What passes for 'dissent' in the modern leftist-bureaucratic mass media/ government/ corporate world is what might be called 'sensible' dissent. This is allowed - up to a point - even in the mass media.
Sensible Dissenters are the people who allow the validity of the goals - but question the current impatient and irrational means to achieve them: the doctrinaire antiracists who resist MLB; the climate environmentalists who prefer nuclear to wind power; the pro-sexual-revolutionaries who are concerned by 'excesses' such as the micro-aggression movement relating to 'pronouns' and child mutilations from the trans-agenda; those who regard the birdemic as a real plague but want more rigorous testing and phased-introduction of the pecks...
Sensible dissent is where the critic concedes all the Big Lies, but advocates a slow, care-full, cautious approach to policy - something much like what Karl Popper advocated in the form of 'incremental' reform, or 'piecemeal social engineering'.
This is the modern descendent of the Fabian Socialist approach of non-revolutionary gradualism; by which the end-point is pretty much identical with communism - but is reached by different means. Thus it is not coincidental that the most powerful Popperian in the modern world is the man born as György Schwartz.
The entire modern world, with its totalitarian global government imposed in early 2020 by an unnoticed "grey-coup", represents the triumph of Fabian Socialism - so it is clear why the allowed dissent is merely the 'sensible', rationalist, more-gradualist side of this tradition.
Sensible Dissent includes the people who really believe-in the Great Reset; and are (rightly!) fearful of unleashing and unrestrainedly-fueling panic and resentment because it will destroy The System.
They are 'moderate' but ideological Leftists who want a wholly-materialistic System of omni-surveillance and total-control; and who therefore fear the irrationalism, hatred, spiteful destructiveness and capacity for violence of the angry, impatient extreme Left - whose 'ideals' are wholly negative.
In this era - Sensible Dissent has near-zero traction - it can be expressed, it can even be 'approved' by those who regard themselves as moderate, decent, sensible; but as of 2020; Sensible Dissent is never attended to, it never makes any difference: Sensible Dissent is always ignored.
This because the SD's share the strategic ideals of the crazy-destructive-left and only differ in terms of the best tactics; Sensible Dissent comes-across as dull, boring, feeble, weakly-motivated Old Men or Women - obsolete, corrupted, part-of-the-problem.
This is a major reason why the rising generation of most-idealistic Leftists always want every year to be Year Zero - they want to delete The Past and all who defend any aspect of The Past.
This eliminates effective opposition from the patient-gradualists, and accelerates the dominance of the most impatient and hard-line among the leftist-anti-divine-creation-ists.
All the Leftist energy and drive nowadays is on the side of the stupid, insane, and frankly-evil individuals and organizations (i.e. Chaotic Evil) - those who demand extreme, uncompromising, reckless Action. Now. Those who regard opponents as enemies and that enemies be eliminated.
Demand therefore that opponents be cancelled, suppressed, outlawed; demand riots, destruction, arson, jailings, killings.
...Demand whatever eliminates fastest.
Sensible Dissent needs to be detected and rejected by Christians (for example, using the 2020 Litmus Tests as a screen).
The moderate, rationalist enemy is still The Enemy: they are still following the anti-God, demonic agenda - albeit of the Lawful Evil (Ahrimanic) type.
They are still aiming at the same end (damnation) albeit by gradualist means.
In these extreme, irrational, insane, Sorathic End Times - when the most extremely-evil enemy are ever-increasingly in the ascendant - Christians need always to pursue The Good; and must not be diverted into pursuing the lesser-evil. Because the lesser evil is just a more gradual, incremental, rational, sensible form of damnation.
Excellent post - it reminds me of something I read in Merton’s conjectures of a guilty bystander -
John Wu is a man of profound and Zen-like humor, a humor which adds to the depth of his Christianity—and to his Christian parrhesia… When one of the monks asked him what he thought was most “dangerous” to American monasticism he did not reply “love of comfort” or anything like that, but “a spirit of pragmatism.” Bull’s-eye!
The difficulty is that - sometimes, and not so long ago - Sensible Dissenters were, or seemed to be, on the side of Christians in the spiritual war.
But since 2020, they have all gone over to the other side, as evidenced by their embrace of one or more of the litmus test Big Lies.
Some/ many/ most of them do not even realize that they have changed sides! (or that the sides have changed around-them) - which shows the corrupting effect of pragmatism; its gentle, incremental descent into (self-chosen) damnation.
Yes yes - sensible dissent is an evocation of the energy of Pontius pilot, who it seems just wanted to avoid a massive conflict and a riot in Jerusalem. He tried to talk sense into the Jews and to avoid anything rash, like a moderator at a faculty symposium. The important thing is to keep an Arithmetic order, not wrestle with the paradox of our dilemma. After all, “what is truth?”
@Christopher - I accept your point, but I do not accept the idea that Pilate was an example of it!
Because I am guided by the Fourth Gospel eyewitness account; I see Pilate as having been a sympathetic figure, a good man - who was later demonized
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