In 1943, the British novelist Graham Greene published “The Ministry of Fear,” a thriller set in World War II London involving mercy killings, exploding suitcases, seances, Luftwaffe air raids, outright murder, insane asylums, and undercover Nazi spies. It was successfully made into a movie the following year starring Ray Milland as the troubled protagonist, and directed by Fritz Lang, himself a refugee from Hitler.
Both novel and film capture the paranoid atmosphere during that troubled time, with danger lurking even in something as innocent as a cake. Whom or what can you trust? As the world falls apart, and the future is shrouded in threat and mystery, society devolves into a dog-eat-dog struggle for survival, in which neither the old verities nor the old pieties obtain any longer.
Welcome to America, 2021. In just a few short months since the mysterious elevation of Joseph Robinette Biden Jr., inexplicably elected the 46th president of the United States, our country has undergone a stunning rapid devolution from a confident, economic powerhouse to a shabby debtor nation afraid of its own shadow.
The American Ministry of Fear, however, isn’t located in the Chancellery of the National Socialist German Workers Party in Berlin, but in every petty federal, state, and local bureaucracy, doctor’s office, TV news station, big-city newspaper, college, and university in the country.
From the start of the COVID-19 manufactured panic, these agents of influence have waged a relentless war on the American psyche. And now, despite their minuscule majorities in Congress, they rule with an iron fist that brooks no demurral.
Their initial object, of course, was the destruction of the Trump presidency. This Coalition of the Vengeful tried everything, including announcing its intention to impeach Trump even before he had finished his inaugural address.
It manufactured the “Russian collusion” hoax, and implanted anti-Trump operatives within the administration at every level, from the Oval Office on down. It slow-walked, countermanded, and outright ignored presidential orders. And it leaked incessantly to the collaborative media, subverting Trump’s every initiative whenever and wherever it could.
And then came COVID-19. A product of the CCP virus that first materialized in Wuhan, China, and then was unleashed upon an unsuspecting world, the weaponized product of both Chinese scientists working for the Chinese Communist Party and the amoral Dr. Anthony Fauci’s National Institutes of Health, COVID proved the perfect social and economic weapon against America. Its effect on overall health was negligible, but that was never its intention. Its purpose was to instill our very own Ministry of Fear.
In that, it succeeded spectacularly. Suddenly, every person in the country could be regarded as an infection point—and thus to be supervised, managed, and quarantined on a whim. Never mind that the danger from the virus was limited to the very elderly and the already seriously ill: a herd-cull disease familiar from thousands of years of human history.
Masks—at first discouraged, then demanded, and finally commanded—became a depressingly familiar sight, a sign of Americans’ incipient enslavement by the diktats of an unaccountable government-by-edict.
There’s an old—and very silly—saying to the effect that if you’ve got your health, you’ve got everything. How obviously untrue this is should be evident to every student of history. Milton was blind. Beethoven was deaf. Chopin was consumptive most of his adult life. Suffering from terminal cancer, Ulysses S. Grant finished his memoirs and died a couple of days later. None of them had his health; all of them gave the world something far more valuable.
But now the neuroticism of Manhattan’s Upper West Side—the quintessential big-government, red-diaper leftist conclave in the nation that wields its influence through The New York Times—has, like COVID, infected every aspect of a once muscular America, debilitating it and sapping it of its vitality. Not just the unwarranted fear of a disease that even at its peak killed almost nobody, but of its media-fueled “variants,” which will continue on into infinity as an excuse for despotism and oppression.
Worse is the now-instilled fear of others; the justifiable fear of the anarchy in the streets unleashed by Black Lives Matter, Antifa, the knockout game, the assault on Asian Americans, and other random acts of street violence no longer reined in by now-defunded police forces around the country.
Fear of further arbitrary and unconstitutional lockdowns, mask “mandates” of dubious or non-existent legal authority, and a thousand other trivial miseries that collectively add up to the very definition of tyranny, including “cancel culture,” speech police, and “woke” institutions and corporations that seek to impose crackpot notions of sex and sexuality on a population now too cowed and enfeebled to resist and fight back.
In the name of “health,” we are experiencing a monstrous evil, every bit as pernicious as the twin totalitarian catastrophes of National Socialist Germany and communist Russia during the last century—evils only finally suppressed at great cost in lives and treasure.
With the current unholy alliance between the Democrats and “woke” big businesses, what we are seeing is something akin to Italian fascism under Mussolini, in which the captains of industry (very much including social media, which at this point needs to be destroyed) work hand-in-glove with Washington in order to impose such things as speech codes and overt censorship that government alone cannot do.
How else could someone like Bill de Blasio—aka Warren Wilhelm Jr., the socialist mayor of New York City—get away with his recent decree that patrons of restaurants, gyms, and cultural events must show proof of vaccination in order to gain entry? But rule-by-decree is now the norm in blue states such as New York and California, something unthinkable just two years ago.
Worse, we are finding it almost impossible to effectively combat. When the John Roberts Supreme Court failed the nation by refusing to hear the state of Texas’s lawsuit challenging the 2020 election, it signaled that it didn’t have the belly for a fight, no matter what the stakes, or how clearly the Constitution itself spelled out the court’s jurisdiction under Article 3, which states in Section 2 that “the judicial power shall extend to … to controversies between two or more states; between a state and citizens of another state.”
With its abdication, the Roberts court—surely the worst since the heyday of Earl Warren, if only by its utter passivity in the face of the threat to our republican democracy—indicated that the American people were henceforth on their own, and ushered in the age of our very own Ministry of Fear. Unless it is smashed, its reign is likely to last a long time.
Michael Walsh is the editor of The-Pipeline.org and the author of “The Devil’s Pleasure Palace” and “The Fiery Angel,” both published by Encounter Books. His latest book, “Last Stands,” a cultural study of military history from the Greeks to the Korean War, was recently published.
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.