“Whether in support of Christian, Muslim, communist or “free market” regimes, totalitarianism has some universal characteristics. For a start, it always relies on the suspension of disbelief: on romantic ideals that don’t stand to reason. Whether it is “honour”, God’s plan, patriotism or the American dream – some faith-based and sentimental ideal always props up patriarchs, making them allergic to critical reason and driven to stamp it out. Non-conformists and dissenters are dehumanised through stereotyping, interrogation, a climate of self-censorship, routine punishment and scapegoating. It’s this factphobic clash of romance and sadism that Orwell named “doublethink” in Nineteen Eighty-Four.
Romanticism, doublethink, and the punishment of dissent are of course not the only hallmarks of totalitarian regimes. The glorification of violence is another, as well as the fetishisation of women, and medical experimentation that involves a kind of grotesque gynecology and conversion therapy for homosexuals. Fear and romanticism also combine to produce a manufactured “consent”. For instance, exorcists profited from women who considered themselves bewitched, in a climate of confession and indulgences, during the medieval witch burnings. Today, only 33% of girls in Somalia are reported to be supportive of the abolition of female genital mutilation under sharia law. This demonstrates the power of terror combined with romanticised concepts like “honour”.
It is a symptom of arrogance and white blindness that we in the so-called “developed” West have managed to condense all aspects of totalitarianism into one package – transactivism – while, for all the access to information in the world, failing to recognise the warning signs of histories repeating. We really do believe that we in white society are beyond the influence of “culture” that otherwise so affects people “over there”. Yet here we have an ideology based on romantic fundamentalism that glorifies violence, fetishises and brutalises women (with “TERF” functioning as the new “witch”); promotes censorship and medical experimentation, and loves a scapegoat – and liberals lobby to embed this ideology in law and policy.”
Read the entire article at The birds and mice will hear you: On transactivism and the characteristics of totalitarian rule