Salvo 04.16.2021 5 minutes

The Real Authoritarians


A brief response to our favorite Quislings.

The time has come to address the accusation from some of America’s biggest appeasers of woke authoritarianism that we on the right are the “authoritarians” our fellow citizens should fear.

The leaders of this smear campaign are people like David French, Charlie Sykes, Bill Kristol, and other self-appointed thought police of conservatism. For them, it is one step from fascism for Americans to direct governance toward the common good, i.e., toward breaking the grip of corporate oligarchs waging culture war against our country and our ways of life. Merely raising taxes on global corporations colluding to punish state legislatures is cause for pious panic from French—who insists absurdly that the oligarchs are engaging only in free speech, so lifting a political finger to challenge their play for mastery of our regime is “right-wing authoritarianism, plain and simple.”

Baffling—although not really—that French and company studiously avoid giving even the slightest offense to the woke left-wing authoritarians who daily tighten their grip on our regime, the better to replace it with one made firmly in their own image. It’s terribly convenient that these white knights pantomime the defense of free speech as they libel voices that speak out against the actual authoritarian takeover of America, happening at breakneck speed in plain sight.

And it’s revealing that, for all their performative signaling of first-amendment virtue, today’s appeasers of woke authoritarianism have nothing at all to say about our sacred constitutional duty to uphold the second half of the amendment, the one prohibiting the federal establishment of a religion.

For, make no mistake, wokeness now nakedly shows all the hallmarks of a religion, and woke elites all the characteristics of a sect bent on establishing it as the beating heart and core enforcement mechanism of their authoritarian regime. It has swept our most powerful institutions, public and private, with a full stack of abstruse doctrines, saints, and theologians; inquisitors and enforcers to convert the heathen and ensure the purity of the creed; priests, lay officials, mendicant friars, and crusading, pillaging foot soldiers.

For these woke religionists, there can be no wall of separation between public and private life, between dogma and conscience, or between their state and their church. Children must be brainwashed, adults re-educated, and the “privileged” punished. No “reform” of our structures of government is too radical in pursuit of these ends, from abolishing the Senate to packing the Court, and from granting cities statehood to creating a Department of Anti-Racism with autocratic authority that would make Sulla blush. The establishment of woke authoritarian government in the one-party state of California must be extended throughout the country, re-founding America in accordance with a social justice, social credit system hostile to our civilization and fatal to our culture.

This is, transparently, authoritarianism—the only kind with any real chance of seizing control of our country and wiping it away. As Yale professor emeritus Juan Linz—the authority on institutionalized political extremism—has noted, authoritarian rule is characterized by sharp limits on pluralism, suppression of dissent and opposition, amorphous and expansive executive power, and constant propaganda justifying the regime as the only way to fight vast social problems. As today’s woke usurpers set up this form of government right before our very eyes, their faux-conservative non-opposition accuses the opponents of woke authoritarianism of being the real anti-Americans.

This pathetic display evinces a sickness of soul beyond treatment by mortal hands. Our spirited denunciation of woke authoritarianism, by contrast, is rallying the scores of millions of Americans beside themselves with frustration at the craven capitulation and eat-me-last attitude of so-called “leaders” who have led primarily at increasing their private comfort while selling out those they claim to represent. Claremont has an unbroken forty-year record of articulating and defending America’s constitutional principles and the inalienable natural rights no regime can take away, no matter how thoroughly it has penetrated our government, our institutions, or our minds.

World-renowned historian of Nazi Germany Ian Kershaw once quipped that “trying to define fascism is like trying to nail jelly to the wall”—quite serendipitous for our spineless critics hoping to associate our defense of America with its opposite. But the authoritarianism of the woke Left, now actively opposed by brave figures across the political spectrum, is beyond question. Anyone distracting you from this central fact is playing a dangerous game—one they delude themselves they will win in the end, when all of the America they have paid lip service to is reduced to ashes.

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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