A Lesson From The Man in the High Castle

In the 1930s, a tide of evil rose beneath the very noses of a complacent Europe.  

The Man In The High Castle, an Amazon original series based on the always-mind-bending writing of Philip K Dick, asks very unpleasant questions about what Americans can learn to live with.  It’s unnervingly prescient as a piece of historical fiction, and 

The premise is simple: what if the Nazis had won, the allies had lost?  What if Japan and the Reich shared the United States?  When the story opens, Americans have learned to live an occupied existence.  In a chilling moment early in the series when one of the lead characters is crossing Missouri, he meets a Nazi highway patrolman.  While they talk, white flakes fall from the sky.  Snow?  The lead asks.

“No,” explains the patrolman.  There’s a hospital nearby.   “On Tuesdays, they burn cripples, the terminally ill, the drag on the state.”  

What is most creepy about the scene is not that they burn the bodies; it’s not even the patrolman’s indifference to the act.  It’s how near that feels to reality. 

It is our moral duty to be on the lookout and on guard as watchmen against the next Reich, the next Evil Empire and the demon child that will lead it.  In civilized society, that moral duty is a pact that we share with one another.  That pact means that we look out for one another, that we keep an eye on our neighbor’s houses and that we run to help when there’s a car accident.  Beyond that, in more subtle ways, it means that we are all watchmen on guard against the incursions into our community by aberrations that might threaten our national community.  We see these aberrations because they are just that; they are at odds with what we know is normal. What is not normal is often a threat to our well being.  

Normalcy is vital to the preservation of any civilization.  When the body perceives something irregular in the sinuses, it sneezes.  When our immune system identifies an irregular agent like a virus, it causes a fever and flushes the bloodstream with white blood cells to eradicate the intruder with before it can do more harm.  

No system can sustain without the predication of normalcy.  

The left in America — and globally — is hellbent on eradicating normalcy and nullifying our right to react to what is not normal.  Progressives want to destroy our just, necessary and vital need to notice irregularities in our system.  

During the Bush years, the left engaged a brilliant strategy to push back against conservatism.  Gay Pride parades grew in popularity, as did the open discussion of abortion.  The left, after joining in the call to attack Iraq, eventually called the war “racist” and “imperialist.”  Bush didn’t argue, he allowed them their right to an opinion.  The left reacted against conservative policies as if their rights were being trampled, as if they were being oppressed — the strategy was push back, react, and then play the victim. 

Acting the proper conservative, the Bush administration didn’t seek to suppress the voices of the “offended,” because conservatism believes that anyone has a right to be offended by anything, and all also have the right to express their objection, no matter how misguided, no matter how illogical, no matter how maligned.  

When there was no longer a conservative authority to “oppress” them, the left switched strategies.  Then in the ultimate hypocritical swing of the century, any offense expressed by conservatives at anything — participating in a same-sex wedding, paying for medical procedures that violate your conscience, complaining that ideological warriors are oppressing homosexuals overseas — is not only wrong, it’s hateful and unacceptable.  Not only can the right not be offended, they don’t even have the right to react.  If a grown man walks into a restroom occupied by a young girl, it’s a hate crime to call foul, says the left.  

The show runner for the hit HBO series Game of Thrones remarked that the storytellers have an “unspoken pact with the audience” to “shock them” to new heights each season.  This is exactly the White House’s strategy when it comes to battling the social justice war.  

Gay marriage, transgender “rights,” park shutdowns, etc.  These are not a matter of policy for the Obama White House.  Each issue is a taunt, a weekly opportunity to get the GOP riled up and put conservatives on the defensive.   A friend within the White House laughed this off to me, saying “we love to troll Republicans.” Trolling.  The world is changing because the White House is practiced in trolling the rest of the country.  Issues to the Obama Administration are not important in an of themselves; they are ammunition and the goal is the lifeless, lead-riddled corpse of the American Right.  

What is most important is killing the Right; what is most important is winning at all costs.  

To deny someone else the right to an opinion, to suppress dissension from your viewpoint and to make illegal any activity that is divergent from your agenda is fascism, plain and simple.  The Bush years were a practice in plurality from the White House, but the Trojans walked through the wide open gates of the city and have taken over.

Any community, any society has both a codified and unspoken pact betweens its members.  This pact says that when I see someone breaking into my neighbor’s house, I phone the police.  when I see someone being accosted in public, I intervene.  When someone is acting strangely, I notify authorities.  Even deeper, though, the pact says that we must react when things are amiss.  Like a canary in a mineshaft, we signal alarm when there is something foul in the air.  It is our duty, our obligation to one another.  

We are the watchmen, the gatekeepers, all of us.  The Left doesn’t just want us, all of us, asleep at the gates, the Left wants it a crime to watch the city walls.  If no one disagrees with anything, no one will disagree with the Power of the Left, and its fascism will be complete — but of course, the joke will ultimately be on progressives when they watch the Trojans burn their newly conquered city to the ground. 

The Man In The High Castle is an excellent show, and an invaluable reminder of what we are meant to be on guard against.  Of the Nazis, and of the Japanese Empire, however, at least this much can be said: they kept watch at their own gates — and that is the lesson.  If we don’t react to the insanity of the Left’s demands with force and reason, then our home will become someone else’s, and fast.  

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