The NY Times Op-Ed: Another Page from the Left's Utopian Playbook

Before we lose our minds over the New York Times' anonymous op-ed, we should remind ourselves about who the leftists are.  And how they play their game.

Who are they?  As conservatives, why do we not agree with them?  That answer varies, but usually it is because we find their ideas foolish.  Ideas like "equality," "tolerance," "flourishing," and "social justice" sound like wonderful concepts.  Conservatives are not against these ideals, which leftists claim to tout.  The problem for most conservatives is that we don't believe that these goals are attainable through the methods the left provides, if at all.

The vision the left has of a good society seems, to most conservatives, like a lot of dreams that don't match anything in the real world.  They are the descriptions of a society that exists nowhere and never will exist.

The left believes, in other words, in Utopia.  Thomas More wrote an entire book in Latin about that, back in the sixteenth century.  In Utopia, More satirizes the idea of a perfect society.  The book focuses on an island nation on which someone named "Raphael" claims he spent five years.  The word "utopia" means, literally, no place or "nowhere."  The society of Utopia is a collection of ideal situations that look a lot like the left's fantasies of social justice.

We hear that the Utopians "have very few laws" (87) because their cultural means of encouraging virtue work smoothly and do not require onerous enforcement.  In fact, so deeply are the fruitful habits of the Utopians imbued in their personality that their "first principle is that every soul is immortal and was created by a kind God, Who meant it to be happy" (71).

Most illustrative for readers of the New York Times op-ed is what the Utopians do to protect themselves from violent invasion without having to fight wars.  Take a look at this passage:

So the moment war's declared they arrange through secret agents for lots of posters to go up simultaneously at all points on enemy territory where they are most likely to be seen.  These posters carry the official seal of the Utopian government and offer a huge reward for killing the enemy king.  They also offer smaller but still very considerable sums for killing certain individuals whose names appear on a list and who are presumed to be the chief supporters, after the king, of anti-Utopian policies.  The reward for bringing such people in alive is twice as much as for killing them – and they themselves are offered the same amount of money, plus a free pardon, for turning against their own associates.

The immediate result is that everyone mentioned on the list becomes suspicious of everything in human shape.  They all stop trusting one another and stop being trustworthy.  They live in a constant state of terror, which is perfectly justified for it's often been known to happen that all of them including the king himself are betrayed by the very person that they pinned the most faith on. (92)

More describes the artful but sinister form of psychological manipulation, which history remembers from the Spanish Inquisition and wars of the Reformation.  In Utopia, this form of psychological operation constitutes "peaceful means" of achieving one's political ends.

Should it surprise us that the anonymous op-ed in the New York Times seems to engage in Utopian warfare?  People exist who want the Trump administration to fall apart and who want a reinstatement of the Obama-Clinton cabal.  They have situated themselves in various posts across entities that would deliberately collaborate to wage some version of More's Utopian mind games.  The idea is to breed maximum distrust among Trump's allies and then cause them to fall apart.  Then the Democrats do not have to spend money or do the hard work in order to build a base of support, engineer intelligent policies, or execute their plans faithfully.

Every day, more information comes to light about the coordination among people in the major media outlets and members of the seventeen organizations in the Intelligence Community.  That is not to mention, as well, the disturbing links between intelligence and academia, as well as the churches.  Consider for instance what I came across in my recent study of the American Academy of Religion.  The published program from the 2017 conference of the Academy included Session "P17-241," which states the following:

In the years following the 1993 confrontation between the FBI and a religious community called the Branch Davidians, religion scholars have occasionally offered the FBI advice regarding dissident religious groups who are less commonly well-understood and who come into conflict with law enforcement.  The American Academy of Religion has served as an interlocutor for the Critical Incident Response Group and has also established a relationship with the FBI Academy through its National Academy.  The mutual hope of religion scholars and the FBI officials with whom they have interacted has been that consultation might lead to better outcomes than occurred with the Branch Davidians.  This panel will reflect on the interaction between religion scholars and law enforcement officials over the past 25 years and what may be learned from the experience to inform interaction going forward.

In looking at this innocuous entry in a conference program that is hundreds of pages long, you may wonder how American society became so blasé about its totalitarian psy ops.  Here you have Harvard brokering a "collusion," literally, between spies and the people studying religions that people don't like.  If you think by "dissident religions" the Harvard pontiffs refer to Islam, you are probably not paying close enough attention.  The new Branch Davidians, at least in the mind of people engineering this modern-day Inquisition, are probably Christian sects that disagree with Democrats and might defy Democrat-led governments.

In order to defray the possibility of conflict, Barack Obama's old alma mater has gathered together "religion scholars" whose field research involves spying on the religious opposition to the Democrats and feeding information to the FBI.  You do not have to go far to connect the dots from here to the media, either.  According to a press release by the American Academy of Religion on July 16, 2018, the Academy grants awards for "Best In-Depth Newswriting on Religion."  The top three winners this year were:

Daniel Burke, CNN Religion Editor ... Jack Jenkins, national reporter for Religion News Service, second; and Kelsey Dallas, faith writer for Desert News, third[.] ...

Jurors described Burke's winning articles on the mysteries, complexities, and divisiveness of religion involving Neil Gorsuch's background, Roy Moore, LGBT rights, and the debate between moral evil and natural[.]

So the Academy's top prize went to a "religion reporter" who works for CNN and did "in-depth reporting" on Neil Gorsuch, Roy Moore, and LGBT rights as they relate to people of faith.  The Academy giving him this award sits on an information pipeline between the FBI and the colleges whose faculty evaluated his work for a prize.  The runner-up:

Jack Jenkins presented a "smart, varied thematic approach to an issue at the heart of the national conversation – the resurgence of white nationalism," commented one juror.  He approached the topic through the lenses of faith, history, Trump, the Charlottesville protest, and the presence of white nationalism in church pulpits.

Are you starting to smell the rat? Note who made up the jury:

The jury make-up included Evan Berry, Associate Professor of Philosophy and Religion, American University, and member of [Committee on the Public Understanding of Religion]; Michelle Boorstein, religion reporter for the Washington Post; and Jaweed Kaleem, national race and justice correspondent for the Los Angeles Times.

When you come across a column as provocative as the New York Times op-ed, you may be tempted to react to the cues immediately available to you.  It looks at first glance like the statement by someone working in the Trump administration sincerely worried about the future of the country.  But to reach print, such a document had to have passed through many sieves.

See the connections among academia, the intelligence community, the churches, and the press.  Because obvious networks of people with similar sympathies occupy key posts in all these institutions, they can coordinate and know how to do so.  They have a purpose: to bring the Obama regime's cronies back to absolute power and to destroy the "dissident religion" represented by Trump's evangelical base, which the Harvard Estate views as racist and anti-LGBT.  They have a strategy: avoid high financial costs, avoid difficult conflict, and give as much cover as possible to the colluders.

The idea here is to breed anxiety, distrust, and division in Trump's camp.  Part of this involves culling key terms from the Christian and conservative base that girds Trump and developing emotionally fraught storylines that can turn such constituencies against each other.  They have the researchers who are paid (by tax-exempt non-profit colleges!) to look into the workings of the conservative Christian world as their full-time jobs.  They have collaborators in the churches who can spy on all information about Trump's evangelical base through ministries on the ground.  They have the intelligence community ready to execute the dirty work.

And they have the media to spin the whole affair so people get distracted and don't see the vicious inquisition right before them.

But here is one thing they can't take from us: Thomas More.  He gives us the playbook.  We should read it and work from it.

Follow Robert Oscar Lopez at English Manif.  Also, keep an eye for a series he hosts for Mass Resistance called "Save Our Churches."

WORK CITED

Thomas More.  Utopia.  Trans. Paul Turner.  New York: Penguin, 2003.

Before we lose our minds over the New York Times' anonymous op-ed, we should remind ourselves about who the leftists are.  And how they play their game.

Who are they?  As conservatives, why do we not agree with them?  That answer varies, but usually it is because we find their ideas foolish.  Ideas like "equality," "tolerance," "flourishing," and "social justice" sound like wonderful concepts.  Conservatives are not against these ideals, which leftists claim to tout.  The problem for most conservatives is that we don't believe that these goals are attainable through the methods the left provides, if at all.

The vision the left has of a good society seems, to most conservatives, like a lot of dreams that don't match anything in the real world.  They are the descriptions of a society that exists nowhere and never will exist.

The left believes, in other words, in Utopia.  Thomas More wrote an entire book in Latin about that, back in the sixteenth century.  In Utopia, More satirizes the idea of a perfect society.  The book focuses on an island nation on which someone named "Raphael" claims he spent five years.  The word "utopia" means, literally, no place or "nowhere."  The society of Utopia is a collection of ideal situations that look a lot like the left's fantasies of social justice.

We hear that the Utopians "have very few laws" (87) because their cultural means of encouraging virtue work smoothly and do not require onerous enforcement.  In fact, so deeply are the fruitful habits of the Utopians imbued in their personality that their "first principle is that every soul is immortal and was created by a kind God, Who meant it to be happy" (71).

Most illustrative for readers of the New York Times op-ed is what the Utopians do to protect themselves from violent invasion without having to fight wars.  Take a look at this passage:

So the moment war's declared they arrange through secret agents for lots of posters to go up simultaneously at all points on enemy territory where they are most likely to be seen.  These posters carry the official seal of the Utopian government and offer a huge reward for killing the enemy king.  They also offer smaller but still very considerable sums for killing certain individuals whose names appear on a list and who are presumed to be the chief supporters, after the king, of anti-Utopian policies.  The reward for bringing such people in alive is twice as much as for killing them – and they themselves are offered the same amount of money, plus a free pardon, for turning against their own associates.

The immediate result is that everyone mentioned on the list becomes suspicious of everything in human shape.  They all stop trusting one another and stop being trustworthy.  They live in a constant state of terror, which is perfectly justified for it's often been known to happen that all of them including the king himself are betrayed by the very person that they pinned the most faith on. (92)

More describes the artful but sinister form of psychological manipulation, which history remembers from the Spanish Inquisition and wars of the Reformation.  In Utopia, this form of psychological operation constitutes "peaceful means" of achieving one's political ends.

Should it surprise us that the anonymous op-ed in the New York Times seems to engage in Utopian warfare?  People exist who want the Trump administration to fall apart and who want a reinstatement of the Obama-Clinton cabal.  They have situated themselves in various posts across entities that would deliberately collaborate to wage some version of More's Utopian mind games.  The idea is to breed maximum distrust among Trump's allies and then cause them to fall apart.  Then the Democrats do not have to spend money or do the hard work in order to build a base of support, engineer intelligent policies, or execute their plans faithfully.

Every day, more information comes to light about the coordination among people in the major media outlets and members of the seventeen organizations in the Intelligence Community.  That is not to mention, as well, the disturbing links between intelligence and academia, as well as the churches.  Consider for instance what I came across in my recent study of the American Academy of Religion.  The published program from the 2017 conference of the Academy included Session "P17-241," which states the following:

In the years following the 1993 confrontation between the FBI and a religious community called the Branch Davidians, religion scholars have occasionally offered the FBI advice regarding dissident religious groups who are less commonly well-understood and who come into conflict with law enforcement.  The American Academy of Religion has served as an interlocutor for the Critical Incident Response Group and has also established a relationship with the FBI Academy through its National Academy.  The mutual hope of religion scholars and the FBI officials with whom they have interacted has been that consultation might lead to better outcomes than occurred with the Branch Davidians.  This panel will reflect on the interaction between religion scholars and law enforcement officials over the past 25 years and what may be learned from the experience to inform interaction going forward.

In looking at this innocuous entry in a conference program that is hundreds of pages long, you may wonder how American society became so blasé about its totalitarian psy ops.  Here you have Harvard brokering a "collusion," literally, between spies and the people studying religions that people don't like.  If you think by "dissident religions" the Harvard pontiffs refer to Islam, you are probably not paying close enough attention.  The new Branch Davidians, at least in the mind of people engineering this modern-day Inquisition, are probably Christian sects that disagree with Democrats and might defy Democrat-led governments.

In order to defray the possibility of conflict, Barack Obama's old alma mater has gathered together "religion scholars" whose field research involves spying on the religious opposition to the Democrats and feeding information to the FBI.  You do not have to go far to connect the dots from here to the media, either.  According to a press release by the American Academy of Religion on July 16, 2018, the Academy grants awards for "Best In-Depth Newswriting on Religion."  The top three winners this year were:

Daniel Burke, CNN Religion Editor ... Jack Jenkins, national reporter for Religion News Service, second; and Kelsey Dallas, faith writer for Desert News, third[.] ...

Jurors described Burke's winning articles on the mysteries, complexities, and divisiveness of religion involving Neil Gorsuch's background, Roy Moore, LGBT rights, and the debate between moral evil and natural[.]

So the Academy's top prize went to a "religion reporter" who works for CNN and did "in-depth reporting" on Neil Gorsuch, Roy Moore, and LGBT rights as they relate to people of faith.  The Academy giving him this award sits on an information pipeline between the FBI and the colleges whose faculty evaluated his work for a prize.  The runner-up:

Jack Jenkins presented a "smart, varied thematic approach to an issue at the heart of the national conversation – the resurgence of white nationalism," commented one juror.  He approached the topic through the lenses of faith, history, Trump, the Charlottesville protest, and the presence of white nationalism in church pulpits.

Are you starting to smell the rat? Note who made up the jury:

The jury make-up included Evan Berry, Associate Professor of Philosophy and Religion, American University, and member of [Committee on the Public Understanding of Religion]; Michelle Boorstein, religion reporter for the Washington Post; and Jaweed Kaleem, national race and justice correspondent for the Los Angeles Times.

When you come across a column as provocative as the New York Times op-ed, you may be tempted to react to the cues immediately available to you.  It looks at first glance like the statement by someone working in the Trump administration sincerely worried about the future of the country.  But to reach print, such a document had to have passed through many sieves.

See the connections among academia, the intelligence community, the churches, and the press.  Because obvious networks of people with similar sympathies occupy key posts in all these institutions, they can coordinate and know how to do so.  They have a purpose: to bring the Obama regime's cronies back to absolute power and to destroy the "dissident religion" represented by Trump's evangelical base, which the Harvard Estate views as racist and anti-LGBT.  They have a strategy: avoid high financial costs, avoid difficult conflict, and give as much cover as possible to the colluders.

The idea here is to breed anxiety, distrust, and division in Trump's camp.  Part of this involves culling key terms from the Christian and conservative base that girds Trump and developing emotionally fraught storylines that can turn such constituencies against each other.  They have the researchers who are paid (by tax-exempt non-profit colleges!) to look into the workings of the conservative Christian world as their full-time jobs.  They have collaborators in the churches who can spy on all information about Trump's evangelical base through ministries on the ground.  They have the intelligence community ready to execute the dirty work.

And they have the media to spin the whole affair so people get distracted and don't see the vicious inquisition right before them.

But here is one thing they can't take from us: Thomas More.  He gives us the playbook.  We should read it and work from it.

Follow Robert Oscar Lopez at English Manif.  Also, keep an eye for a series he hosts for Mass Resistance called "Save Our Churches."

WORK CITED

Thomas More.  Utopia.  Trans. Paul Turner.  New York: Penguin, 2003.