(TheZMan) Over the weekend, the news brought word that Greg Johnson had been arrested in Norway on incitement charges. The details are still coming out, but the basics are that a far-left group claimed he was a terrorist and the Norwegian authorities just took their word for it and had him detained. Presumably, they will deport him from the country and try to have him banned from the continent. That is a popular tactic for radical extremists to use in Europe to harass Americans they don’t like.
Of course, calling these domestic terror groups radical or extreme is just a way to express contempt for them using common language. It’s not an accurate description of where they stand on the political spectrum. When Antifa or the SPLC can dictate terms to the political class, they are neither radical or extreme. They are the mainstream, well within the conventional of the ruling class. It is what we use to call normal people, with their rules and procedures, who are now the outliers.
This is a lesson that dissidents have to internalize. Many on this side of the divide are stuck in the past, with regards to the political landscape. They assume we live in a rule-based society, in which one can appeal to a neutral authority for relief when the Left violates the rules. If that world ever existed, it is long gone. We live in a soft authoritarianism, where the rules are whatever the people in power say they are at any point in time. It’s not rule of law. It is rule by left-wing fanatic.
As such, the old Chinese curse should always be at the front of the mind of the dissident. That curse is, “may the government become aware of you.” The Chinaman, having lived under some form of authoritarian bureaucracy for thousands of years, is conditioned to understand the reality of his relationship to society. The Chinaman knows that the bureaucrat can and will inflict unlimited cruelty as only a bureaucrat can, if given the opportunity. The wise person avoids making himself known to them.
In the case of modern dissidents in the modern West, it means avoiding any and all contact with the crazies the managerial class deploys as lures and traps. That’s the only utility of groups like Antifa, Hope Not Hate and the ADL. Their role is to keep beating the bushes in order to lure dissidents out into the open. Then they can attack, giving their handlers in the bureaucracy the excuse to bring the hammer down on the people involved in the skirmish. If a few left-wing street activists are harmed, so be it.
The primary weapon of the soft authoritarian is the lie. Because they operate inside a thicket of rules and regulations, they know a well-placed lie can turn those rules into a spider web, tangling up the victim for years. In the struggle to free himself, he may make addition mistakes, allowing other spiders in the system to vomit forth their digestive acids onto the victim. Even if the victim can free himself, he has lost time and resources, making him weaker and more timid.
This is on full display with the seditious plot to overturn the 2016 election. The people involved are not very bright. Most are the sort who, in a saner age, would be manning a rural Post Office branch or maybe stamping forms down at the title office. In a soft authoritarianism, they rise through the ranks, spinning their webs on behalf of the system, getting rewarded for their treachery and deceit. That plot was a revolt of sexless bureaucrats lashing out a reminder of what they are not.
This sort of ruling system attracts a certain sort of person. The type that enjoys tangling people up in a web of lies is a timid sociopath, who hates himself and therefore the world that created him. These are people who can only enjoy what they feel as pleasure by witnessing the suffering of others. Look around the Left and you see sexless, passive males and bitter deranged females. These are people who live to inflict misery on others, hoping it will bring them relief from their own miserable lives.
What this means for dissidents in the West is cleaning the mind of those old civic nationalist notions of a lawful society judged by neutral arbiters. That world does not exist and cannot be conjured into existence. There is no shaming these people into acting like normal people, capable of living in a civilized, orderly society. They are chaotic evil. They have no respect for rules, other people’s lives, or anything but their own desire for revenge against a world that has made them some hideous.
It’s why moaning about the collapse of free speech in the West is just self-flagellation, unless it is to convert people to the dissident cause. The ethos of the modern dissident is to never allow an outrage to go to waste. Use every incident to force the civic nationalist to confront the reality of his situation. For now, the best that can be done is to spread a quiet cynicism about the system. A society of cynical people is much more expensive to rule than a population still under the ether of civic nationalism.
More important though, it means operating in the shadows. The days or organizing in public, holding well-advertised gatherings and participating in constructive public debate are gone. That reality will surely make many angry and indignant, but for a dissident to have any hope, he must always accept the reality of his situation. Otherwise, he will always be drawn into that web of lies and deceits that are spun to ensnare the people into the soft authoritarianism of the neo-liberal order.