The Two Surest Signs of the Totalitarian Impulse

The disordered thinking behind leftist ideology is most readily discerned in its aim to spread paranoia and dependence throughout the populace. The left intends for these feelings of uncertainty to render people more malleable and docile. That way, they will more readily accept the fundamental transformation of America from a republic built upon God-given rights and self-evident truths into a virulently secular society that oppresses all dissent.

The left falsely imagines they are in a battle against a conservative “fascist establishment,” despite having captured both the administrative state and the administration ostensibly designed to run it. Meanwhile, they have adopted a tactic from real historical fascism, specifically, the use of fear and greed as political motivators.

Setting aside the abject moral, philosophical, and policy failings of  woke ideology, there is a practical problem associated with instilling paranoia and dependence throughout the populace: It requires coercion and a controlled environment.

The diktats of federal, state, and county governments, corporate powerbrokers, and academe’s cosseted satraps are a good example. These entities all mandate that those over whom they have any measure of control must participate in the indoctrination through DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) training. It is not a coincidence that these 21st-century struggle sessions are held behind closed doors and with captive audiences. The ceremonies of this secular creed require secrecy.

Consider how this sort of indoctrination it might appear if it was not happening behind closed doors and in a controlled environment. It might resemble something like this Kafkaesque vignette, which I’ve written in the style of his novel The Trial:

K walks down a sidewalk along a bustling main street. Emerging from the crowd an agitated stranger blocks K’s path and waggles an accusatory finger: “You’re a racist.”

Glancing at the passersby staring downward and hustling past the scene, K tries to merge into the herd. The stranger again blocks K, standing even closer now. Wild-eyed behind a steely visage, the stranger shouts, “You’re a racist!”

The passing crowd slows… Gawks.

Cornered, desperation overcomes K’s better judgement. “I’m not a racist.” K’s voice is hushed, hoping to avoid amplifying the stranger’s slander.

The stranger triumphantly raises his arms to the crowd. “Denying you’re a racist is proof you are a racist.” His eyes narrow, studying the assembled.

They nod, not wanting to be next.

K is confounded: “Then, saying I’m a racist would mean I’m not racist?”

The stranger’s gaze is a mix of contempt and disgust for K. “You’re racist – period. The issue is whether you confess your conscious and unconscious biases.”

Frustrated, K again errs by engaging his inquisitor. “I don’t have unconscious biases!”

The stranger shakes his head, eyes checking…

The crowd mirrors him.

The stranger moves in for the kill. “Stop lying to yourself.”

“How can you know my unconscious biases if even I don’t?” K has yet to realize that, to the postmodernist stranger, his adherence to reason is the confession of a fascist mindset.

The stranger pokes his finger into K’s forehead. “I know your thoughts.”

K waves at the finger, too late. “I’ve never met you before in my life!”

The stranger’s finger slips down and taps K’s heart. “I know you better than you know yourself.” He smiles.

K scans the crowd for assistance. They avert his gaze as they disperse.

As it does, K spies a well-heeled individual with an air of authority. For an ephemeral moment, K’s hopes rise as the well-heeled individual approaches. Surely, there is one individual who will speak out and stand with K against the stranger’s unjustified slanders.

The well-heeled individual and the stranger exchange knowing nods.

K’s shoulders slump and his hopes and heart sink.

The stranger walks behind K, pulling his arms behind his back. The well-heeled man plucks K’s wallet from his coat. He removes K’s drivers’ license, personal photos, and credit cards. Disappointedly shaking his head at K, the well-heeled individual holds the items in front of K’s face and rips them apart, littering the sidewalk. Pocketing a handful of loose bills, the well-heeled stranger tosses K’s empty wallet over his shoulder. The stranger casually releases K’s hands, knowing it is finished:

K has been canceled.

Down the sidewalk along a bustling main street, the well-heeled individual and the stranger stalk after the departed crowd.

The moral of this cautionary tale? Two of the truest marks of a totalitarian regime are its claim to know your thoughts better than you do, and its demand for the coercive power to “correct” your thought. The only way to defeat such impulses is to force the totalitarians to bring their works into the light of day.

Before the bell tolls for thee and stranger stops you on the street.

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