Laboratories of Autocracy

The 20th-century Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis once called the American states “laboratories of democracy”. But recently the red states have been experimenting with something else entirely.

In his 2018 book Reconstructing the Gospel, Christian minister Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove reflected on one of the paradoxes of religious fervor.

Even as we feel guilty about doing the things we know we ought not to do, and strive to do more of the good we want to do, our very worst sins are almost always things we know to be our Christian duty.

He illustrated the point with examples: the Crusades, the high priests who condemned Jesus, and the Southern “Redeemer” movement, whose violent terrorism ended Reconstruction and inaugurated Jim Crow.

Over and over, Christians support and participate in atrocious evil, not because we choose to do wrong, but because we think we’re doing the right thing — the righteous thing, even.

Not wanting to pick on Christianity, I’ll add some secular examples: the Reign of Terror, Mao’s Cultural Revolution, and the Bush administration’s torture policy. Wilson-Hartgrove is pointing to a human thing, not a uniquely Christian thing. Cruelty is often practiced by people who imagine themselves to be heroes.

Seekins-Crowe. I recalled Wilson-Hartgrove’s observation this week, when Rep. Kerri Seekins-Crowe‘s moving and highly emotional speech went viral.

Seekins-Crowe gave the speech in March, during the debate over Montana’s new law banning gender-affirming care for minors. (The bill passed and was signed Friday by Governor Greg Gianforte.) The main argument against the bill was that it would cost lives. (We’ll get to Rep. Zooey Zephyr’s “blood on your hands” comment later on.) Teens struggling with their gender identity have a high suicide rate; gender-affirming care is often an attempt to save their lives. So banning it may well increase teen suicides.

Seekins-Crowe did not shy away from that argument. She did not scoff at it or trivialize it, but took the bull by the horns. She explained that she had lived for three years with a suicidal daughter, and so she knows that some things are more important than saving your child’s life.

That seems like a brutal summation of her words, so I feel obligated to quote her at length and provide a video.

One of the big issues that we have heard today and we’ve talked about lately is that without surgery the risk of suicide goes way up. Well, I am one of those parents who lived with a daughter who was suicidal for three years. Someone once asked me, “Wouldn’t I just do anything to help save her?” And I really had to think. And the answer was, “No.”

I was not going to give in to her emotional manipulation, because she was incapable of making those decisions and I had to make those decisions for her. I was not going to let her tear apart my family and I was not going to let her tear apart me, because I had to be strong for her. I had to have a vision for her life when she had none, when she was incapable of having [one].

I was lost. I was scared. I spent hours on the floor in prayer. Because I didn’t know that when I woke up if my daughter was going to be alive or not. But I knew that I had to make those right decisions for her so that she would have a precious, successful adulthood.

Monstrous as it is, I can’t watch that video without feeling Seekins-Crowe’s sincerity. She believes what she is saying, and believes that letting her daughter suffer for three years was the right thing to do. (I have no idea how that story came out. After three years, did the daughter stop being suicidal, or just reach adulthood?) And now, she believes that passing this law is the right thing to do. I have little doubt that she would describe it as her Christian duty.

That speech is, I think, an almost perfect distillation of the authoritarian mindset: People who see the world differently than I do are deluded, so I have to be strong enough to make their decisions for them, even if it kills them.

There is, of course, room for debate about when parents ought to overrule their children’s desires. Nearly every parent, at some time or another, has forced a toddler to go to bed, or refused to let one eat all the candy. Those calls get harder as children grow, and I don’t know any clear rule about when someone is old enough to make their own decisions about gender-affirming medical interventions.

But now Seekins-Crowe has taken the next step, and is making “right decisions” for all the parents in Montana, particularly those who might not be “strong” enough to ignore their children’s anguish, or sure enough of their own convictions to close their ears to whatever their children might say. Those “weak” parents need a strong government, full of strong people like Seekins-Crowe herself.

Providing that strength is her Christian duty.

Watching Seekins-Crowe’s speech makes me realize that conservative leaders like Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis have spoiled me, because their villainy is so direct and uncomplicated. I have no doubt that Trump knows he is a grifter, and that he is consciously taking advantage of the people who support him. Likewise, DeSantis knows that critical race theory is not a thing, and that Florida’s librarians and grade school teachers are not grooming children for pedophilia.

If everyone on the other side were like that, life would be simple. But instead the world is full of Abrahams whose willingness to sacrifice Isaac makes them feel closer to their God.

What can we do with them?

I don’t have an answer for that question, so I’m just going to continue talking about the Montana legislature, and red-state governments in Texas and Florida that also gave us insight into authoritarianism this week.

Zooey Zephyr. One thing authoritarians don’t do is tolerate dissent, particularly from people they deem inferior. A few weeks ago, the Tennessee House decided not to tolerate Justin Jones and Justin Pearson, who are Black. The Justins delayed the business of the House for an hour or so by encouraging pro-gun-control demonstrators in the gallery, so they were expelled from office. But the people of their districts put them right back.

This week, the Republican supermajority in the Montana House did something similar to Zooey Zephyr, a trans woman (whose adulthood, in Seekins-Crowe’s terms, must not be “precious” or “successful”). On April 18, during debate on the bill banning gender-affirming care for minors (and several other anti-trans bills), she was blunt:

This body should be ashamed. If you vote yes on this bill and yes on these amendments I hope the next time there’s an invocation, when you bow your heads in prayer, you see the blood on your hands.

In response, the ironically-named Freedom Caucus in the Montana House called for “his” censure because of that “threatening” comment. Majority Leader Sue Vinton responded directly (and self-righteously) to the “shame” comment:

We will not be shamed by anyone in this chamber. We are better than that.

The censure resolution was not immediately taken up, but the Speaker refused to recognize Rep. Zephyr when she rose to speak, and said that he would not do so until Zephyr apologized, which she refused to do.

Last Monday, hundreds of pro-Zephyr demonstrators came to the Capitol. When Zephyr rose and was ignored, they loudly chanted “Let her speak.” The Speaker still did not recognize Zephyr, and the House ground to a halt for half an hour until the demonstrators could be removed. On his way to jail, one demonstrator explained:

In this country you don’t get many rights but one of the things you do get is an elected representative, and 11,000 Montanans are waiting for Zooey Zephyr to speak for them, to represent the interest of trans people in the state who belong in the state as well. It’s not just … the old white men who run the show over here. It’s every single person. Montana is big enough for all of us, and I think it has space for all of us.

Republicans have since inaccurately described the demonstrations as “violent” and “an insurrection”. (I commented two weeks ago on the Right’s practice of breaking words that have been used against them. Ever since January 6 they have been trying to break insurrection through misuse. It falls flat to claim that January 6 was merely a “protest”, so they have been characterizing any liberal protest as an insurrection.)

Zephyr was blamed for this breech of “decorum” (the same offense charged against the Justins). So she was banned from the House floor for the remainder of the session (which ends May 5). The resolution banning her did not also bar her from serving on committees, but all the committees she serves on then had their remaining meetings cancelled.

Like the Justins, Zephyr returned home to a large rally of her supporters. (Remember: “Large” means something different in Montana, where each House district has only about 11,000 people.) Since the legislature only meets in odd-numbered years, her term is effectively over. But she’ll be running for reelection in 2024.

Universities. Another thing authoritarians do not tolerate is an alternative source of institutional authority. That’s why the current crop of red-state authoritarians is working so hard to bring the universities under control. Universities do not wield power directly, but they are recognized sources of authoritative opinion. So they cannot be allowed to remain independent.

A number of German words have already made it into the American vocabulary — zeitgeist, schadenfreude, realpolitik, gestalt, wanderlust. Well, it’s time to learn another one: gleichschaltung, whose root words mean “same circuit”. Originally an engineering term translated as “coordination” or “synchronization”, gleichschaltung was adapted in the 1930s to describe the process of unifying German society and culture under Nazi ideology. Simply controlling the national government wasn’t good enough; the kind of German renewal the Nazis promised could only be accomplished by a unified society whose institutions all pulled in the same direction. So local governments, corporations, unions, professional associations, universities, social clubs, and youth organizations all needed “coordination”.

This week, Texas took a step towards its own gleichschaltung when its Senate passed SB-18, which would eliminate tenure in the state’s universities.

An institution of higher education may not grant an employee of the institution tenure or any type of permanent employment status.

Current tenured faculty are grandfathered in, but no new tenured appointments would be made after September 1. The Texas Tribune claims that the bill “faces an uphill battle at the Texas House”, so perhaps Texas’ university system will be spared for another term or two.

The argument for the bill is primarily political, not educational.

[Lieutenant Governor Dan] Patrick’s push to end tenure in Texas started more than a year ago after some University of Texas at Austin professors passed a nonbinding resolution defending their academic freedom to teach about issues like racial justice. The resolution came as Republicans hinted that they wanted to extend restrictions on how race is discussed in K-12 classrooms, which were approved by the Texas Legislature in 2021, to the state’s public universities.

The resolution outraged Patrick, who accused university professors of “indoctrinating” students with leftist ideas and argued that the state must stop awarding tenure because faculty with the benefit don’t face any repercussions for it.

But that’s precisely the justification for tenure: It allows academics to do their jobs without worrying about offending the politicians currently in power. In a liberal democracy, universities are not supposed to be “coordinated” with the ruling party.

Florida is another state trying to synchronize its educational institutions with government ideology. Governor DeSantis’ Stop WOKE Act created a list of ideas that cannot be taught in Florida public schools, including the state universities. The part affecting the universities has been blocked by a federal judge, whose ruling says:

The First Amendment does not permit the State of Florida to muzzle its university professors, impose its own orthodoxy of viewpoints, and cast us all into the dark.

But acts of the legislature are only one path to gleichschaltung. The governor also has executive power to appoint trustees to university boards. DeSantis’ new trustees are in the process of coordinating New College in Sarasota. At a recent meeting, all five faculty members up for tenure — including three in the supposedly apolitical hard sciences — were rejected, and the faculty chair (who had been broadly criticized for being too accommodating to the new regime) quit.

Disney. I mentioned corporations in the list of things that need to be synchronized with the ruling ideology. Well, after DeSantis passed his Don’t Say Gay law, Disney had the temerity to put out a statement saying that it opposed the law and would continue to work against it through the systems our constitution provides for reversing government actions:

Our goal as a company is for this law to be repealed by the legislature or struck down in the courts, and we remain committed to supporting the national and state organizations working to achieve that.

All in all, it was pretty tepid stuff, but it marked Disney as a company not marching to the DeSantis drum. That led DeSantis to strike at Disney in ways that fell comically flat: A bill to dissolve the special taxing district around Disney World had to be undone when nearby counties noticed they might wind up responsible for about $1 billion in bonds the district had outstanding. Then DeSantis announced a takeover of the board that oversees the district, but was again outsmarted by an agreement Disney signed with the outgoing board.

Now DeSantis is trying to get the legislature to nullify that agreement, and Disney decided it had had enough: It filed a federal lawsuit claiming that DeSantis is illegally retaliating against Disney for speech protected by the First Amendment.

There is no room for disagreement about what happened here: Disney expressed its opinion on state legislation and was then punished by the State for doing so. … This is as clear a case of retaliation as this Court is ever likely to see. …

It is a clear violation of Disney’s federal constitutional rights—under the Contracts Clause, the Takings Clause, the Due Process Clause, and the First Amendment—for the State to inflict a concerted campaign of retaliation because the Company expressed an opinion with which the government disagreed. … In America, the government cannot punish you for speaking your mind.

The reason there’s “no room for disagreement” is that DeSantis didn’t just announce in public that he was abusing state power to punish Disney for making a political statement, he wrote about it in his book. DeSantis clearly could have benefited from the class Stringer Bell taught in The Wire:

Is you taking notes on a criminal f**king conspiracy? What the f**k is you thinking, man?

DeSantis’ defense of his actions is that Disney’s control of the special taxing district around Disney World is an inappropriate merging of state and corporate power, so he is right to take it away. And in the abstract, that may even be true. But legal and even reasonable exercises of government power become unconstitutional when they are used to punish speech protected by the First Amendment, as these actions clearly were.

David French looked up the appropriate legal precedent: O’Hare Towing Service v City of Northlake (1996). Speaking for a 7-2 majority, Justice Kennedy wrote:

If the government could deny a benefit to a person because of his constitutionally protected speech or associations, his exercise of those freedoms would in effect be penalized and inhibited. Such interference with constitutional rights is impermissible.

But in spite of the governing precedent, French is still not entirely sure how the case will come out.

At the beginning of this piece, I said that DeSantis should lose, not that he will lose. Court outcomes are never completely certain, but this much is correct: A Disney defeat would represent a dangerous reversal in First Amendment jurisprudence and cast a pall of fear over private expression.

French is afraid, in other words, that gleichschaltung may already have reached the Supreme Court.

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  • Professor Tom  On May 1, 2023 at 10:36 am

    Consistent with my earlier expressed views on a desire for compromise let me add as a historian a viewpoint on genders.

    As a “historian” I wanted to see what ancient thoughts were on issues of gender and sexuality.

    The oldest human records passed down orally for at least 20,000 years, and recorded 4,000 years ago first on birch bark in Sanskrit was the Rig Vedas, where also the precession of the equinoxes was already known.

    This is long before Hipparchus a second century greek philosopher later calculated the precession of the equinoxes.

    The Vedas also already mention the concept of a third gender, the language itself attributes male, female and a third gender to every noun, pul-Ling (male), stri-Ling (female) and napunsak-Ling (third gender).

    Only in the early 1600’s Rene Descartes stated that the mind was non-physical and permeated the whole body, but that the mind and body interacted via the pineal gland.

    The pineal gland produces melatonin, this is a serotonin-derived hormone which then modulates sleep patterns in both circadian and seasonal sleep patterns.

    The circadian clock machinery in the brain encodes seasonal changes based on the amount of daylight hours, we discovered in 2015 only.

    The amount of science that exist in Indian and other older cultures that was discarded as not consistent with religious belief based sciences in the past 2,500 years, are only now being exposed and should be researched further like we learned about acupuncture long ago from the Chinese.

    After a 20 year life time on jet lag it took me maybe two years before the circadian clock was again harmonized.

    We 8% who live in democratic countries, age regulate voting, driving, military service, abortion, alcohol consumption and whether a criminal can be prosecuted as an adult.

    Spain allows now a 16 year old to change the gender and name legally easily without parental consent, as such an action if there is later remorse can easily be corrected.

    Less than 10% of 12-17 and less than 6% of all citizens consider themselves gender wise or sexually to be different than the norm that the others claim when researched.

    Parents made decisions about bodily mutilation of children known as circumcision and depending on country, religion or culture this applies to both male and female genitals.

    Small children can’t give legal consent to sex thus statutory rape laws attempt to address this differently if the other party is almost the same age or much older.

    The suicidal impulse is one factor to take into account both if a young child under parental consent rules refuse hormonal or surgical help but likewise if remorse as an adult these actions causes suicide.

    Seems like once again a compromise rather than polarization could arrive at solutions minimizing both situations.

    Acceptance and inclusion of a desire to be different by any fellow human I feel should be as humane as accepting the right of every human to speak freely.

    What say you?

  • Robert Manning  On May 1, 2023 at 11:09 am

    Doug, Thanks for such an intelligent piece. As a philosopher in Holocaust Studies, one Nazi concept I feel our culture really would need to take in and understand deeply is *Gleischalltung. *That word occured to me as Trump supporters in town right after the election and before it was decided drove around Quincy in their pickups writing down the addresses of people with Biden signs in their yards. We have so many things in common and I really respect what you are and have been doing with your important blog or whatever you would call it. I was in Romania the last time you were in town. Hopefully I will be here next time and I hope we can find some time to talk! all best, Rob M.

    • Professor Tom  On May 1, 2023 at 11:40 am

      Rob M – we should indeed all stand up for the right to freedom of speech in the spirit of Voltaire that “I do not agree with what you may say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it”.

      Sadly Arthur Schopenhauer was right saying that truth passes through three stages before it’s recognized 1 First it’s ridiculed 2 then it’s violently opposed and 3 it’s regarded as self-evident.

      More sadly also Friedrich Nietzsche was right determining that all things are subject to interpretation and what prevails is a function of power and not truth.

      In essence we all have lived and still live a 2,500 years of history written for us by those in power – the victors of wars.

      In my 20 years of history language research while Proto-Finnic-Sanskrit (PFS) was the first spoken language and is today closest in Lithuanian, the advantage that the writing system of greek had a huge advantage with an alphabet with also vowels, compared to the Abugida and Abjad writing systems of Sanskrit and Aramaic, that then gave the Abrahamic religions truths an advantage over Brahmin Vedic Hinduism.

      Like control of Social media now.

      That is the history we all live the results of today – which is very unfortunate if you were one of the people colonized like my own serf-slave ancestors were, by the Swedish and then the Russian autocrats.

      Not to mention Africans, Americans, Asians and Indians of course.

  • susanmbrewer  On May 1, 2023 at 5:31 pm

    This was a particularly effective post. I go back and forth between lamenting the venality of people like Trump, deSantis, Greene, Gaetz, Boebert, etc and questioning how it can be that millions apparently idolize them or at least agree with their actions. This gave me a framework for thinking about the latter group. Now I need something for the bundles of outrage spewing garbage on various social media outlets and holiday family dinners.

    • Professor Tom  On May 1, 2023 at 6:10 pm

      We are one country – divided – and simply demeaning the “other side” will not serve our country – we need state-figures in both side negotiating trying to find compromises that 65% can agree to.

  • Creigh Gordon  On May 1, 2023 at 9:47 pm

    “Theocracy is the worst of all governments. If we must have a tyrant, a robber baron is far better than an inquisitor. The baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity at some point be sated; and since he dimly knows he is doing wrong he may possibly repent. But the inquisitor who mistakes his own cruelty and lust of power and fear for the voice of Heaven will torment us infinitely because he torments us with the approval of his own conscience and his better impulses appear to him as temptations.”

    C. S. Lewis

  • Lan Mosher  On May 2, 2023 at 12:29 am

    I spent a life time promoting understanding and creating peace, but I do not see this attack on everyone’s freedom ending until those mounting it are in jail or dead in the streets.  If our justice systems continue to fail, how long will it take for those who would rather be dead than slaves to right wing idolatry, to result to vigilantism? Our daily new has become a horror show!

    • Professor Tom  On May 2, 2023 at 12:38 am

      Hate and violence is a bad remedy for anything – use the law – once civil war starts both sides loose Finland 1917 showed that

  • dp  On May 2, 2023 at 5:39 pm

    To think that congress is having hearings on the weaponization of government by the Democrats, when Florida and Disney are exactly what those hearings should be about.

    • Professor Tom  On May 2, 2023 at 7:10 pm

      Regardless who voters put in charge or when in congress it was the mechanism of oversight awarded with such election – no harm in either investigating – if targets are innocent or guilty is a function of answers under oath .


  • josh  On May 3, 2023 at 9:50 pm

    Perhaps it is the nature of fighting great evil that lesser evil must be allowed to flourish. That’s how it feels with Trump and the woke left. You have to ignore the woke illiberalism to fight the Trumpism, apparently.

    But this is untenable. The woke left undermines the core value of liberalism, which is tolerance, diversity and acceptance by preaching vendetta, retribution, and a general transfer of wealth and power from the haves to the have nots, a designation based on race, and other factors that THEY will determine. This astonishing position validates the notion of “race war” that right-wing extremists have been pushing for. It is utter insanity and it makes me very uncomfortable that this stuff can’t seem to be dealt with, or even get on the table, especially as it badly weakens the good, positive liberalism that drives this country toward more freedom for more people, and not the illiberal woke bs that treats freedom as a zero sum game that now needs to be turned against whites. (White men anyway, since so much of this seems driven by very angry young white women).

    The woke argument is so terrible, and it’s so common, and the amount of energy liberals will expend to NOT fight against it is extraordinary. Personally I’ll fight illiberalism everywhere I find it. Liberals need to wake up to the illiberalism within their ranks, as well as fight the rather more obvious illiberalism of the GOP.

    • Prof Tom  On May 3, 2023 at 10:22 pm

      Like grandma said – two wrongs don’t make one right

    • weeklysift  On May 5, 2023 at 10:41 am

      Josh: Can you name an actual person who is making the “woke left” argument you describe? I can’t think of anyone.

      • Josh  On May 5, 2023 at 7:02 pm

        Ibram X Kendi’s book “Antiracism” makes this argument. He argues that if you’re not actively discriminating against white people and for black people, you’re not good enough. Being “not racist” isn’t good enough. In order to be an “ally”, you must be “anti-racist”, which in practice means taking things away from whites and giving them to blacks. (This has been generalized to other identity pairs. Women > men, straight > gay, cis > trans… This is the “victim olympics” part of the argument.)

        Another book, “White Fragility”, explains in great detail why whites who push back on any part of this idea are actively racist. (This term is the precise equivalent of “Trump Derangement Syndrome”, and is used in precisely the same way).

        These positions may have had more nuance originally, but have since degenerated, Animal Farm “4 legs good 2 legs bad” style. Here is a tik tok compilation of woke people espousing the degenerate view:

        Here is an article about one black woman’s experience running afoul of the new orthodoxy:

        There is a great book by John McWhorter (who’s black) called Woke Racism that does a far better job of dissecting the tenets of the movement and traces it back to their origins, and expressing the illiberalism within these movements. You should read it.

        As a person just living the world, I’ve noticed some shifts in how people talk about white people, especially white men. It is now socially acceptable to say attack white people and men, and it is not socially acceptable for white people and men to object at any level. There is no negative reaction which is considered valid. Anecdotally, the woke perspective is dehumanizing.

      • weeklysift  On May 6, 2023 at 5:52 am

        I’ve read Kendi’s book, and it says nothing of the kind. A couple of years ago I wrote a post examining the smear of “critical race theory”, and I summed up anti-racism in these points, all of which are true:

        A culture’s fundamental assumptions get baked into institutions, laws, economic structures, and traditions that live on, even after those assumptions are no longer explicitly taught.
        For centuries, American culture explicitly promoted race-based rules and racial stereotypes that marginalized non-Whites, and made it either difficult or impossible for them to achieve positions of authority and influence, or even of equality with White Americans.
        The structures created during those centuries are still with us, and participating in them maintains the effects of historical racism. Present-day Americans need not consciously hold racist beliefs to uphold a racist system.
        Because their personal experiences do not confront them with the injustices of systemic racism, White Americans have a hard time noticing these injustices, which simply seem like “normal life” to them.
        Unless systemic racism is brought to conscious awareness and actively countered, it will endure.

      • Josh  On May 6, 2023 at 9:20 am

        “I’ve read Kendi’s book, and it says nothing of the kind.” You speak with objective certainty that isn’t justified. I’m not the only one who think it says that, not even the only liberal who thinks it says that. Did you read the rest of my post? Did you also read Woke Racism? Do you think John McWhorter is smearing Kendi and “CRT”?

        Racism is real, systematic racism is real. It’s an enormous (and unjustified) leap to assert that the only way to address it is more, opposite racism. Systems grow and change over time. They are complex. Affirmative action on steroids is intuitively appealing but has serious problems. Forget about the impact on white people, fine. Let’s discard those fragile white people’s pitiful egos. Think about the impact on black people. Being told they can’t do it without extra help, that they’ve been victimized that they are owed by the world. Don’t you see how toxic that is for an individual’s mindset? It’s infantilizing , minimizing. Any achievement you attain is now questionable. Did you earn it, or was it given to you, essentially out of pity?

        McWhorter’s book focuses on the way the woke movement is like religion, admitting no criticism and creating new heresy. He focuses on the way it harms black people in particular. You people are so sure you’re right, so sure you know history, have a narrative that fits, and a fix that will work. Enough to attack people and ostracize those who disagree, or who point out there are other options.

        The parallels with Trumpism are eerie. It’s just the details of the narrative and the solution are different.

      • Professor Tom  On May 6, 2023 at 11:08 am

        Grandma told me two wrongs does not make one right and that was true wisdom.

        The prevailing illusion is that there is a left and a right like when Republican Teddy Roosevelt broke up Standard Oil of powerful Rockefeller and showed there is right and wrong.

        As a historian looking at what got us here Republican Nixon opening Communist China not tying trade to advancing democratic freedoms beyond opening up but possibly impacting successor to Mao to allowing farmers to sell excess goods in markets i saw 1977 visiting on a Finnic passport.

        That only today Apple is slowly considering moving production of its iPhone from a Nazi Commie Fascist dictatorship where concentration camps filled with dissidents, Falun and Uighur harvesting their body parts for sale to the Americans and Europeans is a result of our own orange monster exposing China as the center of Axis of evil.

        We can equally blame left and right for the mess we are in but before we all accept the fact it’s the elite against the rest we can’t correct it.

        As is historian I’m trying to do my tiny part in my recent book the Doomsday Glacier to expose how the past 2,500 years we’ve been all lied to and divided for the elite to conquer us.

        Our “western civilization” starts with the Greek written language 4,000 years ago being superior to Sanskrit and Aramaic because it had an alphabet with both consonants and vowels beating all others who did not. This is also when the Abrahamic three religions got started.

        Kind of a moment when talkies took over from Charlie Chaplin in movies.

        We were not told before DNA study 2001 that the Greeks were not Mediterraneans but Ethiopian Sub-Saharans. Like we 2017 were told Finnic people were not Europeans but by being longer than 50,000 year isolated by the Barents Sea their totally own species.

        If Greeks were originated by Black Africans maybe also the “idol worshipping ancestors of Abraham” were black?

        Harder to colonize and enslave people based on color of their skin if that truth came out? But not impossible as relative of British royalty the Tsar of Russia showed when 1809 colonizing enslaving Finnic people after first German descendant Swedish King Erik, in collusion with Catholic British Bishop Henry 1153 on orders by the pope colonized Finnic people.

        By fighting menial issues distracting from the true – elite vs we the people – we are all the stooges ready for slaughter.

        First truth must get out of being lied to over 2,500 years then based on this knowledge build new future together instead of focusing on punishing today those who had nothing to do with all bad things done yesterday.

        Did you know oldest Vedic knowledge had 3 genders ? Or that Slavery of black people started by Muslim Egyptian General selling black women into fellow Muslim harems and live castrated black boys as eunuchs to watch them? That bringing true religion to heathens justified colonizing while true reason was benefitting from resources of raw material and labor to start with?

        Let’s use the climate crisis to be the catalyst regardless of its cause.

        Let’s buy Sahara from 10 countries now not much using it. Then bring up the water that exist underneath in abundance. Lets plant alternating organic food for the whole world and trees to replace Amazon and absorb all CO 2 while providing jobs for 2.5 billion Africans when we are soon 10 billion on earth so they don’t have to migrate out.

        Let’s after compensating farmers elsewhere share the success by giving more to people once enslaved or killed in genocides of as minorities of any kind being mistreated in the past.

        Malala Sahara Garden project seems as proper name, uniting we the 10 billion people.

  • josh  On May 7, 2023 at 7:59 am

    Doug, I feel that insane, long comments degrade what could otherwise be a useful discussion. Please consider moderating those away. Thanks.

  • Eric L  On May 7, 2023 at 6:23 pm

    Wilson-Hartgrove raises an excellent point, but I think it’s one of those things where if you can only recognize how righteousness blinds *other people* to the cruelty they are justifying, perhaps you’d be better if you just hadn’t learned this lesson at all. The real lesson is that it is hard to recognize when you are the monster when you are caught up in the fight against monsters. The trans issue brings out righteousness on both sides and should be examined skeptically because of this. We have two dueling won’t-someone-please-think-of-the-children moral panics, one side focused on the absolute urgency of an at this point experimental cure for gender dysphoria (studies are inconsistent on whether transition prevents suicides), while the other side sees urgency in stopping gender dysphoria at the source, which is, who knows, drag shows maybe? While I can’t recommend the conservative hysteria, the approach of saying “we must do something our kids lives are in danger” and then having no concerns whatsoever about why gender dysphoria is becoming more common in the first place (and why teen suicides are going up) seems inconsistently hysterical to me. I’m really not sure how we will look back on this in twenty years. I suspect things will move in a pro-trans direction generally but some crazier specifics will be forgotten about. I suspect one thing the left is being cruel about is what is effectively suicidal ideation as a political activism technique — this isn’t good for anyone, especially trans kids. (Imagine a world where we constantly talked about “life saving Xanax” and otherwise stressed that people with anxiety were pretty much guaranteed to kill themselves if they didn’t get the right treatment — you think suicides among people with anxiety disorders might be higher?) In general the left can engage in a lot of blatant emotional abuse if it looks like activism with the right politics, but this is its own kind of cruelty.


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