Conformity and the Machinery of Loneliness

A series of excerpts from my book have been running in The Federalist. The most recent is from the chapter I wrote on self-censorship and the conformity impulse: The Weaponization of Loneliness and the Conformity Impulse. Whenever we induce self-censorship we stifle our real viewpoint in the arena of public opinion. In it I discuss Solomon Asch’s conformity experiments of the 1950s. Below is a youtube video from a replication of those experiments during the 1970s:

And if a contagion of self-censorship grows around us (mostly due to fear of being socially rejected) a “spiral of silence” causes the opinion to take on a minority or even “fringe” status, while promoting the illusion that the propagandized narrative is the majority opinion. This has major consequences for public discourse and public opinion polling.

Here’s a longer excerpt from my book that ran in American Greatness: Mobs and the Weaponization of Loneliness. In it I discuss the mob in action, the uses of mobs by totalitarian actors, and the elements of mobs. The common denominator is that individuals who join mobs are usually atomized, not connected to strong and healthy relationships in family, faith institutions, and community. They therefore seek to belong to something and are vulnerable to becoming easy fodder for power elites who use mobs to push their propaganda forward.

For more, click here and get my book: The Weaponization of Loneliness: How Tyrants Stoke Our Fear of Isolation to Silence, Divide, and Conquer.

The Weaponization of Loneliness

The full title of my new book, just released, is The Weaponization of Loneliness: How Tyrants Stoke Our Fear of Isolation to Silence, Divide, and Conquer. Please click on the link to order your copy!

You may have asked this old question: Why does a majority of good people so often allow a small minority to push evil agendas? It all amounts to what I call a “machinery of loneliness,” fueled by conformity which is sparked by our fear. Maybe we instinctively know that our conformity usually boils down to the fear of being ostracized for speaking out. But we don’t consciously understand how that happens. Or why it happens. And how easily it is weaponized. We need to study these patterns and change our habits if we are to preserve freedom.

So often our primal fear of loneliness is exploited to extract the conformity and compliance necessary to push destructive policies forward. We comply in order to avoid the awful feeling of social rejection. But the great irony with this reaction is that our compliance only cements our isolation in the end. Worse, when we are isolated — atomized — we are even more easily controlled and terrorized.

The book is a deep dive that includes the history of totalitarian movements – all of which waged direct war against free speech and private life. It happened in the French Revolution, in Bolshevik Russia, in Nazi Germany, in Mao’s China and those patterns continue today. But today’s cyber-technologies and globalism exponentially worsen the threat.  I also delve into the research on social conformity, starting with the 1950s experiments of Solomon Asch who showed that people will often deny the evidence of their own eyes if they fear being socially isolated otherwise.

The book shows us the many ways that identity politics, political correctness, and mob agitation is tearing us all apart — causing a painful vivisection of America.  This has led to corruption that has subverted all of our institutions, including education, our intelligence services, the corporate world, the courts, legislatures, and the military. Last on the hit list of the institutions are the primordial ones in the private sphere of life: family, faith, and community. We must defend that sphere with all our strength. It’s the only escape hatch. Otherwise, we end up completely atomized, at the mercy of the mass state.

You Can’t Fight Disinformation without Fighting Censorship

Our Orwellian elitists have developed an ass-backwards argument as a propaganda ploy. They claim that disinformation is a threat to democracy, and therefore they should have total control over the public square to protect it. As we’ve seen time and again with the record of faceless “fact-checkers” in the media and Big Tech, the obvious goal is to censor any idea that doesn’t line up with their narrative. They even hosted an event at the University of Chicago, promoted by President Obama, to make the case.

This is nuts. No society can function in the grip of the such political censorship. In fact, it destroys democracy.

In my Federalist piece today, I explore the effects of suppressing free speech. It’s mentally isolating. It can even lead to mass delusion. There’s no shortage of historical examples. Take a look at this clip from North Korea to get an idea of what happens to a population that’s stuck in one narrative and totally cut off from any other ideas:

Indeed, the only solution to disinformation is free speech. Lots of it. And let’s not forget that political censorship causes disinformation.

You can read the whole essay here: The Only way to Fight Disinformation is to Fight Political Censorship

We can’t have fair elections until we get rid of the chaos now embedded in the electoral process

This is a must read if you want to live in a free society.

A lot of eyes are on Virginia’s off-year gubernatorial election coming up on Tuesday because many see it as a bellwether for next year’s midterms. I ask “bellwether” for what? That’s because it’s harder than ever to determine “winners” and “losers” because the entire process has become so riddled with irregularities and weirdness. In a word, fraud. And by design.

If by chance there are tallies that show Dem Candidate Terry McAuliffe behind or having lost, you can bet his campaign would not ever accept the results. They would keep “counting” votes at least until Friday or until they can concoct a win. That’s just the way it is these days.

For a general look at how corrupt our electoral process has become, read Joy Pullmann’s excellent wrap-up: https://thefederalist.com/2021/10/29/7-insane-things-i-just-learned-about-how-u-s-elections-are-rigged/

Pullmann shares some of the shocking back stories in Mollie Hemingway’s bestseller Rigged: How the Media, Big Tech, and the Democrats Seized Our Elections.

I published two pieces in the Federalist last week that relate directly as well as indirectly to this coming Tuesday’s gubernatorial election in Virginia. I hesitate to use the word “election” since there are now so many ways to hide fraud. Worse, there are many ways to render elections unverifiable and unauditable.


Ironically, those who push for chaos-by-design—such as the mass mailing of official ballots and no photo ID requirement–claim that such things make elections “free and fair.” Here’s a link to the first piece In which I address that folly:
https://thefederalist.com/2021/10/28/democrats-claim-free-and-fair-election-in-virginia-while-rigging-it-again/

If we ever get out of this mess, it will because we finally realized that the only way to secure free and fair elections is to guarantee that all voters have the right to vote in person, at their local precinct (not a clearinghouse early voting center,) and in secret. And no state or local (and certainly not federal) government has the right to take that away from people by forcing universal mail-in balloting. There is really no other way to protect freedom of conscience in elections. I’ve therefore concluded that voting securely–in person, in a local precinct, and in secret–should be a constitutional right. Here’s the second piece that sums up what a truly free and fair election should look like:

https://thefederalist.com/2021/10/29/4-indispensable-conditions-for-a-truly-free-and-fair-election/

There’s a deeper purpose to the First Amendment: It Protects Your Right to a Private Life and Personal Relationships

In my latest Federalist piece I explore a much more profound reason for the First Amendment than we’re used to thinking about. It protects your right to form families and friendships. To better understand the connection, try this thought experiment. Imagine being unable to express your ideas to others, while they are unable to express theirs to you. No one may deviate from Big Media’s and Big Tech’s approved narratives in what they may say or write. Where do you end up in that state of affairs if it’s allowed to persist? You end up in a vacuum in which there’s no real conversation or thought exchanged. Relationships, and the potential for relationships, drastically erodes in such a vacuum. As does all private life. We end up in a miserable state of social isolation, an isolation that prepares the ground for a more authoritarian state.

Here’s an excerpt from my essay:

Political philosopher Hannah Arendt noted that all totalitarian systems depend upon cultivating social isolation in people. Isolation renders people powerless. So it’s no wonder that freedom of expression is always first on the chopping block during and after authoritarian takeovers. A cursory look at communist and fascist governments in the 20th century confirms that they’re always intent on destroying the entire sphere of private life and relationships.

I think if more people understood free speech in this light, they’d be more inclined to protect it. Because no one wants to be alone. You can read the whole piece at this link: How Ending Freedom of Expression Gives Up Your Right to a Private Life

This great article in American Greatness can help average Americans start taking their freedom back

Until Lambs Become Lions” is a fantastic article in the online magazine American Greatness. It is one of many excellent reads out there, but for most people such reads are not so easy to find. Because of growing media and tech censorship — and extreme bias — we face more roadblocks to finding real information. We are inundated with propaganda that’s growing more vicious by the minute.

Nevertheless, if you look carefully, you can find many insightful essays online that expose readers to the truth and cut through the confusion of identity politics and cancel culture during these insane times. This is just one of them.

I am sharing this particular essay by a retired marine officer, Max Morton, because he gives everyone the big picture. With clarity. His essay is a 30,000-foot view of where we are as a nation as well as where we need to be headed if America is ever going to win back its hard-won freedoms. It provides average Americans a good start for understanding what’s at stake and what we can do about it. And it goes beyond both hope and despair. Morton describes our current landscape in about 2000 words and five salient subtitles: What we are facing; How did we get here? Developing an Agenda; What lies ahead; and Building the Barricades. The piece is sobering and hopeful at the same time.

How do we recover from so many toxic trends in all of our institutions? Especially when those who are poisoning us have isolated us and are circling the wagons? How can we hope for Americans to regain the ability to relate to one another as human beings, rather than as enemies? It’s going to take a lot of courage by a lot of people to overcome the descending darkness. It’s going to take a lot of one-on-one building of strong relationships of trust and building of strong communities against forces that are committed to breaking up such relationships. The work towards renewal has to happen fast. It’s too late for anything else. We have the means. But do we have the will? Here’s an excerpt from the beginning:

In order to defeat this rebellion, we need to understand the terrain we are operating on and the strategy and tactics of our enemy. Even more important, we need a strategy of our own to guide our struggle and return to a functional representative government, bounded by the Constitution with the power fully vested in the people. Only a few decades ago, American politics was driven by shared interests of prosperity and well-being aligned with a free constitutional republic. We need to drive from the American consciousness the current docile acceptance of the fact that America has a ruling class—or a ruling elite—and we must banish these terms to the trash heap of racial epithets and aristocratic garbage.

And here’s the conclusion:

At this moment we are the weaker side in this asymmetric struggle. Right now, we are 80 million couch potatoes and keyboard warriors with rifles in our bedroom closets. This is not a force to be reckoned with. And the ruling elite know it because they control the information flow and own the power institutions. Traditional Americans will have to organize and band together to help each other and fight in this struggle. When we become 80 million strong, organized citizens with a tangible agenda, when we know where we want to go and what we want this country to look like, and when we can see the path to achieve this, only then will we become the lions we need to be to achieve victory. 

Please read Morton’s entire article in American Greatness by clicking here: Until Lambs Become Lions.

I refuse to be labelled “White.” I am “racial non-conforming.”

It’s been a long time since I checked a box for race when filling out a nosy form.  I used to find the question merely annoying. Today I find it enormously hostile as well as hopeless. Think about what you’re being ordered to do when you “check the box.” You are commanded to allow a faceless bureaucracy to define who you are. What’s your “color?” What’s your “ethnicity?” And so on.  Well, screw that.

Such questions are demeaning and dehumanizing because they obviously try to force us all into identity boxes. They insist you shut yourself into a darker time of history where you are pre-judged and demonized. Forever. I’d feel that way no matter what I looked like. To get a picture of how the “intersectionality” game works, take a look at this youtube video (which will likely be taken down for being politically incorrect) showing how people are “scored” according to their oppressor or victim status:

Let’s face it. If we are going to be living under a socialist/communist “Administration” we have to expect to be dehumanized through such pigeon-holing in more and more areas of life.  Critical Race Theory (CRT) is the re-packaging of an ancient tactic that poisons human relationships by shoving people into roles of oppressor or victim — or, today, the moniker “ally” which is intended to give “oppressors” a false sense of security.

One of the worst things about identity politics like CRT is how it serves to cultivate and enforce hostilities, especially where no antagonisms ever existed before. It worms its way into family relationships and friendships. Today we are being told that if you are defined as “white” you are automatically a racist whether you know it or not. There are no solutions, just false confessions. This is disastrous for any hope of a civil society, for any hope of goodwill or friendship. Don’t play that game. The least we can do is to REFUSE to allow others to define who we are based on what we look like.

Refuse to check the box

So I refuse to identify as “white,” and I hope you will too. I will also take to task anyone who casually insists I am “white.” I’ll try to be polite, but I’ll use their language and flatly state that I’m “racial non-conforming.”  I also reject any other classification such as “cis-gender” or “heteronormative” or any such bullshit.  It’s all poison intended to sow dehumanization and misery and loneliness in society.  No person of good will participates in such things, at least not if they are self-aware.   

The good news is that we are all human. We have names. We have unique personalities and experiences. If only we could clear the fog to see all of that. Or at least to WANT to see the real people behind the phony labels.  I hope you will agree.  Imagine how much more joy we could all take in life if we weren’t such pathetic navel-gazers. We could create real art. We could have real conversations.  We could build things. We could make real friends.  Love would prevail over the hostilities and fear. Isn’t that what we all should want?

Mask Mandates are a Means of Social Control Through Social Isolation

It’s high time we recognize that mask mandates today amount to little more than a social engineering tactic. I’m not going to get into the uses of masks as a practical means of preventing people from getting spreading viruses. It’s pretty clear that we’re being played, that the goal posts keep moving and that our “experts” have determined that these measures are here to stay permanently, vaccine or no vaccine. You can read about the intention for permanent lockdowns here: https://reason.com/2020/12/04/epidemiologists-masks-social-distancing-vaccine-forever-new-york-times/

Disposable Face Masks (Pack of 50) - AEMTEK Laboratories
Many epidemiologists want us to wear these FOREVER, even if there’s a vaccine.

I wrote up my take on mask mandates at the Federalist recently. They serve mainly to dehumanize us, to promote facelessness, estrangement, and more demoralizing isolation. All of this adds up to a boon for social control freaks. The more compliance they can extract from the population — and the more divisions they can stoke by pitting us against one another — the more control over us they accumulate. And that, of course, is the whole idea. You can read my piece here: Masks are Another Way to Control Society Through Isolation. Here’s a short excerpt:

Masks are a form of social isolation, and humans cannot survive emotionally or even physically when they are forcibly separated from one another. You may ask, how are mask mandates isolating in the context of safety? After all, you can still go out in a mask. You can still speak through them. All that’s asked is that you wear masks to avoid spreading potential viral droplets from your breath to those around you. How is this isolating?

Even when medically necessary, mask mandates are isolating because facelessness is isolating. You don’t know — you can’t know — the person wearing the mask. The entire mood of masking is anti-relational and anti-friendship. Wearing a mask prohibits the communication of a smile and the clarity of expression. It gets us in the habit of wearing a flat affect underneath the mask.

2020 Blind Sight and “The Gate of the Year”

Americans who pay attention to the lessons of history know that the American Republic is at a crossroads. This presidential election has been wracked with processes so flawed and so susceptible to fraud that we will end up with a permanent one-party state if it’s left unchecked. Such a state would be led by socialists who (for now) call themselves Democrats. These globalists have made no secret of their intentions to undermine the U.S. Constitution and individual liberties.

At the end of it all — after all of the thousands of unsolicited ballots have been harvested and “counted” and after the courts either accept or reject this coup attempt — we’ll know whether or not the American Republic has a fighting chance to be preserved. Or we will find out if it is on a trajectory to ending.

That latter prospect fills me with dread. It means losing our liberties, and essentially becoming slaves of tyrants. So, if we love liberty, we must fight the corruption in any way we can: by calling our members of Congress, expressing our thoughts to others, and resisting the agitprop media.

But we must first fight the dread if we hope to be able to fight effectively. We must resist becoming defeatist and demoralized. To that end, I’d like to share some inspiration I found in the 1908 poem by Minnie Louise Haskins. She originally titled it “God Knows.” King George VI referred to her poem in his famous Christmas speech of 1939. England was at war with Germany’s Third Reich. It was a time of great uncertainty as to what the future held. The fear and dread among the people of Britain weighed heavily on them. (In part because they did nothing to prepare for it when all the warning signs were there. Sound familiar?)

2020 Blind Sight

Haskins’ poem has since been called “The Gate of the Year.” It’s an apt title as we near the end of 2020. It didn’t take me long to dub this year “2020 Blind Sight.” (No doubt, I can’t be the only one.) That’s because every time we think we know where we’re going, we hit a blind curve. It’s also because human beings tend to be blind to truth while still believing they have the 20/20 vision to know it all. This year should force us to confront such limitations within us.

We all want to predict the future. We think somehow a vision of it would give us peace. Some of us endlessly scroll our devices looking for hints that things will go our way. But only God knows where the confluence of events really leads us. So at a certain point, we have no choice but to put our trust in Him, and allow Him to lead us around the pitfalls rather than trying to go it alone. Going it alone without Faith is hopeless.

Haskins’ message is both counter-intuitive and comforting if you allow yourself to really hear it. Do we really want to know what the future holds before we get there?   Wouldn’t it be better to just do our best while being shepherded through the dark and treacherous terrain by a trusted guide? In fact it’s safer to proceed that way. With both Faith and determination.

King George VI ended his speech with the words: “Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the Hand of God. That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way.” You can listen to his speech here:

And here’s the text of Haskins’ poem:

THE GATE OF THE YEAR

‘God Knows’

And I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year:
“Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.”
And he replied:
“Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the Hand of God.
That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way.”
So I went forth, and finding the Hand of God, trod gladly into the night.
And He led me towards the hills and the breaking of day in the lone East.

So heart be still:
What need our little life
Our human life to know,
If God hath comprehension?
In all the dizzy strife
Of things both high and low,
God hideth His intention.

God knows. His will
Is best. The stretch of years
Which wind ahead, so dim
To our imperfect vision,
Are clear to God. Our fears
Are premature; In Him,
All time hath full provision.

Then rest: until
God moves to lift the veil
From our impatient eyes,
When, as the sweeter features
Of Life’s stern face we hail,
Fair beyond all surmise
God’s thought around His creatures
Our mind shall fill.

                                Minnie Louise Haskins, 1908 —  from collection The Desert

By all means, we must fight the good fight. But we must never forget that we can only see through a glass darkly in this world. Whatever happens, the critical element of the good fight is always the armor of Faith. It’s essential to doing our best in fighting and overcoming evil.

On Relationships and Voting

I recently posted a piece at American Thinker that examines the growing phenomenon of voter intimidation in personal relationships.  It’s an especially prevalent tactic by leftists. I felt compelled to write the piece when I saw a young woman gush on TikTok about how she and her sisters hectored their dying father so that he would vote for Biden/Harris instead of Trump/Pence: 

All people of good will should be aghast at such abuse of a father’s love. This also serves as a reminder that our tradition of secret ballot needs to be revived, if only to cut back on behavior like that.  It’s possible the father voted in secret even though he felt he needed to tell his daughters he voted for their preferred candidate.  Nevertheless, we ought to consider the potential for more of this if we go to universal mail-in voting — whereby official ballots will always arrive in shared mailboxes of households where dominant personalities can hold sway over others. You can read my whole piece at this link: “How Mail-In Voting Makes Social Pressure so Much Easier.”

Whether we cast our ballots in person or by mail, on election day or early, we ought to think deeply about the sacred nature of the secret ballot. Let’s ponder how changes in our electoral processes are destroying the ability to vote one’s conscience in the privacy of a voting booth. Sadly, in states like Oregon, citizens no longer even have the option to cast an official ballot in a voting booth at a local precinct. They must receive and cast their ballot in the mail.

The trend towards universal mail-in ballots will definitely allow for more voter intimidation in addition to more potential for voter fraud. Will the voting booth eventually disappear if more states go postal with voting? It seems likely, and that would be a very bad thing.

Let’s also remember: Unless you wish to willingly express whom you’re voting for, nobody has a right to know how you vote. Nobody.