The Hive

The Hive

By Joseph Sobran via

Today is the anniversary of Joe Sobran’s 75th birthday. He and journalist Tom Bethell developed the metaphor of “The Hive.” Joe explains the metaphor, below.

Sobran’s: The Real News of the Month, June 1999 — Twenty years ago, I was struck by the way various sorts of political “progressives” — Communists, socialists, liberals, “civil libertarians,” “moderates,” “pragmatists” — all spontaneously cooperated with each other. It wasn’t a conspiracy; there was obviously no central direction. But the pattern was too clear to be denied.

The word “Left” was a dead metaphor; it said nothing interesting about the people it referred to. So I used the metaphor of an insect hive, which captured the way such people moved in harmony and communicated with each other.

In a beehive, the worker bees have many specialties. The hive is organized around the queen bee, but she doesn’t have to give the workers their instructions. The bee that finds pollen returns to the hive and flies in figure eights; this tells the others the direction and distance of the pollen, and they go get it. And of course the bees need no orders to attack an enemy.

Members of the progressive Hive likewise act on their own instincts and have their own code of communication. They feel free, but they are also predictable. Liberals laugh at conspiracy theories that assume that because there is a pattern there must be some central control; but the fact that there is no central control doesn’t mean that there is no pattern.

My Hive metaphor was enriched by an essay by Igor Shafarevich, “Socialism in Our Past and Future,” in Solzhenitsyn’s collection of dissident writings, From under the Rubble. Shafarevich argues that socialism is not just a modern phenomenon, but a perennial problem of decadent societies. In the name of equality, it tries to destroy the family, private property, and religion — institutions that prevent the state from monopolizing loyalty, wealth, and authority. Since ancient times, socialists (under whatever labels) have favored sexual license — “the community of wives,” “free love,” “sexual freedom,” et cetera. By breaking down bonds of kinship, sexual anarchy reduces the individual to a mere unit of the state.

I saw immediately what Shafarevich meant. His words applied not only to doctrinaire socialists and overt Communists, but to all those liberals whose efforts constantly (though implicitly) tend toward a socialist order. Liberalism, I saw, was the retail version of the society of which Communism was the wholesale version. Liberals don’t speak (or think, as a rule) of outright revolution; they move one step at a time, always edging toward the socialist model of an egalitarian centralized state, always nibbling at the family (in the name of sexual freedom), property rights (in the name of social justice), and religion (in the name of the separation of church and state). Like bees, they swarm against enemies of (or perceived threats to) their Hive. Joe McCarthy, Pope John Paul II, Ronald Reagan, and Kenneth Starr are just a few of the many targets of Hive attacks over the years.

The Hive especially hates anti-Communism and traditional Christianity. Though only a few bees espouse Communism, all of them at least feel some sympathy for it. Like American liberals, Soviet Communism strove to “build a new society” — that is, to destroy all tradition. Liberalism’s ad hoc style is only superficially different from that of Communism. At bottom, it wants the same things, without being fully aware of it.

“Civil rights,” feminism, environmentalism, national health care, gun control, and abortion on demand may not seem intrinsically related, but they all extend the authority and power of the centralized state over private relations. The Hive intuits this with almost infallible accuracy, so the liberal bees support and promote such causes at every turn.

Liberalism, unlike Communism, adopts the pose of pragmatism, scorning “ideology,” so liberal bees consistently pretend that they favor this or that measure for purely practical reasons. But the pattern is clear. What they really favor is a state that is both limitless and godless.

The Hive has had to make concessions to reality. Communism has collapsed; the market has shown that it will assert itself against any attempt to control it from above. But since liberals profess to be nonideological, they have been able to adapt to these facts of life, giving lip service to the free market. Yet they continue to favor more centralized government, more state economic power, higher taxes, and limitations on property rights whenever possible.

By using pragmatic language for its agenda, the Hive misleads the general public about its ultimate goals. It gains power as ordinary people adopt its language without grasping the implications. After all, who could oppose such worthy causes as “civil rights,” “a woman’s right to choose,” “protecting our children,” and “saving the environment”? The news media use the buzzwords of the Hive so habitually that they have become virtual organs of the Hive. The typical bee isn’t a fanatical Marxist-Leninist; it’s Dan Rather or Katie Couric.

I’ll say more about the workings of the Hive in future issues.

This article was published originally by Griffin Communications in the June 1999 issue of Sobran’s: The Real News of the Month. You may link to this column at your website and social media.

The Best of Joseph Sobran

Options for Homeland Defense, Inc. (Protecting Liberty through Private Firearms Ownership)  

“Owning a handgun doesn’t make you armed any more than owning a guitar makes you a musician.” – Jeff Cooper

Call for a pizza, a cop, and an ambulance and see which one arrives first.

In Warren v. District of Columbia the court ruled, and the Supreme Court upheld, that “(T)he desire for condemnation cannot satisfy the need for a special relationship out of which a duty to specify persons arises.” Because the complaint did not allege a relationship “beyond that found in general police responses to crimes,” the court affirmed the dismissal of the complaint for failure to state a claim.

The bottom line is that your local police are not legally obligated to protect you, the average citizen. In addition to the Warren case, there are hundreds of court rulings which state that cops are not legally responsible for protecting individual citizens. For example, see Zelig v. County of Los Angeles.

The government can’t protect you as you saw on September 11, 2001 as well as during the Washington, DC area “sniper” rampage and the plethora of active shooter events that we have had since.

In fact, the government could very well be our greatest fear, due to its propensity to murder people because of their ideas (See Ruby Ridge, ID and Waco, TX).

A simple internet or search of “the police state” or “police brutality” will reveal literally thousands of violent crimes (from assault to cold blooded murder) committed by the State’s costumed emissaries of officially sanctioned violence (aka The Police State) against harmless and innocent people.

So, who does that leave to protect you, your life, property and family? The one and only answer is: YOU It is your duty and personal responsibility to protect yourself and your loved ones.

This responsibility is a natural right given to us by God as human beings and guaranteed to us as individuals by the Constitution of the United States of America.

Options for Homeland Defense, Inc. offers professional weapons and tactics training that will make the difference. Instructed by experienced combat veterans—guys that have “been there and done that.” It offers private instruction at its privately owned range and mobile training teams are available. All interactions are confidential and discrete.

Contact: You can contact us via email at or through any of the contact or email links on our Web Site at

About Land & Livestock Interntional, Inc.

Land and Livestock International, Inc. is a leading agribusiness management firm providing a complete line of services to the range livestock industry. We believe that private property is the foundation of America. Private property and free markets go hand in hand—without property there is no freedom. We also believe that free markets, not government intervention, hold the key to natural resource conservation and environmental preservation. No government bureaucrat can (or will) understand and treat the land with as much respect as its owner. The bureaucrat simply does not have the same motives as does the owner of a capital interest in the property. Our specialty is the working livestock ranch simply because there are so many very good reasons for owning such a property. We provide educational, management and consulting services with a focus on ecologically and financially sustainable land management that will enhance natural processes (water and mineral cycles, energy flow and community dynamics) while enhancing profits and steadily building wealth.
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1 Response to The Hive

  1. Reblogged this on and commented:

    Today is the anniversary of Joe Sobran’s 75th birthday. He and journalist Tom Bethell developed the metaphor of “The Hive.” Joe explains the metaphor, below.


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