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

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.

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.

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.

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!

Wokeness, Wuhan, and the Weaponry of Social Isolation

Tyranny and isolation always go together.  Let’s always remember that. Political philosopher Hannah Arendt made the connection in her book The Origins of Totalitarianism. She wrote:  “Terror can rule absolutely only over men who are isolated against each other. . . . Therefore, one of the primary concerns of all tyrannical government is to bring this isolation about.”

Recent Cover of Hannah Arendt’s classic The Origins of Totalitarianism, first published 1951 (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Pubishing Company)

Below is an excerpt from from my (relatively) recent Federalist piece about the connection between tyranny and isolation and today’s dystopian atmosphere:

“How much of the hype about this flu is really about public safety? How much is it about cultivating the social isolation that breeds distrust, division, and malaise, all to be exploited for political purposes? Should we really believe that blue city mayors and blue state governors, the New York Times, the Washington Post, CNN, et al., are pushing the cataclysmic view of this flu only for our own safety?

“Blatant double standards clarify that their hype is meant to continue our isolation, and is not for our own good. As far-left mayors and governors enforce social distancing for law-abiding citizens, they have pretty much smiled upon Antifa rioters as “peaceful protesters,” especially those who gather en masse for more than 60 [now 100] nights in a row to provoke and attack federal officials protecting a federal court house in Portland.”

You can read the whole essay here: https://thefederalist.com/2020/08/11/how-forced-isolation-makes-huge-power-grabs-possible/

Once you think about it, you’ll see evidence everywhere that every tyrant’s first order of business is to isolate those they’re trying to control.  This is as true for the school yard bully as it is for the world class dictator.  Let’s go down a little list of them. Consider the queen bee diva. Recall how in the 2004 movie Mean Girls, the school’s cool clique made a point of controlling the relationships of all of their peers? Recall their Pelosi-esque line “The rules aren’t real.” What about the gas lighting partner?  Maybe his realm is just to control one person, but he makes sure she is isolated from all other influences. She can’t have any friends or be around anyone he doesn’t control.

And cult leaders? They control recruits primarily by some form of isolation. People’s Temple leader Jim Jones even moved his thousand or so followers into literal isolation – to a jungle in Guyana – to make sure all were isolated and under his strict control. And of course all fascist/communist/totalitarian dictators are invested in human isolation.  Mao Zedong had his Red Guard zealots (very similar in behavior to today’s BLM and Antifa agitators) force struggle sessions on people wherein they mobbed, isolated, and publicly humiliated anyone suspected of wrong think. (BTW, the toll was in the tens of millions killed during China’s Cultural Revolution of the 1960’s.)

And what does political correctness do to us? Induce self-censorship that results in self-isolation. What about identity politics? It divides us so that we are more isolated from one another.

So what should we make of the enforced isolation of today? And what about the Covid shutdowns that did not end on April 1 – and then May 1 — like they were supposed to?   Do they serve a political purpose. Of course they do. The point is to stretch out the misery, stretch out the economic devastation, stretch out the isolation in order to demoralize the population into doing the bidding of our would-be controllers. We have to call this out for what it is. And, hopefully I can offer a morale-booster next time!

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.