The New Totalitarians are Here

There’s a basic difference in the traditions of political science between “authoritarians” and “totalitaritarians.” People throw both of these words around, but as is so often the case, they’re using words they may not always understand. They have real meaning, however, and the difference between them is important.

Simply put, authoritarians merely want obedience, while totalitarians, whose rule is rooted in an ideology, want obedience and conversion. Authoritarians are a dime a dozen; totalitarians are rare.  The authoritarians are the guys in charge who want to stay in charge, and don’t much care about you, or what you’re doing, so long as you stay out of their way. They are the jefe and his thugs in a brutal regime that want you to shut up, go to work, and look the other way when your loudmouthed neighbor gets his lights punched out by goons in black jackets. Live or die. It’s all the same to the regime.

Totalitarians are a different breed. These are the people who have a plan, who think they see the future more clearly than you or who are convinced they grasp reality in a way that you do not. They don’t serve themselves—or, they don’t serve themselves exclusively—they serve History, or The People, or The Idea, or some other ideological totem that justifies their actions.

They want obedience, of course. But even more, they want their rule, and their belief system, to be accepted and self-sustaining. And the only way to achieve that is to create a new society of people who share those beliefs, even if it means bludgeoning every last citizen into enlightenment. That’s what makes totalitarians different and more dangerous: they are “totalistic” in the sense that they demand a complete reorientation of the individual to the State and its ideological ends. Every person who harbors a secret objection, or even so much as a doubt, is a danger to the future of the whole project, and so the regime compels its subjects not only to obey but to believe.

Authoritarians merely want obedience, while totalitarians, whose rule is rooted in an ideology, want obedience and conversion.

This is what George Orwell understood so well in his landmark novel “1984.” His dystopian state doesn’t really care about quotidian obedience; it already knows how to get that. What it demands, and will get by any means, is a belief in the Party’s rectitude and in its leader, Big Brother. If torturing the daylights out of people until they denounce even their loved ones is what it takes, so be it. That’s why the ending of the novel is so terrifying: after the two rebellious lovers of the story are broken and made to turn on each other, the wrecks left by the State are left to sit before the Leader’s face on a screen with only one emotion still alive in the husks of their bodies: they finally, truly love Big Brother.

Americans Are Getting Too Comfortable With Thought Control

I’ve gone down this road of literary and academic exposition because I fear an increasing number of my fellow Americans are, at heart, becoming totalitarians.

Now, by this I do not mean America is creating Nazis or Stalinists. It’s true, of course, that both Nazism and Stalinism were species of the genus “totalitarian,” but both have since died the deaths they deserved. I mean that ordinary people, and not a few opinion and thought leaders, are adopting the same insane belief that human minds can be molded and shaped and made to think in new ways by sheer force.

I grant that overall, American political debate on all sides has become nastier and less tolerant. What makes these kinds of attacks, however, smack of totalitarianism—and I could reel off dozens more examples, but your computer would run out of pixels—is that people like Takei and Bennett-Smith are lighting their torches and demanding rough justice even on issues where they’ve already won. In other words, it isn’t enough that Thomas was in the Court’s minority, or that no college in America is bothering to listen to Young. They want Thomas and Young silenced, stripped of their status in their peer group, and to recant—even after being defeated in public on the issue at hand.

That’s terrifying, because it means that for a fair number of people in what’s supposed to be a democracy, “winning” in any normal political sense simply isn’t enough. They are not really trying to capture something as pedestrian as political equality, nor are they satisfied if they get it. They are not really seeking a win in the courts, or a legal solution, or a negotiated settlement. Those are all just merit badges to be collected along the way to a more important goal: what they really want, and what they in fact demand, is that you agree with them. They want you to believe.

Love Your Terror

It is not enough for these Americans to say: “I have had my day in court and prevailed.” In effect, they now add: “You do not have the right to hold a different opinion, even if you lose in the public arena. You may not hold on to your belief as a minority view, or even as a private thought. And if you persist and still disagree, I will attack you without quarter and set others on you to deprive you of your status in your profession, of your standing in your community, and even of your livelihood.”

Even after losing, you will be forced to admit the error of your ways.

This attitude promises social warfare without end, because there is no peace to be had until the opposing side offers a sincere and unconditional surrender. It means that the people on the Left taking bakers to court, de-Africanizing Justice Thomas, and making Young an accomplice to rape will not be satisfied with winning. For the new totalitarians, prevailing in the courts or at the ballot boxes isn’t enough if there’s still a suspicion that anyone, anywhere, might still be committing thoughtcrime.

Most of all, they do not want you, Present Reader, to even think about agreeing with people like Thomas or Young. By attacking everyone in the public sphere from judges to writers, they’re sending a clear warning that there’s plenty of room in the bonfire. It is a vow that you will be held to account for your personal thoughts, even if you’ve already been defeated in a democratic or judicial contest.

No, even after losing, you will be forced to admit the error of your ways. You must accept that you’ve sinned. You must discard your own values and accept the ideas of your betters. You must denounce yourself for undermining the construction of a better world.

You, too, must love Big Brother.

Tom Nichols is a professor of national security affairs at the U.S. Naval War College and an adjunct professor in the Harvard Extension School. Views expressed here are his own.
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The Rise of the Evil Reich

Bill Gertz, top Pentagon reporter for the Washington Times has just reported that “Obama secretly backed Muslim Brotherhood.”  The Brotherhood is literally a fascist Muslim radical group from the Nazi period.

Writes Gertz:

President Obama and his administration continue to support the global Islamist militant group known the Muslim Brotherhood. A White House strategy document regards the group as a moderate alternative to more violent Islamist groups like al Qaeda and the Islamic State.” (Aka ISIS).

The policy of backing the Muslim Brotherhood is outlined in a secret directive called Presidential Study Directive-11[.] … The directive was produced in 2011[.] …

Efforts to force the administration to release the directive or portions of it under the Freedom of Information Act have been unsuccessful. …

The directive outlines why the administration has chosen the Muslim Brotherhood, which last year was labeled a terrorist organization by the governments of Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates as a key vehicle of U.S. backing for so-called political reform in the Middle East. …

The UAE government also has labeled two U.S. affiliates of the Muslim Brotherhood, the Council on American-Islamic Relations and the Muslim American Society, as terrorist support groups. Both groups denied the UAE claims. Egypt is considering imposing a death sentence on Mohamed Morsi, the Muslim Brotherhood-backed former president who was ousted in military coup in July 2013.

Critics of the administration’s strategy say the Brotherhood masks its goals and objectives despite advocating an extremist ideology similar to those espoused by al Qaeda and the Islamic State, but with less violence. The group’s motto includes the phrase “jihad is our way.” Jihad means holy war and is the Islamist battle cry.

Counterterrorism analyst Patrick Poole said the Brotherhood in recent weeks has stepped up its use of violent attacks in Egypt.

The Muslim Brotherhood is called the “Ikhwan” in Arabic, meaning “brotherhood.”  (Like German “ich” and “won.”)  It took that name in 1928, when fascist and Nazi “brotherhoods” were spreading all over Europe.

From the start, the Ikhwan actively collaborated with Hitler through the mufti of Jerusalem.  One of their slogans is “All we want is to die in the way of Allah” – which means killing as many infidels as you can when you die.  This is the theological basis for suicide-bombing.  Today, there is no daylight between the Ikhwan and ISIS.

In 1981, an Ikhwan front group assassinated Pres. Anwar Sadat, the most important Arab peacemaker with Israel.

The Ikhwan employs Malik Obama, the president’s half-brother, as a big money man.

The Ikhwan created Hamas – the terrorist group that uses children as human shields to protect rocket launchers in Gaza.

The Ikhwan helped neo-Ottoman fascist Erdoğan to take over Turkey.

The Ikhwan is almost certainly behind ISIS, together with Turkey and Qatar.

In 2011, the Ikhwan overthrew Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak – who upheld the Egypt-Israel peace treaty for four decades – in close collusion with Obama, Code Pink, and Bill Ayers.  The Western media actually reported that  Code Pink and Bill Ayers were protesting Hosni Mubarak in the weeks before Mubarak was overthrown.  Today, millions of Egyptians believe that Obama supports their mortal enemy, the Ikhwan.

The Ikhwan is now engaged in a monumental civil war against President El Sisi, whose court just condemned its leader to death.  Their leaders who are not in jail have fled to Qatar, Turkey, and Gaza, all part of the Ikhwan network.

The Ikhwan controls American front groups like CAIR, which buys up American politicians by the truckload, especially on the left.

Four-star admiral James Lyons (USN, Ret.) has gone public with the charge that the Ikhwan has deeply penetrated U.S. intelligence.  That is why Obama can’t even say the words “Muslim war on America.”  That is why our defense has been so feeble and cringing.

Hillary Clinton’s closest personal aide as SecState was Huma Abedin – an Ikhwan insider.  Abedin was one of the few people who had access to Hillary’s illegal personal e-mail account on the night of Benghazi.  Nothing has changed – Abedin is still at the top of the Hillary campaign.  Probably for the first time in U.S. history, presidential candidate Hillary has stonewalled any media questions, period.

Major Ikhwan money flows have been reported going to the Clintons, the Carters, and Obama.  Ikhwan penetration of American society and the U.S. government gives all the appearance of a political quid pro quo – with our survival at stake.

Bill Gertz’s Pentagon documents now prove the Ikhwan connection directly.  The liberal media will try to stifle the facts, as always.

Maybe this time they will fail.

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Thomas Sowell…

Random thoughts on the passing scene:

Who says President Obama doesn’t promote bipartisanship? His complicity in Iran’s moving toward nuclear bombs has alarmed some top Senate Democrats enough to get them to join Republicans in opposition to the Obama administration’s potentially suicidal foreign policy.

Before the current measles outbreak, measles was once almost wiped out in the United States. But an article in a medical journal more than a decade ago had many parents afraid to have their children vaccinated, for fear that the vaccine causes autism. After scientific studies refuted that claim, the medical journal repudiated the article, and the doctor who wrote it had his license revoked.

If not a single policeman killed a single black individual anywhere in the United States for this entire year, that would not reduce the number of black homicide victims by one percent. When the mobs of protesters declare “Black lives matter,” does that mean all black lives matter — or only the less than one percent of black lives lost in conflicts with police?

In politics, never assume that because something is insane, it will not be done. The Holocaust was as insane as it was a moral horror. But it was done. Even after the tide of war turned against Germany and it faced invasion and devastation, Hitler continued to pour scarce resources into the mass killing of people who were no threat.

When someone tries to lay a guilt trip on you for being successful, remember that your guilt is some politician’s license to take what you worked for and give it to someone else who is more likely to vote for the politician who plays Santa Claus with your money.

So long as public schools are treated as places that exist to provide guaranteed jobs to members of the teachers’ unions, do not be surprised to see American students continuing to score lower on international tests than students in countries that spend a lot less per pupil than we do.

Would you go to a funeral if you knew that your presence would be unwelcome and would just add to the pain of the mourners? Probably not. But New York’s mayor Bill de Blasio went to both funerals for the two New York City policemen recently murdered — and gave speeches. That epitomized what a truly despicable human being he is, even by the low standards of politicians.

Demographic “diversity” is a notion often defended with fervor but seldom with facts.

Few things are more irritating, or more phony, than statements from various organizations about their “privacy policy.” What that really means is their invasion of privacy policies — how much information about you that your bank, hospital, or Internet service is going to pass on to other people without your permission.

Somewhere Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes says that the purpose of an education should be to produce a mind that cannot be humbugged. But today our educational system, from kindergarten to the universities, is engaged in the mass production of fashionable humbug — propaganda rather than education.

Some people see discrimination when schools punish black students more often than white students. But schools punish white students more often than Asian students. Lenders turn down black applicants for loans more often than white applicants — but they turn down whites more often than Asians. Most statistics on such things omit Asians, rather than spoil a politically correct story.

President Obama may have gained something politically or ideologically by recognizing Cuba, but just what did the United States gain? Like so much that has been done by this administration, the diplomatic recognition of Cuba demonstrates how safe it is to be our enemy, while our policies toward Ukraine and Israel demonstrate how risky it is to be our ally.

Despite radical feminist organizations’ frequent bursts of outrage, these same radical feminists’ response to the mass capture of school girls by Islamic terrorists in Nigeria, and turning those girls into sex slaves, has been strangely muted. Is this because there is no political mileage or lawsuit settlements to be achieved by expressing outrage at such unconscionable raw savagery in Nigeria?

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Anti-Federalist Movement

No wise and serious American, whatever his notional ideology, trusts the federal government.  This fact is often lost in the dust and wind from that gaggle of pundits whose relevance depends upon every issue of life being controlled by an all-powerful central government.  In American politics and government, the problem, of course, is Washington, and most Americans find Washington as arrogant and stupid as American colonists found London in 1776.

Is it time, then, for an Anti-Federalist Party?  Such a party or movement need not prescribe the proper response from government to different issues, except that an Anti-Federalist Party would insist that whether government ought to respond to these issues and how government ought to respond to these issues should be decided by state governments and ought to reflect the wishes of the voters in the states.

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Who is Leading and Financing the Orc Army of the Left?

With events such as Ferguson and before that Trayvon Martin and the Occupy hysteria, and now with the reaction to the grand jury convened to consider Eric Garner’s death, we are occasionally treated to a brief glimpse of the left’s Orc army, standing by for its cues, ready to march at a moment’s notice to destroy all in its path, especially truth.  When they do arise from the muck, it also becomes clear that they have been so conditioned to pre-programmed cues that it is impossible to penetrate their psyches and engage them on facts.  Their conditioning does not allow them to think independently of their indoctrination and training.  They do not want to know the truth, having been similarly conditioned to find it grossly offensive.  Still, they will tell you that they are not mindless drones serving a master or self-appointed master class, and that they have chosen for themselves to behave as would a herd of conscienceless animals.Despite their false claim of autonomy, at the cue or direction of others they are prepared to instantly engage in mob tactics that are not acceptable in a civilized, lawful society, becoming full-throated vandals, arsonists and murderers who are convinced of their own righteousness.  Whether destroying the businesses of a town, or murdering an innocent passerby with hammers for the affront of his whiteness, the behavior is triggered by false cues that have been implanted by those who need others to do their dirty work.  Such “protesters” are the left’s army, ready and willing to detect the cue and instantly attack whomever they are brainwashed to believe is their enemy.  They neither want nor need evidence, or a logical connection between the alleged affront and the target of their rage.  There is injustice afoot, and they must avenge it with violence.

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Wow. The death of Ben Bradlee. We are all mortal.

Naturally, I disliked him very much for his harm to the ultimate peacemaker, Richard M. Nixon. But when I looked up Mr. Bradlee in Wikipedia(sometimes reliable, sometimes not), I was staggered by something that had long been lurking in my old brain and now becomes crystal clear. Two things, in fact.

First of all, I had always thought that the Beautiful People in the Northeast, Hollywood, and D.C. loathed Nixon because they thought he was way below their social station. After all, his first major target was a New England Blue Blood Communist spy, Alger Hiss of Harvard. When Nixon drew blood with that attack, the gauntlet was thrown down to avenge Mr. Hiss.

So, now I see that Ben Bradlee has about the fanciest pedigree that anyone I have ever seen on Wikipedia has had. Descended from European Royalty in about ten different ways. Heir to substantial wealth in New York and Boston. Boarded at St. Mark’s School, a super waspy redoubt. Harvard, naturally.

He fought bravely in World War II in many battles in the Pacific as an officer in Naval Intelligence. For that, he gets everlasting credit.

Right out of Harvard, he married a Saltonstall, of that ultra-waspy, high-toned Boston clan. He later married a Pinchot, also a super fancy family.

But, here comes the best part: he was a spook, a full-scale CIA operative for much of his life. He worked for the CIA in Europe and throughout the world. Now, they say he did PR work for the Agency, and why not? But in Washington, we have a saying: Once CIA, always CIA. So, once upon a time, a brilliant man named Fred Thompson wrote about how Watergate was a giant CIA-organized frame-up of Richard Nixon by CIA people who hated him.

Why did they hate him so much? Well, again, social class. The CIA is even more snobby that the Department of State, or used to be. The CIA people would have looked down their Brahmin noses at Richard Nixon, whose father operated a lemon farm. Plus, this was their chance to get back at a man who had wrecked the life of Alger Hiss.

But what I have always wondered about was the timing: the plot to get Nixon, if there was such a plot, it came about at the same time that Richard Nixon was opening China. This meant stalemating, then checkmating the Soviets in their quest for world domination. I am far from the first person who has suspected that the Soviets had a powerful cadre within the CIA doing their bidding. This brings me to point two: I wonder if the whole Watergate affair was set up by the CIA, and then information about it was dripped out to the Post and other entities to make sure RN was punished for encircling Mother Russia.

The fact that Mr. Bradlee was a CIA man (according to Wikipedia) makes me wonder how the gears actually worked inside the conspiracy to depose Richard Nixon. Was Bob Woodward a CIA agent? I have heard it said he was, but I surely don’t know. Who else was CIA?

Anyway, Mr. Nixon is deceased now and so is Mr. Bradlee and so will I be and life goes on but it would be nice to know just what roles the KGB and the CIA had in the media coup against Nixon. It is probably better to know if the KGB is running the country than to not know.

As for me, I am going to the grocery store to buy supplies for our little household. My wife is ill and we are running low.

It is a gorgeous night here in L.A. and I feel happy to be alive but I sure wish my wife were not so ill. That’s what really counts. My heart goes out to his widow. He was a brave sailor and served his nation courageously and losing your spouse at any age is unspeakably horrible.

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Ben Stein and America…

“…I am going to stop complaining and make dinner for my Big Wifey right now. It is so fabulous to be in America, with my Julie lying here looking at me, it’s beyond all telling. I just wish I were in Sandpoint, center of the universe, looking out at Lake Pendoreille. For me, at its best, that lake is the calmest place in the world — not the future, not the past, but the warm soothing pool of the moment, in God’s hands…”

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Leo Hates Bill

“A month or so ago, This American Life host Ira Glass landed in hot water for casually tweeting “Shakespeare sucks.” Well, Glass deserved it; still, the backlash provoked a kind of counter-reaction in me. There’s more to say for Shakespeare, one hopes, than polite applause, and an audience with only that probably isn’t worthy of him.

Yet there is at least one person in the world whose robust hatred of Shakespeare cannot be so easily dismissed. Leo Tolstoy wrote more than once about how much he loathed the man’s work, and he dedicated a whole pamphlet to breaking down all the flaws in King Lear. These arguments are worth taking seriously—and there’s also something exhilarating about watching a man with a fully formed aesthetic sense claim to find Shakespeare, sacred as he is, utterly repulsive….”

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Deny the Masters of the Universe…

Senator Jeff Sessions (R., Ala.), the ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee, delivered a speech on the Senate floor Wednesday evening about Senate Democrats’ refusal to support legislation to block the president’s proposed executive actions on immigration policy, and the interests supporting amnesty. Following is an…”

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This Is Your Captain…

A Few Words About Reclining Airline Seats

Good morning. This is your captain. We’ll be cruising today at an altitude of 30,000 feet, and we expect to arrive at our destination on time. Then we’ll spend 45 minutes on the tarmac waiting for a gate to open up, because apparently, the airport folks had no idea we were coming.Our flight crew will be coming through the cabin shortly to offer you a choice of lukewarm beverages along with a tiny chemical-infused snack that wouldn’t sustain a gerbil through a cold night. You’re welcome to take a nap, if you can sleep through me coming on the intercom to inform you of things you couldn’t care less about.

And if there’s anything we can do to make your flight more pleasant, please let us know so we can figure out if there’s a way to charge you for it.

But I want to make a special announcement today. My last flight got diverted because a couple of knuckleheads started screaming and throwing things at each other. Turns out one of them wanted to recline a seat and the other took offense. I really hate detours. So let me tell you how it’s going to be.

You all bought a ticket for a seat that reclines, which means if you want to recline, you’re entitled to do it. I’m not saying you should. Just because you’re free to spend the entire flight sobbing to your seatmates about your breakup or berating them with your opinion of Barack Obama doesn’t mean it’s a considerate thing to do. Just because you are allowed to scratch and belch en route doesn’t mean your mother would approve.

But if we wanted to prevent our passengers from reclining, we would install seats that don’t recline. So if the person in front of you leans back, you have several options. You can politely ask if he or she would mind not reclining, or at least not reclining quite so far. You can buy him or her a drink as an incentive.

You can pull out a twenty-dollar bill and pay an old-fashioned cash bribe. Heck, I don’t care if you offer sexual favors, as long as they don’t happen on board. If nothing else works, you can weep and beg.

What you can’t do is use a “Knee Defender” to block the seat from reclining. You can’t push against the seat until the other person returns the seat to its upright position. You can’t scream and swear and throw things. If you do, we’ll land at the nearest airport and let the cops put you in a seat you’ll find even less comfy.

If our policy offends you, let me make some suggestions. Next time, buy a seat that has extra legroom. Or upgrade to first class. Or patronize one of the airlines whose seats don’t budge.

Or just forget flying. I hear Amtrak cars have more room than airline cabins. You could get in your car and drive. You could stay home.

But if being stuck with a reclining seat in your face bothers you so much, let me bring out the world’s smallest violin to play a microscopic sad song. Your ancestors probably came across the ocean in steerage, crammed into dim spaces with smelly strangers for weeks at a time, fighting off rats and scurvy.

Or they may have come in slave ships against their will, where they had a truly excellent chance of dying. They may have crossed the continent in a bone-jarring covered wagon eating buffalo jerky three meals a day.

_And you? You have to endure modestly cramped quarters for a few hours to be transported vast distances they would have needed weeks or months to cover. Boo friggin’ hoo.

Face it, people: You’ve made it clear you want a low price more than you want comfort, so this airline has provided it, often losing money in the process. That’s why we have to charge for bags and meals that used to cost you nothing. Factor in inflation, and you pay a whole lot less than passengers did back in 1979.

If you were willing to pony up for more space, my employer would be happy to install a La-Z-Boy for every traveler. But you’re cheap. You squeeze every nickel till Thomas Jefferson screams. And then you wonder why we pack you in so tight.

So be grateful for the bargain fare. And notice: It’s not spelled F-A-I-R.

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