... like communist China, America and Europe are – let’s be honest – increasingly totalitarian societies, in which it is no longer enough even to refrain from speaking out against Big Sister; no, you must love and affirm Big Sister, and all her values and beliefs, and all her progressive works, and you must say so constantly and at high volume or be instantly suspected as a dangerous, hateful, reactionary threat not only to the regime but to all humanity.
But, unlike China, many Western “liberal-democratic” societies are despite this totalizing obsession also increasingly dysfunctional, dangerous, and awash with anarchic madness. No one is satisfied with this state of affairs. The globalist liberal presses for ever more centralized and supranational government power and tighter control over wrong-thinkers – erm, I mean “disinformation” – in order to crush the nationalist-populist opposition – erm, “threats to democracy” – whom they think are to blame for destabilizing the profitable liberal-progressive project. The conservative nationalist, having had quite enough of the top-down ideological crusades and the lawless chaos that has proliferated in their wake, is in revolt against globalist liberalism and dreams of a Hungarian-style “illiberal democracy” that could return power to the people of sovereign nation-states and allow for a restoration of public order and moral stability.
Now let’s say along comes a Sheikh who offers them both a compromise: all the material perks/degeneracy of global techno-liberal-capitalism, but the worst of it is kept pretty quiet, you don’t have to wave the Progress Pride Flag, and the streets aren’t covered in feces and crazy people. You just have to ditch the democracy and yield the government vast powers of digital surveillance and control – but it will be competent and subtle with its power and generally leave you alone if you don’t cross it. Instead of illiberal democracy or run-away liberal-progressive nightmare you can have a relatively stable liberal authoritarianism. How many on right and left alike would take this deal? At this point, I suspect a lot of people.