Dear Mrs. Clinton: Looking for Autocrats? Look in the Mirror

When I first saw a news headline that said "Hillary Clinton calls for curbs on European immigration" this Thanksgiving, I almost dropped a turkey leg.  Was she finally admitting that liberal all-inclusive immigration policies have failed in Europe?  That they have made crime rates skyrocket?  Or that Islamization undermines Europe's unique civilization entity?  "Probably," I thought, "Hillary can't be that honest – because of 'Islamophobia.'"

Mrs. Clinton's argumentation turned out to be more prosaic.  "Europe must get a handle on immigration to combat a growing threat from right-wing populists," she said during her interview for The Guardian.  I was not surprised: Mrs. Clinton was not worried about ordinary Europeans who paid to support Middle Eastern and African refugees while being raped, robbed, and killed in return for their hospitality.  She was upset only about the rising popularity of the "right-wing populists," opponents of the open-border policies.

"The use of immigrants as a political device and as a symbol of government gone wrong," she continued, "of attacks on one's heritage, one's identity, one's national unity has been very much exploited by the current administration here [in Great Britain]."  So preservation of a rich heritage, unity, and identity based on core values of freedom, human rights, and democracy, which objectively are not a part of the Muslim worldview of the newcomers, or at least have a whole different meaning for them, for Clinton is merely a rhetorical tool used by the evil "populists" to deceive the voters.

What is the cause of the surging popularity of the right-wingers?  According to Clinton, it is people's subconscious desire to obey an authoritarian leader.  "A significant part of the problem here is people's desire for a leader that is going to just push through change without regard to political pressures, you know, that 'getting things done' mentality."

Clinton said "right-wing populists" in the West exploited "a psychological as much as political yearning to be told what to do, and where to go, and how to live and have their press basically stifled and so be given one version of reality[.] ... The whole American system was designed so that you would eliminate the threat from a strong, authoritarian king or other leader and maybe people are just tired of it.  They don't want that much responsibility and freedom."

Translating her words from Political into English, she yet again called most people "deplorables" who are "psychologically" incapable of handling freedom and responsibility.  It reminded me of the Fyodor Dostoevsky's prose poem, "The Grand Inquisitor," where Jesus Christ is blasted by the Grand Inquisitor for giving people free will, since "nothing has ever been more insufferable for man than freedom!"  In his opinion, people are weak, rebellious, and naïve, with guidance, welfare support, and security to be valued over freedom.

It is true: people can be transformed into an obedient herd that would blindly follow its shepherds.  But who are "authoritarian leaders" here, and who strives to rip from people their freedom?  Are these the "right-wing populists" who voice people's rightful concerns, or are these the elitist globalists, whose failed policies destabilize whole regions, including Europe itself?

Authoritarian and totalitarian regimes that oppose democratic ones are studied in depth and quiet extensively in political science.  Their basic characteristics include an absolute domination of one ideology: "big government," which regulates all spheres of political, social, and economic life; imposes ideological censorship of all channels of information as well as educational institutions; rejects traditional morals and submission of all social interactions to the "greater good" (everything that serves the "greater good" is considered virtuous); limits or eliminates the individual's rights and freedoms; effects a centralized and planned economy; and uses terror and physical annihilation or intimidation of its opposition.  Most authors agree that autocracy is an extreme form of collectivism that blurs the lines separating the state, civil society, and the individual.  The last ceases to exist, being dissolved in a collective entity.

The opposite of autocracy is anarchy, and both are equally destructive for a society.  It is, by the way, exactly why the American Founders established a constitutional republic in order to balance the common good and individualism.

Sorry, Mrs. Clinton, but labeling your opponents "autocrats" was a huge miss.  It is not they who are autocrats, but Clinton's own party and the like liberals across the Atlantic.  It is Democrats who radicalize politically, embracing socialism, which has a long history of political and economic failures.  (No, the Nordic model will not work in America, and it is not even socialist.)  It is the Democrats who constantly attack and reject traditional moral values and introduce their twisted substitutes.  It is they who root for more government and more regulations.  It is they seeking to redistribute wealth in a controlled economy.  It is they who kick conservative speakers off college campuses while touting diversity as a primary social strength – until it comes to diversity of thought.  It is they who constantly seek limitations of gun rights for law-abiding citizens.  It is their "Antifa" that feels entitled to "punch a Nazi in the face" – or, essentially, everyone wearing a red "Make America Great Again" hat.  It is their leaders who reject civility in a dialogue with their opponents until they get what they want.

In the best Orwellian tradition, Mrs. Clinton attacks her opponents by accusing them of being what they are not, but what she and her party are.  The dangers of autocracy lie on the left, not on the right.  Most people whom the left has such a low opinion of can see it, and that's what makes conservatism popular.

Image: Nathania Johnson via Wikimedia Commons.