Remember a time very recently before our personal worlds — our national spirit — the future — looked so different; happier, friendlier, more enthusiastic?
Sure, a viral pandemic came along out of nowhere, locked everything down, killed many and frightened everyone, social distanced us from precious physical relationships, and interrupted activities and experiences that we always took for granted. That was certainly part of why and how these surrounding appearances changed so dramatically.
But I'm actually referring to some developments that are perhaps even more terrifyingly transformative, more personal, more permanent, and far more crassly insidiously pervasive than we dare contemplate. It is the forfeiture of our cherished American dreams and freedoms to savagely divisive ideological demagogues who seek power over individual thoughts, communications and actions.
Writing in The Wall Street Journal, Dean Andrew Michta at the College of International and Security Studies at the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, warns of a very menacing neo-Marxist assault upon our American culture, our economy and our liberty.
Dean Michta observes that here and elsewhere the assault typically begins with idol smashing and cancel culture as part of a broader ideological project to dominate society. In doing so, ordinary language becomes replaced with ideologically-sanctioned meanings. Words become redefined and weaponized with "sledgehammer rhetoric" that obliterates in favor of one-dimensional interpretations of what is "correct" and what is not.
Such totalitarians claim unconditional authority to reach deep into each person's conscience. They prescribe an interpretation of the world and dictate the language with which citizens are permitted to express that interpretation.
All of this is being accomplished with the support of a complicit press and an expanding segment of the political and business classes in contempt for the freedom of everyone who challenges their assertions of objective truth and moral authority.
Michta laments that what is taking place amounts to a re-segregation of America, "the endpoint of which will be the rejection of everything the civil rights movement stood for."
We have recently witnessed peaceful nationwide racial justice protests being hijacked by the neo-Marxist left and morphing into all-out assaults on American cities and institutions. Michta writes: "This assault is underpinned by audacious attempts to rewrite history that turns specific past events into weapons not only to overpower political opponents, but also to recast all of American history as a litany of racial transgressions."
Michta adds, "The ill-named progressivism that has inspired shrill demands to dismantle police forces and destroy statues is only a small manifestation of a massive project aimed at the re-education of the American population. The goal of this project is to negate the story of the American republic and replace it with a tale anchored exclusively in race categories and narratives of oppression."
Symbolism is central to the "woke" victim identity movement. And as Michta explains, "those who control the symbols of political discourse can dominate the culture and control the collective consciousness. If you doubt this, ask yourself why there has been so little backlash from ordinary, non-elite Americans."
Michta then proposes a reason the neo-Marxist progressives are gaining dominance over us: "Our sense of self has been progressively deconstructed. We feel in our bones the wrongness of the violence being visited on the nation, but lack the language to speak against it."
Yes, and we also recognize and fear the retribution that can be personally visited upon us by daring to speak out or violate their language code. Those accused of getting out of step are vulnerable to shaming, or for some, losses of jobs and professional careers.
Also writing in The Wall Street Journal, former Republican Utah Senator Orrin Hatch attaches much blame for this ideological oppression to newsrooms and universities, institutions that are supposed to be bastions of free speech.
"But in 2020," Hatch writes, "any journalist or scholar who strays from progressive orthodoxy is ripe for cancellation."
Former Sen. Hatch offers the example of New York Times editorial page chief, James Bennet, who was forced to resign for the crime of simply posting a piece by a U.S. senator advocating use of federal troops to prevent violence amid protests. In doing so, the article articulated a position with which, according to polls at the time, the majority of Americans agreed.
Hatch observes that the situation is even direr in academia. Here he cites the case of Nathaniel Hiers, a math professor at the University of North Texas who ran afoul of the powers that be when he criticized a core tenet of the woke gospel. Hiers was fired for the blasphemy of arguing that the concept of "microagressions" inevitably "hurts diversity and tolerance" by encouraging people to see the worst in others.
Whereas the press and university institutions are supposed to keep us tethered to an objective reality — to help identify truth and differentiate fact from fiction — the lines between news and propaganda, education and indoctrination, are growing blurrier by the day.
Hatch urges an expansive reformation of universities that entails a radical overhaul of campus culture, including the elimination of safe spaces, trigger warnings, speaker boycotts and other practices meant to stifle debate and honest inquiry. This will demand a renewed commitment to intellectual diversity, which is critical to creating an environment where free speech and heterodox ideas can flourish.
Dean Andrew Michta emphasizes that American society is now faced with a stark binary choice. "Either we push back against the unrelenting assault of the neo-Marxist narrative, or we yield to the totalitarian impulse now in full view in our politics."
Michta insists that it is no longer enough to wait for the next election, or to pin our hopes on a "silent majority" that will eventually stop the madness. In fact, there may not even be such a majority, or at least any that can articulate the horror of ideological chaos they see unfolding all around them.
It is hard, Michta writes, to call things by their proper names in a society whose elites insist on calling looters and arsonists "protesters," national monuments "symbols of racism," and the victims of lootings and arson the beneficiaries of "white privilege."
The challenge, Michta concludes, is massive, "but it starts with the simple act of calling things by their proper names."
Larry Bell is an endowed professor of space architecture at the University of Houston where he founded the Sasakawa International Center for Space Architecture (SICSA) and the graduate program in space architecture. Larry has written more than 600 articles for Newsmax and Forbes and is the author of several books. Included are: "How Everything Happened, Including Us" (2020), "Cyberwarfare: Targeting America, Our Infrastructure and Our Future" (2020), "The Weaponization of AI and the Internet: How Global Networks of Infotech Overlords are Expanding Their Control Over Our Lives" (2019), "Reinventing Ourselves: How Technology is Rapidly and Radically Transforming Humanity" (2019), "Thinking Whole: Rejecting Half-Witted Left & Right Brain Limitations" (2018), "Reflections on Oceans and Puddles: One Hundred Reasons to be Enthusiastic, Grateful and Hopeful" (2017), "Cosmic Musings: Contemplating Life Beyond Self" (2016), "Scared Witless: Prophets and Profits of Climate Doom" (2015) and "Climate of Corruption: Politics and Power Behind the Global Warming Hoax" (2011). He is currently working on a new book with Buzz Aldrin, "Beyond Footprints and Flagpoles." Read Larry Bell's Reports — More Here.
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