The Left's Idea of a Happy Future
Liberals are fond of predicting the future, and their predictions, which are always dire, then become the pretext for more government. Otherwise, they say, we'll all starve, a class war will break out, or the Earth will come to an end.
Liberals are wrong about the future because their theories are based on ideology, not on the facts. Unlike conservatives, whose ideas are grounded on prudence and a clear view of human nature, liberals really have no conception of what drives human beings: their thinking is built on a handful of fixed ideas that can be traced to a number of shallow-minded philosophers including Rousseau, Malthus, Marx, Dewey, and Gore. What all of these thinkers have in common is the misconception that a centralized, planned economy can transform society into a utopia.
In every case, they've been wrong. The Earth's population did not starve (Malthus); capitalism was not replaced with a socialist utopia (Marx); the earth has not been consumed by storm, drought, and rising seas (Gore).
Collectivist ideology has produced poverty, starvation, enslavement, and mass murder. The Soviet Union sent at least 18 million to the gulags, and few returned from the worst of these camps. Stalin practiced a crude form of authoritarian rule based on Marxist ideology. He believed that, given supreme power, the State (in the person of Stalin himself) could transform a backward and inefficient economy into a world leader. The key to this process was a ruthless and inhuman exercise of power.
As Richard Pipes and others have stressed, Stalin was not a highly intelligent or subtle human being, but he did have one quality that distinguished him from others: the willingness to employ unlimited cruelty in the service of an idea. There are others today, including Chairman Xi in China, who appear willing to employ violence and coercion in support of the utopian goal.
Like Stalin, Biden has sat patiently in the background, awaiting his chance to rule, and now that he has power, he and those around him are determined to "transform" America to correspond with their idea of the future. Biden is not Stalin, and there are not yet gulags in America's far north (though perhaps some along our southern border), but he shares Stalin's devotion to liberal ideology. And like Stalin, Biden believes he has been called to transform society.
Like all liberal utopias, Biden's vision is that of a perfect society created by the planning and control of an authoritarian state. And like all liberal thought, Biden's thinking is based on an ideology that promises a totally ordered and efficient future with the State regulating and directing the means of production and controlling the private lives of its population.
While we have no gulag or death camps as yet, we do have a dangerous new instrument of state control — a national system of censorship and virtual "re-education" in support of the progressive state. This system appears to control the traditional media of television and print journalism and the newer forms of social media. Like Stalinist censorship of books and newspapers, its purpose is to ensure permanent power for the progressive regime.
A good example is last week's 60 Minutes hit job on Ron DeSantis. This is nothing new for 60 Minutes (recall their use of unsubstantiated documents in Dan Rather's 2004 "reporting" on George W. Bush's National Guard service, just ahead of the 2004 election), but what is new is the breadth of today's censorship. Everything from daily newspapers to evening news, internet news, search results, Twitter, Facebook, and thousands of other venues is working to advance a collectivist, authoritarian idea of the future.
It would be interesting to know why this progressive ideology is so widely shared by those in the media. Is it the appeal of a bright, new future that relieves the tedium of our daily lives? Or is it the allure of a society of perfect order, with billions of human beings laboring like robots and passively accepting what they are told? Is it the superior status that those in the media expect to acquire in a society ruled by censorship and force? Or is it simply a matter of pride — the smug assurance that they, the self-appointed clerisy of the secular state, are smarter and more "woke" than any one of their readers or listeners?
Whatever the motive, the liberal media are leading us toward enslavement and destruction. It is terrifying to think that America may become the ally of Russia and Communist China in the service of global tyranny — and that a majority of Americans may have voted in favor of their own enslavement.
That is the future toward which we are headed. In doing so, we are losing contact with the fundamental truths of human nature: the fact that human beings seek security, freedom, improvement in living standards, and meaning in their lives. Those who still cherish these fundamental truths are the enemies of the totalitarian state and of the media that support it. Like Ayn Rand's John Galt, they know that the promise of collectivist utopia is a lie set forth to enslave us, and they know they must preserve their own integrity and the knowledge of human nature upon which it rests.
We are now seeing the worst assault on liberty in our nation's history — broader, more ruthless, and more determined than anything we have seen in the past. Sleepy Joe Biden plays the fool, but he is a ruthless practitioner of progressivism. The happy future that he promises is an illusion; the reality is regimentation and control. That future will steer the country toward global alliances with collectivist states that oppress their people as ruthlessly as Stalin did in the 20th century. Xi Jinping has reportedly detained 1.5 million people in "re-education" camps. How long will it be until America's progressive state detains white Christians for re-education? Compulsory workplace sensitivity training is only just the beginning.
This is not the America I grew up in or that I believe in, and the censorship, the voter fraud, the fake news, the corruption of public education, the assault on life and on the Second Amendment now taking place seem irreversible. We may awaken in some dark future with Big Brother monitoring our every thought and with only a dim memory of the land of liberty and opportunity that we once knew. We may already have awakened there.
Perhaps, by some miracle, our children and grandchildren will regain the truth that man has always sought liberty, opportunity, and security, and that a God exists to redeem us and instill meaning. The truth that life requires courage, and that individuals in a free society have the obligation to contribute to the good of all.
We have arrived at that crucial point where we must choose between democratic capitalism — a system based on the human desire for freedom and opportunity — and the false promise of a communist utopia based on state control. Biden seeks to expand the size of government beyond anything we have known in the past, and with it the power that government has over our lives. That sort of control does not suggest a happy future. The left is determined to enslave us. Peacefully but resolute, we must resist.
Jeffrey Folks is the author of many books and articles on American culture including Heartland of the Imagination (2011).
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