If you’re like most people, the word “totalitarian” conjures images of Adolph Hitler, Josef Stalin, and Mao Zedong. You probably think of oppressive regimes run by brutal dictators. However, I would submit to you that there is another type of totalitarianism – one that is less overt than what we usually read about in the history books.
The type of totalitarianism that exists in our society today is cultural. Instead of using the government to enforce its values, it subtly uses various components of our culture to suppress opposing ideas and inject its own into society. This cultural totalitarianism has helped them promote their agenda.
There are several different ways the left wields its power to stifle opposing views.
Most of us use social media as a way to engage with our friends and the rest of our society. However, most of the individuals who own the major social media companies are ardent leftists. In recent years, they have made a concerted effort to crack down on people who express conservative ideas.
Just last week, Project Veritas released a video exposing Twitter’s practice of shadow banning users who tweet conservative messages. The company is currently developing new ways to ensure that such tweets are not seen. Facebook and YouTube are taking similar measures.
The left dominates our higher learning institutions, and they have enjoyed a significant level of control over the political views disseminated on college campuses. They have used their power to discriminate against conservative professors in their hiring practices. Campus faculty members promote leftist views and demean students who adopt right-wing ideas.
Of course, we cannot forget the entertainment industry. Hollywood is dominated by the left, which means they use movies and television to promote left-wing ideas. Harvey Weinstein isn’t the only open secret in Hollywood – it is also known that conservatives are blacklisted and treated differently in our film industry. Very few conservative actors have “come out of the closet” with their beliefs for fear of the backlash they would receive.
Lastly, we have the establishment media, whose reporting is decidedly skewed in favor of the left. News outlets such as CNN, NBC, ABC, and CBS routinely published stories soft-pedaling former President Barack Obama when he was in office. They were loath to ask him tough questions or issue any serious criticisms about the Obama administration.
However, when President Donald Trump won the election, they went into full attack mode, publishing story after story smearing the Trump administration and GOP lawmakers. In many cases, the establishment media published stories that were demonstrably false in order to influence the American public.
While these are not the only parts of American society that the left uses to suppress conservative ideas, they are the most powerful. By minimizing opposing ideas in these facets of our culture, they have ensured that Americans are exposed to primarily left-wing views.
Cybertyranny, Violence, and Shaming
Unfortunately, this goes beyond mere suggestions and attempts to censor specific platforms. Last year saw numerous cases in which hard leftist groups stormed conservative events and used violence to prevent participants from expressing their political views. They have also used violent means to shut down speakers on college campuses.
Groups like Antifa and Refuse Fascism often show up and attack participants with weapons. They attempt to shut it down by setting fires. However, people on the far left don’t just use their fists to enforce their views; they also use their words.
One of the most commonly-used rhetorical weapons the left has wielded over the past few decades involves labeling their opponents as bigots. They used this tactic to discredit their political opponents and shame them into silence.
Using ad hominem attacks such as these have allowed them to avoid engaging in intelligent debates. In many cases – especially on college campuses – this tactic has cowed many conservative students into silence for fear of being seen as racist. The far left has ruthlessly used this attack on anyone who disagrees with their arguments. However, the harshest rhetoric is reserved for a special type of political enemy: women and minorities who don’t accept the leftist ideology.
Blacks who espouse conservative ideas are called “Uncle Toms” – amongst other derogatory terms. Women are labeled as individuals who are supporting the patriarchy. As a black man and a conservative, I have been compared to Jews who worked with the Nazis.
It makes sense that the left would become incensed when a minority or woman doesn’t accept their views considering the fact that the Democratic party has branded itself as the group that champions the cause of the “oppressed.” The people on the left’s intersectional hierarchy who reject the left’s ideology pose a threat to the left-wing agenda. They are immune to the left’s false accusations of racism, and misogyny. Not only that, if other members of the “oppressed” classes see those like them who have rejected the left, the Democrats will lose their hold over these individuals.
Far Left’s Political DNA
Totalitarian governments thrive by prohibiting their citizens from speaking out against them. This is true of left-wing totalitarian regimes and dictatorships. By cracking down on the speech of those they wish to rule, they ensure that they will remain dominant. The same is true for cultural totalitarians in our society.
While many on the left value freedom of expression, a significant number of those on the far left believe it is imperative that they bring about the acceptance of their ideas at all costs, even if it means silencing people with whom they disagree.
To those who embrace cultural totalitarianism, reasonable political discourse is simply an obstacle that makes it harder to achieve their objectives. Their worldview is so critical, so virtuous that anyone who would oppose it must be evil. It’s the reason they believe conservatives are as reprehensible as actual Nazis. Their thinking is so extreme that they miss the fact that they are engaging in the same type of behavior as the fascists they claim to oppose. Or perhaps, they just don’t care.
It’s obvious that the rise of cultural totalitarianism is a severe threat to our political discourse. It stifles the flow of ideas and destroys diversity of thought. Even worse, it will ensure that the left continually dominates the political conversation in the United States. The left might not be in power right now, but we cannot allow the left’s totalitarian tendencies to keep us from sharing our ideas. Otherwise, we could lose the ground we have taken.