Americans Exiled within America
"Exile" conjures images of banished figures like Napoleon, who languished on the island of Elba, rendered powerless by isolation.
Groups of people considered troublemakers also have been exiled from their lands. Diasporas of "undesirables" like the Jews have been a constant in the history of nations whose rulers wanted to be rid of what they considered indigestible elements.
Exile within one's own country by a totalitarian regime has been less noted.
For such an enterprise, we may look at Vichy France, which was under the thrall and control of a fascist political system imported by Germany but facilitated by French citizens. Non-conformists found themselves termed by Charles Maurras as "internal foreigners," exiled within their own country. Measures favored by an imported ideology were enacted against them.
Anyone familiar with the actions of the Vichy government under orders from a foreign power notes its capitulation to Nazi policies on race. Many of the "internal foreigners" were Jews, who soon were exiled from the administration, armed forces, entertainment, arts, media, and most professions. French police confiscated phones and radios while establishing curfews and prohibiting travel.
Increasingly, in America, large groups of citizens also are being exiled while still within their own country. Seen as troublesome obstacles to unity and peace, the stripping of their power and even their voices has accelerated during the last year, particularly during the last few months — be it the rules and regulations surrounding the advent of COVID-19 or the suppression of free speech by the MSM and tech giants, or the imposition of laws millions find repressive.
A corrupt voting process has deprived millions of meaningful participation within their republic. Meanwhile, integrity of citizenship itself is imperiled by the erasure of the nation's boundaries and the granting of privileges to non-citizens.
Second, Americans have been deprived of their property, which has essentially been confiscated by the State in the interest of public "health." Businesses have been shut down and, when partly opened, managed by bureaucrats who dictate how a business such as a restaurant may be run. Apartment buildings have also essentially been confiscated via restrictions on landlords, who cannot evict renters for not paying rent.
The properties essentially have been seized by the State. Regardless of the supposed purity of the motives behind the seizures, it is the State that will decide if and when it will give them back.
But most importantly, like individuals who are removed from their country, exiled Americans have experienced loss of community and communication. The forced isolation of Americans and the shutdown of nearly all institutions have deprived Americans of supportive communities. Churches, schools, museums, concert halls, political groups, and even family gatherings such as funerals and weddings have become tightly regulated. Many communities have either disappeared altogether or retreated into cyberspace.
The result has been the exile of millions from normal society. Among those exiled internally by a hostile government controlled by radical ideologues: political conservatives, Christians, white males, and other indigestible groups. Offenders of the new protocols become outcasts deprived of any comfort or protection of a group of like-minded companions. Isolation is accompanied by paralysis resulting from the inability to act in concert.
The rationale behind their exclusion from meaningful participation within society is found in the dogmatic standards put forth by Critical Race Theory and cultural Marxism. Those standards find their genesis in revolutions inspired by the French Revolution, which standards have been reinforced by philosophers like Jean-Paul Sartre and Michel Foucault, who, imitating the ideals of Marx, have a visceral hatred of bourgeois society and who, like the Marquis de Sade, have an almost boundless sympathy for groups like the insane, the sexually perverted, and criminals.
In order to change society to include formerly excluded groups, groups such as the bourgeoisie, AKA the middle class, must be exiled from participation in the political process. They and the institutions that formerly empowered them must be radically changed or done away with altogether in order the formerly marginalized are empowered.
The bourgeoisie are to be denied permeability and fluidity necessary ever again to rise to the upper classes of power. Since the power of the bourgeoisie is seen as systemic, intrinsically evil, and exclusionary, it is considered only just that former "power brokers" are exiled within their own country for the sins inherent to their class and race. It is considered just to give their positions to those deemed their victims. The former rule of law, which forbade the punishment of the children for their forefathers' sins is upended and societal realignment according to the new order proceeds. However, though fixed in societal stasis, the exiled bourgeoisie will still be taxed.
As Hannah Arendt pointed out in her essay "Ideology and Terror: A Novel Form of Government," isolation and the resultant impotence isolation brings are one of the "primary concerns of all tyrannical governments[.] ... Isolation and impotence, that is the fundamental inability to act at all, have always been characteristic of tyrannies. Political contacts between men are severed in tyrannical governments and the human capacities for action and power are frustrated."
Who can dispute the fact that Americans have been isolated and their communal ability to take action, even to worship according to the standards and rituals of their faith, has been smashed, with the result that the capacities for action and political power are frustrated — except for those entities allied with the radical left?
As Arendt points out, totalitarianism is not content with the destruction of public institutions; it destroys private life as well. Even the core institution of the family has been blasted to smithereens. Families find themselves no longer recognized or protected by the government. They are uprooted and rendered superfluous, as not belonging to the world at all.
Totalitarianism happens when the government itself becomes a criminal enterprise or becomes beholden to and under the control of a criminal enterprise. As former mobster Michael Franzese points out, it happens when the government itself becomes the mafia.
Suddenly, the former rule of law is supplanted; in fact, all former standards are supplanted and a new order installed. Former categories that made society intelligible break down. The public can no longer make sense of what is going on. The citizenry is at sea. As Arendt put it, whenever totalitarianism "rose to power, it developed entirely new political institutions and destroyed all social, legal and political traditions of the country[.] ... [T]hey started to operate according to a system of values so radically different from all others, that none of our traditional legal, moral, or commonsense utilitarian categories could any longer help us come to terms with, or judge, or predict its course of action."
Here in America, radical ideologues are accomplishing what amounts to a hostile takeover of our country. They are targeting "undesirables" who are being slated for exile within their own country.
If they are allowed to continue, and the effort to pack the Supreme Court is but one indication that they will continue, the result will be totalitarianism. The new order will create a fake "unity," and it certainly will kill the republic.
The miracle of America has been due in large part to the permeability and fluidity of its classes, which in turn has been due to the adherence to the Constitution and the rule of law as applicable to everyone regardless of class or status. The vanishing of that fluidity and of the country's capacity for continued reform via the rule of law and the Constitution has invited the beast of totalitarianism, which is always fed by a singularity of interpretation. Be it race, sex, or "science," the ideological equivalent of the Theory of Everything is a singularity that leads to totalitarianism. Singularities have been characteristic of every dictator of the last century or more.
The answer to the rapid encroachment of totalitarianism in America and the resultant exile of its millions of citizens: restoration of the rule of law, particularly as expressed in the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights.
Therein lie the guarantees for freedom and justice for all.
Fay Voshell holds a M.Div. from Princeton Theological Seminary, which awarded her the prize for excellence in systematic theology. She has been a contributor to American Thinker for a decade. Her thoughts have appeared in many other online magazines, including The Christian Post, LifeSiteNews, CBN, RealClearReligion, and National Review. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Image: Bert Kaufmann via Flickr, CC BY 2.0.
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