In present day America, both sides of the political spectrum are engaged in a re-enactment of sorts. Of course, it was Mark Twain who allegedly quipped that “[h]istory doesn’t repeat itself but it often rhymes.” Still, he probably couldn’t have imagined being stuck, as we are, in some shitty Hollywood reboot of history. Sure, just like any overdone franchise film series, our budget is insanely bigger and the actors are all ones we know. Yet still, the plot makes zero sense, and few of us care because we’re simply waiting around for the money shot anyway.
For the Left, this means a sort of fabricated civil rights movement mixed in with a 1960s summer of love. But in this mash-up, they also have a serious Jonestown vibe with their hard-on for mass hysteria and conformity. Comparatively, however, only one difference from the original is worth mentioning. And that’s how, this time, the government and corporations have fully merged. Many dissidents can guess how this story ends. (Hint: Jonestown ended rather abruptly after the Kool-aid was finished).
Then there are those on the Right. Or at least many people who once considered themselves right-of-center. Many have started to realize that their so-called conservative representatives have zero intention of conserving anything. Nevertheless, too many of them, primarily Boomers, still cling to a naive 1950s free market vision of life, even though literally no one is playing by those rules anymore and our world is on fire. Rather significantly, the drama this side is engaged in looks more like a script the West hasn’t seen in nearly a 100 years.
And that script is barefaced, undeniable totalitarianism.
Whereas words like “tyranny” and “fascism” are thrown around so much these days that they’ve almost lost their meaning, you would do well to scan the criteria typically used to define a totalitarian government. Least you be fooled, the United States isn’t just flirting with it; it’s already full-blown and terminal. We have…
- Mass censorship on an almost unimaginable level
- Freedom of movement is highly controlled with Covid-19
- Our elections appear to be fraudulent or nearly so
- The mass surveillance would make Orwell blush
- Several govt. agencies have morphed into secret police
- There is total control of the economy (and most of it is fake now)
- You’ll find personality cults in the form of Fauci and Floyd
- And with Antifa and BLM, you see the equivalent of state-sanction violence
This is the textbook definition for a totalitarian government. To be sure, we’re only missing one final ingredient.
But in this reboot of history, the Right is rediscovering, in real-time, how this thing–living in an authoritarian culture–works. Since no one has truly experienced it in the West for so long, there’s not an easy rule book to turn to. And what’s playing out is less a mash-up of more recent blockbuster hits, as is the case with the Left. Instead, we’re left with an audience who are still at the edge of their seats, grappling with their emotions rather than deploying effective strategy or putting the lessons of history into practice.
Put differently, dissidents are acting like they can simply enjoy their popcorn at a very dangerous time.
One response, the most prevalent and from the most gullible or compliant on the Right, has been to downplay the specifics. Call this the “reductionist” camp, where the worst abuses by the elite are written off as more minor than they seem. You might hear this in responses like “It’s just a mask. You wear a shirt into the store, don’t you?” or “rioting isn’t happening right here right now. So why are you worried?” It never occurs to those in this camp that any act, no matter how deprived, can be downplayed in similar fashion.
In any event, although there are other responses and some better suited to our dilemma, we’re learning, rather up close and personal, how the carnage and genocide of history is often possible. Like in it’s original, our reboot of tyranny uncovered a chilling reality best summed up by a recent quote from social media. Although falsely attributed to filmmaker Werner Herzog, its words ring true…
“Dear America: You are waking up, as Germany once did, to the awareness that 1/3 of your people would kill another 1/3, while 1/3 watches.”
In Florida, with the governor’s rescinding of local Covid restrictions this week, we’re about to find out whether much of the population was just gullible, believing whatever they saw on TV and social media. Or whether they were just so compliant, they’d follow along with any and every abuse or humiliation. In either case, compliant or gullible, we’ve learned a startling truth about those around us, especially about those people who seem to say the right words.
And that truth: as was the case during past atrocities, many people who claim to be on our side of the aisle will be content to sit and watch.