Just as time is a one-way arrow, “the politicization of everything” is a one-way road to dissolution and collapse.
The essence of any Totalitarian society is the politicization of everything, as everything must be either supporting the status quo or it’s a threat to the status quo.
There is no middle ground in a Totalitarian society and so everything–literally everything– must be politicized to assess its true nature of being “for” or “against” the status quo.
In such a society, what cannot be politicized ceases to exist. It isn’t counted or recognized, and so it fades into a netherworld of shadows, a dangerous realm where the mere act of attempting to recognize a non-politicized experience is itself a threat to the status quo.
You will of course be thinking of the former Soviet Union (USSR) and other Totalitarian societies. Here’s an extreme example of how the politicization of everything works: a conventional worker in a conventional factory happens to mention to a co-worker that he dreamed Stalin had fallen ill, and this worried him. The co-worker reported this disturbing dream to the proper authorities, who instantly recognized the true nature of the dream and sentenced the worker to 10 years in the Gulag for having an anti-Soviet dream.
(A 10-year sentence in the Gulag was so common that it was nicknamed “a tenner.”)
In America circa 2020, “a tenner” for the wrong thought, opinion or dream takes other forms. Indeed, even the claim that a dream might not have a political angle is itself cause for being sentenced to “a tenner,” because the core of the Totalitarian society is the politicization of everything.
Every object, entity, image, document, historical “fact,” person, thought, emotion, reaction, narrative, opinion, everything tangible or intangible, has a barely concealed political subtext in a Totalitarian society.
There is nothing innocuous, innocent or whimsical in a Totalitarian society, at least in the public sphere. In an era permeated by the cruel marriage of surveillance capitalism and the bitterly divided state, even the once-private sphere is subject to public exposure and shaming / sentencing.
As in an Orwellian nightmare, your “smart” phone, vehicle, TV or Alexa-powered doorbell can eavesdrop and record your private conversations and behaviors, and somebody somewhere has access to this data and can share it with others.
The ostensible justification is “your safety” or “to catch wrongdoing,” but this is transparently false. The real reason is to discern your political crimes. You need not commit any crimes per se to be persecuted; all that’s needed is some tiny bit of evidence that reflects your true beliefs which by definition must be supportive of the status quo via endless virtual-signaling; if not, then they are necessarily a threat to the status quo. [ … ]