Ronald Reagan’s famous mantra was Peace through Strength.
It was the Gipper’s way of presenting military might as the best approach to protect America’s freedom, particularly from foreign aggressors.
Today’s woke apostles have a mantra of their own, albeit an unspoken one: Peace through Conformity.
The citizen is offered the veneer of harmony, but solely on the condition that he accept as true the vapid ideology being foisted upon him.
Bake the cake … or else.
Chant “Black Lives Matter”… or else.
Put your pronouns on Twitter (X) … or else.
This is how the totalitarian mind works.
It advances its ideological aims through force, threats and propaganda — especially propaganda.
More than four decades ago the anti-communist statesman Václav Havel skillfully identified the fragility of this worldview and offered a prescription to ensure its demise.
Although the times and issues are different from Havel’s era, the Marxist compulsion for control remains the trademark of any progressive movement.
In this respect, Havel’s insights provide us with a useful tutorial on how to “revolt” against an immoral “system.”
The lesson is both simple and practical.
In his acclaimed essay “The Power of the Powerless,” Havel introduces readers to a grocery store manager who hangs a “Workers of the world, unite!” banner in the window to accompany the fruits and vegetables that are available for sale.
Havel then asks a series of questions regarding the sign:
“Why does [the manager] do it? What is he trying to communicate to the world? Is he genuinely enthusiastic about the idea of unity among the workers of the world? Is his enthusiasm so great that he feels an irrepressible impulse to acquaint the public with his ideals? Has he really given more than a moment’s thought to how such a unification might occur and what it would mean?”
The manager by all accounts is “indifferent to the semantic content of the slogan on exhibit,” writes Havel.
In fact, “individuals need not believe all these mystifications, but they must behave as though they did, or they must at least tolerate them in silence … they must live within a lie.”
In other words: Peace through conformity.
What happens, though, when the manager stops tolerating these “mystifications” and refuses to put up the sign?
It is at this moment, Havel believes, that the “powerless” begin to reestablish their influence within an unjust structure:
“He has shattered the world of appearances, the fundamental pillar of the system. He has upset the power structure by tearing apart what holds it together. He has demonstrated that living a lie is living a lie. He has broken through the exalted facade of the system and exposed the real, base foundations of power …He has shown everyone that it is possible to live within the truth.”
We find ourselves navigating a similar conviction today, as a growing number of Americans realize that it is possible to live within the truth against the radicalism of the LGBTQ+ lobby and other woke activists.
But unlike Havel’s shop manager under Soviet oppression living within the truth is far easier for us to carry out.
In short, we can just take our business … elsewhere.
Enter Bud Light and Disney.
Bud Light inexplicably partnered with trans activist Dylan Mulvaney, going so far as to make Mr. Mulvaney a “commemorative” beer can to highlight his “one year” of “girlhood.”
Bud Light’s customer base responded by living within the truth that Mr. Mulvaney cannot experience girlhood for even a day, let alone for an entire year.
So these customers opted to buy a different beer.
In an act of desperation, Bud Light has started giving away “National Football League Sunday Ticket subscriptions or gift cards to the NFL’s store” in the hopes of boosting depressed sales.
Disney is likewise suffering from self-inflicted wounds.
For decades parents of all political stripes have trusted the House of Mickey to provide family-friendly programming to children.
Disney elected to squander that trust by moving their product into the realm of a “not-at-all-secret gay agenda,” as one executive infamously put it.
Or why ticketholders are no longer welcomed with “ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls,” but with the androgynous greeting “dreamers of all ages” instead.
What Disney has dubbed “a campaign of inclusivity and tolerance” is nothing more than an attempt to usurp the moral authority of the family on the topics of gender and sexuality.
And parents have had enough.
They have resolved to live within the truth that men can never be women, no matter how much tissue is stuffed into a bra.
As a result, moms and dads are exploring alternative forms of entertainment for their kids, while Disney is left learning the biblical principle of sowing and reaping.
The popular phrase Go Woke, Go Broke is broad simplification to be sure, but it does convey a fundamental reality: the American consumer has options.
More than ever there is a parallel economy expanding inside the country where everyday folks are using the power of the purse as their primary vehicle to “live within the truth” and repudiate lies.
Of course, we can’t boycott every woke company.
Yet as the Bud Light and Disney episodes demonstrate (and Target), there are a few big fish that we can fry as an example.
If corporations are going to use their product line to impose woke culture, that’s their choice.
We, on the other hand, are under no obligation to support any business that hates our values.
In fact, we should make it economically painful for them to hate our values.
As Václav Havel observed, “Living within the truth [is] … an attempt to regain control over one’s own sense of responsibility.”
You see — simple and practical.
Originally published at the Standing for Freedom Center.
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