A Wonderful Discussion with Tony Rucinski of Britain’s Coalition for Marriage about how the War on Marriage Isolates Us All

When the US Congress passed the so-called “Respect for Marriage Act” in late November, I wrote a Federalist article about the real effect of such legislation: to muzzle and punish anyone who had a different opinion, anyone who stood up for the real definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman. This trajectory leads to the abolition of state recognition of marriage altogether. There’s a considerable paper trail on that, which I wrote about years ago in my Federalist article, “Bait and Switch: How Same Sex Marriage Ends Family Autonomy.”

If that agenda item is accomplished, then we as a society become thoroughly atomized, isolated, as individuals at the mercy of the mass state. This point segues perfectly into my thesis of my book The Weaponization of Loneliness: How Tyrants Stoke Our Fear of Isolation to Silence, Divide, and Conquer.

Last month I talked about all of this with Tony Rucinski, a most thoughtful and insightful leader of the Coalition for Marriage in the United Kingdom. You can take a look at the interview below:

An Absolute Favorite Radio Host: Vicki McKenna!

As I catch up with my blog, I must say that in November I enjoyed my second fantastic interview with Vicki McKenna. She is one of the most dynamic and insightful and knowledgeable radio hosts around. If you’re in the Madison-Milwaukee area, you’ll definitely want to tune in to The Vicki McKenna Show at 1310 WIBA/1130 WISN weekdays 3-6 pm. We talked about my book The Weaponization of Loneliness, and how people are so vulnerable to the fear of ostracism. Especially youth, and interestingly, women. It’s a fear so hard-wired that it is used by tyrants to silence us and, ironically, drive us even further into isolation which makes us more easily controlled.

Vicki has an astute knowledge of history, particularly of communism and totalitarian systems. Click on the link below to hear my interview with her. The show is titled “Stockholm State” and is found at the bottom of the page. My segment is 20 minutes and it begins around 1:13 and ends around 1:31.

https://tunein.com/podcasts/The-Vicki-McKenna-Show-p1532335/?topicId=218346086

Let 2023 be a year of Boldness for Free Speech and Truth!

Burgundy Glitter Happy New Year Free Stock Photo - Public Domain Pictures

Resolution #1: Overcome any fear of speaking the Truth. (And thereby help build a cascade of Truth.)

You can start building awareness about doing so by getting the book: The Weaponization of Loneliness

Just click here: The Weaponization of Loneliness: How Tyrants Stoke Our Fear of isolation to Silence, Divide, and Conquer

Interviews on my book, The Weaponization of Loneliness

I’ve probably done more than 50 interviews so far about my book The Weaponization of Loneliness, often on talk radio as well as on podcasts, and some TV. Each one has been gratifying and all so different. I will post more of them to this blog, though in no particular order. For example, even though the subject matter is so serious, this interview with Michael Savage posted on December 6 was so much fun. He’s very engaging and doesn’t mince words. It’s no wonder he’s been cancelled in the past and considered so controversial! He loves real conversation — and it shows. The intro begins at about 4:08 below, and the actual interview begins at about 7:50. Click on this link for more convenient, listenable audiohttps://www.iheart.com/podcast/256-the-savage-nation-podcast-31142973/episode/the-weaponization-of-loneliness-how-tyrants-105572802/

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.

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

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.

Do you Know of Films that Highlight the Effects of Social Isolation?

Ingrid Bergman in “Gas Light” (Wikipedia Commons)

I’m looking for suggestions from my readers! I’m currently working on compiling a multi-media bibliography on the theme of social isolation. As you know if you read this blog, I am interested in how the fear of social rejection causes people to conform and comply with bad policies led by bad actors.  In particular: how social isolation — and the threat of it — is used as a weapon to control people. Such dynamics are evident in every level of life: in our personal lives, professional lives, and in the socio-political landscape.

I have a pretty comprehensive list of books and articles, but I’d really like to expand my list of movies and documentaries on this theme. 

BIG QUESTION: Can you think of some movies or documentaries that are good candidates for the theme of social isolation and how isolation affects us? If so, I invite you to please send your ideas through the contact form on this blog so that I can consider adding them to my list.

To give you an idea of what I have in mind, let me provide a sample list below.  As you will see, there are a variety of genres that appeal to a variety of audiences.  You can suggest popular movies as well as classics or scholarly documentaries. The main thing is that the theme should really stand out. Here’s a brief list:

The Experimenter – 2015 movie about psychologist Stanley Milgram’s “shock” experiments in the 1960’s, which he later wrote about in his book “Obedience to Authority.” He was astonished to discover how often ordinary people were willing to harm others when directed to do so by an authority figure.

Marty – won Best Picture Oscar in 1952.  Tells the story of two lonely people who become smitten with one another. But the main character feels socially pressured to dump his newfound love because his gang of buddies deride her as a “dog.”

Angi Vera, Hungarian Film by Pal Gabor (1978) with English subtitles – After communism was imposed on Hungary in 1948, the leadership made sure that all institutions were run only by those loyal to the party line.  The film takes you into an education camp in which future leaders are trained to replace those from the “old order.” We see “struggle sessions” and the psychology of snitch culture emerging.

The Children’s Story, by James Clavell – Short television movie (1980) which shows how a class of second grade children are emotionally manipulated to get with a program of promoting a new communist order and hating America.

The Wave — dramatization of social experiment at a Palo Alto High School by history teacher Ron Jones. When his students learned about the Holocaust, they could not understand how the German population would stand by and allow it to happen.  Jones’s students agreed to re-enact the basics of social conformity and compliance – and they actually lived through the process. It’s a fascinating look into how good people very often let bad things happen when they are motivated by the fear of social isolation. There is a German version of “The Wave” with English subtitles.

Mean Girls (Lindsay Lohan) 2004 – provides a picture of clique culture in a mega high school whereby meddlesome queen bees dictate all relationships and label everyone for either social survival or social death.  Key lines:  “You can’t sit with us.”  “The rules aren’t real.”

Gaslight (starring Ingrid Bergman) 1944.  This is the film that brought the psychological term “gas lighting” into psychological parlance.  The term is now embedded in social media.  Officially it means the sort of psychological abuse that causes a person to think they’re crazy.

The Lives of Others, 2006 (Academy Award for Best Foreign Film) A look at private life under the control of the surveillance state of communist East Germany. Psychological warfare writ large. (William F. Buckley stated that he thought it was the best movie he had ever seen.)

If you’d like to add to the list, please let me know!

Theory: At some level street agitators know how ignorant they are

Ignorance is a prime culprit for a lot of what ails us today. Ignorance is very isolating. It feeds mobs and mob behavior. Can you make sense of the video below in which street agitators in Portland charged through a residential neighborhood at 1:00 in the morning to harass residents with their loud and threatening chanting?

We have the schools and the culture to thank for this insanity. Much of the street theater and violent mob behavior in cities like Portland would not be happening were it not for the cultivation of ignorance in our system of public “education.” Educrats have spoon fed students with grievance studies instead of imparting the knowledge and stability one gets from learning about history, government, and the blessings of liberty. The resulting chaos and ignorance primes kids to be alienated, atomized individuals who seek a sense of belonging in mobs. They’re clueless, no matter the slogans they spew. They’ve been programmed into politically correct conformity and compliance with identity politics.

Why do they — and the Antifa rioters — do what they do? Because they don’t know how to do anything else. They were never taught to think for themselves or understand anything on a deep level. They’ve been trained to behave this way, afflicted with ignorance. At some level they must sense this loss — this intellectual grand theft perpetrated on them by venal educrats. To the extent they suffer from it, we should pity them and try to figure out ways to turn it around, if possible.

Ignorance is extremely isolating. A lack of common knowledge isolates us from a sense of our common humanity. I believe that it is from this sense of isolation that mob members thrash about looking for a sense of purpose which they think they can find in groups like cults and gangs and mobs. I explore this theory in a recent Federalist piece you can read here: https://thefederalist.com/2020/08/10/deep-inside-rioters-are-angry-that-they-never-learned-anything-but-lies/

Here’s an excerpt:

Imagine being trained to “think” only with your emotions. The consequence is unbridled passions and confusion, like that of someone who can’t read but pretends to. The resulting impulse undergirds the perverse toppling of a statue of abolitionist Frederick Douglass, or the burning and vandalizing of a beloved elk statue in Portland while “protesting” for justice. Could the angst behind such senseless acts amount to the deep frustration of knowing so little about so much?

The Trap of the Mob Mindset

My essay today in the Federalist expands upon my last few posts. You can read the whole thing by clicking on this link: https://thefederalist.com/2020/06/15/how-socialists-like-black-lives-matter-weaponize-our-fears-of-loneliness/

File:Groupthink.jpg - Wikimedia Commons
Slogans of George Orwell’s 1984. When we overdose on group think, that’s where we end up. Wikimedia Commons.

Below is an excerpt:

“The mob mindset is a trap, a form of mental solitary confinement, an ironic form of mind rape. Why? Because mobs of wokeness do not allow for anyone to express an original thought to another human being without the risk of being smeared and isolated.

“As people invest in groupthink to remain in the herd, they end up spiraling even deeper into the mental isolation, cutting off normal conversation. They soon become “triggered” by other points of view. BLM activists have not only taken full advantage of the fear of loneliness already inherent in our culture. They also seem intent in perpetuating the fear by stoking more divisions within private relationships.

“Political correctness and identity politics have long been used as tools of agitation designed to instill groupthink and stir up that threat of loneliness. Political correctness works by inducing self-censorship, cutting off conversation and the exchange of ideas, which might lead to friendship.”People with politically incorrect ideas often confide they feel completely alone. 

Identity politics works by forcing people to focus only on a collective identity and collective guilt while erasing each of us as unique individuals. Both are alienating. Both empower bad actors.

“Most of us have never had a chance to learn the history of how blind conformity breeds terror, and vice versa. Abject conformity led to the hellscapes of Stalin’s reign of terror, of Hitler’s Germany. Those who submit to false confessions of “white guilt” can just as easily submit to such regimes because the psychological mechanism is the same: seeking the social approval they crave and avoiding the social rejection they fear.