Tacit Dissent vs Vociferous Affirmation

Here’s a great quote from Clive James about one of differences between the Nazi Germany and the USSR:

It was a mark, of course, of Nazi Germany’s relative porosity vis-à-vis the Soviet Union that it offered bolt holes in which it was possible to lie still and say nothing, as if silence were not treason. Had the regime lasted longer than its brief twelve years, Himmler’s steadily growing SS imperium and Bormann’s always more enveloping bureaucracy would have probably closed off the last chances of tacit dissent: as under Stalin, vociferous affirmation would have been the only survivable posture. But under the Third Reich a woman of Ricarda’s age and authority could get away with holding her rulers in contempt, as long as she wasn’t vocal about it.

It’s absolutely spot-on. Totalitarian regimes always get to the point of demanding vociferous affirmation from everybody.

5 thoughts on “Tacit Dissent vs Vociferous Affirmation”

  1. A few days ago in China, a celebrity online chef was cancelled because he was cooking fried rice in his episode.

    More specifically, according to the news story, he was cancelled because he should have known that it was the wrong day to cook fried rice, since half a century earlier also on that date, the son of the Chinese Communist Party leader was killed while cooking fried rice.

    Based on the example above, it is obvious to me that totalitarian regimes don’t demand anything in particular. They just demand.

    They demand, and demand, and demand, and demand, more and more, no matter how stupid or impossible until someone finally shoots them to make them stop.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s absolutely, 100% true. It’s never enough for them. Nothing is ever enough. They are insatiable pits. They only get angrier and hungrier with every passing minute.

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      1. Yes, as well as frightened and paranoid that someone will claim power and do to them what they have done to everyone else, which causes them to inflict their stupidity on the society/party even more, which makes them even more frightened and paranoid etc in a kind of death spiral.

        Something that I have been wondering about is the fact that totalitarian regimes, as a rule, must gain the confidence of their followers before implementing a system based on force, hence turning followers into victims.

        In the past, hardly anyone in the society knew what communism, socialism, marxism etc really were, and so were quite vulnerable to takeover.

        This time though, there are enough people around who know how it all works that it should be either difficult or impossible to implement the system anew.

        So, in a way that is possibly a bit morbid since many of us may be personally involved and hurt etc, I’m curious to see what will happen this time around.

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    2. Even if shooting them doesn’t work you can still try other alternatives if you are determined enough. Verwoerd (the man most responsible for apartheid) was shot but he survived. The next assassin used a knife and succeeded in stabbing him to death.

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  2. Wasn’t it the younger Bush who, as U.S. President back in 2003, boldly stated “You’re either for me or against me”?
    Societies have always, essentially, been totalitarian to some extent or another.

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