When the Berlin Wall fell and the Soviet Union collapsed, Americans breathed a sigh of relief that the sun seemed to be setting on communism and its dictatorships. Although Fidel Castro and a few others clung to power, communism and its close sister, socialism, proved to be failed systems. History demonstrates conclusively that totalitarian governments have a limited shelf-life because they do not work.
An alphabet of nations from Afghanistan to Yugoslavia had their fling with communism only to realize that Marxism is a lie. It is a radical departure from truth and the reality of human nature. China came to grips with that fact and allowed free market reforms. They now have a Chinese middle class, some very wealthy entrepreneurs, and a growing economy. It was either that or watch their people starve and their power weaken.
Venezuela is the latest failed experiment in the rise of the uber state. A once prosperous country now has people fighting and dying in the streets for crumbs. Planned economies create misery, starvation, and ultimately chaos and violence as people are driven to dark and desperate means of survival. The ever more suffocating efforts of the state to control people and make them accept the utopian world being built for them always leads to genocide.
George Orwell would be proud of how America resisted communism and totalitarianism in the twentieth century. However, the U.S. faces a danger that "1984" did not foresee: The rise of totalitarian culture. In many ways this is a far more insidious development than a government dictatorship. It is more subtle, more difficult to defend against, and it is coursing its way through the cultural bloodstream of our country like a malignant cancer. It has no single leader, entity, or system to point to as the source. There is no king to topple and no paid "thought police," as in Orwell's famous novel. No jack-booted thug or leather-clad official is going to knock on your door.
However, on college campuses, in corporate offices, and in the media and entertainment synods, everyone is expected to adhere to a certain orthodoxy. Failure to do so will lead to loss of income, status, business, and career.
Recently at Evergreen College in Washington state, students demanded that white people leave the campus on a "Day of Absence." One liberal white professor refused to do so. His classroom was stormed as he was teaching. He was shouted down with "F" bombs and accusations of racism by the mob that invaded his lecture.
In public schools, a single complaint about the Pledge of Allegiance in class or the recitation of a prayer at a sports event is enough to overcome the majority who value these American traditions.
The mere hint of disagreement with gay "marriage" or abortion in any government, corporate, or professional setting will probably cost you your livelihood.
Questioning climate change gets you labeled as a "denier," associating you with those who deny the Holocaust. Nor is it enough to accept the scientific data; you must interpret it with the prescribed hysteria, or you are an enemy of the environment.
What we are witnessing is not state dictatorship, but a new phenomenon: The rise of a totalitarian culture that seeks to control everything and everybody.
When Indiana and North Carolina passed public safety laws on restroom access, the corporate world, the mainstream media, entertainment, and even the NFL and NBA dubbed them states of hate and unleashed hell against them. Using economic, political, and social pressure, these cultural forces imposed their will on the people and their elected representatives.
No matter how many die at the hands of Islamic terrorists, according to the cultural police, you are bigoted and "Islamophobic" if you declare the obvious -- that there is a major problem with Islam.
Illegal aliens who enter our country may not be called "illegal" because that is dehumanizing. Nor may they be called "alien" because they are not extraterrestrials. At one point the acceptable phrase was "undocumented immigrants." Now they are to be referred to only as "immigrants."
Just as in Orwell's novel, old words are discarded or their meanings changed. New words are invented to convey the new reality, no matter how unreal it is.
Akin to Orwell's fictional "thought police," today's institutions of cultural influence have devolved into self-appointed totalitarian "culture police." They are moral arbiters of approved thinking. Any speech uttered in disagreement with what they deem acceptable is "hate speech," which, according to them, is not protected by the First Amendment. Sadly, our judges and bureaucrats have fallen under their spell.
To put it plainly, America is facing an aggressive and vicious thought control movement. Political correctness at first seemed juvenile and harmless but is proving to be evil and deadly.
Welcome to the new "1984" circa 2017. History is being rewritten. Words are being redefined. And the culture police are watching and waiting to punish anyone who questions or disagrees with the new established order.
It is indeed time for a resistance, but not of anti-Trump whiners. We need a resistance against the self-appointed totalitarian culture police who are slowly but surely destroying our freedom.
(This blog first appeared here: https://www.urbanfamilytalk.com/articles/politics/2017/june/06/the-culture-police/)