Tyranny, Utopia and the Challenge of Our Time.

Life is made interesting because it is shaped by interlocking bits of change. Notable is that, while we can surmise where the process begins, we cannot be certain about its path or where the journey terminates.

A further problem with the change that alters our existence is that it is difficult to guess which one of its bits is trivial and which one signals a new era.

Typically, if the intellectual capacity is there to ascertain that life is being altered, the craving grows for certainty regarding the destination. Insecurity arises when transformations are seen as a threat and not as a door to opportunity.

The unknown, being unknowable, produces insecurity, and that anxiety awakens the appetite for palliative reassurance. Therefore, once we dread what we cannot know, we harbor a “fear of the future”.
In response, we develop comprehensive theories. These might not predict accurately the unpredictable; nevertheless, they satisfy our desire for comfort.

The modern world is characterized by an acceleration of “within-the-generation change”. The phrasing tells that change is not limited to separating generations, but that the contemporary nust abandon what had become familiar, acquire skills to replace antiquated ones, and to change his location. Briefly, within a lifetime, we live through several futures and we learn that the “tomorrow” can overwhelm us today. The insecurity and the craving for stability provoke reactive “secular ideologies”.

National Socialism, Fascism (they are not identical) and the oldest of the trio, Communism, are secular but fake religion-like responses to what the infected identify as their time’s challenge. Such ideologies share common elements. All spot an evil power outside of the community of the virtuous (nation, religion, ethnicity, class). This force is a scourge that ravages the “decent”, meaning “us”. It strives to take what is “ours” and from accessing what we deserve. At the end of the road, marked by an inevitable violent struggle, predestined victory awaits. It brings an ideal, problem-free global order that unites mankind.

Our materialistic era is no fertile soil for models of deliverance that emphasize traditional religion. Here Islamism is a notable exception. However, unlike most religions, radical Islam is not otherworldly as it claims power over political structures and advocates violence to prevail. Unlike secular religions, Islamism puts less emphasis on a break with the past than do the latter. What it wishes to build is not a utopia as the future. It meets the future by proclaiming that there is no future worth having unless it is a continuation of a resurrected past. This future is the globalized world of a 7th century man. The resulting struggle will lead to redemption. That requires that the original virtue, resisted by Unbelievers marked for destruction, become the lived existence of mankind united under the guiding “select”.

Redeeming ideologies that sort out the past, explain the present, and that pretend to be blueprints for the future, need not to be objectively right. “Racial Science” was an imbecility. Nation-related tales that promise grandeur if the traits of the group are preserved, tout a glory that few outsiders can confirm. Keeping old to be projected into the future ignores that, as circumstances change, coping requires alterations. Marx’ prediction that the masses will keep getting poorer until their “immiseration” forces them to revolt, might have been plausible in the 19th century. However, the modern era proves the forecast invalid. Yet, to Marxists, Marxism remains a “science” –and may therefore not be doubted where its prophets that carry guns rule.

Ideologies do not explain reality by shedding light on the forces that determine life’s contours. Not surprisingly, the message’s “slight” inaccuracies have not led to a revision of the original Marx. Much rather, the hiatus between the teaching and reality is filled with excuses. The real purpose of ideology is not an explanation of the forces that shape reality. What the believers of the credo crave for is its function as an opiate. Since this means that an escape from reality is desired, this trait explains why a rational discussion with true believers is unlikely to have sober results. Telling addicts that the good feeling created by their obsession is self-deceit, will not heal the infected. The patient does not wish to be cured; he feels good within the cocoon shared with the like-minded that confirm the correctness of his ways.

It is “human nature” to suspect the unknown and to wish for the permanency of our condition –at the expense of a promising risky future. With the unfolding of the modern era around the Atlantic, our fears have nurtured movements that responded by rejecting the material and the psychological challenges of an evolving world. This could mean an attempt to keep matters as they were in an idealized past. Alternatively to fleeing into the past were those movements that stipulated a stable utopia, devoid of “injustice” and with an effortless good life for all.

In real life, the promised utopias proved to be prisons and the way to them hell –proven by the slaughtered along the wayside. If we would be rational beings, then the snake-oil ideologies of bliss would, especially after the USSR’s collapse, not sell.

Confirming the postulated irrationality of our nature to which the messages of redemption address themselves, a number of suppressive regimes exist. They promise to turn into a reality what their kind, at other places and at other times, has failed to deliver. Some of these, such as Cuba, are “reformist” survivors of the once “exemplary” Soviet system. China has harnessed the efficiency of capitalism, paired it with ethno-nationalism, and combines these with the oppressive potential of Marxism. The goal is to cope with the norms set by the world order without falling prey to its upheavals. Lastly, there is the pattern of “Bolivarian” Venezuela. There crude nationalism is in pursuit of a backward looking ideal with a revolutionary role to be financed by selling oil to the enemy. Astronomical inflation, empty shelves and crowds fleeing allow an evaluation of the model.

Are we defenseless against utopists that feel deputized to murder in the defense of a promised paradise whose appreciation is beyond the IQ of its captives? The difficulty for those caught within the compound run by murderous “redeemers” (the actual title of an African mutant) is that the fitting answer is a revolution. That is hard lifting against a system that claims endorsement by a future majority, and which has power over a disarmed society. Present-day Syria tells that story.

Utopian dictatorship enjoys considerable support by “certain circles” abroad. These extend supportive funds based on the pursued ideal’s claims rather than due to the record written on the ground.
All this makes it critical for the future that such regimes be opposed. Resistance depends on unmasking the good sounding ideas of modern tyranny. If the foundation of modern dictatorship is understood, and if the counterpunch is not softened by opportunism or laziness, then the dictatorial model is denied global dominance and so it will ultimately wither.

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