serfization of the population.


The fourth technique is promoting humiliation and self-disgust among the citizenry. This is done by forcing people to repeat things that are absurd, obviously untrue, and ridiculous. Who could maintain their self-respect after repeating these falsehoods? Without self-respect, who could challenge the elite?

One official truth is the lie that carbon dioxide (CO2) is a pollutant when it’s so essential to life that all life would end without CO2. Yet this nonsense is the foundation of the climate crisis narrative.

Another is that the United States and Canada are guilty of “systemic racism.” The reality is that these are the least racist countries in the world. Elite policy is to institute systemic reverse racism, reverse sexism, and reverse sexuality. Citizens are pressed to confess to “racism,” as in Stalinist show trials.

A third is that riots by allies of the elites are “peaceful,” but riots by the opposition to the elite are “insurrections.”

A fourth is that the police are evil, while violent criminals are innocent victims of society.

A fifth is that abortion is “health care” rather than the killing of unborn babies.

A sixth is that men can become women and women can become men and that men can menstruate and become pregnant.

Disregarding common sense, science, and truth to repeat counterfactual mantras can only undermine the sense of confidence in free citizens. And that’s the point: If they can make you say these lies and absurdities, you’ve lost all sense of self as a free citizen, and that serves the elites well.

Our elites believe that they should rule because they imagine that they’re more intelligent and more virtuous than other citizens. This rationalization hides the elite greed for power and wealth and their complete disregard for the majority of free citizens. We shouldn’t let them get away with their tricks of fear-mongering, financial dependence, silencing, and the imposing of absurdities to undermine freedom and civility.


Philip Carl Salzman is a Senior Fellow at the Frontier Centre for Public Policy

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