The Official Blog Of Edward Cline

Stealth Fascism II: The dissolution of civil society

I wrote the following in April just to illustrate a term I invented to capture the character of what is
happening today, in 2020, because of the coronovirus and about the changing
character of America:

Stealth Fascism
Stealth Fascism
Taking my cue from Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead , what would Howard Roark do or not do? Imagine he is faced with the
likes of the Coronovirus in the 1920s and 1930s. He would laugh.


He would touch his face, while
scratching his head over a designing problem.
He would not regularly disinfect his
architectural drawings to show to prospective clients or employers.
He would take occasional trips to
shop.
He would not constantly wash his
hands, using a disinfectant; or a hand sanitizer.
He would go out, not stay at home,
and wonder what the hell ws “discretionary” or “essential” travel.
He would go to work.
He would not use his elbow to sneeze
into.
He would not wear a mask.
He was already in conflict with the
collectivism of his time.
He would eat and drink in a
speakeasy, when he had the money.
He would not maintain a social
distance from Dominique Francon.
 He would perform other actions or
non-actions we should take for granted, as sane behavior, as normal in his
world.
I’m really surprised and disappointed
by how readily Americans are to submit to stealth fascism. It’s not a
world I want to live in. It’s becoming less and less tolerable for me.
I have a good mind to order a Lone
Ranger mask from Amazon.
—————————————————————————————————————————————
The most visible anomaly I observe today is the ubiquity of face
masks; almost everywhere I go now I encounter a  clot of people wearing  them , in restaurants and even in gas stations.
People have been told to wear masks to help arrest the spread of the virus.  And to treat it as one’s “patriotic duty.”
Overall, I regard face masks as a subliminal order to “shut up,”  and to obey.  Nobody I know of is willing to question or
doubt the practice and effectiveness of wearing the masks, which I regard as an
absence of intellectual acuity. People wear them because “authorities” insist
on it and say they must if they do not want to catch or transmit a virus germ.  They wear them to flaunt an imagined civic
virtue. I heard one person during a radio call-in show say that he did not wear
a mask, but when he went into a convenience store, the manager yelled
“evacuate!” and most of his customers, who were wearing masks, ran screaming
out of the store. This was an instance of “herd” mentality. I take Roark’s silent
attitude about the conformity without even a grain of salt: I greet such
behavior with an aloofness or indifference  which not quite verges on contempt.

The next ludicrous anomaly I’ve
witnessed is the “social distancing” rule, which at the moment is six feet..As
with face masks, the necessity of maintaining one’s “social distance” seeps
into the public mind through official decrees, media propaganda, and constant
reminders and badgering  that  citizens must do their bit.  I’ve shopped in some major stores, such as
WalMart and Publix,  that have marked out  aisles with chalked 6-foot signs on the floor
that wend through various product sections all the way to check-out, where the
cashiers wear gloves and “sanitize” bags and purchased items with spray, and
even the shopping carts. God help you if you infringe on someone’s “space.” In
one store a masked shopper yelled at me, “Get away from me!” I was tempted to
reply, “I wouldn’t ask you out to dinner, either.”  That has happened in more than one instance.
In smaller stores the proprietors conscionsstiously mark where people must
stand to get their purchases rung up.  You can even be castigated in a parking lot.
I’ve been upbraided just getting out of my car if it’was too close to another.
Another curios development is the rush on toilet paper as reported in various
news items. You’d swear that TP had acquired the economic value of silver
coinage. And has become an item difficult to keep stocked and shelved.
Park rangers, local cops, municipal
officials and others emboldened by lockdown authority have become petty tyrants,
closing or fining businesses, raiding gatherings in homes, public parks,  beaches, and even funerals, to break up
groups of people assembled “Illegaly.” . Doubtless hovering drones report them
to the authorities and vests them with omniscience. Across the country
protestors are demonstrating
enmasse
against the lockdowns.
lone Individual citizens
are giving the “authorities” backtalk they do not
like. Most lockdowns and “stay at home” orders are mostly state government
decrees. The states demand full, obedient, immediate, and thoughtless
compliance by the electorate.
Our culture today does not resemble the free culture of yesteryear. Tom
McCaffrey, in an article on Canada Fee Press,noted:
It’s
hard to believe that there was a time in America when parents would set out
into the wilderness in covered wagons with their children, risking injury or
death every mile of the way, exposing themselves—and their children—to disease,
blizzards, droughts, wild animals, outlaws, and hostile Indians. Today, such
parents would be prosecuted for child abuse. …. But no one was in control back
then.” Freedom to move and assemble was taken for granted
. Today, that freedom is vanishing at the whim of the Gavin Newsoms and Gretchen Whitmers of the world.
What
would Howard Roark do? For one thing, he would vanish, as well. You would not
hear him laugh. But he would remain as a vision of all that ought to be.



What is “Stealth Fascism”?  It is an aggressive government program to
ingratiate state policies and priorities into the everyday, banal concerns of
private citizens, to ensure that they heed and obey those policies and
priorities. And also that they look to the state for guidance and for “moral”
clarity. It is insipid and evil. Patrick Henry would have nothing to do with
it; nor would Howard Roark.
–30–

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5 Comments

  1. Tom

    I think the masks make sense for the elderly or those with pre-existing medical conditions, but then only inside buildings frequented by the public. When I see someone wearing a mask while walking down a street alone, or bicycling on quiet roadway, or driving alone in a car, then I think, This is someone who is not in the habit of thinking for himself. But when I hear Sacramento mayor Darrel Steinberg, former Democratic majority leader of the California State Senate, urging (two days ago) that Sacramento County require that anyone who leaves his home wear a mask at all times, then I realize that something besides a concern genuine for safety is clearly at work here. The masks serve as a constant reminder to the unthinking that we are in the midst of a DIRE EMERGENCY, thereby making it easier to maintain the State-imposed economic depression that we are now suffering through, and thereby opening up all kinds of possibilities for changing California permanently into a socialist paradise.

  2. Roxanne

    Excellent point, Ed, on the masks being a subliminal way to tell us all to shut up. A definite subconscious bonus the Authorities got with that brain storm.
    Yes, there is some reason to wear them, at times. If visiting a nursing home, or a hospital. Or the home of someone on chemo. But not usually.

    ( Sneezing into your sleeve, or keeping distance from someone sneezing or from others if you are not well, are common-sense courtesies, are preventative and not irrational. Disease is a fact of life; it cannot be ignored. But it cannot be THE FACT of life.)

    That the strictures on what one can and cannot do (especially the restrictions on work and association) in California are increasing, while we have a very low death rate for SARS compared to NY, and it is decreasing, tells me there is a desire to condition the populace to mind and do as they are told. The power lusters of the world sense this is their time. It will take legal action to stop these abrogations of one's right to live. Or civil disobedience, which is already happening. Elon Musk has announced his Fremont plant is going back to work on Monday.

    An Assemblyman from Placer County, Kirk Uhler, said they are taking legal action to bring Newsom to heel. There are specific conditions that allow him to take action statewide in an emergency, and the one he is acting on no longer exists. (I.e, the attempt to not have medical services overwhelmed. County by county, the hospitals are in no danger of being overwhelmed.) There is no other condition Newsom can cite that would allow him to legally continue to stop people from going about their business

  3. Edward Cline

    Tom, Roxanne: Depending on the study of the efficacy of face masks, and I have read many online studies, they can either abet the transmission of the virus into a person, or partly or completely block it. It all depends on the effectiveness of the mask. For some wearers, it is nil. For others it’s just for show. As far as I can see, the jury is still out on the credibility of masks, one way or another.

  4. Edward Cline

    An acquaintance who read this post remarked: "You're quite the anarchist." No, I'm not, I replied. "I am for freedom and capitalism." She didn't quite grasp the difference.

  5. Edward Cline

    I am working on a followup on Stealth Fascism II.

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