Authors John Hayward
Funny there are those who think these migrant caravans were a FANTASTIC idea that's going to take the immigration issue away from you.— Brian Cates (@drawandstrike) November 26, 2018
Like several weeks watching a rampaging horde storm the fences & throw rocks at our border patrol agents & getting gassed = great optics!
This media manipulation effort was inspired by the success of the "kids in cages" freakout, a 100% Stalinist propaganda drive that required people to forget about Obama putting migrant children in cells. It worked, so now they want pics of Trump "gassing children on the border."
There's a heavy air of Pallywood around the whole thing as well. If the Palestinians can stage huge theatrical performances of victimhood with the willing cooperation of Western media, why shouldn't the migrant caravan organizers expect the same?
It's business as usual for Anarchy, Inc. - the worldwide shredding of national sovereignty to increase the power of transnational organizations and left-wing ideology. Many in the media are true believers. Others just cannot resist the narrative of "change" and "social justice."
The product sold by Anarchy, Inc. is victimhood. It always boils down to the same formula: once the existing order can be painted as oppressors and children as their victims, chaos wins and order loses. Look at the lefties shrieking in unison about "Trump gassing children" today.
Of course, media and political elites are, at worst, inconvenienced by lockdowns, so news coverage is heavily slanted against the people who are really suffering from these policies. They're already as forgotten as the designated losers of globalist trade policy.
Spend a day watching mainstream media pandemic coverage, then spend the evening with people whose livelihoods have been utterly ruined by pandemic restrictions. It's like traveling from the Earth to Mars. Completely different worlds, totally different outlooks.
It's exactly like the divide between "free trade" winners and losers, people living in comfortable financial and media bubbles vs. people living in hollowed-out ghost towns with skyrocketing mortality rates. The Wuhan virus gave us a new, even bigger class of Designated Losers.
The new class divide cracked open along some economic and social fault lines that were already present and deepening, such as the growing number of people who preferred minimizing human contact while socializing online. It really is the social schism of the new century.
When every "principle" becomes nothing but a ruthless exercise of power, it's not surprising that a growing number of people conclude they must demonstrate some sort of power in order to be taken seriously. Violence is the crudest exercise of power.
A well-run civilization makes it clear *universally* that violence is absolutely unacceptable. Giving free passes for irresponsible rhetoric and destruction to groups favored by the dominant political ideology of the State undermines that message.
We must also people peaceable means of expressing themselves and controlling their own lives, to relieve the pressures that can lead to violent outbursts and other forms of lawlessness. The less healthy discourse and freedom of action you have, the more pressure builds up.
It's dangerous when large numbers of people begin drawing the conclusion that might makes right, that laws and principles bend easily for those who have the political strength to bend them. Might makes right is the code of anarchy and barbarism, the antithesis of civilization.
Censors begin by claiming that they only want to control the spread of deliberate falsehoods and push back against propaganda campaigns. They always begin by saying their primary concern is disinformation spread by hostile foreign powers. China constantly says that to this day.
The definition of "disinformation" begins to expand as the censors seek more power. Soon they aren't just going after DELIBERATE falsehoods pushed by malevolent conspiracies - they're suppressing everything from honest mistakes to predictions and "wrong" opinions.
It soon becomes clear that the censorship rules - like all other rules in totalitarian societies - are not applied evenly. The ruling party and its friends are judged much less harshly than dissidents. They get far more latitude to make unfounded statements or outright lies.
The censors move on, suppressing not just "disinformation" or demonstrably false statements, but even completely true statements that lack some vital "context." The censors declare that even pure truth is deceptive when it's not packaged and delivered "correctly."
That is, obviously, not the country we live in.
Long ago, we had an attitude of zero tolerance for terrorism, "we do not negotiate with terrorists," etc. One reason for this was the implicit understanding that negotiating with terrorism legitimizes it. Violence becomes an instrument of politics.
Some of us warned all last year that treating violence as acceptable, even laudable, from SOME people would mainstream it and touch off an arms race. Everyone would start getting the idea that only groups with a demonstrated capacity for violence are taken seriously.
When violence becomes acceptable from one party and its clients, one ideology, it becomes an instrument of authoritarianism. That's why authoritarian regimes frequently have violent vigilante groups roaming the streets in addition to their vast security and military forces.
Iran, for example, has all sorts of heavily armed police and security forces, working for both its secular and theocratic governments, but it ALSO has ultra-violent "vigilante" groups indulged by the State whose "grievances" supposedly justify vandalism and murder.
Nationalism isn't just mindless tribalism. People are correct to insist their government has a responsibility TO THEM that vastly outweighs any imagined responsibility to foreign governments they have absolutely no influence over, or foreign populations.
We've seen that point taken to absurd extremes by the Left during the Trump administration, with whack-job judges ruling that foreigners have rights that EXCEED those of American citizens, including absolute rights to enter the U.S. and influence its government.
And we're frequently told that some international elite "consensus" completely overrides our ability to make individual decisions - or even to petition our own government, or vote for representatives who disagree with whatever "the world" has supposedly decided.
All of that is the absolute negation of "democracy" in any form, including the dangerous mob rule and majoritarianism that the Left selectively advocates. (Notice they always have a list of things nobody gets to vote on anymore, no matter how strong the majority vote would be.)
The "mandate" narrative is silly as a matter of constitutional law. Nowhere is it written that a president's authority is diminished if the election was close, or people who didn't vote for him think his victory was illegitimate. But that's all we heard for years after Trump won.
Of course, not a single such complaint will be leveled at Biden. No one in the political/media class will insist he has an asterisk after his name and should be prevented from exercising the full powers of office, and then some.
Biden won't have to worry about "resistance" bureaucrats sabotaging his administration from Minute One or crazy Hawaiian judges stalling his policy agenda. If anyone tries it, the media will absolutely savage them, instead of cheering them on. Their very lives would be in danger.
As a matter of politics, it's fair enough to suggest that policies should be crafted with due recognition for the feelings of the opposition, and if the election was razor-close, extra care should be taken to recognize the divided electorate.
"Limited authoritarianism" is the best phrase for what the elite have in mind. They have decided that a growing list of topics are simply off the table. Consensus has been reached, and no further input from voters will be permitted on those topics.
This is a natural consequence of the progressive ideology, which is inherently authoritarian, although it peddles itself in the early stage with lots of jibber-jabber freedom and liberty. Progressives by definition believe that the growth of the State can never be reversed.
Every time the State grows - taking more money from the private sector, issuing regulations, criminalizing activities that used to be free - it is declaring that the people can no longer be trusted to make certain decisions. This is the inescapable logic of statism.
You can't be trusted to spend that dollar wisely, so the State will take it from you. You can't be trusted to make those decisions about your health care, so the State will make them for you. You can't be trusted to sell your own labor, so the State will control employment.
The bitter irony is that one reason panic became so easy for politicians and grifters to sow and reap is the great collapse in confidence caused by their own incompetence and greed over the past few decades. The political class found a way to profit from its own ineptitude.
If public confidence in government and major institutions had not been so thoroughly shaken by years of rampant corruption and incredibly expensive failures, perhaps the public would not have been panicked so easily - and profitably! - when the coronavirus struck.
Even as public confidence collapsed and paranoia grew, social media came along to make our society more twitchy and neurotic. We argue constantly about the spread of "disinformation," but not enough about how social media rewards irrationality and performative emotionalism.
Panic and social media both nourish the human herd instinct, and herds respond to loud noises, not reasonable arguments. Our society was panicking over far less important and dangerous things before Covid-19 arrived. We were panicking over some bizarre social issue every week.
Media would never, ever write that narrative, of course - would never string stories together and search for a pattern that could be refined into a political point - but it's the net impact of their reporting on women's issues. Everything started getting worse in the 70s.
There is a valid "narrative" to be discerned from that ocean of bad news about women and children over the past few decades. It's not a coincidence. It's a direct result of the Big Lie pushed by the abortion lobby: that only one person is involved in the decision to give birth.
That's so obviously untrue that entire civilizations are driven mad when they are forced to accept it. It's like forcing everyone to agree that the sky is green or gravity is a myth. Cognitive dissonance inflicts far more social damage than politicians or academics want to admit.
Women and (born) children suffer after abortion becomes broadly legalized because men are erased from the picture. A lot of men - including rich and powerful men - LIKE being erased from that particular picture. Others are intimidated out of insisting they belong in it.
The destruction of the independent American middle class is one of the highest policy goals of the hard Left. It is finally at hand, thanks to the coronavirus and its political aftershocks. A year ago, they could not have dreamed they would get such a perfect kill shot.
A true middle class has economic interests that run counter to command economics, confiscatory taxation, centralized power, and other features of socialism. It also has the numbers to protect those interests at the ballot box. Of COURSE the Left hates it and wants to subdue it.
Small business is the vital engine of middle class prosperity, and the specific enemy the Left hates the most. Small business owners - and their sharpest, most ambitious employees - place a high value on capitalist freedom and competitiveness. They know the value of a dollar.
The small business experience is defined by the atmosphere of competitiveness that statism and socialism are sworn to destroy. Local enterprises appear quickly in response to demand that cannot easily be seen by distant central planners. Entrepreneurship requires agility.
Xi's address to the World Economic Forum will serve as well as any other moment for historians to mark the beginning of the Authoritarian Era. He said nothing new, but he restated the narratives and demands of Chinese fascism from a post-pandemic position of aggressive strength.
For the first time, Xi spoke to a world that is beginning to accept the tenets of authoritarianism, thanks to the incredible political and economic damage from China's coronavirus. China's ideals have become as viral as Covid-19.
Thanks to the pandemic, the political elites of the world now universally see their citizens as dangerous mobs that must be tightly controlled for their own good. Most of them always thought that way, but now they can say it openly and act aggressively on their prejudices.
Xi clearly stated that China will not be contained, censured, or judged for its actions. He denounced Western ideals of human rights as "arrogance" and imperialism. After Covid and Biden's inauguration, he sees no nation with the strength or will to thwart China's ambitions.
The "Covid emergency" will never be over. It will mutate and seek out new missions when this particular virus threat abates, repurposing its funding and clinging to its power. They're already talking up the "next pandemic" and how we must forever remain at DEFCON 2 to be ready.
Masks are now a visible and tangible symbol of an entire agenda. Its champions will use every means possible to force you to wear them forever, including corporate pressure, their new favorite tool. Expect commercial mask requirements to linger, especially big corporations.
True believers, meanwhile, will wear their masks with grim determination and scowl ostentatiously at everyone who refuses to join them. It's a new virtue signal that will not go away any time soon. Mask scolding is a quick, easy, heady power rush.
All the while, studies will keep rolling out that masks don't help, and might even hurt. That was fairly common medical knowledge before the pandemic began, but it was aggressively suppressed when masks became a political symbol, and a totem for people desperate to DO SOMETHING.
Totalitarianism is best understood as the politicization of everything. Every facet of life is infused with political meaning... and subjected to political control. There is little room for privacy or individualism. Every word and deed is seen as a political action.
Totalitarianism does *not* require authoritarian government, although it usually leads to such. You can be totalitarian without having any real government power at all, enforcing your political will through mob actions and corporate power. Examples from recent history abound.
Totalitarianism is the easiest of the three deadly "isms" to slide into, because it can easily be disguised with claims of its good intentions. Totalitarians usually claim to be motivated by the Greater Good. They claim to represent the interests of sympathetic victims.
Totalitarians claim that society is unjust and must be corrected by force. Before they gain the power to become authoritarians, they often assert the right to use force outside of the law because the government is corrupt or serves the interests of their ideological enemies.
That's how we got the "lone wolf terrorist" cliche. A great herd of lone wolves swept across the world, each completely isolated from anything but the most direct support for their heinous deeds. "Tiny minorities of extremists" were blamed for "hijacking" the beliefs of millions.
The Western world did backflips to completely firewall the actions of terrorists from the larger bodies of people they claimed to represent. We hired a legion of consultants to show us exactly where the line between extremism and legitimate belief was drawn.
We wouldn't even name the adversaries of civilization. We declared a "global war" on their methods, to avoid criticizing their beliefs. The Obama administration launched a huge, expensive "Countering Violent Extremism" initiative that pointedly treated extremism as generic.
The greatest of pains were taken to draw very sharp and bright lines between violent extremism and even the most provocative and incendiary acts of legitimate speech and political organization. This was true of the race riots in the Obama years, as well as terrorism.
The growth of both government and corporate titans was inevitable, especially after a century of industrial and technological revolutions. Technology makes it possible to have larger endeavors, both public and private. Economies of scale bring enormous benefits.
Industrial advancements meant government had to get bigger to handle even its most basic responsibilities, like national defense. The World Wars erased the model of a tiny central government handling a few key elements of defense. Every war became a clash of industrial titans.
After the wars, people - not just voracious political opportunists, but many average voters and nearly all of the intelligentsia - fell in love with the notion of using the power of industrialized warfare to address domestic issues. Every crisis became "equivalent" to war.
People expected more of government, so it grew - and then it exploded. Meanwhile, Big Business was growing too, and it delivers tangible benefits that would be impossible to achieve with only small, decentralized local companies. There is an inescapable logic to corporate growth.
The highest reaches of power are measured by the ability to force people to speak in politically-approved ways.
The ability to silence criticism is a signifier of power. It's how truly powerful groups and regimes recognize each other. If free people can challenge your ideals or mock you without fear, you aren't TRULY powerful, no matter how much authority you might nominally possess.
And if you can force people to speak, force them to use your preferred language, penalize them socially or legally for failing to signal their support for your agenda, then you've entered the winner's circle. Your government or movement has taken a seat at the highest table.
This is one of the reasons people with authoritarian or totalitarian inclinations are constantly screaming that opponents are trying to silence them, even when it's manifestly untrue. It's a means of signaling their contempt for the opposition, of diminishing its stature.
These people would cheerfully allow themselves to be silenced by a regime or movement they truly respected. They pretend to be victims of oppression as a means of signaling the illegitimacy of leaders they despise.