Emerging Totalitarian Mindset Seen in People Reporting on Neighbors

There is a growing “socialist phenomenon” where Americans are encouraged to tell on their neighbors, warned author and filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza.

In an interview with Epoch Times’ “Crossroads,” D’Souza said this phenomenon started with the COVID-19 pandemic, when people began reporting on others for not following public health orders, but rarely associate their snitching behavior with the totalitarianism of Stalin’s Russia or Mao’s China.

“There’s a tyrannical mindset here, but we don’t see it. Partly because I think we have the stereotypical idea that a tyrant has to look like Stalin—he has to have a Cossack outfit [uniform] and a toothbrush mustache, and very cold eyes,” D’Souza told host Joshua Philipp. “But tyranny isn’t like that. It’s a much more widespread instinct.”

“In fact, I think it’s part of human nature. It’s the desire to sort of arbitrarily use force and dominate other people,” he continued. “Now most people have that impulse, but they don’t have enough power to carry it out. So the tyrannical impulse plus power makes for a very dangerous individual.”

When it comes to politicians handling their suddenly-gained emergency power amid a pandemic, D’Souza said some of them who “in principle would be opposed to Stalin or Lenin” ended up becoming “a little Lenin” and got used to it.

“Suddenly, they begin to realize, ‘I don’t really want the lockdown to end because if the lockdown ends, suddenly I’m now accountable to the legislature; suddenly all these powers that I had go away.’” he said. “So you see, particularly among Democratic mayors and governors, this secret desire to hold on to COVID power as long as possible.”

D’Souza described two different models by which Republican and Democrat-run states respond to public resentment against the lockdown. He noted that while Republican governors are able to “backpedal very quickly” from their public health restrictions, Democratic governors are acting like they are “betting that people prefer the security of a lockdown.”

“And right there you see the ideological divide in the United States,” D’Souza said, adding that there is even a difference between what the Democrats believed in the past and what they believe now. “I think now the Democrats are sort of going full scale with not only we want to protect you economically, but we kind of want to protect you even from the risk of freedom.”

The idea that people need protection from the risk of freedom, according to D’Souza, has affected many of the nation’s institutions that were supposed to be neutral, including the Supreme Court and its interpretation of the U.S. Constitution.

“I think with COVID, the courts have run a little bit scared, because the court doesn’t want to be an adjudicator of health. They are not in a position to make these kinds of decisions,” he said. “So they don’t want to make a decision where they say, ‘Okay, you can do this,’ and then, you know, 4,000 people die, and then people look at the judge and go, ‘You did that.’”

“So the court has been very deferent, by and large, to the executive branch, because they don’t want to, you may say, take the responsibility.”

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