Hobbits vs. Jacobins
Conservatives, at least in the English-speaking world, thrive in times of domestic tranquility. Like Hobbits seeking nothing but the sweetness of their cozy homes and gentle meadows, we appreciate things as they are: Mothers, fathers, children playing in the yard, and grandmother’s picture hanging in the kitchen, next to the cross.
When asked to make great changes our sentiment is to hesitate and to wait for the issue to resolve itself. We are great students of thermodynamics, believing that sooner or later, without intervention, a system will reach its equilibrium. We live by that famous quote of Lord Salisbury, that “whatever happens will be for the worse, and therefore it is in our interest that as little should happen as possible.”
In contrast, the leftist sentiment is quite the opposite. Filled with zeal and ideology to reshape society based on the abstract ideas of “equality,” “social justice,” or “the unity of the proletariat,” the Left delights in crisis. Like a hyena waiting for its turn, the Left is always ready to clear the wounded carcass of the remains of its flesh and justify a transfer of power from local communities to the centralized administrative apparatus.
And so the revolutionaries of the Left are masters in catastrophizing. There is nothing new about this: The Jacobins used the permanent crisis of the ever-present, yet never seen, émigrés to justify the transfer of all power to the Committee for Public Safety. With it, they gained complete control over the French state.
For the Soviets, a juicy crisis always chased another. Initially, the kulaks, then “rootless cosmopolitans, and always the omnipresent treachery of West.
The Maoists, especially during China’s Cultural Revolution, exploited China’s absolute destitution as a wonderful opportunity to persecute political enemies (traitors to the revolution) and take over the machine of the Chinese state.
This type of dynamic is wonderfully documented in Orwell’s Animal Farm. Every failure of the ruling porcine class is made into a catastrophe of treason, external threats, and absolute urgency. Every such catastrophe, in turn, serves to increase the hold of the hooven lords over the farm’s society.
Now, a qualifier. As much as I detest the Jacobins, the Soviets, and the Maoists, at least they had real crises to manipulate and exaggerate: Revolutionary France was indeed in a state of war, Soviet Russia was indeed dirt poor, and Maoist China was a complete basketcase of dysfunction. By contrast, America is a prosperous and relatively tranquil society. So the American Left has no choice but to invent a good crisis. They are pretty good at it.
Seven generations after the abolition of slavery and three generations into civil rights legislation, we are suddenly led to believe that America is steeped in racism. Like the French emigres who could never be seen, yet assuredly were everywhere, this type of racism is “systemic.” So bad that each and every institution in America is suffused with it.
What to do, oh, what to do? Well, clearly, since all institutions emanate racism, we must dismantle them. And so, bills are proposed to control the zoning rules of local communities; hiring by businesses is regulated and audited by the government; local monuments are defaced and toppled down; schools and universities and all local institutions of learning must preach the state’s religion of anti-racism and Western blame. All must now look to the Left, controlling the federal administration, for guidance and instruction.
An Insurrection of the Brain
A rowdy riot of mischievous patriotism, in which a rabble trespassed upon the halls of the Capitol while snapping selfies and donning furry customs, is yet another hyped-up “crisis.” Each cabinet member, in perfect unison, has been feigning his best severe expression, proclaiming that the riot of January 6th is the worst thing since 9/11, no, Pearl Harbor! No, the Civil War!
It’s difficult to contend rationally with such idiocy (the Civil War concluded with more than 600,000 dead), yet the trick might prove effective. Day and night the Left’s tentacles of propaganda feverishly confess their horror, grief, and need for supportive therapy, due to the incomparable (“just like 9/11!”) horridness of what they dub as an “insurrection.”
As an IDF officer during the second Intifada, I can tell you what a real insurrection looks like: It involves exploding busses, ax attacks, and sniper fire. But then again, such bland reasoning is not useful for justifying the hysterical committee now “investigating” the events of January 6th, with much anguish and tears.
A Pandemic of Hysteria
Regardless of the merits, it’s no surprise that the American Left has seized the emergence of SARS‑CoV‑2 with much enthusiasm and devotion. In fact, general leftism and covidianism have merged into one integrated cult. You know the type: Double masking, a BLM sign in the yard, and a child named Chloe.
Here too, when faced with a choice of whether to display a stiff upper lip or engage in outright panic, the Left has elected the path of crisis. Data that demonstrate the relative mildness of the virus (an infection fatality rate of about 0.24% for the general population, 0.05% of the under 70) are systematically ignored. Instead, the organs of propaganda display clock-counters of meaningless cases, misleading hospitalization data, and a Manichean tale of good and evil where the villain, you guessed right, is conservative America.
Meanwhile, the “crisis” justifies all sorts of power grabs: Continuous governing by emergency-state declarations, limitations on personal mobility and public assembly, bizarre dress codes, and now talk of wacky vaccine passports. The memory of our Anglo-American liberties is not to be invoked, in favor of the tyranny of necessity.
The Green Reserves
As a backup crisis, the American Left always has the climate. What transition of power cannot be justified in the blazing light of an incinerating planet? But on that particular hysteria, I will write elsewhere.
Shock and Awe
And so, a shocked public can never catch a break. Despite a reality of historically unparalleled peace and prosperity, the general feeling is that of continuous catastrophe and imminent danger. Viruses, white supremacists, and racists lurk in the shadows, ready to pounce and spoil the shopping at Whole Foods.
Whether Americans will reconnect with their inner Paul Revere, their national spirit of rugged cowboys, settlers, and pioneers, or in exasperation seek shelter amongst the fetid skirts of Nancy Pelosi, only time will tell. It is a battle of powerful spirits: Columbia vs. Alinksy. In the meantime, our republic is being corrupted into a catastrophocracy.
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