Bruce Thornton explains the progressive ‘fear society’:
Fighting for an America where individuals aren’t terrrified to express their opinions in the ‘town square’.
“Fear Society” is Natan Sharansky’s term for a socio-political order that flunks the “town square” test: People are too frightened to speak their mind in public spaces because they fear retribution. A victim of Soviet tyranny before emigrating to Israel, for Sharansky the consequences of free expression could be arrest, imprisonment, torture, and death. For us, the regime of political correctness, “cancel culture,” “microaggressions,” and “woke” commissars reinforces a similar repression, a “softer” one, as Tocqueville called it, but effective nonetheless in silencing dissent and promoting an illiberal progressive ideology.
Sharansky goes on to describe the consequences of living in a fear society, which typically comprises three groups: “true believers,” those who sincerely believe in the regime’s ideology; “dissidents,” those who oppose the regime and speak out against it; and “doublethinkers,” the majority who oppose the regime yet do not publicly express their opposition, particularly to outsiders.
Donald Trump’s political success has emboldened the conservative and Republican “doublethinkers” to express their opinions in the “town square” and challenge the domination that for several decades the progressives have enjoyed over political speech.
In Europe, hate speech laws and the absence of the legally recognized natural right to free speech that we enjoy allow the state to legally sanction or punish speech the EU doesn’t like. In contrast, here in the U.S. indirect methods of enforcement are more typically used. One method is to discredit and ostracize any alternative to progressive doctrine: “The most successful tyranny,” Harold Bloom wrote, “is not the one that uses force to assure uniformity but the one that removes the awareness of other possibilities, that makes it seem inconceivable that other ways are viable.”
Read more: Frontpage Mag
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