[Continuing my occasional series of reposts of articles published at the old Intellectual Conservative, which fell victim to evil leftist hackers.]
Western Civilization is under the rule of the Left, and persons formally accused of “intolerance” (impiety towards liberalism) face serious persecution if convicted. Indeed, even the accusation can bring significant hardship. What can we do to defend ourselves against the Leftist Gestapo?
By way of illustration, consider the following scenario:
Liberal Commissar (LC) We have a complaint from a person who shall remain anonymous that, in his or her presence, you said things intolerant of [insert one of the following: homosexuals, “undocumented” persons, nonwhites, women, non-Christians, et al.]
Non-Liberal Person (NLP) Did I?
LC: You must take these proceedings seriously! It is alleged that you said [insert nonliberal, “intolerant” expression.] Did you say that?
NLP: I may have said something like that.
LC: We do not permit an atmosphere of intolerance and hate here at [insert name of institution.] If you said something hateful/intolerant, you must apologize to the victim and to the community.
NLP: You mean I must apologize for my beliefs?
LC: Apologize for your words, yes.
NLP: Hmm… Apologize… Let me think… OK, here goes:
[Clears throat] To whom it may concern: One of the rules of contemporary America is that you must never be intolerant of [insert name of liberal-favored group.] On rare occasions I have broken this rule, although never in a personally offensive manner. I therefore apologize for having broken the rule.
They say that we must all celebrate diversity and be tolerant and nonjudgmental. OK, I celebrate and tolerate, as ordered.
Also know that I do not apologize for the beliefs I hold in the privacy of my mind. There is no rule in America that you have to think a certain way. I’m not telling you what those beliefs are, because they’re none of your business, but I do not apologize for them. Thank you, and have a nice day.
LC: This is not an acceptable apology. You must be sincere!
NLP: But I am sincere. I meant every word. You have no right or authority to tell me what to think or to order me to apologize for my thoughts. This is America, isn’t it?
[End of scenario]
Let’s clarify the meaning of the scenario. America is currently under the rule of liberalism (the most common name for the worldview of the Left), and one of the rules of the Left is that certain “mascot” groups may not publically be criticized, opposed, or badmouthed. This rule is, however, applied very selectively. Only when whites, men or Christians criticize these mascots are those who criticize liable to be punished.
The most important of these “mascot” groups are women, homosexuals, illegal aliens, nonwhites, and non-Christians, although to qualify as liberal mascots these groups must be taken in the liberal sense. Remember, for example, the Left’s famous identification of non-liberal women as “not real women.” And the list is extended every time the Left discovers a new way to attack traditional America.
But another sacred rule of the Left is the right of the individual to be an individual, free from coercion by the authorities. The Left supposedly upholds the right of the individual to believe and do whatever he wants in the privacy of his own home and mind.
It could be argued that freedom of belief is only a vestige of classical liberalism, and that the center of the contemporary Left is equality, not freedom. After all, today’s semi-totalitarian Left is gaining more power every day to coerce and if current trends continue, the “semi” will soon be dropped, and people will no longer legally be free to disbelieve in liberalism.
But a deeper analysis shows that the totalitarianism of the Left is carried out in the name of equal freedom. Leftists bully people ultimately for their own good, to hasten the advent of the Truly Just Society in which all beliefs and lifestyles are honored, all feel at home, and universal peace and freedom reign. Leftists, in their own minds, wield their manifest intolerance to serve the cause of personal freedom.
And therefore the above scenario presents an unsolvable dilemma to the leftist: He must either tolerate private dissent — thereby undermining the leftist enterprise — or he must strike at the root cause of opposition to the Left (personal non-liberal convictions), thereby making himself illiberal in his own eyes.
And even a consistent leftist, although he will have no qualms about attacking privately-held non-liberal beliefs, will hesitate before affirming publically that all his talk about respecting the freedom of the individual conscience is just talk, and that his real position is a totalitarian one: No thoughtcrime allowed.
There is therefore a real possibility that an individual brought before a liberal kangaroo court and charged with “intolerance” stands a chance of being able to retain some of his dignity by invoking his sacred, liberalism-granted right to believe whatever he wants, in the privacy of his own mind.
The author does not offer this scenario as a battle-tested tactic. He has never used it, nor even heard of its use. But he offers it as a “thought experiment” and as a potentially useful tactic for avoiding the charge of thoughtcrime, if conditions warrant. Caveat emptor.
[Postscript: This tactic might work in America, but probably not in other Western nations. Other nations have less tradition of popular sovereignty or freedom of speech, so non-American leftists probably wouldn’t think twice about crushing our hypothetical Non-Liberal Person.]