Repentance: once a means of righting your wrongs before God, now a mechanism for the savages of our post-Christian society to publicly humiliate anyone who goes against the grain.
If you’re a rebel and the masses can’t kill or silence you, their fallback is to try to convert you. Castrate you, lobotomize you, make you as mindless and suppliant as they are.
O’Brien smiled slightly. “You are a flaw in the pattern, Winston. You are a stain that must be wiped out. Did I not tell you just now that we are different from the persecutors of the past? We are not content with negative obedience, nor even with the most abject submission. When finally you surrender to us, it must be of your own free will. We do not destroy a heretic because he resists us; so long as he resists us we never destroy him. We convert him, we capture his inner mind, we reshape him. We burn all evil and all illusion out of him; we bring him over to our side, not in appearance, but genuinely, heart and soul. We make him one of ourselves before we kill him. It is intolerable to us that an erroneous thought should exist anywhere in the world, however secret and powerless it may be. Even in the instance of death we cannot permit any deviation. In the old days a heretic walked to the stake still a heretic, proclaiming his heresy, exulting in it. Even the victim of the Russian purges could carry rebellion locked up in his skull as he walked down the passage waiting for the bullet. But we make the brain perfect before we blow it out. The command of the old despotisms was “Thou shalt not.’ The command of the totalitarians was ‘Thou shalt.’ Our command is ‘Thou art.’ No one whom we bring to this place ever stands out against us. Everyone is washed clean…
George Orwell, 1984
Orwell was right and wrong. He envisioned that our future tyrants would keep us in check with ultraviolence. But just because America doesn’t have any gulags doesn’t mean our treatment of thoughtcriminals is any less like Oceania’s.
Death camps and firing squads are weak sauce compared to the ultimate weapon of mass obedience: social ostracism.
Say something truthful but upsetting to the established order, and you’ll likely lose your job. If you don’t get fired right off the bat, you can bet there’ll be a torch-wielding mob threatening your employer into submission. Criticize your Marxist, feminist, lunatic leftist professors and be threatened with failing grades, never mind academia’s claim to be a place where ideas can be exchanged freely. Espouse red pill ideas in front of your blue pill friends and get kicked out of the club.
In the cult of political correctness, Oprah and Obama are the high priests. Kneel before them, heretics!
Ostracism is more effective than bonfires or bullets both because it sows doubt among the rebel’s followers while simultaneously preying on his desire for social acceptance. A murdered man easily becomes a martyr, more powerful in death than he ever was in life. Men who are jailed or otherwise silenced can inspire loyalty too. But a rebel broken down, seemingly recanting his beliefs, apologizing for what he’s said, brings discord to his movement. Some begin doubting their faith in him, while others might go extremist. Think how Malcolm X was murdered by one of his own supporters for the crime of moderating his beliefs.
Either way, if the rebel recants, the revolution is dead.
As for social acceptance, this cuts deep to man’s nature as a social animal. Contrary to what a generation raised on the boob tube and the silver screen thinks, the path of a rebel is a lonely one. Wouldn’t it be nice to be normal? Have a nice normal, boring job, normal boring friends, spend all your free time splayed out in front of the TV or watching cat videos on your iPhone while shoveling donuts in your mouth? Just be another happy-go-lucky American moron.
Sure, you’ll be fat, depressed and stupid, but at least you won’t be alone in your misery.
That’s one thing an honest human fears: being alone. Not having a single soul, be it a friend, a lover or a family member, who cares about your existence. The masses promise that you’ll never be alone so long as you do exactly what they say.
They’re lying, but those lies can be tempting after a lifetime of being a pariah. “Why oh why didn’t I take the BLUE pill?”
This is what happened to Tucker Max. After a lifetime of spitting in the face of the establishment, he finally broke down. Granted, he was a narcissistic asshole, but he was also honest, funny and most importantly, right. Loneliness, combined with a string of high-profile business failures (his movie bombed, his media company collapsed, and his second book barely sold compared to his first), got to him. Max couldn’t simply say, “Look, I want to move on from my old life, but I’m not apologizing for what I’ve written,” he went to the Room 101 of therapy and came out a drooling vegetable.
But it was all right, everything was all right, the struggle was finished. He had won the victory over himself. He loved Big Brother.
No man is more honorable than the one who goes to his grave without repenting, without apologizing for speaking the truth to a world infatuated with lies. Hunter S. Thompson is the best example. He ended his life without going to rehab, without giving up the drugs, without apologizing for what he wrote or believed. He didn’t give his enemies the satisfaction of breaking his spirit.
He died a rebel. And to die a rebel fighting against a corrupt society is to die a hero.
I’m young enough that I can’t say how the rest of my life is going to turn out, but I do know one thing: I’m not giving in. I refuse to repent.
Will I be wrong from time to time? Of course. Will I fuck up in a major way? It’s all but guaranteed.
But I will not apologize for speaking what I believe to be the truth.
“Misogynist,” “racist,” “fascist,” “immoral,” “douchebag”; throw any name at me and I’ll wear it with pride. Your disapproval is my fuel. I’m not interested in the poison pill you’re offering me. If the price of rebelling against corruption and sickness is loneliness, it’s a cross I’m willing to bear.
Come and get me.
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