It’s now apparent that Stalinism has re-emerged, not in Russia it’s birthplace, but in the Western world. Dissent from the perceived wisdom of the Western luvvie class is punishable by denial of the right to earn a living, as well as abuse worthy of the worst excesses of the Soviet show trials of the 1930s.
This is demonstrated by the response to Laurence Fox’s clear and factual response to the accusation that the colour of his skin and his gender endowed privileges not available to others of a different hue and gender. He appeared on the BBC’s Question Time and provided, horror of horrors, a dissenting point of view. He committed the ultimate sin.
Make no mistake, this was his crime, dissent from the echo chamber of orthodoxy. The truth or otherwise of what he said, as Stalin and his role models in the Spanish Inquisition decreed, is not the issue, it’s the fact thar he dared to offer an opinion not sanctioned by the Offical Luvvie Handbook on Etiquette and How to Resist the Urge to State the Bleeding Obvious (now in its twentieth edition due to the constant need to add new grievances and updated glossaries). Dissent as Galileo found out, means exclusion.
The current Stalinists, who enjoy influence far beyond their electoral support, have taken over the public space, and dissent of any sort is described in language usually thought to have been consigned to the dust bin of history. It’s as if Julius Streicher of Der Stürmer fame has been resurrected as a jobbing writer on some leftwing rag, using adjectives and invective, usually reserved for serial killers.
The vilification of those of a different point of view has reached such proportions that many will simply refrain from making their views known. Having a mortgage, caring for your kids, putting food on the table imposes a conformity of necessity, not an aligning of thought. Poverty is a great incentive to sing from the same hymn book. It also produces a burning rage of resentment, based on the fact that people cannot freely present their views. There is a Penal Code imposed by the luvvie class, which everyone is aware of — dissent and you will be punished. Transportation to Australia may not still be in use, as it was for the Chartists, but the principle of punishment for free speech is alive and well and transportation to the dole queue is a mighty effective way of crushing dissent and breaking the spirit. Silence doesn’t mean consent, it means fear.
Laurence Fox stated an undeniable truth, that race and gender are biological attributes, that every individual is born with. Only members of the flat earth society and the anti-science brigade would deny these basic facts. To denigrate, discriminate against, mock or threaten any person on the basis of one or both of these characteristics is unlawful and hateful. Biological attributes are protected attributes under the law, for good reason. To discriminate on the basis of race is to borrow from Nazi ideology which was obsessed with so-called racial purity.
Stalin was less discriminating. Diversity of opinion was his only criterion for transportation to a gulag. He murdered anyone who showed any originality of thought, and reassured a terrified populace that he was performing a civic duty by eliminating class traitors.
Elements of this hateful ideology have made their way into public discourse, where debate is polarised more and more into camps of saints and sinners, with the need for re-education of the latter. The old-fashioned idea that people can hold different viewpoints and still be good people is sacriligous.
It’s curious that a secular society is reverting more and more to religious concepts of sin and retributation to enforce conformity. The religious fervour of the Middle Ages, with its abandonment of reason, has been resurrected by contemporary ‘woke’ culture. So much for the Enlightenment, it’s as if it never happened.
That Laurence Fox could face a luvvie backlash for stating the obvious would have been unthinkable not so long ago. He injected life into the boring landscape of ideological conformity and vacuous, yawn-inducing virtue-signalling, that quickly morphs into anger with the knowledge that some are more equal than others in the new theology. The hierarchy of victimhood begins at birth. What hope is there for those born with the wrong set of chromosomes or melanin receptors (a rhetorical question) — none.
Seventy-five years ago Auschwitz was liberated by the Russians and the scale of what happened there exposed to the world. It started with the idea of otherness, that difference is to be punished and used to further ideological agendas. It then became a semi-religious mindset from which there was no dissent. There is a path to totalitarianism and it starts with the segregation of those who think differently, and more importantly have the courage to express those thoughts. Ideological terrorism is what ends careers and fractures society. We seem to have reached that point.
Perhaps it takes an artist to highlight what is happening; that we are at a critical point in our society where civil discourse has become impossible and different opinions are to be whispered only in the presence of like-minded people. Laurence Fox displayed bravery when he replied to the view that his skin colour and gender made him a lesser being. The venom he has faced since, from some quarters in his own profession, is instructive of what happens when a totalitarian mindset is challenged.
The writer Hans Fallada who lived in Berlin during the second world war and who knew a bit about repression wrote in Alone in Berlin that ‘the main thing is you fight back… even though you may think you are alone in your dissent, you are not alone’. Laurence Fox tapped into this sentiment. There is a bubbling weariness in the general population that enough is enough, that replacing one form of hateful discrimination with another is not progress, it’s just a failure to learn from the past.
In this year, let’s remember this.Thank you, Laurence Fox and Hans Fallada.
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