The New Totalitarian ‘Creep’ – And No, We Are Not Referring to Him… 

The New Totalitarian ‘Creep’ – And No, We Are Not Referring Him… 

(The following is direct excerpts from the Book “Live Not By Lies”

“What is happening here? A progressive – and profoundly anti-Christian militancy – is steadily overtaking society; one described by Pope Benedict XVI as a “worldwide dictatorship of seemingly humanistic ideologies” that pushes dissenters to society’s margins. Benedict called this a manifestation of “the spiritual power of the Antichrist. This spiritual power takes material form in government and private institutions in corporations, in academia and media, and in the changing practices of everyday…life. It is empowered by unprecedented technological capabilities to surveil private life. There is virtually nowhere left to hide.” 

To grasp the threat of totalitarianism, it’s important to understand the difference between it and simple authoritarianism. Authoritarianism is what you have when the state monopolizes political control. That is mere dictatorship – bad, certainly, but totalitarianism is much worse. According to Hannah Ardent, the foremost scholar of totalitarianism, a totalitarian society is one in which an ideology seeks to displace all prior traditions and institutions, with the goal to bring all aspects of society under control of that ideology. A totalitarian state is one that aspires to nothing less than defining and controlling reality. Truth is whatever the rulers decide it is.  As Ardent has written, wherever totalitarianism has ruled, “It has begun to destroy the essence of man.” 

The Gentleness of Soft Totalitarianism 

It’s possible to miss the onslaught of totalitarianism, precisely because we have a misunderstanding of howe its power works. In 1951, poet and literary critic Czeslaw Milosz, exiled to the West from his native Poland as an anti-communist dissident, wrote that Western people misunderstand the nature of communism because they think of it only in terms of “might and coercion.” 

“That is wrong. There is an internal longing for harmony and happiness that lies deeper than ordinary fear or the desire to escape misery or physical destruction.” 

In The Captive Mind, Milosz said that communist ideology filled a void that opened in the lives of early-twentieth-century intellectuals, most of whom had ceased to believe in religion. 

Today’s left-wing totalitarianism once again appeals to an internal hunger, specifically the hunger for a just society, one that vindicates and liberates the historical victims of oppression. It masquerades as kindness, demonizing dissenters and disfavoured demographic groups to protect the feelings of “victims” in order to bring about “social justice.” 

The contemporary cult of social just identifies members of certain social groups as victimizers, as scapegoats, and calls for their suppression as a matter of righteousness. In this way, the so-called social just warrior, who started out as liberals animated by an urgent compassion, end by abandoning authentic liberalism and embracing an aggressive and punitive politics that resembles Bolshevism… 

At the turn of the twenty-first century, the cultural critic Rene’ Girard prophetically warned: “The current process of spiritual demagoguery and rhetorical overkill has transformed the concern for victims into a totalitarian command and permanent inquisition.” 

Soft totalitarianism exploits decadent modern man’s preference for personal pleasure over principles, including political liberties. The public will support, or at least not oppose, the coming soft totalitarianism, nob because it fears the imposition of cruel punishments but because it will be more or less satisfied by hedonistic comforts. Nineteen Eighty-Four is not the novel that previews what’s coming, it’s rather Aldous Huxley’s’ Brave New World. The contemporary social critic James Poulos calls this the “Pink Police State”: an informal arrangement in which people will surrender political rights in exchange for guarantees of personal pleasure.” 

In his landmark 1966 book, The Triumph of the Therapeutic: Uses of Faith After Freud, Reiff said the death of God in the West has given birth to a new civilization devoted to liberating the individual to seek his own pleasures and to managing emergent anxieties. Religious Man, who lived according to belief in transcendent principles that ordered human life around communal purposes, had given way to Psychological Man, who believe that there is no transcendent orders and that life’s purpose was to find one’s own way experimentally. Man no longer understood himself to be a pilgrim on a meaningful journey with others, but as a tourist who travelled through life according to his own self-designated itinerary, with personal happiness his ultimate goal. 

This was a revolution even more radical than the 1917 Bolshevik event, said Rieff. For the first time, humankind was seeking to create a civilization based on the negation of any binding transcendent order. The Bolsheviks may have been godless, but even they believe that there was a metaphysical order, one that demanded that individuals subordinate their personal desires to a higher cause. Almost a quarter century before the fall of the Berlin Wall, Reiff predicted that communism would not be able to withstand the cultural revolution coming from the West, one that purported to set the individual free to pursue hedonism and individualism. If there is no sacred order, then the original promise of the serpent in the Garden of Eden – “Ye shall be gods” – tis the foundational principle of the new culture. 

Even church leaders, he wrote, were lying to themselves about the ability of the institutions they led to resist the therapeutic. Rieff foresaw the future of religion as devolution into watery spirituality, which would accommodate anything. Reiff lived long enough to see his 1966 prediction come true. In 2005, the sociologists of religion Christian Smith and Melinda Lundquist Denton coined the phrase Moralistic Therapeutic Deism to describe the decadent form that Christianity (and all faiths, in fact) had taken in contemporary America. 

In therapeutic culture, which has everywhere triumphed, the great sin is to stand in the way of the freedom of others to find happiness as they wish. This goes hand in hand with the sexual revolution, which, along with ethnic and gender identity politics, replaced the failed economic class struggle as the utopian focus of the post-60s radical left. There cultural revolutionaries found an ally in advanced capitalism, which teaches that nothing should exit outside of the market mechanism and its sorting of value according to human desires. 

Relativism clad in free-market dogma aided the absorption of the therapeutic ethos by the Religious Right. After all, if true free is defined as freedom of choice as opposed to the classical concept of choosing virtue, then the door is wide open to reforming religion along therapeutic lines centred around subjective experience. This is why so many conservative Christians did not see, and still cannot explain, the ongoing victories of transgenderism in the culture war. The transgender phenomenon, which requires affirming psychology over biological reality, is a logical culmination of a process that stared centuries earlier. 

Christian resistance on a large scale to the anti-culture has been fruitless and is likely to be for the foreseeable future. Why? Because the spirit of the therapeutic has conquered the churches as well – even those populated by Christians who identify as conservative. Relatively few contemporary [Western] Christians are prepared to suffer for the faith, because they therapeutic society that has formed them denies the purpose of suffering in the first place, and the idea of bearing pain for the stake of truth seems ridiculous. 

It is difficult for people raised in the free world to grasp the breadth and depth of lying required simply to exist under communism. All the lies, and lies about lies, that formed the communist orders were built on the bases of this foundational lie: the communist state is the sole source of truth. Orwell said in Nineteen Eighty-Four: “The Party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command.” 

The goal is to convince the person that all truth exists within the mind, and the rightly ordered mind believes whatever the Party says is true. 

Orwell Rights: 

“It was though some huge force was pressing down upon you – something that penetrated inside your skull, battering against your brain, frightening you out of your beliefs, persuading you, almost, to deny the evidence of your senses. In the end the Party would announce that two and two made five, and you would have to believe it. It was inevitable that they should make that claim sooner or later: the logic of their position demanded it. No merely the validity of experience by the very existence of external reality was tacitly denied by their philosophy. The heresy of heresies was common sense.” 

In our time, we do not have an all-powerful state forcing this on us. This dictatorship is far more subtle. Under soft totalitarianism, the media, academia, corporate America, and other institutions are practicing Newspeak and compelling the rest of us to engage in doublethink everyday. Men have periods. The woman standing in front of your is to be called “he.” Diversity and inclusion means excluding those who object to ideological uniformity. Equity means treating persons unequally, regardless of their skills and achievements, to achieve an ideologically correct result. 

To update an Orwell line to our own situation: “The Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command.” 

by Bestselling Author, Rod Dreher


(The above direct excerpt was lifted directly from pp 1-18 of “Live Not By Lies: A Manual for Christian Dissidents” by Bestselling Author Rod Dreher. I encourage you to not only share this post but purchase this important book for yourselves and your friends and neighbours – Christian or not.  The only things being added were hyper-links to clarifying notes, further articles and posts) 

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