Friday, March 06, 2009

On the new 'Kinder, Gentler Totalitarianism'

Was Eric Holders "nation of cowards" comment a signaling of the arrival of an omnipresent, authoritarian government that exerts oppressive control over our individual lives and thoughts? Robert Weissberg believes that it was and offers a convincing discussion to support his belief:
Eric Holder's "nation of cowards" comment wasn't simply a roundabout way of making the tired old accusation of "institutional racism." It signaled the acceleration of a trend toward the state policing not only of behavior but attitudes, ideas, and the interpretations of facts.
Your thoughts might be impure. Attorney General Holder is here to help.
On February 18th 2009, Eric Holder, our first African American Attorney General gave a well-publicized speech in which he called Americans cowards for, among other things, refusing to engage in an open, frank dialogue about our race relations. Reactions were immediate, nearly all negative and most correctly saw this as an effort to put whites in pillory so as to hector them with the usual accusations of racism, discrimination and all the rest as a first step to extract more tangible benefits. This much was clear. Less obvious, but more important, is that a "frank and open discussion" will inevitably invite government to monitor our private thoughts to build a "better" more racially just society. Such "honest" dialogues will not be policy debates as one might discuss school busing; this is about drawing to the surface what Peter Brimelow calls "hate facts," that is, empirically indisputable truths that are justly inconvenient for America's smothering liberal orthodoxy. Uttering them is, at least to champions of the reigning orthodoxy, far more hazardous than endorsing mere misguided public policy; they challenge the modern liberal state's very foundations. In a nutshell, if Holder and company get their way, white America is to be put on the couch and coaxed to confess its selective misanthropic urges, and that done, we can be properly weaned from the thoughtcirmes debilitating blacks.
Of all the tricks to defeat opponents, classifying opposing views as a debilitating mental illness is perhaps the most nefarious. This medicalization strategy was explicit in the Soviet Union where "deranged" dissidents required long stays in insane asylums. Communist China, Cuba and other totalitarian regimes also had their versions of forcefully refurbishing the dissident. The gentler American re-education method only differs in degree, not kind. Here college students caught ridiculing wacky feminists must undergo a therapy that inevitably begins by demanding frank acknowledgment of one's injurious thoughts, regardless of intended harm, let alone accuracy. Such treatments are not unusual; they are official policy for as Paul Gottfried has observed, the modern welfare state takes reforming supposedly misguide beliefs as part of its it central ameliorative mission--a roof overhead, food on the table, and mush in the brain. (edit - emphasis mine) Continue reading, "A Kinder, Gentler Totalitarianism."
While some of Weissberg's comments may be a bit far-fetched, can there be any doubt that Obama's America is a welfare state that takes reforming supposedly misguide beliefs (as perceived by the government) as part of its it central ameliorative mission--a roof overhead, food on the table, and mush in our brains?


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