The Homeland Security apparatus has garnered quite a bit of attention lately for a paper that identified anti-abortionists, anti-immigrationists, and war veterans as terrorist suspects. (I thought “profiling” was forbidden, but in that matter, as so often these days, it would seem that some people are more equal than others.)
Some Republican politicians are playing at outrage and demanding an investigation. Let’s not get too carried away by the uproar, for two reasons. First, Republican opposition to any left-wing action is always a feeble and temporary prelude to surrender. That is a law of the universe—like gravity.
Secondly, there is nothing at all new about this stuff. It has been commonplace in classrooms, the media, the bureaucracy, and law enforcement training for years and years—certainly since the 1970s. It is new to Homeland Security only because Homeland Security is new. The Republicans pretend (short-term) concern to take advantage of grassroots outrage and of a chance to tag Obama. They do not represent serious opposition to this Marcusianism, or, if you prefer, Cultural Marxism, that has widely penetrated American establishment (and popular) attitudes. It is routine Communist procedure to identify class enemies for elimination. This had become standard discourse in many U.S. institutions long before the latest example became public.
Our rulers are not really very concerned about Muslim terrorists, as should be obvious. That violence poses no serious threat to Power. Its victims are likely to be only expendable plain folk like you and me. The rulers perceive, quite rightly, the real danger to their power: Americans who think thoughts that can undermine the moral legitimacy and unthinking obedience that sustains their prestige, wealth, and power. Besides, negative portrayal of members of “the religion of peace,” who tend to be dark and alien, would be met with immediate bad fallout as a violation of Diversity. Dissident real Americans, unorganised, unrepresented, and far more dangerous if once motivated to opposition, are much more opportune targets for government suppression. What else, after all, did the murder of innocents by federal mercenaries at Mount Carmel and Ruby Ridge amount to but the extermination of “rightwing domestic terrorists”?
Note that the thrust of this type of thing, which has become almost commonplace in American society, is to mark out dangerous classes of people for their thoughts and associations. Those who reject mental postures that have been declared to be those held by all respectable people are a caste apart. (However, phony everyone knows the respectable opinions to be, it is a sign of evil intention to question them.) This casts aside the whole painfully developed regime of Anglo-American liberty, a major pillar of which is judgment for acts, not for thoughts or identity. The people who have promulgated the offending directive obviously have no idea what liberty is; nor do they care in the least for a free society. The independent-thinking individual used to be an American icon. No more.
Anyone who is serious about the direction of this country ought to admit that the stance of the Homeland Security apparatus rests upon the staggeringly powerful force of conformity that is a major component of the American national character. Our two greatest foreign observers—Tocqueville in the 19th century and Solzhenitsyn in the 20th—were both struck by the herd tendencies of American thought and the rareness of individuality, the near universal craving for respectability within the mass. Unless one grasps this sad truth, he is disabled in understanding current events. Central government targeting of domestic dissidents could not be floated without an expectation of widespread approval. It rests upon the certainty that a substantial part of the populace will countenance the suppression of ideas and persons that violate what has been declared to be respectable.
Exhibit. The anti-immigration journal www.vdare.com has brought attention to the case of a Sudanese immigrant in the Salt Lake City area who deliberately drove into a group of a dozen or more children with malice aforethought. There were numerous injuuries but providentially no fatalities—this time. The local officials and media have, as usual, tried to obfuscate the significance of the event. There was much protest on a website devoted to local commentary. Some of this protest was after a while deemed “racist” and wiped out.
Our interest here is in one of the posted comments on the offending postings. One citizen offered this comment: “I can understand and in fact share the outrage against an individual who has committed a horrendous act of violence. However, I find the blatant racist comments equally offensive.” Attempted mass murder of children troubles this citizen no more than bad thoughts do. Can anyone deny that this person is representative of the mind of millions, perhaps tens of millions, of Americans? Can anyone doubt that a country rife with such people, so lacking in common sense and normal human feelings, has a doubtful rating on survivability?
This person is the prisoner of an abstraction that has been promulgated as the true and proper American way of thinking. There is nothing new about this because American history is replete with the phenomenon: Free Soil, Melting Pot, War to End Wars, Great Society, Global Democracy. The only thing that is new is the particular content— Diversity.
Such muddled and evil thinking is often ascribed to “white guilt.” Such people, it is said, are motivated by desire to compensate for the injustices inflicted on minorities in the brutal past. Guilt is a painful feeling that one has committed a transgression. This person is not experiencing guilt—he is enjoying an empowerment to punish other people for their transgressions. He suffers from Puritanism, which was injected into this continent on Massachusetts Bay in the 17th century, has been diffusing its poison ever since, and is now incestuously mated with its evil cousin—revolutionary ideology imported from Europe in the early 20th century. In the course of American history Indians, Southerners, Filipinos, Catholics, Jews, German and Jap fascists, the Red Menace, and now selected “Terrorists,” have been at various times appointed as the Nonpersons, enemies of the true and righteous. This time, Dear Reader, the enemy is you and me.