One key strategy for those seeking to grow tyranny is to make people feel as if they are isolated in challenging the government or, more generally, the tyrannical minority. One suspects, for example, that this is why China is forcibly removing thousands of crosses from the rooftops of churches; religious symbols on the landscape are powerful reminders that people believe things that they are instructed not to believe.
The United States is not quite there, yet, but the past decade has brought valuable experience as to the process of getting there. Basically, the strategy entails seizing power in one area of society — with government being the linchpin — and then breaking down the social barriers that allow multiple centers of power to develop and maintain their independence in a free, stable society (government, business, religion, information, etc.).
Maggie Gallagher’s recent National Review essay describing the disadvantage that social conservatives have on today’s political landscape offers, among other notions worth considering, this explanation for the entry of businesses into the political fray in recent years, under the bullet point, “crony capitalism is fueling sexual liberalism”:
Many of the 100 corporations speaking out about the issue — an issue that does not affect most of their core business interests — are, no doubt, expressing their own values. But it is striking that these firms do not mind running roughshod over so many of their customers’ values. Why? Why are corporations, historically averse to public controversy, wading directly into the culture wars? Part of the reason is that by engaging on this issue, they can cheaply please the regulators in Washington (and the Obama administration). The massive expansion of vague regulations under the Obama administration means that virtually every major corporation in America has some interest in keeping Washington off of their backs: Trouncing gay-marriage dissenters is a cheap strategy to curry favor.
It’s no coincidence that we’ve been seeing this great lunge not only to advance progressive social views, but to make it unacceptable to disagree during the Obama administration, which has proven lawless in its operation. Coming into power with a demagogue’s flair, Obama has joined great gobs of largess given to ideological allies with the abuse of regulatory and administrative power to suppress ideological opponents.
The more decisions government gets to make, the more it will add ideological strings for those who receive benefits or simply wish to avoid persecution. Progressives have been using that leverage to build the illusion that everybody agrees with progressives on fundamental questions about life, reality, and rights. The next step, already underway, is to isolate and exclude anybody who visibly disagrees.
Now and in the near future, it will be critical for those who disagree to do so visibly and confidently, making dissent permissible and perhaps forcing the tyrants to move too soon in their oppression.