The Left organizes around oppression. Oppression is a negative and the movement is defined around defining negative phenomena and organizing against them. It’s an outrage machine that depends on finding enough of those negatives to justify its own rise to political power.
But as it gains power, the amount of oppression ought to decrease. And accordingly the Left’s power also ought to decrease in proportion since it has no positive vision only a negative one. Instead, paradoxically, the more power the Left gains, the worse the oppression becomes.
Not only does the general state of things get worse, but every specific area where it claims to be making progress somehow becomes much worse than it was before. After Obama took office, race relations took a dive as the country somehow became more racist during a black president. Last year, every Democrat city was denounced as an outpost of systemic racism where black people were being hunted by the police for sport. That’s when women aren’t being hunted down on some of the most progressive and diverse college campuses and industries in the country.
The nation’s woke corporations are oppressing workers and destroying the planet. The woke governments are imposing systemic racism in between critical race theory struggle sessions. American foreign policy, under one of the most leftist administrations in history, is an imperialist war machine when it isn’t flying BLM flags and advertising for transgender Antifa recruits.
Everything is somehow worse than ever. Maybe the Left ought to give up and go home because it’s just making everything worse. But it must get worse because failure is the only option.
In an un-free society, oppression is easy to organize against. You don’t need books to understand oppression in China and North Korea. Black people and white people didn’t need to have the wrongs of slavery or segregation explained to them at corporate diversity sessions.
Real oppression is tangible. No one needs 40 hours of programming to explain how gulags or gas chambers oppress people. If you need 40 hours of lectures and a 400 page book to explain oppression, you’re not oppressed.
A theory of intangible oppression is exactly the thing that a system of actual oppression needs.
The Soviet Union and Nazi Germany terrorized their own populaces, killed millions of people, and invaded other countries based on conspiracy theories about intangible oppression. Both socialist terror states justified massive military build ups by falsely claiming that they were about to be invaded when they were the ones doing any preemptive invading. They backed up these conspiracy theories with purges and show trials. Stalin’s Great Terror purged rivals while forcing them to confess to doing the bidding of every foreign country around. Hitler’s Holocaust was based around a massive Jewish conspiracy with other countries around the world.
The best evidence of the growing political power of the American Left and the irrelevance of its political theories is the nationwide deployment of an anti-racism which claims that racism is invisible and yet is everywhere. Its books and curriculums lay out a conspiratorial theory of intangible racism that can only be approached through the lived experience of oppressed people, but which cannot be described meaningfully in any factual and objective fashion.
Real oppression, like slave chains, is tangible. Critical race theory depends on sensitizing everyone to claims of oppression that are either blatantly false, e.g. the police committing genocide against black people, or can’t be objectively defined, e.g. systemic racism.
The more critical race theorists talk about ‘whiteness’, the less they’re able to define it except in the ways that religious people define a deity or the devil: as an intangible force pervading everything, only manifest to those who understand the hidden meanings of everyday events.
Religion, unlike critical race theory, is a private matter. And few religions are as racist as CRT which insists on the unalterable evil of white people and the helpless victimhood of minorities.
But, like the USSR’s insistence that the old Bolsheviks were really working for the Brits, or the new Democrat insistence that all the Republicans work for Russia, state conspiracy theories shouldn’t be taken literally, but they should be taken seriously.
What does oppression look like in a country where the Democrats control the White House, the Senate, and the House, and every major corporation advocates for their agendas? What does it sound like when the educational system and the media are controlled by the Left, censoring and suppressing dissenting points of view? Oppression can no longer be about fighting power.
Not when the power is in the hands of the oppressers who claim to be oppressed.
America has reached the tipping point where all the power is in the hands of the Left, but we haven’t comprehensively lost our freedoms yet. In an un-free society, the oppressed are the people with no rights. But in a free society, the oppressed are most often the oppressors.
Oppression in an un-free society is characterized by a lack of rights, but in a free society, it’s defined by a lack of power. And power in a free society is a means of depriving others of rights.
Critical race theory, for all its posturing about the police, is concerned with power, not rights.
Systemic racism is not a construct of rights, but of power. It’s not challenged with the equalization of rights, but with the assumption of power. The whole premise of lived experience is that objective metrics of civil rights can’t appease the emotional suffering of the oppressed. The nature of their oppression is so incomprehensible to anyone outside their lived experience that only those who claim to be oppressed can remedy their oppression by taking power.
This isn’t civil rights: it’s an uncivil cultural coup.
The idea that only a select elite should be allowed to wield power because only they understand what must be done has been the central premise of every totalitarian theory and system.
In a free society, power is a tangible means shared through open elections for recognized goals, while in an un-free society, power is a mystical means employed by an elite toward a redemptive end. America is becoming an un-free society in which power is not the means by which taxpayers and citizens define how their money and their government is used to achieve their goals, but a redemptive force for escaping global environmental apocalypses and ushering in a progressive new utopia whose moral arc bends toward the right side of history.
This utopia, like all utopias, is short on details. It’s defined not by what it has, but by what it doesn’t. Leftism exists in a negative space and its brave new worlds are inversions of that negativity, offering not a positive vision, but the erasure of human individuality and free will. The people in these fictional utopias are happy not because of what they have, but what they don’t.
“You’ll own nothing. And you’ll be happy.” Unlike the Left’s actual utopias, everyone is happy in the fictional utopias to have lost their free agency. As in the conclusion of George Orwell’s 1984, joy in the dystopian utopia comes from a cultish surrender of the self to the system and the recognition that it is our flawed human natures that keep us from living in a socialist utopia.
Since few people are enthused about losing the freedom to live their own lives, totalitarian leftist systems invert the duality of oppressors and oppressed. They redefine their oppression as liberation, the oppressors as the oppressed, and the oppressed as the oppressors. The best way to convince people to give up their freedom is to convince them that they’re oppressors.
Critical race theory racializes the familiar totalitarian paradigm behind the Soviet Union. But it’s no more about race than Communist regimes were about the working class. The markers are just temporary counters opportunistically established based on local circumstances. If the revolutionary candidate of Hope and Change hadn’t been half-black, and if the George Floyd video hadn’t gone viral, we would be living through a different cultural revolution right now.
But we would still be living through a cultural revolution.
The Left is on the verge of taking power and we are about to lose our rights. Our rights are becoming intangible just as their power is becoming tangible. And so they have come up with a theory of intangible oppression to explain why our rights should give way to their power.
The tyranny is in the theory.