Progressivism today is a quasi-ideology based on five pillars:
- All groups are equal (multiculturalism and cultural relativism);
- Racism, sexism and all forms or bigotry abound whether realized or not;
- Demographic disparities are exclusively caused by discrimination in some form;
- Diversity is the ultimate good, and;
- Only bigots and racists stand in the way of true progress.
It starts with a basic misunderstanding of human nature. Progressivism posits that humans are blank slates. Of course, they argue there are genetic reasons for addiction, homosexuality and obesity, but their faith in genetics goes only so far as it furthers their agenda. In contradiction, for example, they explain all disparities in society on discrimination and then propose policies doomed to costly failure because they contradict human nature.
First, not all demographic groups are equal. If one posits or points out the truth, they are shunned out of existence, or forced to apologize for the sin of telling the truth. A perfect example is James Damore who, while employed by Google, suggested that the disparity between male and female workers in the tech industry may be caused by genetics. Of course, such thought is antithetical to the progressive goal of absolute demographic equality in all favored occupations.
However, demographic groups do have differences. The mere fact we can group people means there are differences upon which to base that grouping. Instead, progressives demand that we contravene principles of fairness in order to reward differences of preferred groups. The result may be a more diverse workforce or student body, but one that is less productive, or one not chosen on merit.
One must also look at the progressive policies being pushed, for example, like Medicare For All and the Green New Deal. These are policies to which the Left masturbates. But both suggestions are premised on a flawed understanding of human nature which assumes that humans are egalitarian and altruistic and it is only Western civilization that taints these innate tendencies. They also believe humans are fundamentally cooperative. That spirit of cooperation will be released only if we foster policies based on cooperation and to do that, one must sweep away the sins of greed, selfishness and consumerism. In short, Occupy Wall Street stopped crapping on cop cars and learned to use bigger words.
The problem is that the policies that emanate from this belief system are fundamentally flawed and ignore human nature. They induce pessimism among those who would rather take the slow and incremental route, gauging the effects as one goes along. Worse, they seduce people into radical social and economic experiments that threaten to undermine a system that has worked incredibly well for years in advancing mankind, namely capitalism. We see the results today when most youthful respondents in polls show a liking for socialism over capitalism.
The most useful tool of the progressive is the victim du jour. In any given month, it can be women, homosexuals, Muslims, blacks, Hispanics, Hispanic lesbians, or black Muslims. The mix-and-match is almost endless. No one on the Right ever made a claim that Western civilization and thought is without its flaws. The West has its examples of injustice and inequality. However, taken as a whole it has done more in a shorter period of historical time to lift more humans out of misery, indigence, intolerance, and superstition.
In fact, true examples of discrimination and bigotry are becoming increasingly rare. Therefore, the progressive activist has to look further and deeper to justify his bizarre view of reality which, if he had an epiphany, would necessarily alter their view of human nature. Hence, actual benevolence and favoritism sometimes become proof of discrimination and bigotry and we all know that progressives will resort to any depths to prove a point including false accusations of sexual impropriety and racial “hate crimes.” When called out on it, at least “it opened an important conversation,” they claim.
One method used is censorship of speech. It took centuries of battles for the West to enshrine freedom of speech. Humans do not readily create societies that favor free speech since the temptation is to create a society in which only the preferred opinions are expressed. The progressive, therefore, favors censorship of any speech that they may deem potentially harmful to a vulnerable population (as they define them). Because they emphasize victimhood and bigotry to support victimhood, the desire to censor speech is almost irresistible.
This is obvious on college campuses since most of academia and the automatons churned out by higher education embrace progressive causes. Hence, most polls show that college students prefer some form of speech censorship, usually what they call “hate speech,” although they suffer to the define what hate speech is. Instead, they have created a stifling atmosphere in academia where professors who may deviate from the progressive norm are shunned and silenced. It goes beyond protests against certain speakers on campuses. Already, this mindset has started to infect the hard sciences, especially when it comes to climate change and other causes near and dear to the progressive. In effect, progressivism is the new religion and progressives are the new Catholic Church circa the scientific revolution.
Their mindset also extends to another tenet of Western thought that was hard fought- due process and the presumption of innocence. Because their thought focuses on victims, we have moved from a presumption of innocence to one of guilt. Popular movements like #MeToo or #believewomen imply that women are incapable of lying or having gaps in memory. If you take the opposite view, you are accused of being an enabler of sexual assault. When caught in lies, they then argue that at least the lie “opened up an important topic to conversation,” a topic not necessarily worthy of any conversation.
Humans are, by nature, vindictive creatures and one of the greatest things about Western thought is the ability to sublimate the desire for vengeance into a system of punishments. Barbarism is subdued, but social media now encourages a new form of mob justice. Moral righteousness is powerful and blinding especially when used to correct the ills of an unbalanced scale of justice, as the progressive sees it. And while some people deserve ridicule and scorn, the progressive knows not where to draw that line. They are often the avenging angels who became demons.
Most importantly, today’s progressive believes the superiority of Western culture is due to its rapacious imperialism. To them, it is a racist patriarchy built on conquest abroad and oppression at home. Their “intellectuals” beat the battle drum of the sins of the West from Columbus to Trump. Their’s is a battle for the poor oppressed people drubbed over by Western culture and thought. Ripping down Confederate statues quickly led to discussions of Washington and Jefferson being slave holders and that they too should have their statues ripped down. Notre Dame recently covered over a mural of Columbus because some students found it offensive. The New Mexico state senate recently voted to celebrate Indigenous People’s Day in place of Columbus Day.
Western culture is not perfect and not all of its actors are saints. Instead, it is filled with people bound by the concerns and prejudices of their times. The progressive fails to understand this and imposes the concerns and prejudices of the current time on historical figures. But, the West created freedom and prosperity for countless millions. Individualism, capitalism, representative government and the rule of law are four of the greatest gifts Western thought has bestowed upon humanity.
If denigrated, attacked and systematically and incrementally destroyed, they will perish. Then our descendants will be as justified in denouncing today’s progressive as much as today’s progressive denounces our past.