Part II of the Truth and Culture Warrior
The Lay of the Land – Understanding the Strengths and Weaknesses of the Totalitarian
Hence the saying: If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.
– Sun Tzu
Before we go deeper into the nature of the Totalitarian mind, let’s discuss the advantages and disadvantages that the Totalitarian mind has vis a vis the Civilized mind.
By understanding these advantages and weaknesses, we can help to formulate a better strategy for defeating totalitarian movements.
Any strategy should seek to 1) Undermine the adversary’s strength, 2) Exploit the adversary’s weakness 3) Preserve our own strength, 4) Guard our own weakness.
The Totalitarian Mind – Advantages
- Deceit – Being effortlessly deceitful and using doublethink, the Totalitarian can manipulate truth and narratives to their advantage. They are capable of lying better than most people are capable of telling the truth.
- A Culture of Fear – The Totalitarian mind instinctively reacts with hostility or violence to being challenged, this creates a state of fear in the surrounding populace. The totalitarian conditions the society around him into fearing to tell the truth.
- False Accusations – Totalitarians regularly engage in false accusations, threats, blackmail and fabrications to silence and discredit their enemies.
- A Cloak of Virtue – Like the proverbial wolf in sheep’s clothing, Totalitarians inevitably disguise themselves in a cloak of virtue. This gives a veneer of credibility to their otherwise illogical arguments.
- Censorship and Information Control – Unable to defend itself against the truth, Totalitarians will always seek first to destroy freedom of speech and limit the terms of debate. Breaking censorship schemes and information control is crucial to destroying the power of the totalitarian.
- Certainty – The Totalitarian mind is possessed with a certainty of it’s mission. Totalitarians almost never doubt the superiority of their cause, or waver in their hatred of their enemy. This gives them a great deal of resilience and persistence.
The Civilized Mind – Advantages
- Truth – The civilized mind, properly developed, can see the truth with a greater clarity than the Totalitarian mind. Truth provides the following advantages:
- It neither overestimates nor underestimates the adversary.
- It is convincing to third parties (when evidence is brought to bear).
- It doesn’t change from time to time.
- It is verifiable with evidence.
- It provides protection from the law.
- In the end, the human mind respects truth.
- Compassion – The Civilized mind is compassionate (though Truth is more important than compassion). This allows the Civilized mind to:
- Make alliances and build trust where the totalitarian mind cannot.
- Convert enemies into allies.
- Create stronger discipline in the ranks.
- Seek a win-win solution wherever possible.
- Minimize unnecessary conflict.
- Self-Improvement – The Civilized mind constantly seeks self improvement and learning, as the cultured mind realizes that self improvement is the best way to happiness. The totalitarian mind prefers self-congratulation and usually only engages in self-improvement when forced to by an outside competitive force.
- Self-Awareness – The Civilized mind is self aware, it understands it’s own weaknesses and the weaknesses of it’s allies.
The Totalitarian Mind – Weaknesses
- Lying – The Totalitarian mind lies reflexively. This gives them an advantage in certain forms of debate where facts are not relevant, but enables them to be easily ensnared in traps.
- Arrogance – The Totalitarian mind is inherently arrogant. Totalitarians will almost never answer “I don’t know” to any question that relates to politics or their ideology. They will almost always act with certainty that they are smarter and more informed than their opponent.
- Distrust – Because Totalitarians engage in a great deal of psychological projection, they tend to distrust the people around them. This lack of trust can be exploited.
The Cultured Mind – Weaknesses
- Conflict Avoidance – The cultured mind seeks to find win-win solutions and focus on building things rather than engaging in conflict. While this is highly productive in the long term, the tendency to avoid conflict is one of the weaknesses that has been exploited by the social justice movement.
- Over Reliance on Logic – Being trained in logical thinking, the civilized mind prefers to approach arguments logically, not emotionally. However, emotion is a powerful means of persuasion, and in general, a powerful emotional argument will be seen as more persuasive than a powerful logical argument.
- Morale, Doubt & Loss of Faith – Because the civilized mind is not deluded with a false sense of certainty or moral superiority, the cultured mind often faces doubt and uncertainty about their cause and actions. Feelings such as “it’s not worth it”, “there’s nothing I can do” and “it’s futile” are common, and fatal to taking action.
In the next article, I discuss the Rules of Engagement – how to engage in battle with Totalitarians on Campus or in the Corporate world.