“Live Free or Die” Might be a Motto, But . . .

Perhaps swallowing dogma whole only leaves one with a socio-political gastro-intestinal distress, as if there is an analogy for gastro-intestinal processes or disruptions in what we can call the political mind; but then we do speak of the body politic, don’t we? In my understanding, from what I see, what I hear, what I personally experience in my neighborhood and other neighborhoods around the city, there are far too many people from the former republics of the Soviet Union or from mainland China who were either members of the Communist Parties in their respective countries, or have assimilated the manners of operating within such a system. Adapting to a totalitarian social schema designed to keep everyone on his toes, walking on egg shells, and participating in small or slightly larger degrees in the repression that was wide spread became as natural–if we can speak of the nature of a society–as leaves growing on trees. The horror of all totalitarian oppression is that everyone participates in larger or lesser degrees, no one is exempt, and the repressive actions become collective. How to educate without indoctrinating; how to reject ideology without rejecting the person or persons spewing (yes, spewing) a virulently oppositional form of thinking that stands contrary to the fundamentals of Liberty and Democracy is a very difficult task.

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