In his book Live Not By Lies, Rod Dreher takes Timur Kuran’s observation that a desire to “fit in” leads to preference falsification a step further. Kumar gave the unexpected liberation of Eastern Europe from communism as an example of a benign “availability cascade” that suddenly and unexpectedly enabled the vast majority that hated communism to make their true preferences known. Dreher also bases his observations on the experience of Eastern Europe, using a number of interviews with former dissidents to understand how they were able to continue “living in truth” so that the benign availability cascade could happen. Dreher sees an availability cascade operating in the United States in a less benign direction, as the Democratic party, media, corporations and communities have adopted the language and beliefs of progressive activists. His thesis is that they are creating a system of what he calls “soft totalitarianism,” in comparison to the “hard” totalitarianism of the Nazis and Soviets. They are accomplishing this by using their power over individuals’ communications, livelihood and reputation to narrow the bounds of acceptable thought and speech to the point that only beliefs endorsed by the progressive left are allowed. ... Read More