Tyranny and isolation always go together. Let’s always remember that. Political philosopher Hannah Arendt made the connection in her book The Origins of Totalitarianism. She wrote: “Terror can rule absolutely only over men who are isolated against each other. . . . Therefore, one of the primary concerns of all tyrannical government is to bring this isolation about.”
Below is an excerpt from from my (relatively) recent Federalist piece about the connection between tyranny and isolation and today’s dystopian atmosphere:
“How much of the hype about this flu is really about public safety? How much is it about cultivating the social isolation that breeds distrust, division, and malaise, all to be exploited for political purposes? Should we really believe that blue city mayors and blue state governors, the New York Times, the Washington Post, CNN, et al., are pushing the cataclysmic view of this flu only for our own safety?
“Blatant double standards clarify that their hype is meant to continue our isolation, and is not for our own good. As far-left mayors and governors enforce social distancing for law-abiding citizens, they have pretty much smiled upon Antifa rioters as “peaceful protesters,” especially those who gather en masse for more than 60 [now 100] nights in a row to provoke and attack federal officials protecting a federal court house in Portland.”
You can read the whole essay here: https://thefederalist.com/2020/08/11/how-forced-isolation-makes-huge-power-grabs-possible/
Once you think about it, you’ll see evidence everywhere that every tyrant’s first order of business is to isolate those they’re trying to control. This is as true for the school yard bully as it is for the world class dictator. Let’s go down a little list of them. Consider the queen bee diva. Recall how in the 2004 movie Mean Girls, the school’s cool clique made a point of controlling the relationships of all of their peers? Recall their Pelosi-esque line “The rules aren’t real.” What about the gas lighting partner? Maybe his realm is just to control one person, but he makes sure she is isolated from all other influences. She can’t have any friends or be around anyone he doesn’t control.
And cult leaders? They control recruits primarily by some form of isolation. People’s Temple leader Jim Jones even moved his thousand or so followers into literal isolation – to a jungle in Guyana – to make sure all were isolated and under his strict control. And of course all fascist/communist/totalitarian dictators are invested in human isolation. Mao Zedong had his Red Guard zealots (very similar in behavior to today’s BLM and Antifa agitators) force struggle sessions on people wherein they mobbed, isolated, and publicly humiliated anyone suspected of wrong think. (BTW, the toll was in the tens of millions killed during China’s Cultural Revolution of the 1960’s.)
And what does political correctness do to us? Induce self-censorship that results in self-isolation. What about identity politics? It divides us so that we are more isolated from one another.
So what should we make of the enforced isolation of today? And what about the Covid shutdowns that did not end on April 1 – and then May 1 — like they were supposed to? Do they serve a political purpose. Of course they do. The point is to stretch out the misery, stretch out the economic devastation, stretch out the isolation in order to demoralize the population into doing the bidding of our would-be controllers. We have to call this out for what it is. And, hopefully I can offer a morale-booster next time!
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