Feature 08.25.2022 5 minutes

Rule Not by Lies

Beck & Stone Milikh – Slug

The greatest threat to a dishonest regime is a citizenry willing to name its lies.

America is ruled by an elite whose status and power depend on enforcing certain falsehoods. I don’t mean the commonplace lies which generate a forgettable scandal sprung on the public like a drive by shooting. I mean core, fundamental lies, on the basis of which the regime that currently rules America maintains itself: that we are still unambiguously a democracy, rather than an oligarchy which looks to be heading toward a tyranny; that the differences between males and females are societal fictions or that women can operate in the world with no reference to the facts of biology; that we are a nation of immigrants; and, of course, the endless lies about race.

It’s not that we should demand rarified truth in politics. To be sure, every regime has myths. The aristocracies of the past, for whom birth determined who is best or deserves to rule, certainly had myths of divine right and hereditary rulership. But these myths were of the kind that Plato would have called noble: they propped up institutions which succeeded in producing a great deal of human excellence. The 400-year period from Shakespeare and Bacon to Churchill produced not a little world historic fruit in nearly every generation.

But today’s lies produce neither inspiration nor stability. They are neither ennobling nor salutary. Instead, they serve the ruling elite and are at the expense of the citizenry’s psychic and physical well-being. These lies are sometimes enforced on account of powerful interests, sometimes out of sincere belief, and sometimes out of malice and the desire to harm.

How do these lies directly serve our ruling classes? Certainly, it has in part to do with divvying up the nation’s wealth and expanding their own ranks. Look, for example, at the NGO/non-profit archipelago funded by state and federal governments, foundations, and foreign entities. This supposedly charitable architecture supports a vast class of both aggressive and professionalized activists, along with email and PowerPoint functionaries, whose livelihood depends on propagating these lies. I have not seen a precise calculation of the size of this industry, but it is likely in the hundreds of billions of dollars a year. But it would be wrong to think it’s only a financial scam.

And why are the lies believed? There is a two-fold psychology explaining it: the believer class is desperate to believe in the justice of their submission, and the moral purification which comes from it. This moral purification, in turn, validates the believers’ supremacy: the supremacy of those who alone know justice and how to finally achieve it. From guilt to purity to title to rule, in only one reading of Ibram X. Kendi.

What’s interesting is how the believer class is related to the raw power class. Often the lies (especially those about race, sex, and immigration) are used like human shields to activate the believer and NGO classes in order to silence their opposition. The raw power class is at the same time the most farsighted and the least farsighted: while by far the smartest, they don’t fully see that should they ever totally succeed, they will be ruling a worthless nation. Perhaps some, on the other hand, know this.

The regime apparatus for circumventing or thwarting the plain statement of truth is finely honed. Those with the temerity to question the falsehoods at first receive a warning, consisting of a dose of directed hysteria, designed to emotionally manipulate the offender and replace further thought with repentance. As an offender of the idols and their enforcers, you must tweet: “I am sorry for what I have said. I do not believe, and will never believe, my own words. I have fundamentally changed in the last few hours. And now I’m making a $10,000 donation to my captors. May you continue your fine work against people like me.”

Those who do not repent receive a booster shot of the corrective medicine from the ruling class’s institutional force: its information state. This apparatus consists of the opinion and image industries, the press, big tech, all of which now work together to destroy the lives of the questioners, and, most importantly, the questions themselves. The capacity to do the latter is not yet perfected, but they’re working on it.

Should this not prove enough, more and more actual force is being deployed, which now comes in two flavors. First, the informal, armed, masked street mobs, whose actions go unpunished. But the era of enforcement through these informal means may be drawing to a close, while the next phase—official and open state persecution—is already underway. How many Americans are classified as Domestic Violent Extremists by the federal government to justify the use of force or spying techniques against them? How many school boards must be targeted by the feds for resisting regime lies? The mobs and the feds appear to have a tacit truce: they enforce the same lies, and they stay out of each other’s way.

This may sound like a hopeless picture, but it’s not. While our elites possess more and more instruments of hard and soft power, a larger and larger part of the populace trusts them less and even loathes them. With this situation comes danger, but also opportunity. As the patina of the ruling class’s legitimacy erodes, there is a growing power in simple honesty. The fact that the ruling class feels so threatened by the truth represents an opening. The veil can be lifted for enough people. And this is the core of the current political movement.

The beginning of this movement consists in naming the lies, so they can be more effectively refuted. There will follow a series of essays, originally delivered as public remarks in May 2022 at the Claremont Institute’s Washington, DC Center for the American Way of Life, clarifying some of these ruling class lies so that serious, spirited debate and political organization may follow.

The American Mind presents a range of perspectives. Views are writers’ own and do not necessarily represent those of The Claremont Institute.

The American Mind is a publication of the Claremont Institute, a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, dedicated to restoring the principles of the American Founding to their rightful, preeminent authority in our national life. Interested in supporting our work? Gifts to the Claremont Institute are tax-deductible.

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