There is a quote floating around, variously attributed to Lenin and to Marx, which enjoins authoritarians to:
Accuse your enemies of doing what you’re doing.
Whether this was the work of Lenin or a fortune-cookie writer in Akron, it doesn’t matter. Powerful authorities are actively deploying such tactics.
When President Biden gave his now-famous “Dark Brandon” speech against a blood-red backdrop that authorities could have cribbed from a Leni Riefenstahl film, it revealed as much about the machinations of the powerful as the depravity of their strategists. Up to this point, the authoritarians were slowly boiling us lowly frogs. Now the politburo just turned up the heat.
Click-click goes the burner.
There is a sinister brilliance in calling for “unity” while at the same time referring to half of the country as fascists. There is a glorious perversity in the psyop of calling voters extremists while directing the state Apparatus – that extraordinary fusion of corporate and state power – to censor speech and harass your political enemies. But the true genius lies in whipping half the country into such a frenzy that they are willing to let the Apparatus put the 150 million under thumb. After all, they’re just troglodytes. They are the Other.
And it’s all being carried out in the name of protecting democracy.
DVEs and the American Stazi
The stage was already being set in 2021 when the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released an advisory memo warning that “domestic violent extremists (DVEs), including…anti-government/anti-authority violent extremists, will continue to pose a significant threat to our homeland.”
Speaking of anti-government/anti-authority extremists: One of the American Founders wrote that the “tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.” Does it matter that today’s anti-authoritarians are often peaceful people who want to express their skepticism of state power in a Tweet?
To the DVE advisory, DHS Secretary Mayorkas adds that “DHS has renewed its commitment to work with our partners across every level of government, the private sector, and local communities to combat all forms of terrorism and targeted violence.”
DHS needn’t conscript a Stazi. Volunteers have lined up to “work with” them. Nina “hide-a-little-lie” Jankovicz had been just another fangirl of the Apparatus before she was recruited to head up the Ministry of Truth Disinformation Board, which was (and may still be) a thing.