Freedom for One Requires Freedom for All
~ How the Left created a cold civil war and why liberals and conservatives must unite against them
Mar 31, 2019
Table of Contents
Even Totalitarians Want to Be Free
Have you ever met a totalitarian who stated, “I don’t want to be free”? Have you ever met a Nazi who yearned to be locked up? Or a dictator of any flavor who hollered, “I don’t believe in Freedom for Me!”
If you had, you would question their mental health. Unless of course, they felt so guilty that they actually did believe that they should be dragged to prison. That’s an unlikely scenario.
As you may have suspected, this is an exercise in common sense, which is not common enough.
This is an exercise in making theory personal.
Abraham Lincoln brilliantly stated:
Across all political, religious, and cultural divides isn’t it true that every honest human will be able to affirm this simple truth?
That’s very good news for the world, first because it confirms the fact that every normal person wants to be free, and second because the universal, individual desire for freedom is the foundation for this simple proposition:
This isn’t theoretical. It’s personal. It’s real. Ask the most fervent totalitarian that you can find if that person wants his or her freedoms taken away, right now, this instant. Tell them clearly: from this point on, you cannot speak or write as you wish. You cannot believe as you wish. You cannot assemble with people like you, and you cannot petition the government. You are no longer free. Full stop.
Of course, that totalitarian will be outraged that his or her freedoms have been removed. If they’re honest.
And then the justifications will begin. The totalitarian will say that they’re not the problem anyway—it’s those other nasty, pesky people who must be stopped from thinking badly, speaking badly, and acting badly. So it’s justified for that person to be free, but for others, well, it all depends if they’re “good.”
Here’s a True Fact: Liberals and Conservatives are Not Totalitarians
Even though both sides are not totalitarians, it is indeed a peculiar phenomenon that both liberals and conservatives commonly view “their side” as the good side—the side that is opposed to tyranny.
Conservatives tend to emphasize that America was founded on what they consider to be one of the most revolutionary documents in history, the U.S. Constitution and its amendments, including the Bill of Rights. They champion freedom from the tyranny of government as one of the most important principles that made America exceptional. They especially admire the First Amendment in the Bill of Rights:
Liberals commonly hold views that center around compassion for the down-trodden and the marginalized. Who can argue with that basic sentiment? Compassion is good! In fact, conservatives usually agree with liberals on this point because they often wholeheartedly endorse compassion and strive to emulate that sentiment.
Conservatives are, for example, very compassionate toward the victims of tyranny and crime. They strongly defend the innocent, and most of them love children and puppies as much as liberals do. It’s unfortunate that some conservatives don’t adequately articulate their resonance with compassion, and thus fall prey to inaccurate accusations of being cold-hearted.
Compassion for others is a point of commonality between liberals and conservatives—common ground that should bring them together. It’s a reasonable presumption that classical liberals and conservatives in America are not totalitarians. Both sides sincerely appreciate the value of individuals.
Yet here we are in 2019 with both liberals and conservatives expressing concern that America is headed toward totalitarianism. Both groups articulate that totalitarianism is a Bad Thing. The tragic irony of our current political and cultural climate is that each group is stating that the danger of totalitarianism is coming from the other side.
Liberals are worried that President Donald J. Trump is leading the country into fascism. They reference his brash and sometimes insulting manner of speaking and tweeting, and point to immigration policies that indicate—at least to them—that Trump is cruel and monstrous. Conservatives like to point out that Obama and previous Presidents had very similar policies and were not castigated in the same fashion.
Conservatives are convinced that Liberals are working to remove the Bill of Rights, starting with severe restrictions on free speech. They point to the recent phenomenon of deplatforming as evidence of a growing cultural totalitarianism. Conservatives are being kicked off Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, and PayPal. Chase Manhattan Bank has canceled conservatives’ bank accounts. Hotels and restaurants are refusing service to conservatives, and conservatives are being physically attacked across the country.
The Hard-Left Has Set Liberals and Conservatives Against Each Other
The division between liberals and conservatives and the danger of totalitarianism in America have their source in a much smaller, but powerful group: the Left.
One way to define the Left is to say that it includes Marxists, progressives, socialists, and anarchists who are radically opposed to the principles of individual freedom that have their roots in Judeo-Christian values and the classical and founding principles of Western and American civilization.
The Left is the engine that is driving the cultural and political divide in America today. In plain terms, the Left is a destructive force that is not the friend of either liberals or conservatives. It is a real and present danger to the survival of a free America. It’s reasonable to say that if it were not for the actions of the Left over the last several decades, America would not be in the midst of what some describe as a “cold civil war.” Thus, both liberals and conservatives should join together and oppose the Left.
Some folks are concerned that labels alienate people, that even leftists are people who deserve to be treated as individuals. Yes, everyone is an individual, and every person (at least to many religious people) can grow and change and become a “good person.” Still, one can’t ignore the history of the twentieth century and the part that hard-left activists played in that century’s record of violence and mass-murder by governments like the USSR, China, Cuba, North Korea, and many more.
It is quite accurate to say that hard-left, Marxist, progressive activists are comfortable with totalitarianism, and feel that way because they view the power of the state as the solution to human suffering. Progressives believe that the state can, by exercising its will, transform humans into “good people”—by force when necessary.
If the rascally humans don’t want to cooperate, labor camps and mass graves are viable solutions, as illustrated by a sign in the Solovki Gulag concentration camp which stated, “With an Iron Fist, We Will Lead Humanity to Happiness.”
China is a current and dangerous example of an expansionist state that is continuing the efforts of the Left to reshape humans by force with its invasive program of surveillance, the assignment of freedom-restricting “social credit scores,” and labor camps. It is especially dangerous to the world because of its global tyrannical ambitions. It is not a friend to freedom-loving countries.
We Must Stand Up to the Left
One must remember that no one is forced to become a leftist. No one is forced to support the agenda of totalitarians, to be a guard in a gulag or a gas chamber, to pull the trigger of a gun that is pointed at an innocent victim or to swing a hoe against the back of a person’s neck, standing in a killing field.
Everyone has a choice. Although none of us can really say how we would act if we were presented with a horrific choice, I’ve always thought that it was a terrible and weak excuse for someone to say, “I planted the bomb that killed hundreds of people because they would have killed my family if I refused.”
It’s better to say no and be killed together with our family than to take the lives of hundreds of other innocent victims in order to save our family. And no, it doesn’t work to say: “if I don’t do it, they’ll just find someone else, so I should do it and save my family.”
Of course they may find someone else, but if we say no, and we and our family are killed, our family in the spirit world and our family and friends on earth may thank us for our honor, our bravery, and our sacrifice. Even if they don’t, it’s the right thing to do. Mark 8:36 states it well:
And yes, I fully realize that no one, including myself, can prove that they will stand by that ethic until the time comes. If it comes. However, isn’t it better to determine in advance how we will act, if we are ever pushed by evil people or totalitarians to commit evil deeds? I think it is.
It is with that spirit and courage that we must stand up to the Left and stop them from dividing our society and destroying our free civilization.
The Weapons of the Left are Propaganda, Mass Delusion, Mobs, and Cowardice
It Starts with Propaganda and Mass Delusion
The Left is exceedingly clever, especially in their use of propaganda. They are experts at fostering mass delusion and creating a social atmosphere which easily produces mobs. They are skilled at playing on people’s fears and weaknesses which often engender cowardice.
The Left is a relatively small group. The Bolsheviks of the Russian Revolution were not in the majority. They were, however, utterly convicted in their determination to effect change by any means necessary.
In the United States today, socialists and hard-core leftists are also not in the majority. However, their commitment to replace individual freedoms with a Utopian dictatorship is extraordinary in its religious fervor. They’re playing the long game with an unwavering, multi-generational focus.
In the book Counterrevolution and Revolt, published in 1972, the leftist scholar Herbert Marcuse wrote:
In sports one talks about the necessity of a good defense and a good offense.
Although the CIA and FBI were active during the cold war, and although there have been many citizens, thinkers, writers, and elected officials who have been aware of the destructive influence of the Left on American society in the last hundred years, it’s plain to see that the Left has almost won the battle in America.
The Left has advanced to the cusp of victory because the United States did not engage a multi-generational enemy with a continual and adequate defense and offense. If an enemy wages a concerted attack against a group of people who are not engaged in fighting back both defensively and offensively, with an absolute commitment to win, it is only a matter of time before the enemy is completely victorious. This is the unfortunate reality of the United States, Canada, and most of Western Europe.
Because of that failure, Marxists have utterly transformed the institutions of academia, the arts, Hollywood, and the media. Their long march has been successful.
What methods did they employ that allowed them to achieve so many victories in the American culture war? Their strategy has been to change the minds and hearts of American citizens through disinformation and propaganda. Disinformation has included the propagation of false information as well as the supremely devastating strategy of what might be called “knowledge restriction.” How many students and millennials do you know who are thoroughly versed in classical Western and American history and civics that is accurate? It is not a coincidence that most public schools no longer teach adequate and accurate American and world history. For more information on this topic, I recommend the website stopk12indoctrination.org.
Former Marxists offer useful commentary on the topic of propaganda because they not only know what they’re talking about, but also are able to look at Marxist activities with critical eyes. One such person is Ion Mihai Pacepa. He was the acting chief of Romania’s espionage service during the cold war. In a 2004 article in National Review, titled “Kerry’s Soviet Rhetoric: The Vietnam-era antiwar movement got its spin from the Kremlin,” he wrote:
Over decades, the propaganda and disinformation from the Left has changed the minds and hearts of a huge number of American citizens. It has tragically convinced them that America is an evil country founded on oppression and racism. To these individuals, the Founding Fathers and the brilliance of the U.S. Constitution have become meaningless.
Thus, many millennials and liberals of all ages are caught up in classic Marxist calls to fight “oppression” and tear down society. They go to rallies and hold up signs and banners without realizing that the impetus behind the rallies is coming from a malevolent source. The signs and banners are copies of invective that is published on Marxist websites.
If you visit just three websites of modern American Marxists, first go to workers.org, the website of the Workers World Party (WWP), a revolutionary Marxist–Leninist communist party in the United States founded in 1959. Then visit revcom.us, the website of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA founded in 1975. Next, go to refusefascism.org, a project of revcom.us that supports the violent group Antifa.
The headlines, text, and images on those pages are a carbon copy (or more accurately stated the original source) of the slogans and viewpoints presented at rallies across the country that are not normally perceived as Marxist. I would wager that a large percentage of Americans today have no idea that the divisive and violent rhetoric that they hear, adopt, and repeat is being propagated by hard-left groups like the three that I’ve mentioned—groups who have worked for decades to tear down the foundations of our free and democratic society.
This can easily be deduced by comparing the rhetoric of the Marxist sites with celebrities who parrot leftist propaganda. Here is text from Refuse Fascism:
Here is text from the actress Rosanna Arquette that she tweeted on March 26, 2019:
The country that Arquette describes is certainly not America. Her fantasy country more closely resembles China, North Korea, Iran, or Saudi Arabia. However, the mass delusion created by propaganda is extremely difficult to counter, simply because of ignorance and lack of critical thought.
The Power of a Lie
Arquette’s tweet illustrates the power that a repeated and unverified lie has on the thoughts and hearts of people.
If numerous malicious people repeatedly say that “John Smith is a child molester and a rapist,” it’s almost a sure bet that John Smith will be ruined, with no evidence at all. By the time that the “news” about John Smith has circulated across society the fact that the “truth about John Smith” was started by liars will have become forgotten and irrelevant. The Left uses this method of unfounded accusations all the time. Leftist media use it quite cleverly, prefaced by vague terms such as “allegations” and “critics have stated such and such.” Critics, of course, who are nameless.
The bottom line of all this is that it is absolutely clear that the Left employs the power of lies. Dennis Prager wrote the following, in the March 26, 2019 Townhall article “Assume the Left Lies And You Will Discover The Truth: Reflections On The Trump-Russia Collusion Lie”:
Whether one believes in the Devil or not, the Left’s commitment to the art of lying and penchant for murder by government bears an uncanny resemblance to the Bible verse, John 8:44:
In Stella Morabito’s excellent June 8, 2015 article in The Federalist, titled “How To Escape The Age Of Mass Delusion,” she explores the mechanics and power of propaganda. She writes:
One of the most popular lies that Marxists and Antifa members employ is the statement that America is fascist and racist. Large numbers of good-hearted people are influenced by this type of rhetoric because almost no one wants to be a fascist or a racist. Even miseducated millennials will agree that “Hitler was Bad.”
Unfortunately, they fail to observe that the United States is in fact the most non-fascist and non-racist country in the world. Millions of people immigrate to America because of our standards of sacred individual liberty. America’s immigrants are the proof in the pudding that this country is attractive because of its freedoms and opportunities for all.
Antifa, however, ignores that reality and preaches a divisive doctrine that usually ends in violence. In the 1930’s, Antifa, which is short for “Antifaschistische Aktion,” was the German Communist Party’s version of Nazi Brown Shirts. Now, in the United States, they’ve been given new life by Refuse Fascism.
An equally problematic group that has roped in many good-hearted people is Black Lives Matter, aka BLM. In the 2016 article “How Black Lives Matter Is Bringing Back Traditional Marxism,” published in The Federalist, Thurston Powers references the fact that BLM’s published policy platform is lifted from the pages of Karl Marx’s Communist Manifesto.
He then writes:
Let me repeat the last sentence: “The black vs. white dichotomy creates a permanent enemy class.” This is not what good-hearted people of all races want in a free society.
Powers quotes a Milwaukee rioter from August, 2016:
Martin Luther King, Jr. was inspired by Gandhi, who purportedly said: “An eye for an eye only makes the whole world blind.” It is my belief that leaders like Dr. King, Gandhi, and many others, including Jesus, would feel profound grief at BLM’s malevolent incitement of rage and violence among some members of the black community who—if given a different message of love—might well agree to instead seek a path of peace, forgiveness, and reconciliation. Many African-American leaders are affirming that very fact.
We can see then that Marxist propaganda has produced a viewpoint about America that is not at all accurate, and has created a cultural mindset that is racist, hateful, violent, and divisive. The Left’s propaganda has produced a mass delusion because it has convinced huge numbers of people that certain things are true when they are not: that America is an evil country, all whites are irredeemably racist, men are always sexist, and oppression is all around us. There are many more destructive and false opinions that have been created by the Left’s long march through the institutions.
The most damaging attribute of the Left’s propaganda is that most liberals don’t perceive it as propaganda at all. It has been inserted into the public dialogue so comprehensively and expertly that disinformation that is hostile to a free America is now accepted as fact.
Convincing liberals that they have been influenced by propaganda and disinformation is the most difficult job of all.
Then Come the Mobs, Followed by Cowardice
Writing for the American Institute for Economic Research about the Left’s mantra that all personal issues must find political solutions, in the March 24, 2019 article “The Slogan that Unleashed this Hell,” Jeffrey A. Tucker stated:
As Tucker and many other writers illustrate, an additional and heinous result of the Marxist offensive has been the wholesale acceptance of political correctness and intersectional identity politics. The rise of social justice warriors (SJWs) who see themselves as the arbiters of goodness has created a mob mentality that hearkens back to the many incidents of mass hysteria in history, including the Salem witch trials.
“Find them, burn them, crush them, kill them!” might be an accurate and horrific rallying cry for SJWs.
The cultural atmosphere in America today reeks of fear—fear of being victimized by an SJW mob. This fear has morphed into cowardice for many public officials and leaders of commercial and public institutions. How many times do we hear of someone making a comment, getting attacked by SJWs, and then meekly apologizing for the alleged sin?
Apologizing for doing or saying something that is not wrong after one is attacked by leftist haters and bigots is exactly the wrong response.
If individuals, organizations, and companies stand up to the Leftist SJW mobs—and stand up to them over and over again—they will eventually back down. If people are overwhelmed with fear and cowardice and give into the rabid accusations of the mobs, our society will become a miserable landscape of both real and virtual jail cells in which free speech will be forbidden.
We must stand up to the bigotry, hatred, and malevolence of the Left. No matter what.
Free Speech is the Wall that Must Not be Broken
Free speech is the one thing that can keep tyranny at bay. When free speech is eliminated there is no longer any viable way to peacefully effect change. It’s horrifying that so many people in the Western world are willing to abandon free speech because of cowardice and because of the short-sighted, politically correct desire to “stop hate speech.” Britain, many countries in Europe, and Canada are perilously close to the realm of George Orwell’s book 1984, especially in their restrictions on any criticism of political Islam and totalitarian Sharī‘ah law. If they do not reverse course and stand up for free speech, they will lose all of their freedoms. And then of course it will be too late.
Even though the United States still has an active First Amendment, leftists have charged ahead with the brilliant but decidedly evil methodology of “cultural totalitarianism” by recruiting banks, tech companies, and other businesses to buy into the doctrine of political correctness, targeted at conservatives.
Some liberals may not be worried about the deplatforming of conservatives. But they should be, because identity politics divides people into ever-changing, complex groups and pits them against each other. Identity politics destroys the sacred value of the individual and is a snake that eats its own. No one is safe in a totalitarian system, as the history of totalitarian purges has proven.
Conservatives today. Liberals tomorrow. Just remember how many dedicated Marxists were killed by their fellows. Trotsky. Gorky. Kim Jong Un’s uncle. The list is very, very, very long.
This is why freedom for one requires freedom for all. Tyrants and tyranny are like the flavor of the month. There is no security under totalitarianism. You can’t relax. Even those at the top are not living in freedom. One mistake and they’re gone. In America and the West, with the Left’s push for new hate speech laws, the very first question is: who decides what is hate speech?
As Dr. Jordan Peterson says, “the last people in the world you would want to.” Creating a culture that bans hate speech will become self-consuming. Today’s hate-speech policeman will be tomorrow’s victim.
Therefore free speech is the wall that must not be broken.
To make that happen, we must stop apologizing for free speech that might offend people who are themselves experts in speaking and acting offensively. Any speech, including so-called hate speech, must be allowed. The only speech that should be restricted is speech that directly calls for violence. Other than that, anything goes.
It’s Time for Liberals and Conservatives to Unite Against the Totalitarian Left
America and the West have reached the civilizational level of a DEFCON 1 emergency. (DEFCON 1 is the highest and most urgent level.) Unless we change course and educate people, most especially the millennials who will be in power soon, America may not be a free country in even ten or twenty years.
It’s time now for liberals and conservatives to put aside their differences and unite together and kick political correctness into the trash can where it belongs, along with identity politics and the nonsense of so-called “cultural appropriation.” Every culture in history has appropriated something from other cultures and that’s a good thing, correctly called “cultural appreciation.”
It’s time for liberals and conservatives to unite together against the malicious, divisive, and totalitarian forces of Marxism and leftism, and any other system of thought that is hostile to individual freedom.
The Left is Allied with Political Islamism
Perhaps even more than Marxism, the next most serious threat to freedom comes from political Islamism with its repressive Sharī‘ah law and the nonsensical accusation of “Islamophobia,” which is simply a device to shut down any criticism of Mohammed or Islam.
Propaganda and lack of knowledge about Islam have created a toxic environment in the West for any criticism of Islam. Most Westerners know almost nothing about Islam except that “it’s a religion of peace” and that any criticism of Islam is “Islamophobic.” This state of affairs is also not an accident. Islamic organizations and their allies on the left have made enormous strides in their efforts to stifle any real discussion of the pros and cons of Islamic doctrine, Mohammed’s personal life, and the historical record of Islamic jihad.
There is, however, an easy, virtual test to determine if Islam is a religion of peace or a totalitarian religious and political system. Imagine placing posters for an event in any neighborhood in the world (including America) and advertising the event in the media. Then wait for a reaction. Place this on the posters:
Jews and Christians will sigh, and perhaps pray, and then murmur something about freedom of speech.
Muslims will riot, burn, rage, and even kill innocent people all over the world because it’s forbidden under Islamic doctrine to criticize Mohammed or Islam, upon pain of death. It’s forbidden to leave Islam upon pain of death. We know that violent riots will take place because this is exactly how thousands of Muslims around the world behaved after other public criticisms of Islam and Mohammed. Just remember Salman Rushdie, the Danish cartoons of Mohammed, and the Charlie Hebdo massacre.
As reported by Christine Douglass-Williams in the January 31, 2019 JihadWatch.org article: “UK councils across the country are adopting agreed-upon official list of examples of ‘Islamophobia’”:
The last sentence bears repeating:
Yes, indeed. Muslims would have left by the millions because everyone wants to be free.
Totalitarianism by any other name is still totalitarianism.
It’s time for liberals and conservatives to create and implement a strong defensive and offensive strategy against internal and external incursions by all totalitarian forces, both Marxist and Islamist.
We All Want to Be Free
We have now arrived full circle, back to the timeless truth that everyone wants to be free. Free to speak and write as they wish, believe as they wish, wear clothes as they wish (yes that means throw the hijab and the burka in the trash if they wish), vote as they wish, and worship (or not) as they wish.
Find any SJW, Leftist media celebrity, Sharī‘ah-promoting Islamist, or Marxist-influenced professor or millennial and ask them: do you believe in the eternal principle of “Freedom for YOU”? They will all say yes.
If the tangled history of oppression under tyrants has taught us anything at all, we should all be able to recognize that “Freedom for One Requires Freedom for All.”
There is no other workable option.
Photo of anti-Trump march by S L O W K I N G.
January 20, 2017, Released under the the GFDL v1.2
Peter Falkenberg Brown is passionate about writing, publishing, public speaking and film. He hopes that someday he can live up to his favorite motto: “Expressing God’s kind and compassionate love in all directions, every second of every day, creates an infinitely expanding sphere of heart.”