The Soft Totalitarianism of ‘Anti-Racist’ Ideology

“If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.”

I’ve long argued that this exhortation is a soft form of totalitarianism. It’s rhetorical bullying. The speaker assumes he or she has authoritative knowledge of not just the problem but the solution. And if you disagree, you’re a problem.

There’s no safe harbor, no middle position where someone can say “let’s discuss this more,” never mind “I disagree” or “your solution is bad.” That’s why “If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem” is so often used in conjunction with “the time for debate is over.”

Now, when I say it’s totalitarian, that doesn’t mean I’m saying everyone who uses it is a totalitarian. It just means I think they’re usually mistaken.

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