Totalitarianism Has Never Felt So Culturally Acceptable

February 21, 2010

At least in America

I don’t even know what to say about this commercial—that no one is better qualified to parody liberalism than liberals? that sometimes if you wait, they’ll top themselves?

Sure, they’re joking around, but there’s truth there, too.  Mark Steyn has said, of the creeping Islamization of the West, that some people always think it’s alarmist to be alarmed by the latest news on that front—the possibility of separate sharia law for the more Muslim parts of England, non-Muslim women wearing head coverings for their own protection in the cities of Europe, whatever—but then, if you’re willing to get used to the incremental changes as they come, nothing will ever be alarming to you:  That’s part of what incrementalism is.  America isn’t yet far enough gone down this road that this commercial directly represents reality—thus the audience can find it incongruous and funny, as I’m sure its authors intended—but at the same time, America is far enough gone that the ad isn’t shocking and repugnant to the audience, or too unrecognizable to be funny, or both.

I’ve heard it said that environmentalism, in certain people, isn’t about the environment at all; it’s just the latest convenient excuse (certainly not the first) for the people in power to expand their power, which necessarily comes at the expense of the liberty of the rest of us.  If I had wanted to dramatize that point and warn the people, I could hardly have done better than to create this commercial.

I recommend Jonah Goldberg’s and Mark Steyn’s incisive commentary on the commercial.

In another recent column, Steyn compares that kind of soft-tyranny domestic policy with the current trend in American foreign policy.  Steyn’s outlook isn’t always exactly sunny, and this column reminded me of another, by Stanley Kurtz, “Hawkish Gloom”.  I recommend them, if you can stand being brought down.

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3 Responses to “Totalitarianism Has Never Felt So Culturally Acceptable”


  1. […] you alarmed about any of this?  Probably not.  Again, as Mark Steyn has pointed out in another context, if you’re willing to get used to the incremental changes as they come, nothing will ever be […]


  2. […] it’s on topic again, here’s that “Green Police” commercial for your viewing pleasure (and/or […]


  3. […] about “bravery”, given that Audi’s Superbowl ad three years ago tried to glorify being a compliant wimp.  (Is Audi still doing damage control?)  Courage used to be considered one of the four cardinal […]


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