During a modest walk, on a sunny March day, I stopped in a Dick’s and bought myself a Georgia Tech tee-shirt with a menacing yellow jacket on it. Tech has had a special place in my heart since I was 11. I remember watching their football team on TV. During the fifties, there were not that many televised games, so Tech was probably a very good team. The legendary Bobby Dodd was their coach. Today they play most of their home games in an Atlanta stadium named after him. Their fight song was extremely memorable to me. I am a rambling wreck from George Tech and a hell of an engineer! For a while, I wanted to go there when I finished high school just for the football team and their jingle.
When I had children and then grandchildren, my wife and I had to discuss what our grandchildren would call us. She chose Mimi and christened me like all the fathers and grandfathers in her family, such as Daddy Elmo or Daddy Al. I was to be Daddy Bill. I shortened it to Daddy B or just B. Years later, my third grandchild, then about eight, sent me a thank you note, addressed to Daddy Bee. I quickly adopted the emoji bee as an easy way to sign off from my emails. My younger son gave me note cards with a bee on them.
Recently, our new home in Georgia was infested with bees. I called the exterminator but he was reluctant to spray for them because he thought they were honeybees, a classification of bees that are protected by Georgia law. I then called a company that specializes in bee removal. Their apiologist examined a bag of dead bees who had died naturally while trapped in our enclosed porch. He said they were ground bees and we could exterminate them at will. Despite this, there were bees everywhere as the climate took on springlike weather. All of my neighbors have similar problems. I started calling our neighborhood the Hive.
This segues nicely into an essay written by the late Joseph Sobran over 20 years ago. A Catholic convert, Sobran was a great defender of the faith and an early volunteer in the culture war. One of his best essays was simply entitled, The Hive. Sobran believed the bee hive was the best metaphor to describe what today has steadily become a Woke culture that has injected its poisonous venom into virtually everything traditionalists have valued since the 19th century.
Since the nomenclature, such as left and its counterpart on the right, have been rendered meaningless in the political lexicon, Sobran went to the entomologic handbook for his analogy. Bees are far more complex than any layman could imagine. In a beehive, the worker bees have many specialties and talents. The hive is organized around their Queen Bee, who does not have to give her workers any orders. They just know naturally. The bee that finds the pollen returns to the hive and flies in figure eights. This informs his fellow workers the direction and distance for the pollen and they go get it. Their inner instincts tell them whatever they need to know and do. There are no commands from the hive or their protected queen.
Liberals laugh at all their ideological opponents who shout conspiracy because they know that term is erroneously applied to them. Like so many bees in the hive, they never get orders from a central planning agency. As Sobran so wisely put it …the fact that there is no central control does not mean there is no pattern. The late Rush Limbaugh made this point several times when he had his weekday radio program. In fact, I self-published a book, The Scorpion and the Frog, in which I called the history a natural conspiracy. With my emphasis on the natural, I was using a variation of both Sobran and Limbaugh’s theme.
To put the Hive in its proper perspective, two years later, Sobran published a prequel, entitled Before the Hive. He expanded his original thesis to add the forbears of today’s Hive. Unbeknownst to most people, many American intellectuals were proudly attracted to the murderous ideology of the Soviet Union. Sobran based much of his essay on Eugene Lyons’ brilliant book, the Red Decade, which was reprinted in 2019. The author detailed their intellectual attraction to the utopian ideals of the Communist state. Lyons’ list of fellow-travelers included such literati as Lincoln Steffens, Dorothy Parker, Malcolm Crowley, Theodore Dreiser, Carl Van Doren, Max Lerner, Heywood Broun, Ring Lardner, Jr, Nathanial West, Lillian Hellman and Irving Stone. Few had any qualms about offering their loyalties to a foreign power.
After Stalin’s death in 1953, the worker bees of the West kept their bearings but not their orders from the great socialist motherland. To me, it is not surprising that the Soviet revolution had attracted the devoted attention of thousands of educators, social workers, clergymen, New Deal officials, youth leaders, Negro and other racial spokesmen…Hollywood stars and script writer… in the thirties. Sobran observes that apart from its omissions of journalists, this is a pretty fair catalogue of the constituent Bees of today’s Hive… Sobran cited other classifications of worker bees to carry the cultural pollen back to the Hive, such as gays, feminists, environmentalists and any others interested in undermining Western Civilization.
The members of the progressive hive still have their own unwritten code of action. There never has been any need of a paper trail because they all dine at the same collective table where the Woke cuisine de jour is served in generous portions by their waiters at CNN, MSNBC, The New York Times, social media and virtually every major university in the country as well as the public school system. Independent thinkers are never welcome at their table. I have always believed that the Barack Obama Dynasty was the epitome of the Hive. His minions at the FBI, the IRS and all through his cabinet, seldom had written orders, incriminating emails, phone calls or leaks. Like the bees in the hive, they all knew what they had to do to please their queen bee.
Worker bees have to have a certain type of personality to fit into the hive. They must despise American individualism, which is Public Enemy #1. To become a bee in this worker’s paradise, is to surrender, voluntarily and eagerly, one’s own personality, in order to submerge into a collectivity that allows for no departures. Hive acolytes must adopt a selfless personality that makes them almost indistinguishable from their fellow bees. People who fail to conform are summarily punished or cancelled.
The Hive inevitably leads to a material transformation of one’s inner spirit. This is a reflection of what Eric Voegelin called and William F. Buckley popularized in the movement to stop the immanentization of the eschaton. The latter was generated by the forces of Secular Humanism and Positivism to materialize things that are spiritual in nature, such as the soul. Sobran calls this the essence of the Hive.
To enrich his powerful metaphor, Sobran also cites the writings of Igor Shafarevich, especially his popular essay, Socialism in our Past and Future. It appeared in Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s anthology of dissident writings, From Under the Rubble. Shafarevich writes that socialism is not just a modern phenomenon but a perennial problem of decadent societies. In the name of equality and its third cousin equity, it tries to destroy the family, private property and religion because they are institutions that prevent a state from monopolizing loyalty, wealth and authority.
Since at least the French Revolution, socialists, under several differ iterations and names, have promoted sexual license, the community of wives, free love, sexual freedom and so on. Consequently, this often results in the destruction of the bonds of church, family, and kinship, which undermines a civilization’s spiritual, mental, and social unity.
Sobran realized immediately what Shafarevich meant. His words applied, not just to communists and socialists, but also to liberals and progressives whose thinking and actions tended toward advancing their ideas of a socialist paradise. Liberals have not historically been radical in this pursuit, though I sense more of them trending toward an increased use of communist terms, such as oppression and systemic, especially in the black community. Critical Race Theory has been a salient feature in their playbook. Under Obama II, they have stepped up their call for equity in place of equality, social justice in place of property rights and sexual freedom for the underaged in place of family rights.
The Hive also controls our language. I am reminded of George Orwell 1946 essay, on Politics and the English Language. Orwell believed that prose consisted less and less of words chosen for the sake of their meaning, and more…of the phrases tacked together like the sections of a prefabricated henhouse. And to think this was written over three generations ago. Since then, our culture has sunk more deeply into a bog of Newspeak that consists of euphemisms and code words, such as equality, equity, inclusion and diversity— words without any precise definition or meaning.
Thanks to Gay Marriage, the common understanding of what constitutes a husband or a wife have has been obliterated by these language vandals. The same is true of man and woman. One knows something has gone awry when a new member of the Supreme Court cannot define what a woman is. I can only imagine what her decisions will read like. Thanks to the Transgender Movement, pregnant women are now pregnant people. They also think men can menstruate, have a uterus and breasts. Their madness recognizes no boundaries in any aspect of human life. It is a social anarchy that can lead only to chaos and ultimate autocratic rule by the Hive.
Violence is no stranger to the Hive. Bees need no orders to attack an enemy. They have become reminiscent of the Africanized killer-bees of the late seventies. Threats of their deadly sting are ubiquitous. For example, on The View, a national TV program, cultural icon, Jane Fonda suggested twice that she would like to murder prolife law makers. The constant violent attacks on members of the Supreme Court, pregnancy resource centers and Catholic churches in the wake of the Dobbs decision violate the dictates of free speech and human safety. If Hanoi Jane were on the other side of the cultural coin, she would be behind bars.
It is a virtual truism that one can never change the instincts of bees or progressives. It is akin to the popular fable, the Scorpion and the Frog. The Scorpion asked the Frog to ferry him across a deep river on his back because he could not swim. Before they were safely across, the Scorpion stung the Frog in the neck. Before they both slipped under the water, the surprised frog asked the scorpion,Why? The Scorpion’s last words were, Because it’s in me nature! What is true of bees and scorpions is also true of liberals and progressives. Their ideas are so emblazoned upon their minds and souls, they have become a vital aspect of their human nature. I fear they will never rest until the last conservative is strangled with the entrails of the last pope.