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Totalitarianism, American-Style

The Charlie Kirk Show / Charlie Kirk
The Truth Network Radio
February 21, 2024 5:00 am

Totalitarianism, American-Style

The Charlie Kirk Show / Charlie Kirk

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February 21, 2024 5:00 am

Is America still the land of the free, like the national anthem says? Or is it becoming a very different country? Glenn Ellmers joins Charlie to lay out how a new, more insidious, American-style version of totalitarianism is creeping up all over the country, one that exploits science and relies on the incomprehensible concepts of post-modernism.

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Hey, everybody.

It's the end of Charlie Kirk Show. Glenn Elmers joins us for a meaningful and powerful conversation about totalitarianism, American style. Enjoy this conversation as we go in to the death of truth, the secret police that exists in our country and more. Email us as always freedom at Subscribe to our podcast. Open up your podcast application and type in charliekirkshow. Get involved with turningpointusa at

That is Buckle up everybody here. We go. Charlie, what you've done is incredible here. Maybe Charlie Kirk is on the college campus. I want you to know we are lucky to have Charlie Kirk. Charlie Kirk's running the White House.

I want to thank Charlie. He's an incredible guy. His spirit, his love of this country. He's done an amazing job building one of the most powerful youth organizations ever created.

Turning Point USA. We will not embrace the ideas that have destroyed countries, destroyed lives, and we are going to fight for freedom on campuses across the country. That's why we are here. My teachers. That's right. He was just teaching a great course last night and I enjoyed it.

Socrates and alphabites. I say that right. Glenn Elmers is with us. Glenn, it was a great course. Thank you, Charlie. Always good to be glad to hear that. And it's always good to be on your show.

It's I'm learning a lot and it's one of the best parts of my week. Glenn, there's a really important piece here. Totalitarianism, American style. It's on We've had Tom on the show before. He's a fan favorite.

Tell us about this piece. So, you know, more and more we're hearing the left and even a lot of normie cons say you guys are engaged in a lot of danger. You know, you base people on the right. You're engaged in a lot of dangerous rhetoric talking about how bad things are. And the truth is they claim, you know, everything's pretty normal.

There's nothing to worry about. There's no encroaching totalitarianism. There's no encroaching tyranny.

And we've heard this argument often enough that myself and another colleague of mine at the Claremont Institute decided to just answer this once and for all. And so we wrote a fairly long article for Tom's site called America totalitarianism, American style that lays out the answer to these claims. And we took a particular article that had, you know, a six point list of what tyranny amounts to and why America doesn't meet any of those criteria. And we answered them one by one and said, in fact, yes, even according to your own list, there's real dangerous signs of encroaching tyranny.

According to these standards of an oppressive ideology, an overwhelming national police force, suppression of free speech, a monopoly on the use of force, censorship and other things. And then we added a few other considerations that weren't in the list that were sort of alarming as well. The idea of the emerging global elite, which is certainly very threatening to American sovereignty, the emergence of an expert class that claims to rule in the name of higher wisdom.

And then this danger that you talk about all the time of the postmodernism that controls the thinking of our intellectual class and why that's a real danger to American liberty as well. And so we laid out with a lot of links and facts and information in a way that a lot of people seem to have found useful and been and the article's gotten a lot of traffic. It's excellent. And we're going to link it.

People can find it at Tom Klingenstein dot com. I want to read from part of it. It's incredibly powerful, this aspect here. Thanks to the conquest of nature and to be completely unabashed substitution of suspicion and the terror for law. The universal and final tyrant has at his disposal practically unlimited means for ferreting out and for extinguishing the most modest efforts in the direction of thought. The coming of the universal homogenous state will be the end of philosophy on Earth.

Tell us about that, Glenn. That's a quote from the very famous and influential political philosopher Leo Strauss, who saw decades ago already the early warning signs of this. As I said, this global elite, what he called the universal and homogenous state, which would suffocate not only liberty, but thought. And we see more and more signs of this. I mean, the growing power of technology in the hands of the ruling class, the suppression of dissent. Strauss, you know, this very famous guy, influential guy, saw long ago by studying political philosophy what tyranny would look like.

And and it's it's his prediction has borne out in ways that are very alarming, I think. Hey, everybody, Charlie Kirk here, if you're looking for a reliable and clear way to have voice and text communication to any number from anywhere in the world, you need a satellite phone and no one does it better than the satellite phone store. Just go to

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Prepare your family with power and communication. Go to Get a free sat phone for a free 15 month agreement. A one thousand two hundred dollar value. Safety and security just a click away.

Just go to for affordable individual family plans or call 855-980-5830. So part of the issue that some people in the middle have is they have an idea of a very specific time type of tyranny. They think of just people marching in the streets and raiding homes. Now, we do have that, too, to be perfectly clear.

People's homes are being raided. But you have this term that I really like, soft despotism. Can you elaborate on that? I think it's really powerful.

Sure. Yeah, that's a really important concept. It comes out of a very influential writer on the American scene who wrote in the 1800s named Alexis de Tocqueville. And what he predicted was that especially in a democracy, tyranny would emerge in a sort of different way. It would have a soft aspect, right? It would smother you rather than beating you over the head.

It would sap your energies. It would reduce us all to a kind of slavish conformity. And although there are certainly the hard elements, as you and I both know, and certainly the regime is willing to use force. The power of mass culture, the power of the media.

Now, of course, we have social media and the Internet and the way it imposes a kind of suffocating conformity and and makes us all sort of into zombies or robots. That's an aspect of this soft despotism that Tocqueville talked about that people don't, I think, fully appreciate. So I'm going to ask you, Glenn, and I know this is something that we've talked about in our classes, but it's I get asked all the time from people that believe everything you would write here to try and describe the motivations of the new authoritarian regime or the totalitarian regime.

And this is difficult. And because some people will say, well, they want to be philosopher kings themselves and they want to rule because they look at themselves as experts and they think that they could be part of this managerial revolution, the Cass Sunstein types. Other people say, no, they just want to burn everything to the ground. They want transformation.

They want the bitter and utter destruction. Can you elaborate on that? Because it is it is tough at times to pin motives on this ever totalitarian chapter that America is entering. I think the part of the difficulty is there's more than one faction. Right. So the ruling class is made up of a couple of different interest groups.

And so in a way, all these answers are true. Right. There certainly is a faction that seeks only its own power.

That's simply ruthless. That doesn't really believe in anything that just wants to dominate and exercise a kind of superior position in society without regard to any kind of other agenda. But there's also a much more, in a way, thoughtful, if that's the right word, element that really wants to transform human nature. It certainly does a kind of utopian, otherworldly project. And it sees the power of science in the power of science, the ability to transform human nature, to make us completely malleable. And this is behind things like, you know, the gender mutilation of children, transhumanism, using science in a way to remake us in this image that they have of what human beings should be. So there's different elements at play here, which I think makes it difficult to pinpoint one element or one explanation.

Yeah. And what science should be and once was, was an inquiry into the natural world to better understand, to observe and to wonder and to measure. Hi, I'm Adriana, a politics major at Hillsdale College.

Here's Hillsdale President Dr. Larry Arnn with a Constitution Minute. America's founders recognized an obvious fact of life. Human beings differ in terms of physical attributes and talents.

Because of this, some people will be better at some things than they are at others. But they also recognize that the tall and the short among us, the swift and the slow among us are still human beings if we are recognizable as human beings. And therefore, we are equal in terms of the rights that pertain to human beings, rights attached to human nature, rights that come from God. The Declaration of Independence names three of the big ones, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Exercising these rights is necessary if we are to be truly free. In our own time, many influential people believe that only government can decide what our rights should be. This is dangerous. Understanding our rights and how the Constitution protects them is vital to our freedom.

To learn more and get a free pocket Constitution, visit Science changed. Can you talk about when that changed? It was obviously the Germans there to blame for basically everything awful. But they got this fanatical idea that we can use, we could use this to actually recreate or to transform.

Sure, yeah. The Germans, as usual, have a big negative role here in this. But in a way, it even goes back before the great German thinkers of the 18th and 17th century, 19th century to the early moderns, more like the 1500s with people like Francis Bacon and Rene Descartes and others, who at the dawn of the Enlightenment and the Scientific Revolution saw in the power of all these emerging technologies in optics and calculus and mechanics. They got carried away with this and they thought that these all these new scientific discoveries that were happening in the early modern era really could give us eternal life, that we could establish a mechanistic basis for creating the peaceful, rational society by treating human beings as if we're gears and levers. And so this this conceit of modern science, of transforming human nature and creating a perfectly rational society, goes back a long time.

Even before, even before the worst of the Germans came along. Yeah, and it's it is rooted in in a prideful approach to life that you can somehow change what I believe is created or is at least in nature. So, Glenn, part of the piece that I also want to focus on here, and you mentioned this, is postmodernism and the truth as a construct. I'm going to read this quote. The rejection of our Western cultural inheritance includes, perhaps most strangely to the average person, a rejection of the very idea of objective truth. In the words of one recent academic paper, quote, only if Western science is toppled from its pedestal and understood in a cultural way, can it engage other sciences at eye level.

What does this require? Well, this strange attack on objective truth is not new. It was articulated and perhaps most incisively several decades ago by you wrote a book regarding him and we're going to study him soon in our class by the French postmodern thinker Michel Foucault, who explained that truth is literally a creation of what he called the power, knowledge, narrative or construct. Glenn, this is a hard thing for some, dare I say, you know, boomers in our audience. They say, are are there really people out there that believe there's no such thing as absolute truth or any truth?

Yeah, there is. So this is, again, why part of why it's hard to understand the woke ruling class agenda is, again, it's made up of different elements. There's an element that still believes in the transformative power of science that still wants to use technology to remake humans according to their own desires and passions and crazy expectations. But against that, there's this element of postmodernism, right, which rejects all truth, even scientific truth, and said everything is merely a construct, everything is merely a reflection of power.

And postmodernist thinkers like Foucault, who you mentioned following one of these bad Germans, Nietzsche, said that even science is a value, even science is subordinate to the human will to make truth into whatever we want. And so you see, I mean, it starts out in the academy and then it trickles out to the rest of the world. The idea that, you know, we should have feminist chemistry or we should have you know, we should reject the hegemony of mathematics as if we can build bridges on something other than than regular Western mathematical engineering principles. And this is a real phenomenon. And, you know, it started out as something that was sort of mocked in the academy, but it's spread through through D.I. indoctrination in the corporate world, in the military, in the workplace. It's this this ideology of postmodernism, which sees all truth as relative, is spreading farther and farther.

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Tom Klingenstein dot com. Totalitarianism, American style. So, Glenn, what can be done to fight such a totalitarian regime that seems less and less concerned with even being called tyrant, dictator or totalitarian? Right. So there's all the usual things.

Right. Get out. Get involved. Be sure to be active in politics. Get involved at the local level to the degree that you can.

I mean, Washington is pretty far gone. We have to we're going to have to depend on red states and red counties and the places where there are still patriotic Americans who who believe in and want to defend their liberties. And so they have to be active at the state and local level. What we can do with the national level is a little harder.

You know, we may we may get back a certain president who's who's willing to fight the bureaucracy in the deep state. And so, you know, get involved. But also, you know, I'm a teacher of political philosophy.

I have a Ph.D. in this subject. And so, you know, my my belief is is educate people. The more you understand about this issue, the more effective you can act, the more effective you can be involved. You know, the Claremont Institute has a lot of resources for people who want to understand both what the original principles of America were, how they went off the rails, some suggestions for how to understand the situation we're in and to the degree that people can educate themselves.

They can engage in effective action at the national and the local level. So writing this piece and describing the different aspects of how America has become totalitarian and is setting in, I find this to be very persuasive. Have you received a response from otherwise people that would say, you know, I otherwise didn't think I mean, it just seems so obvious to those of us that those of us that are living through this.

Can people be won over on this case? Yeah. So what's interesting is Tom Klingenstein, who's a friend of ours and, you know, chairman of the board of Claremont Institute and runs this site. He was the one who encouraged me to write this. And I didn't really think it was necessary because you and I are hyper aware.

Right. Some of the listeners are hyper aware, but not everyone is. And Tom said, look, what we need is something that lays this out, gives people the facts, gives them links, gives them the information and makes the argument in a clear, calm, coherent way. And it turned out he was right. I heard from all sorts of people who said, look, this turned out to be very useful. I'm so glad you wrote this.

And I can share with people. There's a lot of sense out there in middle America that something is wrong, but people can't quite put their finger on it. And so just laying out the facts and the steps and the information in a clear way, even though that's obvious to you and me, has turned out, as I found, to be very helpful to a lot of people.

I totally agree. And sometimes it's important to put together the different data points and to say, oh, I don't understand how this would connect with these other aspects that are unfolding. This kind of goes to the final question. Glenn, we are in the midst of a cold civil war. Very few people are willing to acknowledge it. I actually think one of the ways we win the cold civil war is we need to keep on saying that we are in a cold civil war. That's exactly right. And Tom, who runs the site and is a benefactor of mine, likes to say that all the time. The first step to winning a war is to know that you're in one. That's in a way the theme of cold site and the guiding principle that underlies a lot of the material that's on there, which is very useful.

Yeah, we have to understand the seriousness of the situation before we can act. And so I think you're exactly right about that. Glenn, great work. Love the courses. Everyone knows the Claremont Institute does these telos courses. I don't know if we're allowed to talk about it or not, but it's not totally a secret society, but it's just, you know, we read the classics and we talk about Machiavelli and Socrates and Plato.

It's great, especially for high school graduates such as myself. Glenn, thank you so much. Thank you, Charlie. Great work. Thanks so much for listening, everybody. Email us, as always, freedom at Charlie Kirk dot com. Thanks so much for listening. And God bless.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-02-21 06:07:55 / 2024-02-21 06:15:46 / 8

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