A book that is sadly very necessary for our time, especially for Christians. We are being coddled into a soft totalitarianism where compliance is seen as a virtue to be signalled, and the "memory hole" is openly exposed.
As events would have it, we don’t need an American Caesar or the theatrics of a Rubicon crossing. Our political institutions and public consciousness can be, and are being, transformed from the inside out, without any melodrama. The result, says Dreher, will be a comfortable servitude, a “soft totalitarianism,” run by a technocratic, progressive elite, and supported by Big Data and a compliant capitalism. Everyday life will be far closer to the sunny brain-scrub of Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World than the shabbiness and goon-squad brutality of Orwell’s Airstrip One.
When you worship only comfort, distraction, avoiding suffering, and getting more "clicks" on social media, "truth" is extremely fungible.
The chapters in Part One on “Progressivism as Religion” and “Capitalism, Woke and Watchful,” are especially strong. Anyone imagining big business as instinctively conservative need only remember the speed with which corporations jumped on the same-sex marriage and “gay rights” bandwagon. The lavish business support showered on the “Black Lives Matter” (BLM) movement is also revealing, since — beneath its calls for racial justice — the BLM agenda is toxic to what most Americans believe. The lesson here is simple: Absent a grounding in broadly biblical principles, corporations follow profits, wherever they lead. In Part Two, the chapters on cultural memory, families as resistance cells, and “the gift of suffering,” make for essential reading.
The book makes a good case that "soft totalitarianism" is more dangerous than the Gestapo/KGB versions because it is harder to spot -- and in the everything digital world, much easier to enforce!
Today’s totalitarianism demands allegiance to a set of progressive beliefs, many of which are incompatible with logic—and certainly with Christianity. Compliance is forced less by the state than by elites who form public opinion, and by private corporations that, thanks to technology, control our lives far more than we would like to admit.
Putting on a mask to walk into a restaurant, then taking it off as you sit down shows that "common sense" is dead. Decrying any maskless gatherings of "normal people" (and even making them illegal, and then celebrating maskless riots and massive funerals for George Floyd and John Lewis makes it plain that POWER is what "makes sense" today -- and the "common sense" population needs to get their minds right!