Tyranny of the Asylum

I came to realize, around February of 2021 that my experience, education, and knowledge ceased to help me explain the world, in terms of politics and geopolitics, a day before the U.S. election in November of 2020. If I look harder and I am very honest, I was likely out of my depth at the beginning of 2020. Frankly, I am not alone. Political pundits, armchair analysts that follow events on social media, geopolitical ‘experts’; all of these have gotten so much wrong. There are reasons for this; the closer one gets to the fire, the more likely one is to become confused; I explain below.

For my part, going into 2020 I believe I can say that only two things are true. First, ideologies of various flavors had a profound impact on attitudes, argumentation, and the use or disuse of logic and reason. Second, I am certain, positively certain, that I observed methodologies at play throughout 2020 and continuing to the present, methodologies associated with controlling perception and attitudes in a population; techniques generally used to affect political outcomes. [1] I have written often of those two observations, words that have never been popular with either ‘side’ of our current dialectic. It is obvious, clearly apparent, that neither ‘right’ nor ‘left’ have seen the world as it is, that both have been susceptible to the methodologies and each has succumbed to the trap of ideological thinking.

We must be clear, however. The above ought to not be construed to indicate that there exists no truth in all of this. There are Archimedean points that can be referenced, universal truth if you will. We are equipped with tools, some inherited via tradition, others gifted to us that should assist in our inquiries; common sense and reason. We have examples of history, nothing we have faced in the last eighteen months is that unique, it all relates to human nature and the flaws inherent in man. However, none of that is of any help whatsoever if one filters their search for truth and answers through their ideological bias, and actively consumes deceptions.


My entire argument below begins with the premise that bad philosophy begat bad ideology and a worldview that supplanted all tethers to ultimate truth. You cannot arrive in an age of absurdity and deception where most of the population has lost the ability to reason and think without first polluting the foundation. See The Rise of Absurdity in Western Philosophical and Political Views for the foundational argument.


If we can accept that the majority of the population, no matter their political identification, has fallen prey to paralysis by deception, that their common sense and reason no longer serve them it might then follow, in the minds of some that all are equally guilty; perhaps, and then again, perhaps not. The entire MAGA movement was and is very often absurd. Blind devotion to a man that never really espoused the values this group held in slogans as important is and was flawed. But MAGA was reactionary, a reaction to the visible and obvious threat presented by the numerous absurdities held as tenants by progressives.

I have intentionally not delved into the various subsets of each large camp above, ANTIFA, BLM, Q, etc., for two good reasons. First, those subsets, as vocal as they often are, do not represent the majority of either side. Second, those three groups (and more) are in my opinion constructs, not organic organizations but rather something created by somebody with the intention of propagating division and propaganda.

What is noteworthy is that neither ANTIFA and BLM on the progressive side nor Q on the ‘conservative’ side are complete pariahs within the larger groups. Affiliation may not be widely accepted, but the underlying ideas percolate far beyond affiliation on each side. “Reasonable” people on each side likely deny this fervently, but the observational data is there; those that deny such are not as reasonable as they like they believe themselves to be.

But this is not all ‘just the same’.  MAGA as a reactionary movement lacks a solid philosophical and ideological basis. It is fractured, confused, always attempting to counter-punch; the result of the failure of conservatism in America to espouse a true political philosophy. The same cannot be said of progressivism, not insofar as ideology goes. Progressives may struggle internally with the political philosophy they will eventually settle upon, but they are settled on an ideology.

If we accept that MAGA is reactionary and progressivism is ascendant; only a fool could look at the progression of events in the recently concluded culture war [2], shifting demographics, and many other factors and believe that true conservatism has any chance of a real resurgence – if we accept that, and if we accept that the progressive ideology is prevalent in culture, entertainment, education, politics and much of religion then it is proper to evaluate progressivism as our future and ignore neo-reactionaries.

Yes, progressives would disagree with the above, the more radicalized one is along the spectrum of change the more they would disagree. I am not referencing minor counter-punches by neo-reactionaries, nor of the last vestiges of the old hegemony that progressives would like to tear asunder – of course, some of that exists. If, however, we speak only of major trends and extrapolate those, well – yes, only a fool denies the ascendancy of progressivism in the big picture.

There are numerous issues and points of public policy that we could provide as examples of just how far divorced from reason the ascendant worldview has become but recent events in Texas and the counter-reaction and argumentation among progressives provide the most succinct and poignant example.

The Abortion Argument as an Example

Consider if you will the Texas Heartbeat Act, variously called “radical’, “repressive”, “tyrannical” among just some of the terms one might find in mainstream media articles written about the law. In essence, the law merely allows various people involved with performing or enabling an abortion of an unborn child in the womb with a heartbeat to be sued. A heartbeat is often present at about six weeks. It does not outlaw abortion; it does not assign criminal penalties for those that terminate the life of a child with a heartbeat and it does not hold the woman that solicits the act accountable criminally or civilly. The law leaves much to be desired by those that oppose abortion; but in the mainstream, it is ‘radical’.

For much of human history, a heartbeat is a sign of life. We still declare individuals to be deceased solely on the cessation of cardiac function. We could, and many do, devolve the conversation from ‘life’ to citizenship. This is unnecessary confusion. We know that with a separate heartbeat, there are two lives present, with one voice. The unborn child is not a ‘full’ citizen, with all the accompanying rights, but the most basic protections of our law must apply. This is reasonable. It is not only a “Christian” perspective, it is not radical. The mother has citizenship, she has responsibility and if a choice between her life and the life of the child is at play, her voice gets to speak. But the unborn child, by nature of possessing life, a heartbeat, immediately possesses the most fundamental rights our system of laws provides, the right to life.

The above is not complex, it is not controversial even in the scope of history – it is reasonable and rational. The symbiotic relationship between mother and child means several things (the child is not going to be counted in a census or register to vote), but the most fundamental things apply (the basic right to life that exists as part of natural law, solidified over centuries in common-law and codified in our highest civil documents). Yet, the counter-arguments remain, made unironically by people that consider themselves both serious and rational.

Beyond the question of life and the natural right to life, there exists the distinct likelihood that unborn children experience pain at about eight weeks. [3] We perhaps have no natural right to be pain-free, but it is ironic that progressivism, so based upon emotivism and the notion of protecting the weak finds itself as the chief protagonist supporting the infliction of pain on the weakest and most defenseless among us.

If you have bothered to look, you have been incapable of avoiding the counter-arguments. Supporters of what we must properly term infanticide claim support of life is merely a “Christian” thing. Many that profess to be Jewish have proclaimed their religion does not prohibit abortion – an odd contradiction considering Judaism is supposed to be subject to the Law in the Torah, taking an innocent life is definitely prohibited.  There are the usual cries of ‘my body, my choice’ from the same sorts that demand others get vaccinated (an intellectually flimsy argument no matter how applied).

The counter-arguments, the absurd hypotheticals, the potentially untrue examples, the hyperbole – all of it matters only in that it shows the disconnect between reason, morality, and common sense. Debating the meaning of a heartbeat does not belong in the realm of public policy. A heartbeat indicates life, and life is protected as our most fundamental right. That so many argue so fervently counter to that obvious fact tells us much about our world and our future.

I chose the abortion example above for two reasons, first my own bias, and second, it strikes at the most foundational of all questions, Life. I could have selected arguments that say it is ok to burn and loot for justice or others that claim it is acceptable to pledge allegiance to a letter of the alphabet. Each is absurd, each shows a disconnect between reason and logic. All such examples, and the fact they gain wide support, are signs of something worse at play.

What it Means

The masses have never thirsted after truth. They turn aside from evidence that is not to their tastes, preferring to deify error, if error seduce them. Whoever can supply them with illusions is easily their master; whoever attempts to destroy their illusions is always their victim. – Gustav Le Bon

Cognitive dissonance (the state of having inconsistent thoughts, beliefs, or attitudes, especially as relating to behavioral decisions and attitude change) is a term often thrown at the ‘other side’ when ‘they’ just will not see the facts that one’s favorite team does. The meaning of the term has been diminished, sadly. However, it is real, and it is ubiquitous.

It seems there are too many examples on each side to ever allow dialogue to occur. In short, it is nearly impossible to point out truth to a lost person if there are provable examples of you yourself falling for absurdity. Social media provides ample opportunity for many of us to open our mouths and speak on subjects we ought to be silent about – we do not know enough. Better to be quiet and let people think you are an idiot than to speak and prove it. Better said, it is perhaps better to only weigh in occasionally and with solid facts.

But we cannot stop. Social media is the opioid of the masses, it is succor for lotus-eaters. We have lost the ability to reflect, think, analyze and discern. We cannot see that the world has gone mad, and we with it in our own way.

History has shown that there is often no cure for mass psychosis once it takes hold. We have the witch hunts, China’s cultural revolution, NAZI Germany, and the Jacobin revolution in France as examples. We have many Jacobins among us today.

The flood - really waves after wave, of increasing negativity and fear, permeates our culture now. We fear each other, ideas, words, and the very air we breathe.  Many of us log in and consume the very poison that enables the psychogenic crisis daily, some thinking they will change the world.

You cannot fight illogic and unreasonableness with logic and reason no more than you could have entered an early 20th Century mental institution and merely talked the patients out of their conditions. And, the longer you stay in contact with the disease, the greater the likelihood that it will eventually impact your own ability to reason and see clearly.

The sad fact is most among us have moved past the apathy and paralysis of the initial stages of mass psychosis, these have found coping mechanisms by combining fact and fiction into myth – the ideologies present in our system provide a ready vehicle for this. If one is “good” then all manner of immoral, hateful, and illogical behaviors makes perfect sense; cognitive dissonance is defeated by myth-building.

Progressivism as an ideology is designed for this sort of myth-building. The sorts of tyranny and authoritarianism that always arise from progressivism (idealism) happen because of the myths of community, heroism, and the struggle – this is the noble lie. [4] The reactionary myths that we see among us now, are not so different than their historic predecessors.

If I have not made it clear thus far, allow me to restate. Progressivism is ascendant culturally and politically and will likely be the ideology that shapes our present and future. The disconnect between the values and ideals that initially drove people to progressivism and neoliberalism is great and the gulf between fact and fiction cannot be bridged. Historically these rational voids have been filled by creating perpetual enemies; they conclude: it is not the ideology that is the problem, nor the facts, the real problem is “those people” (whoever they may be).

It is true, that some former progressive will ‘wake up’, perhaps the suggestion that the Temple of Satan is their best option to preserve Abortion “rights” will do this for some, but these numbers will be statistically meaningless – these will simply join the list of “those people”.

At some point in the mass psychosis/myth-building cycle, it is simply too late to turn back the tide. Witches must be burned, guillotines used and the culture purified. Perhaps in this iteration the solutions are less kinetic but make no mistake, it is not an insult nor hyperbole to state that the mentally ill and morally bankrupt are dominant now. It will be for them to decide how “those people” are dealt with.

Stop Drinking Poison

You cannot enter the mental asylum and talk sense into the patients. Likewise, “owning the libs” on social media is not helping, in fact, you are merely solidifying the narrative building, you are cementing in their mind that you really are evil. Facts and data no longer matter – not to the truly mentally ill, those that worked through cognitive dissonance and came out of it doubling down instead of evaluating their worldview are by definition suffering from a mental illness.

Your mere presence on social media not only solidifies them further into their illness – but also endangers you. All the negativity, the fear, the drama, the posts that strike you with a sense of “it cannot be real”, poisons you. Some of it is real, and some of it is just designed to make you ill. There is little chance that neither you nor I can really tell the difference.

You are not going to dig up just one more morsel of truth that will wake up anyone that matters (if they still sleep they do not have the faculties to think correctly). It is much more likely that you yourself will stumble onto rabbit holes that confuse you and negatively impact your ability to reason and discern. [5]

Extract information from it (social media) in small bites. Maintain your perspective and balance by alternating fishing expeditions for information with reflection and prayer.

All of the cognitive dissonance above applies even to churches and “Christians”. How is it that people can read the same words from the same book and some come up with radically new and different interpretations than anything found historically (outside of heresy)?

For the time is coming when people will not endure sound[a] teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions; 2 Timothy 4:3

The BlackPill Truth

It is not famine, not earthquakes, not microbes, not cancer, but man himself who is man’s greatest danger to man, for the simple reason that there is no adequate protection against psychic epidemics. Which are infinitely more devastating than the worst of natural catastrophes. -Carl Jung

There is no stopping this. If you are a conservative and still think just one more election will fix it, I have two points for you to consider.

First, look at any argument and then consider the position and the points that progressives make (like the abortion issue above). There is no honesty, morality, nor reason present and yet, these people will be with us, you will not cure them, you are not going to change their minds (they have ceased to operate rationally) and frankly, you cannot kill them. Their ideology is ascendant. This worldview will not go away until it reaches its natural conclusion and result. Elections cannot change that.

Second, just consider some of the absurdities that people on “your side” have fallen for. Those are your allies. Think that through, I will not insult anyone by saying any more.

Is there Hope?

Progressivism leads to authoritarianism and authoritarianism generally fails eventually. Technology might change that equation (prolong it past its shelf life), but we can hope. This worldview will not fail and die in most of our lifetimes.

However, there is hope – just not the sort of instant gratification change most of us want. More on that later.

Author: Barry

Southerner, father, husband, Christian and a retired Army field grade officer. Author of five books and of several papers and articles on ethics, culture, history, geopolitics and military affairs.

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