The US is Morphing into the USSR, by Rod Dreher.
I’m getting in touch with people all over the US who emigrated from Communist countries. This week I interviewed one who came not long after Communism fell in her country. Like so many others, she’s been made deeply uneasy by things she’s seen emerge here — things that remind her of the old country.
This scientist-professor told me a detailed story about being at a high-level academic conference not long ago in which colleagues — all scientists — stood around after the day’s sessions speculating on the conditions under which political undesirables ought to be eliminated — killed — for the greater good. The academic said this wasn’t a joke to them. She said she remarked that she had actually lived in a country in which this was the practice, and it was a bad thing. The group turned on her, and began defending communism. She then retreated into her shell — a habit she learned in her life under Communism.
The scientist-professor told me that this is not unusual in her world. Academics are so uniformly on the Left that they can’t imagine anybody they esteem — certainly not a fellow professor — could possibly disagree. She said that the uncomplicated hatred for political and religious conservatives she’s observed among academic science types over the years she has been in America is bone-chilling. She said it has pushed her deep into the closet in her university, and within her profession — this, even though she works in science, which you’d think was apolitical. And it has made her afraid for what would happen to her adopted country, the United States, if people like her academic colleagues came to hold power.
“If feels like at some point if [my colleagues] discover that I don’t agree with the things they’re talking about, my career will be over,” she told me. “Everybody is so open, they’re talking in front of me like I’m really one of them. It really looks like this is what’s normal within that community.”
Now, that scientist lives in the United States, and has the protection of the First Amendment. I have no idea what her feelings are about gay Pride parades, but let’s say, for the sake of argument, that she tweeted out something like what the Finnish MP did, what would happen to her career? Based on our conversation (which was much more detailed than what I’m revealing here), she is absolutely convinced it would be over. She would be persona non grata in her department, and within her field. So she remains silent, closeted, afraid. The First Amendment is cold comfort to her. It’ll keep you out of jail, which ain’t nothin’, but it won’t protect your job, your reputation, or even your safety.
This morning I was talking to an academic friend who teaches on the East coast. When he called, I told him that I was working on this post. He and I discussed the ways it is possible to destroy the professional and personal lives of your political enemies without breaking the law. His work also has to do with the STEM field, and he was telling me how terrifying it is to discover how much power companies like Google have over our lives — without being accountable to anybody. It’s not only that Google (Facebook, et al.) have the power to control the information they know about us; it’s that they gather this information, and it’s available to all kinds of people, including bad actors. We are all far more vulnerable than we think.
In Finland, if you so much as question whether or not a Church ought to be approving of a gay Pride march, you can be investigated by the police. In the US, if you did that, the police won’t bother you, but depending on what you do for a living, you could still have your job taken away and your career destroyed. So you tell me: with that kind of social control in place, how free are we, really?
Stela of skulls, Cheung Ek Killing Fields site, near Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
Philip Barton comments:
It is important to understand the nature of the times that are upon us. Pol Pot was not some deranged outlier; he was the future. While intelligent people regard socialists as absurd idiots, the fact is that the majority of people vote for what sounds nice. They ‘feel’, they don’t think. They certainly don’t study history. Socialism – free things – sounds very nice indeed.
In a future dominated by the AOC generation, those people who believe in the right of all people, of whatever colour or creed, to pursue their own path in life, and who understand that a government central committee cannot successfully plan a village fete, let alone a civilization, will be exterminated – literally. You can add to that list of undesirables, people who insist on the right to express an opinion.