History provides the lesson: this is how it starts, the move away from freedoms toward tyranny. The fear of the descent into tyranny drove our Founders and should now drive us to consider the dynamics of the current day parallels.
Elections of one sort or another typically leads the way; followed by the attempt to centralize power. Some attempt,s more subtle than others but the President, or Prime Minister begins down the path of arrogant accumulation of powers never before granted. It is always an attempt to “do good”, to “make the trains run on time”, to “care for those in need”; it is however never about what they say it’s about. It is always and in every way nothing more complex than the effort to accumulate power for the application of ideology.
There are component parts to this effort.
There must be an enemy; the ‘other’. The enemy must be demonized; the enemy must be beneath contempt. The ‘leader’ must continually provide the fodder for violent passion directed at the enemy. This enemy must come to be seen as the source of all problems, the inhibition to the just society the leader has in mind for you all.
People who may see what is coming remain silent for any number of reasons: party loyalty, willful blindness, profit motives or fear. Opposition from friends and supporters is the most powerful of all opposition but as the move away from liberty gains momentum these friends are silent, hoping for the best or at least hoping the tyranny won’t touch them, they’re naiveté is the key lubricant for the path to tyranny.
Tyranny must make the argument that democratic process is unwieldy, that constitutional and legal constraints are an anachronism, holding the leader back from doing what is ‘right for the people’. “Trust me, all will be well but I need expanded powers.”
What of the path? It is the path populated by Straw Men to be propped up and knocked down, ultimately it is the path to the Strong Man who does in fact finally centralize power beyond the tipping point and now demands that faith in the state replace all other manner of faith. The path is well worn, Franco, Mussolini, Hitler, Mao, Ceausescu, Pol Pot, Stalin; all men of the Left and all motivating a cult of personality with themselves at the center.
Corporatism, or as we call it today, crony capitalism is the means to a degree of stabilized economic activity. It provides the tax base that all tyrants, at least Western and near Asian tyrants require. It’s hard to redistribute wealth when there is none.
True believers must be found and nourished. The suspension of individual thought and logical consideration must be rewarded, as must be the parroting of themes and invective. The true believers are the shock troops of the political path to tyranny; some know full well what comes next and embrace it in anticipation of personal power, some are simply, simple!
The masses must be addressed. Some come under control by way of manufactured media, some by way of being anesthetized by dependency, some by way of a false historical narrative and some by way of apathy. The leader must provide the appearance of positive ends as a necessary prelude to justifying the means.