Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Warning Signs of Impending Tyranny Begin in the Culture

A QUORA correspondent replying to my answer to the question “Why is Donald Trump able to get away with violating so many of our set standards of political correctness without even being required to submit formal apologies or acknowledging the fact of wrongdoings?” [post of 2/10/17] replied to my statement that “Political correctness is a form of self-censorship, a precursor to government censorship and the rise of totalitarianism” with; “hyperbole much?”

I answered:

Quite the opposite. I’m not suggesting tyranny is right around the corner in America. I’m saying that Political Correctness is a guidepost pointing down the road that leads to that outcome.

Politics doesn’t operate in a vacuum. Politics, and thus government and law, follows the culture. A culture is defined by the ideas that predominate among its people. Free people who fail to acknowledge the role of ideas in shaping the kind of government they get are impotent to defend against anti-liberty ideas, thus missing the warning signs threatening their freedom, and end up by helplessly asking “How could this happen?”


There are many bad signs beside Political Correctness” threatening free speech. Campaign finance “reform”; agitation for “hate speech” laws; the attempts at government control of internet content in the name of “net neutrality” or “fighting fake news”; prosecution of “climate deniers”; the growing tendency toward “safe spaces” and the like on college campuses—all of these are warning signs.

No dictatorship can consolidate its power or remain for long without crushing intellectual freedom. Threats to intellectual freedom are definitely the path to totalitarianism. Any threat to free speech and expression must be challenged in the strongest possible terms.

Related Reading:

The Tyranny of Silence by Flemming Rose

Related Viewing:


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