In the fullness of time, future historians will write books on their theories about why liberal democracy came to behave so much like Soviet communism. The hallmark of Bolshevism was its intolerance of dissent. It was willing to sacrifice everything in order to prevent individuals or groups from questioning orthodoxy. This is becoming the defining feature of liberal democracy. In the name of individual rights and dignity, western governments are methodically turning into police states.
Take for example this story out of Germany. State media, with a reassuring confidence, has reported that a citizen is under surveillance by the state for holding unapproved ideas and positions. Götz Kubitschek has been labeled “the whisperer of AfD right wing Björn Höcke” so he is officially on a list of people good citizens should avoid. The point of the story and the government action is to anathematize the man in such a way that regular Germans will be afraid to be in his presence.
Notice the language. “The Office for the Protection of the Constitution classified him and his institute as extremists.” If anyone’s is curious, here is the German constitution. It is 74 pages long. Article five reads in part, “Every person shall have the right freely to express and disseminate his opinions in speech, writing and pictures, and to inform himself without hindrance from generally accessible sources.” As is true all over the West, this part of the constitution was destroyed to “save” the rest.
Of course, harassing citizens is not about protecting anything. The Right often makes the mistake conservatives have made for generations in assuming the Left has a practical reason behind their actions. Ideologues do not need a practical motive like money or power. In fact, worldly goods are not motives for ideologues. Rather, they are means to an end. The ideologue seeks power and influence in order to advance his agenda, which often just means crushing his opponents.
That was a feature of communist societies. The people at the top of the party apparatus could count on fanatics and zealots down the ranks to enforce party discipline. It’s why the military had ideological officers in the ranks. this was an innovation discovered by the radicals in the French Revolution. One fanatic willing to report a close friend for unapproved thoughts is worth ten thousand police. Once no one could be sure of even their closest relationships, no one dares speak out.
This is what we see with the West. When the state, in the case of Europe, or Big Tech, in the case of America, declares someone a heretic, it is with the assumption that the auxiliary volunteer army of fanatics will take over the policing. You can be sure that Götz Kubitschek will get the treatment. Germany’s version of Antifa will stalk him, his family and acquaintances. Radical media will use him as an example for endless scare stories about extreme right-wing extremist. AfD will be expected to purge him.
Another feature of the modern liberal democracy and the communist states is in the role of official media. Let’s assume Herr Kubitschek is a potentially bad guy and the state has a legitimate interest in him. Why would they inform the media? They would not do this if he was smuggling women or running a heroin ring. They would do the opposite and not say a word to the media. In the case of ideological offenses, however, the media and the state become partners in policing.
This was a feature of communist societies that has been forgotten. What little is remembered about the Soviet Union, is jammed into the Orwellian narrative of the police state. In reality, the communists figured out that it was cheaper to use soft power than hard power. Sure, they still arrested people and sent them off to camps, but their most effective weapon was the control of official truth. Fear of falling outside of official truth was more than enough to control most people.
As an aside, notice how that whole period is now officially forgotten? Even people offended by the sorts of things happening to Herr Kubitschek will not make a reference to the communist systems? Instead, they may reference you know who, but never the people who perfected the use of terror in an ideological state. The official narrative has slowly removed all references to the Cold War and the role of ideological fanatics from the collective consciousness of the West.
Something that ties the amnesia about communism and the increasing emulation of it by liberal democracy is something Eric Hoffer observed. Ideologies can get along just fine without a Utopian vision, but they must always have an opponent. In the Cold War, liberal democracy could justify its many compromises by pointing to communism. Once communism died, it served no purpose. The new devil is populism and nationalism, so liberal democrats are willing to ape the communist to beat them.
Hoffer also observed, “Up to now, America has not been a good milieu for the rise of a mass movement. What starts out here as a mass movement ends up as a racket, a cult, or a corporation.” That was in 1967, so he can be forgiven for not imagining something that was all three of those things. That is what we see in America. Liberal democracy is a racket, a cult and a corporation. The political class operates a racket, the media runs a cult and woke capital systematizes the whole thing.
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