Thursday, December 24, 2020

Darkness At Noon

Darkness at Noon and the Progressive Mindset

Darkness at Noonpublished in December 1940stands as one of the most penetrating denunciations of totalitarian ideology ever written. Eighty years later, the novel is still relevant: not only as an expose of Communist ideology but of the ideology that animates the woke progressivism of our age.

The author, Arthur Koestler, was a Hungarian-born journalist who joined the Communist Party in 1932, traveled in the USSR, and became a war correspondent during the Spanish Civil War. He was imprisoned by the Spanish fascists, then later broke with the Communist Party.  These experiences were blended together in Darkness at Noon, which became Koestler's best-known work.

Koestler exposes the ethics of Communism -- and that of the Progressive Left. Objective truth and falsehood, guilt or innocence doesn't matter. What matters is embracing the ideology that is “on the right side of history.” This is the essence of political correctness: objective truth must be discarded, as “politically incorrect,” if it does not advance the worldview of the social justice warrior.

Thus, as social critic Theodore Dalrymple puts it, “[p]olitical correctness is communist propaganda writ small.”

Dalrymple draws a parallel between the old traditional Marxists and today's cultural Marxists:

Dalrymple draws a parallel between the old traditional Marxists and today's cultural Marxists:

“I came to the conclusion that the purpose of communist propaganda was not to persuade or convince, nor to inform, but to humiliate; and therefore, the less it corresponded to reality the better. When people are forced to remain silent when they are being told the most obvious lies, or even worse when they are forced to repeat the lies themselves, they lose once and for all their sense of probity. To assent to obvious lies is to co-operate with evil, and in some small way to become evil oneself. One's standing to resist anything is thus eroded, and even destroyed.”

Dalrymple concluded: “A society of emasculated liars is easy to control. I think if you examine political correctness, it has the same effect and is intended to.”

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