From the inside vs. from the outside

published Oct 05, 2021, last modified Oct 13, 2021

The same thing looks extremely different when seen from different historic vantage points.

Most people who learn about the Stasi or the NKVD eras believe their secret murders, gulags, forced "medical treatments", and terror lists, were a program operated by roughly a 0.1% of the populace to oppress the suffering 99.9%.  This is how Communism looks like, from the outside.

This isn't how Communism looks from the inside.

From the inside, the exact same regime looks much more like contemporary America.  All these programs exist already, in one way or another — perhaps more sophisticated, but all in essence the same.  What is truly chilling, is that the vast majority of the populace either give tacit approval of these evils, or enthusiastically support the nixing of their "rebel" compatriots for the crime of wrongthink, or are entirely unironically involved in executing these programs of evil.  Effectively, a large part of the populace is complicit.

Regime sycophants, snitches, rats, prætors, and bureaucrats, they don't come from the ruling elites — they are recruited from the same lumpen they enthusiastically oppress.  The elites, of course, make sure there's an ample supply of obedient order-followers in that crowd, through their extensive "education" (indoctrination) programs.

When this is finally over, perhaps 50 years from now, we'll look back at Gitmo, "terror lists", and widespread censorship, as proof that we repeated the Stasi's history once again, with far more effectiveness and deniability, due to the more distributed and horizontal nature of the oppression enforcement.

And, chances are, people will again forget about the massive collaboration that members of society lent to these evils.

Evil is never just on the leaders; it always takes the many assholes in the crowd.