When civil conflict is brewing, it becomes urgent to verify how loyal your neighbors are likely to be in the event of such a conflict. It’s important to suss this out, because you don’t want those neighbors causing any trouble or dragging their feet in case the political situation becomes serious.
The most inexpensive way to get people to verify beliefs is to participate in some sort of ritual with a cost which is otherwise useless to demonstrate loyalty to one group or another. Before open conflict, it’s important for each group to get a sense of its own strength as compared to the rival, so that each side can figure out where and how to attack, using what means.
An effective example is a hate-ritual in which everyone gets together to sling invective against the rival group which they want to get rid of or otherwise eliminate from the polity. Whether or not the content of this is true or false doesn’t really matter, because the purpose of the effort isn’t to discover the truth, but to build internal cohesion while beating back the perceived enemy.
The American left and the institutions it controls, suffering from serious internal issues (from financial problems to lack of purpose to lack of morale to demographic difficulties) wants to use a certain class of people as scapegoats, because the utopia that these institutions promised is not coming to being, and never will. There is this sort of belief within the left that if they get rid of the doubters, they’ll be no more doubt, the faith of the flock will become purer, and therefore that faith will move the mountainous obstacles in the way of the realization of their perfect world. This is impractical, but the way that most idealists tend to think — preferring the malleable world of ideas to the more practical world of reality.
It’s important to stop seeing this political conflict as an occasion for debate, and to see it for what it is — a physical conflict, as all political conflicts are ultimately physical conflicts with a lot of rules tacked onto them to limit how messy it gets. The left has a certain barbaric lifestyle which requires more warm blood and more warm bodies to convert into obedient workers, priests, and soldiers.
Unable to achieve its goals through legal means, the state increasingly turns to the tyrannical abuse of law and the use of blatantly criminal proxies to destroy more of its opponents. Intimidation is a much more effective means of limiting this sort of abuse of power than debate or complaint. Effective political orders do a better job sorting people according to culture, ethnicity, religion, and political inclinations. Jumbling everyone together leads to pointless conflict.
In some ways, we should encourage the left begin to begin mandating Party membership for certain industries, in the same way that certain parties have done in many other times throughout history. This is a formalized way of cleansing dissenters from institutions — it’s transparent and orderly — rather than relying on soft and poorly-legible methods of terrorizing people.
It’s time for the left to make employment contingent on the weekly recitation of a Party platform and the wearing of some distinctive piece of flair, like maybe a rainbow shoulder band a “Bush Sucks” pin, mandatory castration for men, and a hysterectomy for the women. There’s no need to go to the trouble passing a bill for this new law: just sign it in through executive order, and announce it with a rap video broadcast on Youtube.
The more atrocious and irreversible your demonstration of loyalty, the better. E.g. if we convince you to sacrifice your children on the altar of Molech, you’ll be a loyal Molech-worshiper ever after, for who would admit to murdering their own child for a false god?
Come to think of it, Planned Parenthood may serve a similar purpose.
Agreed. It’s a good test. Probably why there are all those “My abortion was wonderful” media stunts now.
They should request abortion videos during grad school admissions.
In Sweden it is common for government related employers to mandate that employees sign a paper listing a number of values, such as for example valuing people equally without regard for religion, sexuality or ethnicity.
My previous employer had such a thing. Luckily my boss was so unorganized he forgot to ask me to sign it.
This is a better policy than only enforcing it ad hoc. Universities certainly make students affirm certain articles of faith in the US.
Laguna Beach Fogey says
Where could all of this possibly be leading?
Let’s just come out and say it.
They’ve already said it at the Atlantic and the NYT. Confiscatory taxes, nationalizations, and more oppressive policing. After that, the usual.
Donovan Greene says
Outright party membership is unlikely. The pretension of political tolerance is too entrenched. Enforced declarations of commitment against racism and other such “evils” are far more likely to be put in place (and have already been so in some places, as noted in previous comments). This is, I think, not only far more likely to happen, but also inevitable. A pity. The party thing would actually make people take notice, but a commitment against racism, not being ostensibly political, won’t have the same impact.
This is already written into some contracts. Overt party membership requirements would I think be better from a formalist perspective.