Totalitarianism begins in contempt for what you have. The second step is the notion: “Things must change—no matter how, Anything is better than what we have.” Totalitarian rulers organize this kind of mass sentiment, and by organizing it articulate it, and by articulating it make the people somehow love it. They were told before, thou shalt not kill; and they didn’t kill. Now they are told, thou shalt kill; and although they think it’s very difficult to kill, they do it because it’s now part of the code of behavior. They learn whom to kill and how to kill and how to do it together. This is the much talked about Gleichschaltung—the coordination process. You are coordinated not with the powers that be, but with your neighbor—coordinated with the majority. But instead of communicating with the other you are now glued to him. And you feel of course marvelous. Totalitarianism appeals to the very dangerous emotional needs of people who live in complete isolation and in fear of one another.
more Hannah Arendt quotes
The moment we no longer have a free press, anything can happen. What makes it possible for a totalitarian or any other dictatorship to rule is that people are not informed; how can you have an opinion if you are not informed? If everybody always lies to you, the consequence is not that you believe the lies, but rather that nobody believes anything any longer. This is because lies, by their very nature, have to be changed, and a lying government has constantly to rewrite its own history. On the receiving end you get not only one lie -- a lie which you could go on for the rest of your days -- but you get a great number of lies, depending on how the political wind blows. And a people that no longer can believe anything cannot make up its mind. It is deprived not only of its capacity to act but also of its capacity to think and to judge. And with such a people you can then do what you please.
more Hannah Arendt quotes
To make laws that man cannot, and will not obey, serves to bring all law into contempt.
more Elizabeth Cady Stanton quotes
The path we’re embarked upon, in the name of good, is a familiar one. The unspeakable horrors of Nazism, Stalinism, and Maoism did not begin in the ‘30s and ‘40s with the men usually associated with those names. Those horrors were simply the end result of a long evolution of ideas leading to the consolidation of power in central government in the name of “social justice.” It was decent but misguided Germans, who would have cringed at the thought of extermination and genocide, who built the Trojan Horse for Hitler to take over. We Americans promote disrespect for our Constitution, rule of law and private property in our pursuit of “social justice.” But the scum that rises to the top has an agenda of command and control that’s leading toward totalitarianism. And, incidentally, it’s no coincidence that most of those at the top are lawyers -- people with a special, seemingly tutored, contempt for our Constitution and rule of law.
more Walter E. Williams quotes
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