by Fay Voshell, American Thinker:
“Exile” conjures images of banished figures like Napoleon, who languished on the island of Elba, rendered powerless by isolation.
Groups of people considered troublemakers also have been exiled from their lands. Diasporas of “undesirables” like the Jews have been a constant in the history of nations whose rulers wanted to be rid of what they considered indigestible elements.
Exile within one’s own country by a totalitarian regime has been less noted.
For such an enterprise, we may look at Vichy France, which was under the thrall and control of a fascist political system imported by Germany but facilitated by French citizens. Non-conformists found themselves termed by Charles Maurras as “internal foreigners,” exiled within their own country. Measures favored by an imported ideology were enacted against them.
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Anyone familiar with the actions of the Vichy government under orders from a foreign power notes its capitulation to Nazi policies on race. Many of the “internal foreigners” were Jews, who soon were exiled from the administration, armed forces, entertainment, arts, media, and most professions. French police confiscated phones and radios while establishing curfews and prohibiting travel.
Increasingly, in America, large groups of citizens also are being exiled while still within their own country. Seen as troublesome obstacles to unity and peace, the stripping of their power and even their voices has accelerated during the last year, particularly during the last few months — be it the rules and regulations surrounding the advent of COVID-19 or the suppression of free speech by the MSM and tech giants, or the imposition of laws millions find repressive.
A corrupt voting process has deprived millions of meaningful participation within their republic. Meanwhile, integrity of citizenship itself is imperiled by the erasure of the nation’s boundaries and the granting of privileges to non-citizens.
Second, Americans have been deprived of their property, which has essentially been confiscated by the State in the interest of public “health.” Businesses have been shut down and, when partly opened, managed by bureaucrats who dictate how a business such as a restaurant may be run. Apartment buildings have also essentially been confiscated via restrictions on landlords, who cannot evict renters for not paying rent.
The properties essentially have been seized by the State. Regardless of the supposed purity of the motives behind the seizures, it is the State that will decide if and when it will give them back.
But most importantly, like individuals who are removed from their country, exiled Americans have experienced loss of community and communication. The forced isolation of Americans and the shutdown of nearly all institutions have deprived Americans of supportive communities. Churches, schools, museums, concert halls, political groups, and even family gatherings such as funerals and weddings have become tightly regulated. Many communities have either disappeared altogether or retreated into cyberspace.
The result has been the exile of millions from normal society. Among those exiled internally by a hostile government controlled by radical ideologues: political conservatives, Christians, white males, and other indigestible groups. Offenders of the new protocols become outcasts deprived of any comfort or protection of a group of like-minded companions. Isolation is accompanied by paralysis resulting from the inability to act in concert.