I'm referring to what Vaclav Havel called the communist "culture of the lie." It is like any other lie, only collective, systematic, and institutionalized. There are cultures that are a "total lie" (or Lie, in caps) -- for example, Nazi Germany and the USSR -- but the phenomenon exists along a continuum of spiritual lethality.
What makes the Lie total, and why does it exist to begin with? First and foremost, the Lie is a total repudiation of human nature, and more generally of "the nature of things." Every culture is more or less in conformity with the nature of things (or perhaps less and lesser).
Which is precisely why people from shithole countries want to come to ours. We could easily draw a shithole/in-conformity-with-human-nature matrix, and situate each country somewhere within it.
For example, during the Cold War, East and West Germany were situated in very different places in the matrix. If not for the Berlin Wall, most everyone would have fled the former from the latter. Why? Because East Germany was a shithole country.
The same thing would happen if we stopped enforcing our southern border. Obviously, Mexico is a shithole country. But the direction of the flight tells us something about human nature, as people spontaneously seek out places more in conformity with the nature of things, so long as they are free to do so.
For example, before he was pope, Wojtyla insisted that human beings have "a natural instinct for the truth of things, a built-in inclination to the true, the good, and the beautiful." Therefore, "To reduce those choices, as communism did, to expressions of class interest or other economic forces was to dehumanize the human person."
Simple as. But again, there are degrees, for this is precisely what goes on today in academia: the whole regime of identity studies is an institutionalized and systematic method of dehumanization. And they're clever about it, because they call it "progress" and "liberation." It is indeed the latter -- i.e., liberation from the constraints of human nature.
How does one fight back against the Lie? You will note that in the culture of the Lie, nothing is more forbidden than truth-telling. As someone said, political correctness is a "war on noticing." For example, we are not permitted to notice that the UN might more accurately be called the United Shitholes:
Ace of Spades)
Weigel cites an old Polish joke, in which the party boss asks the worker how much is 2 + 2: "How much would you like it to be?" That is no joke. For example, Scholars claim that statistics 'serve white racial interests'. So, what percentage of violent crime is committed by blacks? What percentage of homosexuals suffer an early death due to their lifestyle? Er, what percentage would you like it to be?
In far left California I am immersed in the Lie. I well remember a psychological evaluation I conducted a couple of decades ago, in which the whole case hinged upon the fact that this patient had AIDS. However, the word was blacked out throughout the extensive medical file, nor was I permitted to utter it in my report! It was the key to the whole case, and yet, because of California law, I was prohibited from saying it. Writing the report was like an absurd Monty Python skit or Seinfeld episode in which everyone must linguistically dance around and deny the obvious.
If you must think twice before expressing an opinion about the obvious, then you are living in a culture of the lie, if not Lie. In most any social setting, I am constantly aware of just how far I can go. It's probably a big reason why I blog, because it is so freeing. But I wouldn't want my neighbors to know about the blog, any more than I would put a Trump sign on my house or car.
I guess that makes me a coward. How did Wojtyla deal with far worse circumstances? How did he help Poland escape from being a you-know-what country?
Communism was not just wrong; it was unnatural. It taught a false humanism, for men and women could only be free when they lived the truth about themselves, their communities, and their destiny. The truth about the human person was thus the most powerful weapon of resistance that could be deployed -- particularly in a situation in which proponents of the lie had a monopoly on other forms of power.
Even if we cannot publicly utter the truth, we need to preserve it and pass it along to future generations. This is one of the lessons of Heroism and Genius: How Catholic Priests Helped Build -- and Can Help Rebuild -- Western Civilization
It is always the Middle Ages, and indeed, a Dark Age between oppression and liberation, darkness and light, the lie and truth. That is what History is and will always be.
I had intended to tie this all in with No God, No Science, but I'm pressed for time this morning. The wife is visiting the mother-in-law, so it's all on me, including a very active Great Dane puppy.