I think it was fifteen years ago now that Classical Values coined the term “Cold Civil war.”
At the time I read it, it immediately clicked in my brain as “oh. Precisely. This is what it is.”
I could see immediately the same patterns as we saw it in Europe in the seventies and eighties, as the Soviets — through puppets — had taken over the schools, publishing, and all instruments of culture, and all those of us who opposed communism had as options was keeping our heads down, shutting up, and seething internally. Oh, there was also and increasingly the option of malicious compliance. Which we engaged in with much vigor and enthusiasm.
The victories of the Soviet Union were everywhere. Partly because everything that happened was treated as a victory. And the bad things that the Soviets did were never reported in the press. You might know the Soviets — via their Cuban mercenaries — were beating Africa like a rented mule, raping it like the wife of the defeated and despoiling it like a jewelry store in a riot zone, but you couldn’t say it in public. For one it would be as uncouth as farting in church. For another, because farting in church would probably be forgiven, but telling the truth about the Soviets in social, professional or academic circles, would never ever ever be forgiven. And anyone who heard you mention the unmentionable would do their best to destroy you. Because the alternate option would be for THEM to step away from the herd and become a target.
In addition, the Soviet Union used violence unapologetically, and quickly, which the US, on whom we must pin our hopes for freedom, apologized and begged forgiveness for any even half-hearted attempt to oppose Soviet aggression. Even under Reagan — who at least tried to make public stands and not apologize — the US was never the bold strider that the Soviet Union was. From the perspective of the nations in Europe, the Soviets were the strong horse. They were the way to bet. All the news of the world that we got to read said the result was foreordained.
This meant that a lot more of the cognoscenti, the people in the “best” classes and the “best” jobs claimed to be communist (or socialist) than the ones actually naturally attracted to this poisonous philosophy. You see, it gave you a patina of virtue, made you unfirable, and at the very least made you cool.
And yet, through all this grinding misery, the sense kept leaking — and people said I was crazy there too. And yes, sometimes I doubted myself, too — that all was not good, all was not sound on the Soviet side. The sense kept leaking in through that maybe, just maybe, there was no way for the US to lose. There was no way for freedom to lose.
Even I didn’t expect how fast, how peacefully the Soviet Union came apart. It came apart because it never worked, and it could only keep going by this massive pretense, this Potemkin appearance of power and prosperity. Because they needed to keep conquering and despoiling new lands to be able to keep going.
Once it became obvious that they would need to pay a price, they came apart.
Remember we did not have the internet. Remember also the dismount on the cold war was, to put it mildly, NOT well handled. And part of the reason it wasn’t well handled was the problem we’re now dealing with: the left had also penetrated the, for lack of a better term, culture-manufacturing sectors of America. So, the true bizarre horror that was the Soviet union was never heard of here. Oh, we heard bits and pieces. Most of the books about it STILL are either too dry or grim for me to read. And I’m an interested party.
And so, by fifteen years ago, I felt much like I was living in Europe in the seventies. Which is why the term fit.
Since then … since then things have gone more so, but at the same something happened that didn’t happen in the international cold war: They lost control of the information stream.
The USSR never lost control of that, arguably even as it collapsed internally and officially stopped existing. Or as we say around here, the snake is dead but the tail twitches.
But the tail has lot access to the levers of power, to overstretch the metaphor. It’s twitching madly trying to regain them, but they can’t.
Thing is though that one of the things they thoroughly infested is our democracy, from our bureaucracy to our voting mechanisms, to the point that they have power over us.
And they’re terrified. They’re so terrified that I’m wondering how deep the sewer is, and how dirty everyone involved in this is. I know in a couple of places they can’t reform. They’ll die first, because the alternative is they’re dead anyway, or worse, they have to part with everything they’ve been and everything they believe.
Which means they’re trying to regain control by all means possible and being increasingly aggressive and stupid about their aggression. Which, in retrospect, is another parallel with the USSR before the fall.
As a parenthetical comment, the reason they’re collapsing is partly the reason the USSR collapsed. Turns out when what you’re choosing for is compliance and ideological conformity, you don’t choose people who can keep the lights on in civilization. When you value fake science that confirms your prejudices over real science, you end up not being able to run a technological civilization.
But it is the snake flopping around and looking for levers and trying for a desperate win after it’s defanged….
There are several reasons I wish actual violence would wait until we had time to do more work on the “back panel” of the culture. We have — despite everything — been turning the culture around. Which is part of the reason they are desperate.
The problem is that with the disarray in the culture, a lot of the people just have the gut feeling (and experience) that everything the left pushes is wrong. But they have nothing to replace it with, and therefore just turn whatever the left says on its head and says the opposite is true.
This is just as effective a method to destroy civilization, or at least a civilization of free individuals. The left is a tumor on western civilization, but it is of our DNA. If you reject our DNA, we merely die (instead of the chemotherapy approach of merely going through very bad times by rejecting the tumor and isolating it, but living in the end.)
I’ve prayed this moment not come for at least another four years (our rebuilding of the culture is much faster than it looks, honest. Partly because it’s been 20 years in the making.)
Maybe we’ll get lucky. It looked impossible the cold war would end without major blood, particularly as the USSR lost the plot and flailed around.
But I would lie if I said I’m not nervous about Virginia. Tap dancing on a powder barrel is dangerous, particularly when the powder barrel has connections all over the world — everyone, everywhere is fed up with the left. If the signal goes up, I’m afraid it all blows at once — and when the people who might replace it don’t even understand the values of Western civilization. Or at least no more than the left does. (Not their fault. They got no real education, but still…)
What I’m hoping against hope is that the anti-left side doesn’t fire the first shot. (If they do, it’s entirely possible the left can put them down in public opinion and destroy all opposition, in which case say hello to president Bernie.)
Which means I’m hoping that the people there are alert to infiltrators and agents provocateurs. I’m going to say right now that if a pregnant woman gets shot, it will be infiltrator/communist action. (It became almost a joke in Europe in the seventies. If someone opposed leftists with violence, a pregnant woman was ALWAYS shot, and then waved like a bloody shirt. It is one of the reasons I’m 90% sure that Kent State was an action by communist agent provocateurs.)
Perhaps this too shall pass. And we’ll get a few years to turn the culture around. Because this can’t continue, and the left can’t retain a state of hysteria that long.
Also because I think if Trump gets a second term, the stuff that comes out will discredit the left forever. Honestly — for those of you who are going to bay at me that we need to shoot NOW — before we start the music, we should consider how HARD the left has been trying to stampede us into initiating violence. I think they might — correctly — believe that’s their last hope.
It is always a bad idea to do what the enemy is trying to — openly — get you to do.
Because if the left gets us to start this, they will almost certainly will. We’ll have played into their hands with “unhinged right wingers.” To the extent they still have any power it is the emotive power of the news/entertainment complex and the people who believe in it.
And what comes next will turns us inside out, to non-functional and irrecoverable.
So, keep cool, keep thinking. Sure, self defense is a thing. And if it comes to that, well, it comes to that.
But keep your booger hook off the bangstick until and unless they start it.
They’re not engaging in provocations because they’re winning. They’re not screaming and trying to cancel you because they’re strong. They’re not letting the masks drop because they’re confident of victory.
If we can keep going through the squalls the left creates, we will win, they lose.
But I never promised you a rose garden, or that there would be no flare ups.
Heck, the international cold war was full of them.
I’m writing this on the night of the 19th. And I’ll be praying for Virginia, and praying that however it turns out, the cause of liberty comes through.
And it’s all I can do right now.