Cross-post: A qualitatively new level of totalitarianism

Leftism pre-2020: “People are free to run their lives and associate with each other as they please, as long as they don’t discriminate or promote hatred.”

Translation: People can form groups but cannot recognize any organizational principle except credentialism (“discrimination”) and cannot collectively embrace any belief that deviates from the Leftist consensus (“hatred”). In addition, all but tiny groups must make at least nominal efforts to achieve “diversity”. Illiberal organizations are not really permitted. However, non-ideological organizations are allowed and even encouraged, and some of these promoted genuinely valuable goods: friendly socialization, neighborhood improvement, artistic or scientific advance.

Message to white men: You will be discriminated against, but if you keep your head down and your mouth shut and you work hard enough to be unambiguously better than your diverse competition, you can achieve a comfortable life.

Leftism 2020: “Silence is violence. It’s not enough to be non-racist; you must be antiracist.”

Translation: All human groups must have as their primary purpose the exaltation of the Negro and the humiliation of the Caucasian (including the organization’s own “shameful history”). Non-ideological organizations are no longer allowed; at best, organizations are allowed to have non-ideological secondary goals.

Message to white men: Die!

Why it matters

And all of the organizations–social, athletic, scientific, artistic, literary, social, neighborly, economic, educational, religious–all fell into line, every single God-damned one of them. This wholesale embrace of totalitarianism by everyone everywhere in the world was the single worse thing about 2020, even worse than the ruinous COVID-19 lockdowns that destroyed small business and organized religion everywhere.

No organization is what it was a year ago, at least not at the deepest level. To repeat the example I’ve given before, only one year ago it would have been thought preposterous that the scientific collaboration of which I am a part would be emailing political manifestos to its captive graduate students. That sort of thing wasn’t done, no matter how Leftist the faculty. Now we all have diversity officers berating us for failing to speak forcefully enough.

The medium-term consequence, my friends, is that we’re all going to lose our jobs, and I have no idea how we’ll be able to find new work or support ourselves thereafter. No matter what your job is, you’ve suddenly found that attacking Western civilization and the white race is a–is the–core function of your employer organization. It wasn’t part of the job description when you were hired. It’s nothing you ever agreed to. But now it’s your job, and your employer is not going to keep you if you refuse to perform a core part of your job. Silence–passively refusing to endorse the new core mission, even while not explicitly speaking against it–will not be tolerated much longer. “Your silence is violence.” “You must be anti-racist.” Thus speaks the totalitarian consensus, and no one is challenging it, not a single God-damned one!

I really don’t know how to protect from or prepare for this–“keep your head down, keep your mouth shut” really was the only trick in our arsenal. The good news is that it probably will still work to keep Antifa mobs off your front door, although I’m less certain even of that than I used to be. Leftists do not believe in censorship, but they do believe in accountability–loss of employment, expulsion from schools and athletic teams, loss of access to communication and financial services of those who fail to conform–and in calling out–harassment and and ostracism of dissidents–which only involve nongovernmental sanctions, thus respect the First Amendment, and thus are totally okay. Again, no one is objecting to this in principle; at most they claim that some people are being misidentified as racists (or transphobes, or…) and are thus being unjustly inflicted with the punishments that would be just if inflicted on real racists.

As a proponent of censorship, my objection is not that this is censorship, but that it is irresponsible, lawless censorship. Consider that for every crime other than racism it is considered a bad thing for judgment and punishment to be delegated to unregulated private initiative. For every other crime, it is considered a matter of basic justice that offenses be defined clearly and not punished ex post facto. There are good reasons for that.

9 thoughts on “Cross-post: A qualitatively new level of totalitarianism

  1. Pingback: Cross-post: A qualitatively new level of totalitarianism | Reaction Times

  2. When the things get hot and there’s nothing we can do, we can rely on the intercession and example of St Lawrence and shout “Turn me over, I’m done on this side!”

  3. One of the many spiritual illnesses underlying this mania is the total lack of interest in — indeed, rejection of, truth. Why are people “racists”? What is behind “exclusionary attitudes”? Those issues don’t seem to draw much interest.

    • Its because its not a rational ideology. A rational ideology can be explained. This is irrational, and therefore is incomprehensible to rational beings. Its a sword of damocles wielded by a scorned bipolar woman. We are constantly threatened, and if one day they decide to strike there’s nothing we can do. Some are truly irrational, some want to appease their captors by being agreeable captives, and the rest of us try to go unnoticed as much as possible. In the end, the zeitgeist will consume itself as zeitgeists tend to do. The amount of damage that self immolation does is yet to be determined.

  4. The biggest problem the Right faces are the assorted grifters, weaklings, cowards, and traitors that make up its own elite. The best chance to shake things up in 40 years was stifled with the complicity of our own side. I would also like to point out how certain groups like the Mormons (who are still widely admired and declared worthy of emulation on the Orthersphere) did everything they could to undermine the president up to and including running a third party spoiler in 2016 and sending Mitt “severe conservative” Romney to Washington DC where he could vote to impeach the president who endorsed him. The other cuckold Mormon senator, Mike Lee, citing the “free market”, refused to take any action against big tech, basically, solidifying its gate-keeper function in 2020. Lee is determined to import thousands of low wage tech workers even during COVID. If this is what even the “best of the right” accomplished with the opportunities of the past 5 years maybe it is time to go back to the drawing board?

  5. This has always been the case, due to the inexorable logic of Leftism. This exact dynamic (and this exact conclusion) has played out before. 1905. 1789. 1776. 1688. etc.
    Those who held out even a sliver of hope that this time the Left would actually stop with a rapproachment short of total dominance were always dreaming a pipe dream, and one that has been instrumental in the Left’s dominance so far.
    So if that’s you, stop it. Wake up.

  6. Re: Pseudoise
    The biggest problem is not the people who compose the “elite” on the Right, by my estimation, but rather the political establishment that refers to itself as the Right. Well, it’s the political establishment writ large. Expecting rightist politicians like Romney or Lee (mormon or not) to do anything worthwhile to solve the problem is like expecting you can use a gun to stitch a bullet wound. They just are the problem.
    Big Tech is a cultural phenomenon; when people stop caring about facebook, Big Tech will stop being an issue. The reason people like to complain about Big Tech is that they want to use twitter but don’t want twitter to behave autonomously. This is a paradox i’ve described over in my space, but the short version is that if you want Big Tech to stop censoring, then you are essentially saying you want Government intervention in private industry. If you don’t want government intervention in twitter, then you have to accept that twitter will arbitrarily decide what you can or cannot say. There is no solution other than to not use twitter. If everyone’s primary social interaction happened at the grocery store, we would be complaining about Big Grocery right now. Big Tech only exists as long as people use Big Tech, and until people are willing to walk away from it, then they must accept both the sweet fruit and the departure from Eden alike.
    Re: Rhetocrates
    That is an interesting timeline. It made me think that in order to defeat the left we must instead defeat the ideology that gave birth to it, namely the Enlightenment. That’s not exactly a philosophy that can be unlearned, that Cat is thoroughly out of the bag. Nor can “defeating” the enlightenment be effectuated by anything other than the simultaneous and ubiquitous rejection by society, multiply and severally. Individuals can reject the enlightenment and modernism, societies can embrace it. It’s an intractable problem, and I suspect will require a cataclysm to achieve, if not a Host of Angels and the arrival of our Lord.

    • We shall not defeat this. He shall, whether we like it or not. What we can do is much smaller, but still an integral part of His victory.

      You are right that it is an incredibly long row to hoe.

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