For how can I bear to see disaster fall on my people? How can I bear to see the destruction of my family? Esther 8:6
This post is more than just the title of a popular song. It is the culmination of my research and posts on cultural trends over the past couple of years. Increasingly, we are seeing a drift towards socialism by the next generation and a Marxist agenda gaining a foothold. It is dangerous to our democracy and our nation.
Rod Dreher has written Live Not By Lies. The title comes from the last book written by the anti- communist critic, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, before he left Russia. Dreher believes we are facing something called “soft totalitarianism”. His book is in two parts, the first of which is to describe surveillance by large tech companies and a compliant media, academia and corporations.
Doublethink takes two contradictory beliefs and accepts both of them. If ideology demands it, you will be taught that 2 + 2 = 5. Truth is a falsehood; “freedom” is slavery. Good is now bad.
We are compelled to engage in “doublethink” every day: “Men have periods. The woman standing in front of you is to be called ‘he’. Diversity and inclusion mean excluding those who object to ideological conformity. Equity means treating people unequally, regardless of their skills and achievements, to achieve an ideologically correct result.”
Dreher’s book contains anecdotes and interviews of people from formerly communist countries who have lived under totalitarian rule. Those refugees recognize the danger signs and say, “It can happen here.”
Dreher outlines our drift towards socialism and ultimately totalitarianism:
- The lack of truthful and objective journalism by mainstream media. They have become intolerant propaganda machines for the progressives. They even force a getting Bari Weiss to resign from the NY Times for not being Woke enough.
- Suppression of contrary thought by big tech, either by algorithms, shadow banning or by deleting accounts of selected individuals. Shadow banning refers to the ability of companies like Google to control what you see, or in this case, don’t see. A recent example is the Great Barrington Declaration which was written by epidemiologists from Harvard, Stanford and Oxford.
- An increase in a number of Marxist organizations flying under the radar such as Black Lives Matters organization which was founded by three avowed Marxists. A fund raiser for the BLM organization is a former Weatherman terrorist, Susan Rosenberg, whose 57-year sentence was commuted by Clinton on the last day of his Presidency.
- The cancelling of conservative views on college campuses, sometimes by violence. A number of conservative speakers have been denied permission to speak across this country. Only one viewpoint is permitted.
- The rewriting of American history by the historically inaccurate 1619 Project into a singular tale of racism so that there are only two sides – the good and the bad. If you are white, you are in the latter camp even though you may have never committed a racist act in your life. This is being sold under the guise of “white fragility”. It is being used in 4,500 public schools.
- Surveillance capitalism by Google and others that track everything you do on every visit to the internet. They justified their tracking as a way to permit vendors to reach interested customers through their buying habits. Now, it goes much farther into to what you think or your political inclinations.
- Public social media shaming for those who dare to exercise their first amendment rights, such as the CEO of Mozilla who was shamed on social media because he had made a small personal contribution to a pro-life organization. He resigned as a result.
- The denial of personal property as something that is valuable and protected as understood by John Locke and the Framers of our Constitution. Instead, if you are wealthy, “good” victims are justified in looting as reparations.
- An increasing postmodern antipathy towards Christianity and Judaism. Our nation was founded on Judeo-Christian principles. That antipathy includes attacks on the nuclear family.
In Orwell’s Ninety Eighty-Four, all residents had a telescreen in their apartments which delivered propaganda and monitored residents, “allowing the totalitarian state to invade the privacy of people’s homes”. Today, we have consented to being tracked by our smart watches, apps on phones, Alexa or anytime you go on the internet. Orwell’s “Big Brother” is watching you in the guise of creating a better consumer experience.
Harvard’s Soshana Zuboff wrote that Surveillance Capitalism is undermining personal autonomy and democracy. Every email on Gmail is processed by Google without your consent. It is a form of surveillance. There is no supervision of how they can use that data. At least not yet. Remember, 90% of all searches worldwide are done on Google, and they track every one of them in your “data file”.
Most surveillance takes place without our knowledge or even permission. Totalitarian regimes try and control the populace, and one way is through surveillance. In pre-tech days, it was through your neighbor spying on you as in East Germany through the Stasi (secret police).
As Dreher suggests, pandora’s box has been opened to unleash unseen ways “to manipulate individuals into thinking and acting in certain ways”. That is scary. Dreher ends the book with a call for Christians families to become “resistance cells” powered by our Christian worldviews.
The next generation has no historical perspective and have been manipulated by social media into believing what is being fed them. They favor socialism, but their idealism is not based on facts, reason or history, but on emotionalism. They need mentors in their lives to walk alongside who can provide context.
MENTOR TAKEAWAY: Many in the next generation need a mentor to come beside them and help them understand that ideologies can produce unintended results.
FURTHER READING: Live Not by Lies – Dreher
The Age of Surveillance Capitalism – Zuboff
The Lingering Trauma of Stasi Surveillance – Atlantic
SONG: I Can See Clearly Now – Nash
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