Anyone who has had a cat knows that the cat takes a certain pleasure in the acquisition of its food. Put food down for the dog and the dog eats the food. Put food down for the cat and it will saunter up to the dish and maybe sample a little, then take a break to watch the dish for a while, before returning for some more food. A bug gets loose in the house and the dog will just eat it, but the cat will torment the thing to death. One animal is all about the process, while the other is about the result.
This difference is something to keep in mind as America descends into the woke totalitarianism of our diversity loving masters. It is assumed that totalitarianism leads to labor camps and people disappearing in the night. Those are the examples we have from our history. The communists liked sending the uncooperative to work camps, while the fascist like shooting the inconvenient. In both cases, the point was to remove the problem and discourage others from being a problem.
Those old school totalitarians were dog people. Just as the dog is happy to eat when hungry, without thinking much about how the food was made available to him, the old totalitarians took an end justifies the means approach to exercising power. Problem people were like any other sort of problem. The point was to solve the problem, which in the case of people meant making them go away. No man, no problem. How the problem felt about what was happening was of no consideration.
Our new totalitarians turn all of this on its head. Like the cat and his food, or his prey in the case of an unfortunate insect, the end is not really the point. It is not about removing the obstacles to their project, in order to achieve some end. The dealing with the problem is the end. In the case of the poor unfortunate who has run afoul of the rulers, the point of the process is submitting the troublemaker to endless torment that has no purpose beyond the pleasure of the tormentor.
Take the doxing business as an example. The people who do this are not trying to make the victim go away, any more than the cat wants the wayward cricket to go away. To the contrary, they hope the victim will cry out in agony and make his misery into a long-drawn-out public performance. They revel in seeing the victim moan about how his PayPal was deleted or how he lost his job. For the army of the woke, the suffering of the victim and the fame for inflicting that suffering is what matters.
When the victim simply kills off his internet character, the doxers have a problem as they do not have that living trophy to show off on-line. They are forced to go onto their social media platforms and imagine how the victim is suffering. We are not far away from a time when Twitter or Facebook start creating scapegoat accounts for the anointed to attack as a part of their rituals. Instead of relying on a real person to be the victim, they will conjure a fake one that plays the victim properly.
Of course, in every totalitarian society, the people eventually figure out the rules in order to avoid the boot. That was the point of the old totalitarian model. In the new totalitarian model, the rules will constantly change so it is nearly impossible to avoid the wrath of the official tormentors. After all, like the cat tormenting its prey, the new totalitarians care only for the process. Like an engine needs fuel, the new totalitarians need a constant supply of victims to torment.
An excellent example of this is the Covid madness. When it all started, the point was to slow the spread so the hospitals would not be too crowded. We had two weeks to flatten the curve, but after two weeks the rules changed. The rules keep changing as the rulers find new ways to torment us, causing people to go into the streets to protest the new torments, to the delight of the tormentors. Covid has revealed that the new totalitarians are little more than sadists.
What this means, of course, is that there will be not settling into a set of fixed rules as happened in communist societies. We do not know if this would have happened in certain fascist societies, but the experience of Franco’s Spain, Salazar’s Portugal and Pinochet’s Chile suggest the fascists would have settled into a conservative system of fixed rules. The new system, in contrast, will be perpetually disrupting this tendency in order to perpetuate the necessary disorderliness.
The question is whether any society can go on very long when the rules are constantly changing in order to give the Torquemada’s more victims. A bedrock requirement for any society is a set of rules to govern conduct. In order to have an organization of humans greater than the Dunbar number means having a code and a way to enforce that code in order to make the code a habit of mind. This is what we think of when we think of culture. The rules we live by because we just do.
We are already seeing problems with the Covid madness. The ever-changing rules are making life impossible for small business. In some areas, whole swaths of the economy have collapsed. Of course, the religious aspects to compliance are pitting people against one another. The new totalitarians are creating a Hobbesian world where it is a war of all against all, not for limited resources, but due to the deliberate cacophony of every changing rules that have no logic.
The good news, if there is any, is that totalitarianism has diminishing returns, as the cost of maintaining it eventually dwarfs the benefits. Initially it seems to work pretty well, but over time the costs become unsustainable. This new totalitarianism is especially front loaded, almost accelerationist. It is destroying every reason for people to remain loyal to the system. Instead of carrying on for several generations, the new totalitarianism will be lucky to make it past this decade.
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