We have some educating to do.
You’ve probably seen some of those interviews where a guy with a microphone and a camera goes on a college campus, or on the street, and asks basic questions, and hardly anyone knows the answer. Like this one on free speech. And this one on “How Well Do Americans Know Their Presidents?”
The Berlin Wall fell in 1991, marking essentially the end of the Cold War with its existential threat. Everyone born that year turns 28 this year. Let’s add five years to that and say anyone 33 or younger was born too late to be personally aware of the existence of the Iron Curtain.
I remember the first time I saw the movie Gandhi, in 1982. I was out of college, recently married (we saw it together). And I was stunned that I’d never heard his story before. What was wrong with my history courses? It’s because world history always started way way back in time, and worked its way forward. And the closer to the present day, the more likely the school year would end before we got to the material. We were lucky to get as far as World War II.
I was interested in history, and good at remembering things, but I knew nothing about some major world events. So I had to educate myself as an adult. (Homeschooling helped.) But for students who aren’t interested, and also happen to have schools fail to provide the material, are in a state of ignorance we shouldn’t be surprised at.
So, for the sake of education, today we’ll cover some -isms.
According to my favorite nearly 40-year-old dictionary, totalitarian has two definitions:
1. Designating, of, or characteristic of a government or state in which one political party or group maintains complete control under a dictatorship and bans all others.
2. Completely authoritarian, autocratic, dictatorial, etc.
As a noun, it’s a person who favors such a government or state. And totalitarianism is the noun form, or name for such a government.
In the same dictionary, fascism has three definitions:
1. The doctrines, methods, or movement of the Fascisti [elsewhere defined as an Italian political organization under Mussolini from 1922-1943].
2. A system of government characterized by rigid one-party dictatorship, forcible suppression of opposition, private economic enterprise under centralized governmental control, belligerent nationalism, racism, and militarism, etc.; first instituted in Italy in 1922.
3. A political movement based on such policies, or fascist behavior. See also Nazi.
To be thorough, the definition of Nazi is “designating, of, or characteristic of the German fascist political party (National Socialist German Workers’ Party), founded in 1919 and abolished in 1945; under Hitler it seized control of Germany in 1933, systematically eliminated opposition, and put into effect its program of nationalism, racism, rearmament, aggression, etc.” A Nazi can also be a support of this or any similar party; fascist.
|Will Witt (right), screenshot from here|
One of those on-the-street videos by Will Witt’s asks the question, “What does holocaust mean?” And a surprising number didn’t have a clue. There are holocaust museums (a very good one here in Houston, another in Washington, DC). It’s a word synonymous with genocide. And even though more individuals were killed under Soviet communism and other socialist regimes, we as a world are pretty aware of the six million Jews killed in fascist Germany’s holocaust during WWII.
The world has said “Never again!” But if young people don’t know what this is, then they’re susceptible to the same forces that allowed it to happen before.
I’d like to focus on the behaviors of totalitarianism, and its synonym fascism, rather than on the “government” aspect of the definition, which is certainly related—but we know that politics is downstream from culture.
So I’d like to look at the “forcible suppression of opposition,” which leads to “authoritarian, autocratic, dictatorial”—essentially tyrannical governments.
A person who is in favor of—or actively pursues—forcible suppression of opposition is fascist.
A person who seeks to control the behavioral freedoms, the economic freedoms, and even the social thoughts of others, to stamp out opposing viewpoints it totalitarian. Such people, in power, seek to destroy opposition, doing away with a second party, or even a second choice. Elections in such regimes are a joke: “Do you vote for the supreme leader? Yes or No? Only Yes votes are counted.”
It’s possible that people who have grown up in a milieu of freedom might not realize what their forcible suppression of opposition inevitably leads to. So maybe we’ll hold off calling them totalitarian until they have some statist power. But they are nevertheless fascist.
It’s time for some examples, in no particular order (unless I go back and edit).
|Strange Planet birthday|
There’s a four-panel cartoon, called Strange Planet, of aliens doing normal human things and describing them in absolutely literal ways, which turns out to be pretty hilarious. These have been showing up on my Facebook feed often, and I enjoy them a lot. Many young people have been enjoying them, but, as they say, #canceled. The online magazine Nylon, which I had never heard of, let out the news that, Nathan Pyle, the writer of this funny and non-controversial comic, is pro-life—and therefore no one should ever share or even look at his funny comics again!
For those of us conservatives who have tolerated Hollywood for all these decades of ridicule, we think never enjoying a comic strip again because the creator has gone so far as to support his girlfriend for attending a pro-life rally (but hasn’t publicly ever even talked about pro-life issues) is narcissistically intolerant. And any person who not only boycotts based on such a small disagreement but insists on spreading the word so that all others within their influence will also boycott—that is fascist.
As I mentioned recently, the San Antonio city council refused to allow Chick-fil-A to have a concession in the airport, supposedly because of the bigoted homophobic beliefs of the company owners. Added to that, Buffalo, NY,airport was about to get a Chick-fil-A, but after complaints from a city councilman, reversed their permission.
Have those owners, or the company, spoken out against homosexuals or refused to serve them delicious chicken sandwiches and amazing lemonade? No. They are avowed Christians—like 70% of the US population—and therefore one can extract from this information that they believe marriage is between a man and a woman (as has been the belief of all humanity for all the millennia of history up until about five minutes ago). And therefore they should not be allowed to do business? That’s fascist.
Attacks on Chick-fil-A have been going on for quite a while. Fortunately they produce a very good product at a better-than-practically-anyone efficiency, and non-fascists tend to appreciate that and support them even more.
Blake J. Harris, author of History of the Future: Oculus, Facebook, and the Revolution That Swept Virtual Reality, was on Glenn Beck radio recently. He told the story of Palmer Luckey, the teenager who started a virtual reality company, which was acquired by Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg. It looked like things were going great for the young man when word got out somehow, shortly before the 2016 election, that he was a Trump supporter. Zuckerberg stepped in personally and insisted that Luckey sign a declaration that he was not a Trump supporter, but was instead voting for the Libertarian candidate, which was not true. Despite giving in and signing, he was then put on leave for six weeks—with people being told he had asked for this personal time. Then he learned, during a conference call at the end of that imposed vacation, that he had asked for another six weeks off—which of course he hadn’t even considered. Shortly after that he was let go, severed from his creation. Because he liked Trump’s free-market ideas.
Author, Harris, was a fan of Facebook and Zuckerberg going in, which is probably why he had such great access to all the players, and watched what happened first hand. The book is about more than the maltreatment of Luckey; it’s about the rise of virtual reality. But that episode is part of the tech world. And it’s definitely fascistic.
I’m a Facebook user, although rarely political online. But most weeks I have political friends who announce that they’re back on after being put in Facebook jail for a day or a week, or have had materials deleted. As far as I can verify, none of these has been for profanity, lewd conduct or language, inciting violence, or anything you might want Facebook to protect you from; they have been for political content that Facebook deems unacceptable.
Meanwhile, Facebook friends who have Zuckerberg’s political leanings spew uncalculable amounts of lying trash (my words, but I think this is a somewhat expert opinion) without so much as a warning.
“Forcible suppression of opposition” is what’s going on. That’s the definition of fascist.
Human Rights Tribunal in Canada
This headline is from Vancouver, British Columbia: “Court orders Christian to pay $55,000 to trans politician for calling him ‘biological male.’”
The Human Rights Tribunal ruled that it’s unlawful discrimination not to accept transgender people as the gender they claim to be. Also, “there’s no room for any public debate in the matter.”
Bill Whatcott had dispersed flyers that referred to NDP candidate Ronan “Morgane” Oger as a biological male. His defense, which was not allowed to be presented, was proof of Oger’s biology, but the judge ruled “the ‘truth’ of the statements in the flyer is not a defense.”
The flyer compared Oger to another man, Walt Heyer, who had gender dysphoria, had undergone hormone and surgical transformation to “become” a woman, but eventually realized that was a lie and transitioned back, now again identifying as a man. Making this comparison cost Whatcott $35,000 for injury to the “dignity, feelings and self-respect” of the man presenting himself as a woman, and also $20,000 for alleged improper conduct (not sure from the story what this entailed).
Truth is not a defense? There is no room for public debate? I’d call that forcible suppression of opposition: fascism.
Artificial Intelligence Ethics Council
Here’s another from this week: “Google Cancels AI Ethics Council after Employees Demand Removal of Conservative Heritage President Kay Coles James.” It’s worth noting that, in the group identity politics of the opposition, James checks a lot of boxes; she’s a black woman of a certain age. But being conservative—which is about beliefs and ideas rather than surface details—is unacceptable at Google. She opposes transgender activism—not people with gender dysphoria, but the imposition of the transgender agenda on society. That means the controllers of the largest and most used search engine, controlling our access to information, is about the forcible suppression of opposition; Google is fascist.
Yale Law School Blacklists Christian Firms
Yale Law School has decided not to do business with any Christian law firms. Also, Senator Ted Cruz has announced an investigation into discrimination at the Yale Law School, which receives federal funding and is therefore prohibited from this sort of discrimination. According to Cruz, “Public news reports indicate that Yale Law School has recently adopted a transparently discriminatory policy: namely, that Yale will no longer provide any stipends or loan repayments for students serving in organizations professing traditional Christian views or adhering to traditional sexual ethics."
Not long ago, there was loud protest about VP Pence’s wife getting a part-time art teacher position at a Christian school, purportedly because this school went out of its way to exclude gays or transgenders. In actuality, the school simply asked for an affirmation of belief in the millennia-old definition of marriage and that sex should only be between married husband and wife. That was considered radically offensive?
If all Christians are to be ousted from the public square, and refused employment, or education, or any of the normal opportunities of society, that leaves far above half the population in unemployed status, dependent on government, meaning the non-Christian (or possibly non-religious) remainder would be required to support those they have disenfranchised. You can see why the labeling of such outcasts as subhuman for the sake of taking their lives with impunity has been the path taken by fascist dictators historically.
The stories of fascist suppression of the opposition are ubiquitous. And they are one-sided. Let’s look at the Spherical Model to see why.
Freedom of people, markets, and ideas is a northern hemisphere (on the model) characteristic. Control of people, markets, and ideas is a southern hemisphere (on the model) characteristic. You don’t find people who strive for freedom, prosperity, and civilization—the northern hemisphere—trying to suppress ideas, because you can’t be northern hemisphere and do that. So all the suppression is done by those who favor control over others, or tyranny.
If you think you have an example of conservative suppression of discourse, you’re wrong. Freedom of speech is an element of the north. If a religious person is suppressing truth—or the legitimate expression of what one thinks is truth—that so-called religious person is acting in a controlling manner, using coercion rather than persuasion. It’s not possible to conserve civilization with coercion. They are incompatible.
So you’re not seeing any religion stuffed down anyone’s throats unless it’s done by people trying to wield power over others. Tyrants. Or fascists. By the way, secularism is a religion, and it is being stuffed down the throats of non-secularists by fascists.
Let’s be clear about definitions, so we can identify exactly why fascist suppression of opposition is so wrong. Then we can see clearly why we need to stand up against it. Now, on our watch.