Are things really getting worse at the speed they seem to be, or am I just now noticing? Sometimes, I like to read Sarah Hoyt‘s blog just to get the part at the end where she says something like “in the end, we win.” While no Pollyanna, she has confidence that the manifest contradictions and disconnection from reality of our betters and their mindless sycophants will eventually cause them to self-destruct like so many hungry squid in a barrel. Evidence that the useful idiots in this battle have started to eat each other is not lacking. It’s just that history suggests it will be hard for us to stay out of that barrel.
It is completely Catholic (in general – I don’t know anything about what Hoyt believes) to believe, as my wife likes to say, that everything comes out all right in the end. If everything isn’t all right, it’s not the end. At the same time, history is the story of the forces of civilization and truth losing almost every battle, and yet building something good anyway – only to see it destroyed. Over and over again. We may win in the end, but not before evil has its day. It has its day or ten in every generation.
So now, we get to live out the two great distopias of the last century a the same time: In our Brave New World, people are to be measured by their productivity and their happiness, where productivity means doing what you’re told, and happiness means avoiding pain and getting all the consequence-free sex you can stand in whatever form you want it. That they’ll murder you when you get old is a small and reasonable price to pay. I’ve often wondered if the current generation would think Huxley’s world a paradise. If not, why not?
But I think Orwell’s world is worse, even in its comparatively nascent form as we have it now. It is with something like nostalgia that I recall that we live in a land where the simply and accurately named Department of War got renamed the Department of Defense, a process of obfuscation that has continued to the point where we now have, in addition to defense at arms, various departments, all armed to the teeth and fully outfitted with the latest surveillance gear, to ensure our Security, national or homeland, and Bureaus to define and defend us, evidently, against ourselves. Where defense against foreign aggression ends and policing begins is purposely unclear, in language first, then in practice. The Committee of Public Safety has been shown to have been lacking in vision, or at least funding.
However heinous and stupid, all that stuff could be kept at arm’s length, or at least, seemed that way. Just keep your head down and plow ahead. Now, our betters must break what’s left of our affection for the truth. We are all Winston Smith. We all must ritually sacrifice the truth or be cast out into the outer darkness. If, for example, we imagine biological sex has something to do with the differing roles men and women have filled throughout every culture and tribe that has ever existed, well, let us be anathema. We must acknowledge, for example, that Creationism is bad anti-science, but that gender theory is good anti-science, so good that the term science must be bled white of all meaning in order not to contradict it. We are called to a Two Minute Hate of the largely imaginary Intelligent Design threat, while giving tenure to professors who despise science as one of the ways Oppressors keep this week’s Oppressed down. We are expected to tweet that science is a tool of white male privilege on devises and over networks built upon centuries of rigorous logic applied to understanding the natural world, with no sense of irony, let alone hypocrisy, at all. And they’re just getting warmed up.
I ponder these things because I see myself getting maneuvered up to Caesar’s altar and handed incense. So far, I’ve let things pass in silence, or simply worked around them. The couple times I’ve had people try to get me to use the wrong or imaginary pronouns in order to protect some poor soul’s RPG from reality, I’ve just used no pronouns at all. Keep my head down and plow ahead.
Soon, I expect this to no longer work. Thus, I contemplate what the our own little corner of the world will look like in a couple months. In the meantime, my brain spins on overdrive, imagining scenarios, arguments and counter-arguments. But we are not to prepare what we will say. Maybe this will all come to naught, who knows? We are told to be not afraid, and to be free from all anxiety. Let us pray that we can.