The defining characteristic of tyranny is the diversion of power from the people to the unelected elite.

The elite can claim to be inspired by Allah or Marx; it can act in the name of racial purity or universal workers compensation or both. The details don’t matter, because in all instances, tyranny derives its justification from the superiority of the rulers and the inferiority of the people.

The left launched two revolutions. One was the hard revolution of bombs and assassinations by those who did not have the time or patience to wait for the long march through the institutions of the state. This revolution was born quickly and died quickly. It killed millions and choking on their blood it died by stages, losing its ideas and then its power, until there were only a few old men and women in shawls clinging to red velvet portraits of Stalin.

But there was also the soft revolution that was slow and subtle. It was a revolution of laws, rather than bombs. It did not concern itself with 5-year-plans but with 50-year-plans. It proceeded by increments, raising the temperature so very gradually that the free world did not realize it was cooked until it could smell its own burning flesh.

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