Editor’s note: The following essay appears in the Spring 2021 issue of Eikon.
Rod Dreher is a senior editor and writer at The American Conservative and the author of several books, including The Benedict Option: A Strategy for Christians in a Post-Christian Nation and Live Not By Lies: A Manual for Christian Dissidents.
Rod Dreher on Soft Totalitarianism
1. Can you explain what Soft Totalitarianism is?
When people think of totalitarianism, what comes to mind is gulags, secret police, torture — basically, Stalinism, or Orwell’s “Nineteen Eighty-Four. This is understandable, because that was the twentieth century experience. But if we are looking out for the KGB agents to come roaring down the street to haul us off to prison, we’re not going to see it, and we’re going to miss the softer ways totalitarianism is emerging in our society.
Totalitarianism is a political system in which only one political ideology is allowed, and everything in society becomes…