The above neologism has gained some currency in recent months, owing to the efforts – semi-comic efforts, to be sure – of those being accused of it. For those who didn’t buy a program at the gate, wrongthink refers to the envelope of the Left’s attempts to silence certain opinions and positions. As the Gentle Readers of Liberty’s Torch are surely aware, that envelope now includes outright, undisguised violence.
To this point, the violence has been “private:” i.e., conducted by Leftist activists such as “Antifa” and the “Black Bloc.” However, there’s no guarantee that it won’t be “municipalized.” Consider the passivity of the Berkeley, California police in the face of the recent riot there. Consider the memo that recently came to light:
...and ask yourself: “Just whose side were they on?”
It’s easy to look at the Berkeley street scenes of which so many videos were taken, note the passivity of the “forces of order,” merely snort in contempt and move along. It’s harder to analyze the matter holistically, but much more rewarding.
Like many coastal cities, Berkeley is hostile to the right to keep and bear arms. Indeed, Berkeley’s municipal ordinances regard even a walking stick as something no one ought to carry. (See the memo above.) I have no doubt that anyone who’d been visibly in possession of a firearm would have been arrested on the spot regardless of his conduct.
What that does, in the face of a street clash that turns violent, is to award an advantage to the more numerous, better organized, more violently inclined force. That force becomes overwhelmingly likely to win the day. The Antifa / Black Bloc forces assumed that, as they were uninhibited about employing violence, the edge would go to them. Yet in the recent dustup, the pro-Trump ralliers, who had sincerely hoped for a peaceful showing, responded to Leftist assaults with an unprecedented degree of fury. The Leftists were unprepared to face it, and were quickly humiliated.
Don’t imagine that Leftists will fail to draw the moral. At the next confrontation, they’ll be armed. The “forces of order,” which “stood down” on the most recent occasion, will look the other way.
Wrongthink, you see, deserves no protection.
Godwin's law (or Godwin's rule of Hitler analogies) is an Internet adage which asserts that "As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Hitler approaches 1"—that is, if an online discussion (regardless of topic or scope) goes on long enough, sooner or later someone will compare someone or something to Hitler.
...has reached peak absurdity. It is no longer necessary to strain to draw such comparisons. America’s Nazis are here and proud of themselves.
They’re not in unchallenged power, mind you. They might not be in the ascendant. But they’re out and proud, doing what they can to quench all open dissent from their preferences. You can identify them by their willingness to silence anyone who disagrees with them. In Weimar Germany they wore distinctive brown shirts: the garb of the Sturmabteilung:
The Sturmabteilung, literally Storm Detachment, functioned as the original paramilitary wing of the Nazi Party (NSDAP).
It played a significant role in Adolf Hitler's rise to power in the 1920s and 1930s. Their primary purposes were providing protection for Nazi rallies and assemblies, disrupting the meetings of opposing parties, fighting against the paramilitary units of the opposing parties, especially the Red Front Fighters League (Rotfrontkämpferbund) of the Communist Party of Germany (KPD), and intimidating Slavic and Romani citizens, unionists, and Jews – for instance, during the Nazi boycott of Jewish businesses.
Like the original Brownshirts, they lack official sanction. However, they receive unofficial forbearance from the police departments of such places as Berkeley, California. The command levels of those departments sympathize with America’s Nazis. They feel wrongthink must be punished. As it would be indiscreet for those commanders to order the police to do so, the commanders order the police not to intervene. Until recently, that was sufficient to award the possession of the streets to the Nazis, and to intimidate anyone minded to challenge them.
With the most recent events, the commanders’ attitudes might just be turning – but not in the direction of protecting the wrongthinkers! Oh no, we can’t have that. Rather, the police will be encouraged to intervene – subtly at first, no doubt – in favor of the Nazis.
I may be wrong...but I don’t think I am.
The transition from de facto wrongthink to de jure crimethink – the legal prohibition of the public expression of certain opinions – is already in progress in Europe. Laws that privilege Islam, explicitly banning the expression of certain anti-Islam sentiments, are now in place in France and Germany. Those governments are also pondering the banning of anti-“refugee” sentiments, which have swelled greatly in reaction to the tides sweeping northward and westward from the Muslim Middle East. And of course, there’s considerable agitation for the EU and its member states to condemn Israel and outlaw any commercial interaction with it.
Too many Americans have told themselves that “it can’t happen here.” Perhaps it can’t, at least with regard to Islam, though the numbers of Muslims in America are growing faster than the population as a whole. But what about other opinions disfavored by our political class and our glitterati? Is it really impossible to imagine that the currents that have produced a rash of “safe spaces” at our institutions of
ignorance and indoctrination higher learning could some day burst forth to seize our legislatures – first of municipalities such as Berkeley, then perhaps a few state legislatures, and eventually the Congress of these United States?
It wouldn’t be promoted as “punishing wrongthink,” but in the name of “public order.” Remember Mark Steyn:
If it were just terrorists bombing buildings and public transit, it would be easier; even the feeblest Eurowimp jurisdiction is obliged to act when the street is piled with corpses. But there's an old technique well understood by the smarter bullies. If you want to break a man, don't attack him head on, don't brutalize him; pain and torture can awaken a stubborn resistance in all but the weakest. But just make him slightly uncomfortable, disrupt his life at the margin, and he'll look for the easiest path to re-normalization. There are fellows rampaging through the streets because of some cartoons? Why, surely the most painless solution would be if we all agreed not to publish such cartoons. [From Mark Steyn's America Alone: The End of the World as We Know It]
A few more street battles – especially battles in which America’s Nazis are on the losing end – and laws that forbid the public expression of certain opinions (see the attached list, which will include a schedule of penalties) would become more likely than not. That’s how wrongthink is transformed into crimethink...and the last, pitiful vestige of the freedom Americans once enjoyed is stripped away.
I can’t close this essay without mentioning this little raffle, which seeks to promote “wrongthinkers” among our contemporary storytellers. If you enjoy fantasy and science fiction, you’re likely to enjoy the books being given to all entrants. (Entering costs nothing.) The three winners would enjoy a still larger array of “naughty books.” Please consider entering. (No, nothing of mine is on offer.)