Living in the Archipelago

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“Unlimited power in the hands of limited people always leads to cruelty.”

~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago 1918-1956

It has been said that the impulse of the left is totalitarian. An honest review of the historical performance of the left indicates that is more of a truism than mere words. Totalitarianism and authoritarianism are not symptoms of the politics of the left, they are essential components of their anti-individual, anti-liberty agenda. As the critical examinations of all forms of collectivism note, the central tenet of socialism, Marxism and communism is central planning and control of all economic activity and that control requires coercion to prevent actions different than those planned.

Since economic freedom and individual liberty are inexorably linked, coercive control over economic matters implies coercive control over the individual.

Anyone who has even the faintest acquaintance with books like “The Gulag Archipelago” by Solzhenitsyn, “The Road to Serfdom” by Hayek, “The God That Failed”, a collection of essays written by ex-communists Louis Fischer, André Gide, Arthur Koestler, Ignazio Silone, Stephen Spender, and Richard Wright or “The Trial” by Franz Kafka can recognize this impulse made real in today’s progressive Democrat Party.

In 1962, Daniel Boorstin, a noted American historian, wrote:

“We risk being the first people in history to have been able to make their illusions so vivid, so persuasive, so ‘realistic’ that they can live in them. We are the most illusioned people on earth. Yet we dare not become disillusioned, because our illusions are the very house in which we live; they are our news, our heroes, our adventure, our forms of art, our very experience.”

I thought about this Boorstin quote as I watched the Kavanaugh hearings follow the same, predictable model as every other “issue” the progressive Democrats raise. They always go the same way:

  1. Reframe a situation to fit your definition of an issue
  2. Hype and conflate the issue
  3. Generalize blame from one person to all persons within your opposition
  4. Accuse the other side of bad faith while acting in bad faith
  5. Incite a mob
  6. Repeat

This process fits for welfare, immigration, the Second Amendment, same sex unions, everything. This wasn’t specifically about Kavanaugh, it was about the progressive left following their script (it is an interesting to note that Kafka’s “The Trial” is titled “Der Process” – the process – in the original German).

To borrow Boorstin’s point and combine it with my six step Reader’s Digest version of Saul Alinsky’s teachings, these six steps are designed to create an illusion that can be conveniently consumed by Solzhenitsyn’s “limited people.” The maintenance of that illusion is critical to the advancement of progressivism. Central to this advancement is the concept of emotional reasoning – that because I feel it, I believe it, and therefore it must be true.

That, my friends, is how we get from an evidence free accusation of bad behavior from 36 years ago, to sexual assault, to attempted rape to rape. That’s how society goes from a person defending themselves against alleged act against one female to being called a rapist. That is how we get to being rape apologist who want to subjugate all women by simply saying, “Hey, we need to have more than just an accusation before we assign guilt.” That’s how we get unhinged, screaming people, banging and clawing at doors of the Supreme Court, displaying impotent rage over imagined wrongs. These are “limited people”.

For people who want to understand how this happens, there are two other books I always encourage people to read – the first is Eric Hoffer’s 1951 book, “The True Believer: Thoughts on The Nature Of Mass Movements” and “The Crowd: A Study of the Popular Mind” written by Gustave Le Bon in 1895 (Le Bon’s book is only 130 pages).

To fight the totalitarian impulses of the left, one must understand the totalitarian impulse of the left and the mechanisms they use to satisfy those impulses.

 

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