Not only are we slouching toward Gomorrah, we are sliding toward something like communism. Trump, I fear, is only a temporary brake. Excerpts from an article by Stella Morabito:
Erasure of collective memory. Another crime of radical education reform is its attack on the study of history, civics, and the classics of literature. Today we can see the bitter fruits of such 1960s radical education reform, which has roots going back to 1920s with John Dewey. If we are no longer able to place ourselves and society into the context of historical events, our vision going forward will be blurred at best.
It gets even worse if we don’t learn how our form of government functions. Today fewer and fewer college students have the capacity to understand that the First Amendment serves as a buffer against totalitarianism, not something to be abolished under the pretext of “hate speech.” And depriving students exposure to literary classics like Shakespeare (based on the charge that such works are “Western” and therefore ethnocentric) prevents them from discussing the universal human condition and our common humanity.
Instead, students are increasingly fed grievance studies and identity politics. As universities go this route, it trickles down to K-12 education. As a result, we are losing the social glue of our common traditions and heritage—not just as a nation, but as human beings. This cultivation of ignorance by the education establishment over the years compounds the isolating effect on people. It makes youth especially vulnerable to becoming fodder for power elites.
[ . . .]
Language manipulation. The whole point of the totalitarian abuse of language is to prevent independent thought, the subject of George Orwell’s essay “Politics and the English Language.” When people accept the abuse of language, and incorporate it into their own vocabularies without thinking about it, they can be easily ventriloquized by power elites.
Victor Klemperer addressed this phenomenon in his book “Language of the Third Reich.” His thesis was that the Nazi regime’s abuse of language was its primary means of turning all German people into Nazis. He writes, “They found it difficult to think about life and morality in any other way. . . .Words are like tiny doses of arsenic, swallowed unnoticed, and then after a while the toxic reaction sets in.”His thesis was that the Nazi regime’s abuse of language was its primary means of turning all German people into Nazis.
Consider all the weaponized memes and slogans we swallow today that shape how we think: “woke,” “bend the knee,” and “cisgender” are just a few. All are meant to modify our thoughts and behaviors in everyday life. An especially aggressive abuse of language are new laws that enforce strange pronoun usages that destabilize the structure of our language. By passing laws that punish the “misgendering” of someone as “hate speech,” we veer into kangaroo court territory, as well as force unnatural changes in our language.