Equality rules with totalitarianism … “The greatest temptation for the likes of us is to renounce violence, to repent, to make peace with oneself. Most revolutionaries fell before this temptation, from Spartacus to Danton and Dostoevsky; they are the classical form of betrayal of the cause. The temptations of God were always more dangerous for mankind than those of Satan. As long as chaos dominates the world, God is an anachronism; and every compromise with one’s own conscience is perfidy. When the accursed inner voice speaks to you, hold your hands over your ears….” ~ Arthur Koestler, Darkness at Noon
As outlined in some detail in yesterday’s post: “With the advent of totalitarianism (which the Mafia hates, by the way, and always has), criminals became just a little bit more criminal as they presumed more than the ability to avoid the laws of their sovereign leadership, but instead, sought some notion of perfecting the world through evil”.
Budding totalitarians are progressives, not liberals, and ergo we see it the same today. There are a lot of politicians holding their hands over their ears these days. Leftist ”woke-ism” – the latest “ism du jour” – is merely the latest Great Awakening in American history, but it reflects the death of Christendom and the religious impulse, shoe-horned into a secular religion. Parsing knowingly that they can’t unify in the West on the basis of class, the Left are presently attempting it on the basis of RACE.
In times past (pardon the pun) The New York Times was disgraced by Walter Duranty’s Pulitzer in 1932 and again in 2020 for Nikole Hannah-Jones’s Pulitzer for the ideological fiction called the “1619 Project.” What a record of failure. “All the lies unfit to print.”
Communism (socialism, etc) has always been an attraction that sounds so reasonable and fair. After all, what’s wrong with sharing? Even the Bible talks about sharing what you have with others. Why shouldn’t people be equal, with everybody having enough to cover their needs, instead of an unbalanced society where the greedy prosper at the expense (so it is claimed) of the needy?
Why can’t the government – which is after all, just the people, we the citizens – control enterprises, wages, production, and the price of basic necessities, etc.? Who better to instill and enforce the necessary policies? It sounds so right. So possible. So workable.
Until that is, reality sets in and you get to see what “everybody is equal” looks like, finding in that sameness that there’s only drudgery, depression, and despair; added to which that forced “sharing” makes you resentful and not generous or altruistic at all. Most of all you get to see what “government control” really means. Equality rules with totalitarianism…
Lloyd Billingsley, FrontPageMag: ‘Lessons From a Journalist’s First Encounter with Totalitarianism’ …
“The future seemed empty to Wraithby. It was easy to burn up the past, but not so easy to face a future lacking everything that had given the past substance.”
That is from Winter in Moscow, by Malcolm Muggeridge, first published in 1934, and proclaimed by historian A.J.P Taylor as the best book on Soviet Russia. In 2021, Winter in Moscow could well be the best book for what is now going on in America: surging totalitarianism, fake news, cancel culture, and wokeness. That dynamic was already on display when Muggeridge went to the USSR in 1932 as a correspondent of the Manchester Guardian.
Wokeness took the form of a general idea in narrow, empty minds, an idea pioneered by French historian Hippolyte Taine. Since these minds are incapable of questioning the idea, they become quite literally possessed. The prevailing general idea of the time was a classless, utopian society, which Wraithby, the name Muggeridge uses for himself, accurately calls the Dictatorship of the Proletariat.
As Wraithby observes, “from time to time the Dictatorship of the Proletariat dramatizes its inner conflicts, assembles a cast and plays out on a stage a mimic battle. Triumphantly leads itself in chains through the streets of Moscow in honor of a mimic victory.” In Red Square, Wraithby visits the Lenin mausoleum and reflects: “The head inside its glass case was fungoid, fresh and vivid like a fungus growing in darkness, unwholesome like a fungus, soft and poisonous.” [-]
[+] … The totalitarianism lurking within every liberal is now on open display with class hatred, cancel culture, and violence. The woke media jostle with Walter Durantys, flaunting their mendacity and willful, fathomless ignorance. The converts include politicians, who can deploy powerful agencies of oppression to keep the hatred alive.
Together they burn up the past and offer a future without anything that gave substance to the past. If the future now seems empty, consider Wraithby’s experience as he leaves the USSR.
“Suddenly spring had begun. The frozen river would thaw, and sun make the earth bare, then green. Thus it happened a million times before. Thus it would happen a million times again. Nothing could prevent this process taking place – the sudden, unexpected coming of spring. Wraithby took in great breaths of the warm fragrant air.” [end]
Link below with others…
That’s why after Muggeridge went to Russia in the 30’s as a communist-attracted journalist, he came home as a staunch anti-communist.
It’s why David Horowitz as a rabid Marxist 50 years ago, being part of the left’s work to take and re-shape America into the “communist ideal” became a conservative stalwart, fighting to preserve the Republic and free enterprise.
It’s why Thomas Sowell, the economist who grew up in Harlem and loved the (as he calls it) “wonderful vision of socialism” (Marxism, communism – shades of the same thing) became very conservative, very anti-socialist, very anti-communism. He summed it up best when he was asked “why did you give up on socialism” – responding simply with “Facts.” Socialism in general has a record of failure so blatant that only an intellectual could ignore or evade it.
In the end, you see, there is no way to make the “wonderful vision” of socialism/communism happen in this world. History has shown us that. Not just once, or twice. Not just in some far off corner of the world with primitives, but in eastern society, western society, ancient society (the concepts promoted by Marx predate Marx by millennia) and modern society.
So – why are people still attracted to it, why do people still fall for the lies? Last word from Muggeridge: One of the peculiar sins of the twentieth century which we’ve developed to a very high level is the sin of credulity. It has been said that when human beings stop believing in God they believe in nothing. The truth is much worse: they believe in anything.
Equality rules with totalitarianism…
And on that note, time for today’s MAGA Pill – President Donald J. Trump – MAGA! KAG!