Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Gleichschaltung and the erosion of liberty

Ran across this old item by Ed Driscoll. Even more relevant today:

From Gaius Gracchus to the Gleichschaltung

Gleichschaltung is a German word (in case you couldn’t have guessed) borrowed from electrical engineering. It means “coordination.” The German National Socialists (Nazis) used the concept to get every institution to sing from the same hymnal. If a fraternity or business embraced Nazism, it could stay “independent.” If it rejected Nazism, it was crushed or bent to the state’s ideology. Meanwhile, every branch of government was charged with not merely doing its job but advancing the official state ideology.

Now, contemporary liberalism is not an evil ideology. Its intentions aren’t evil or even fruitfully comparable to Hitlerism. But there is a liberal Gleichschaltung all the same. Every institution must be on the same page. Every agency must advance the liberal agenda.
(The quoted passage is from Jonah Goldberg)


This is a great article by Robert D. Kaplan:

The Post-Imperial Moment
This seems to fit quite well with the Goldberg quote:

Witness the Islamic State, which does not represent Islam per se, but Islam combusting with the tyrannical conformity and mass hysteria of the Internet and social media.

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