A totalitarianism masquerading as beneficence

Novelist and former Time editor Michael Walsh has published a new book entitled The Devil’s Pleasure Palace: The Cult of Critical Theory and the Subversion of the West.  It’s about how critical theory–the notion that all cultural and linguistic expressions are to be “deconstructed” as mere impositions of power–has brought Western thought to the point of nihilism.  Kathryn Lopez interviews Walsh at National Review Online.  Read the whole thing, but I excerpt after the jump an exchange about how the radical left has become “Satanic” and how the canons of “political correctness” are being used, in the Marxist way, to suppress thought.  I especially like Walsh’s line about how the left has become “a totalitarianism masquerading as beneficence.”
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The Christian vs. the collective

Anthony Sacramone has a quite brilliant post entitled “There Are Only Two Conceptions of Human Ethics.”  He begins with an excerpt from Arthur Koestler’s Darkness at Noon, a conversation between two Soviet-era totalitarians on the difference between the Christian ethic and the “collective” ethic.  Then he applies it. [Read more...]

Totalitarianism reconsidered

Some intellectuals are arguing that democracy cannot effectively address climate change–and, indeed, makes it worse–and that what we need to save the planet  is to eliminate political freedom and to turn towards a totalitarian government.  Others don’t go quite that far, but they hold up as the role model for effective government the People’s Republic of China.  (Never mind that China has the worst pollution on the planet!)

After the jump, an excerpt that demonstrates this from a study of the “Sustainability” ideology by the conservative academic organization the National Association of Scholars.

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Totalitarian discourse

Charles Krauthammer gives the name for handling disagreements by silencing and punishing those who hold opposing ideas:

The left is entering a new phase of ideological agitation — no longer trying to win the debate but stopping debate altogether, banishing from public discourse any and all opposition.The proper word for that attitude is totalitarian. It declares certain controversies over and visits serious consequences — from social ostracism to vocational defenestration — upon those who refuse to be silenced. [Read more...]

The language of totalitarianism

The “Dear Leader” of North Korea, Kim Jong Un, has executed his uncle, who had served as his advisor and mentor.   Max Fisher writes about the language the still-Communist North Koreans used to make this announcement and the worldview it reveals.  [Read more...]

Why relativism leads to totalitarianism

I’d like to spin off from our reflection a comment Lars Walker made, as we blogged about yesterday in the post The Bible and Liberty:

As Paul Johnson notes in Modern Times, moral relativism always leads to Totalitarianism. Because in a morally relative age, power alone can settle any question.

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