Previous installments in this series have covered how academic sources for America’s “Ministry of Truth” constitute the driving force that powers The Narrative, which determines what constitutes permissible “news” for the country’s citizens.
Racism and heresy are the principal crimes, and punishment is administered on the basis of offenders’ national reputation and relationship to the progressive cult.
Skeptics, outsiders, and deniers are mercilessly excoriated and occasionally threatened with violence, as Tucker Carlson, Ben Shapiro, and many others have experienced. Clueless violators of The Narrative and well-intentioned backsliders are assaulted by battalions of correctness commissars equipped with hair-trigger heresy sensors; confession, apology, and absolution soon follow.
All of which proceeds from elite mandarins faithfully enforcing the tenets of America’s Ministry of Truth, although few, if any, seem to grasp the implications of their actions.
By contrast, the vast army of intellectual worker ants in Orwell’s Ministry of Truth knew exactly what they were doing. Orwell even appended the Principles of Newspeak at the end of “Nineteen Eighty-four“ to explain more fully Minitrue job descriptions.
Their modern counterparts imagine they’re defending the country from a baleful and boring bunch of “-isms” and phobias, whereas, in fact, they’re doing the opposite—which is quite Orwellian itself. In all events, the principles of progressive censorship need to be extracted from cult members’ actions and not from stated intentions. Fortunately, this isn’t hard to do.
Tenet 1: Criticism Is Not Permitted
As Karl Marx commanded in “Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844,“ “Do not think and do not ask me questions.” Although Marx’s notoriety is based on mountains of mostly irrelevant falderol that he accumulated from obsolescent analyses of capitalism in the British Museum Reading Room, perhaps few of his utterances have had a more devastating effect than this singular comment, which he made while baring his soul in documents that weren’t published until the 20th century.
His ego didn’t permit diddling with trifles such as questions; in fact, even respectful queries ignited his rage—shouting, stomping, hurling objects—that sort of thing. Not a very accommodating guy.
Neither are his modern acolytes. In fact, like their master, screed-mongering mullahs on the political left have been morally eviscerated by narcissism and rage, rendering them incapable of examining their own beliefs or permitting questions about their motives and tactics. This deadly combination is the historical propellant for totalitarianism, especially diktats that forbid questions, as German-American political philosopher Eric Voegelin explained so effectively in “Science, Politics, and Gnosticism.“
Progressive devotees wouldn’t be pleased to learn that Voegelin lumps their creed in a category that includes positivism, psychoanalysis, communism, fascism, and national socialism—not exactly a bundle that can masquerade with a happy face.
Worst of all, Voegelin points out gravely that the injunction against asking questions is “not harmless.” Hence, the terrifying response of Rudolf Höss, the commandant of Auschwitz, who, when asked whether he questioned orders to perpetrate mass murder, said: “I do not believe that even one of the thousands of SS leaders could have permitted such a thought to occur to him. Something like that was just completely impossible.”
This morose but necessary reminder leads to the second tenet of America’s Ministry of Truth.
Tenet 2: Fanatical Commitment to a Fictitious World
German philosopher and political theorist Hannah Arendt’s observation in “The Origins of Totalitarianism” remains one of her most stunning insights, and its importance is impossible to overstate: The Nazis and Bolsheviks concocted worlds so dominated by monstrous lies, by colossal fictions, that ordinary citizens sealed off from reality couldn’t consider alternative explanations for ordinary events.
And the bigger the lie, the better.
Hitler stated it best in “Mein Kampf,” when he insisted that “in the primitive simplicity of their minds, they [the people] more readily fall victims to a big lie than the small lie.” In short, if you want the masses to follow you, don’t skimp in the lying department.
Lies propagated by America’s Ministry of Truth fall into two categories, depending on their long- or short-term utility. Thus, fictions that perpetuate the regime are solidly entrenched in academic, media, business, and governmental structures, such that attempts to eradicate them and educate the public are virtually impossible.
The Stalinist technique of constructing a gargantuan security apparatus enforces the belief that the government’s huge commitments of resources must mean something deadly sinister is occurring; surely, the country is honeycombed with saboteurs, “wreckers,” and spies!
As Arendt explained in her coverage of Nazi and Bolshevik totalitarian regimes, “the lies are built into the organizations” and their influence saturates public consciousness.
In the United States and Europe, several fictions serve long-term elite needs and regime maintenance perfectly, especially apocalyptic prophecies about the effects of global warming (now climate change). Thus, when we read headlines such as, “U.N. Climate Chief Has Solution to ‘Urgent’ Climate Threat: ‘We Require Deep Transformations of our Economies and Societies’,” a more aggressive, authoritarian approach can scarcely be imagined.
Naturally, “deniers” can barely contain their skepticism. For instance, Nicolas Loris of the Heritage Foundation declared that “the doomsday scenarios in the National Climate Assessment [released in November 2018] are close to impossible,” a case of garbage-in-garbage-out data spooned into mathematical models to crank out an end-of-the-world fright-fest by the year 2100—82 years into the future. Most of us would be satisfied with a reasonably accurate weather report for next week.
In all events, John P. Dunne, head of the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory at Princeton University, dismisses the report as a “400-page pile of crap.” What are these voices of reason up against? A $1.5 trillion global climate-change industry employing many thousands of cultists, crusaders, plutocrats, kleptocrats, statists, and nut-cases without real lives. No wonder President Donald Trump doesn’t believe that compilation of exhaust fumes from the Obama administration; no sane person would.
And the French are having none of it; Paris rioters are conveying their outrage for being sacrificed on the altar of green pieties.
Multiculturalism has also ballooned into a giant industry, fueling departments of diversity that employ thousands of administrators who consume billions of dollars, all for the benefit of propagating racist explanations for everything imaginable while imposing “solutions” for many fictitious crimes.
Meanwhile, H.P. Lovecraft-like tales of horror and the macabre seep through fevered accounts detailing the Mueller “investigation,” caravan travails, and Black Lives Matter crusades—all of which serve short-term interests of Minitrue’s commitment to a fictitious world.
Additional tenets that guide practitioners in America’s Ministry of Truth beckon explanation. Though few in number, they demand compliance, lest offenders—that’s practically all of us—face draconian penalties that threaten our livelihoods. These will be covered in our next installment.
Marvin Folkertsma is a retired professor of political science and a fellow for American studies with The Center for Vision & Values at Grove City College. The author of several books, his latest release is a novel titled “The Thirteenth Commandment.”
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.