During the glory days of the Soviet Union after World War I, the country was in a sorry state. Many were starving and suffering from the failed communist policies. However, if they so much as complained or expressed personal despair, they risked being sent to the Gulag concentration camps or be killed. Why? Expressing suffering was considered a form of treason. It meant that you did not fully support or believe in the utopia of socialism.
Such is the nature of a totalitarian ideology.
You may think that this was only a fluke, a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. However, it is happening today too. In Venezuela, one of the places in the world richest on natural resources, people are starving to such a degree that they are eating their pets. The average person in the country lost 24 pounds in 2017 and the child mortality from malnutrition has skyrocketed.
Why? Socialism, but you are not allowed to say so. According to the New York Times, the government instructs doctors not to list starvation as a cause of death.
“The Venezuelan government has tried to cover up the extent of the crisis by enforcing a near-total blackout of health statistics, and by creating a culture in which doctors are often afraid to register cases and deaths that may be associated with the government’s failures.”
It’s the Soviet Union all over again, where expressing or documenting suffering has become a crime.
Most would still say that this would be unthinkable in the West. The sad truth is that it is already happening, albeit at a less ominous level. In his book The Strange Death of Europe, British author Douglas Murray talks about how among most Europeans, there is a resigned mourning of the slow death of their cultures.
They are mostly just sad that the elites radically transformed their homeland without their consent. Slowly, Europeans have become accustomed to an increase in knife stabbings, acid attacks, and Sharia as a part of daily life. They must, however, grieve in silence because even the expression of something less than an enthusiastic embrace of the death of European culture is considered racist.
Europeans, polite as they are, plod along and defeatedly accept that the will of the people is overridden by eurocrats and politicians who live in safe neighborhoods far away from the new Europe that they force ordinary folks to inhabit.
The straightjacket of strict social control can also occur on the right. There was a time in America and Europe when it was no picnic to be gay. However, today the totalitarian impetus comes almost exclusively from the neo-Marxist left. Anyone who does not agree with their radical agenda belongs to the now-infamous “basket of deplorables.”
One of the hallmarks of tyranny is when even an expression of personal suffering becomes a crime or sin. When a society reaches that point, dangers of dictatorship loom on the horizon.
Some countries like United Kingdom and Sweden are further along that road than others, but America should not feel safe that it can never happen here. The canary in the coal mine is when even expressing sadness over the radical change is considered verboten.