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Of Cults and Malcontents
We Must Hang Together Or Surely We Shall Hang Separately
I get it. You feel like you’re being crushed by a giant machine. You’re not alone. Dreamers and idealists like us have an inherent mistrust of those in positions of authority. It is perhaps the only thing that unites us.
But, alas, our attempts at achieving anything practical are consistently and predictably undermined by our inability to come together and rally behind a common cause. While we squabble among ourselves, the powers-that-be cultivate charismatic leaders capable of unifying people with disparate opinions. These cults of personality are highly effective. They provide a sense of unity and purpose, enabling those in power to remain in power.
In contrast, fear is the key factor that keeps opposition activists from making meaningful change in society. Too often, we are so afraid of being duped or becoming cultists that we mistrust even our own. This suspicion may be justified (there are, without a doubt, “controlled opposition” figures who seek to undermine our efforts from within), but it prevents us from coming together as a unified force.
The ultimate outcome is that we remain splintered and disorganized - or, to use Yuri Bezmenov’s term, “demoralized” - unable to make meaningful progress or create lasting change. Unless and until we can overcome our paralyzing fear, unite behind a common cause, and decide which leaders we can trust, we will remain malcontents: marginalized and unable to challenge the status quo.
It has been done before; Vaclav Havel and the other anticommunist activists in Eastern Europe were successful in bringing down The Evil Empire. Indeed, history is littered with the skeletons of tyrants laid low by freedom fighters, all of whom had to overcome spies, deception, and oppression. Are we too weak, too fearful, too distracted to succeed where our forebears succeeded?
Some days, I’m optimistic. Today, not so much.