In the previous three installments in this series, I pointed out the aggressive ways in which Progressivism has insinuated its destructive ends into our society. In Part 1, I wrote about its deleterious effects on our courts. In Part 2, I explored the curious reactions some had to those court decisions. And, in Part 3, I began to further explore the role Progressive ideology has played in debasing our very culture.
But, in each of those pieces, I merely touched on the overt and obvious encroachments, which any Liberty-minded individual could readily distinguish.
To fully grasp the damage done by Progressivism, we must dig a little deeper, and begin to confront the covert effects. The psychological impact of 130 years of largely unchecked Progressive infestation, as you will see, is damn near ubiquitous today.
We see it in our courts, our academic institutions, our media outlets, and even our very understanding of the English language. This latter is the most insidious of all.
The covert effects of Progressivism on our language include instances like the infamous “macaca moment” of Senator George Allen in the 2006 Senate race in my home state of Virginia.
Anyone with two brain cells to rub together, and who actually bothered to watch the video, could tell immediately that it was an offhanded comment, meant to draw a chuckle from the crowd. He honestly could not remember the name of the opposition lurker, given that the Webb campaign had so many of these people following George all across the Commonwealth.
So he said, off the cuff, “This guy over here in the yellow shirt, Macaca, or whatever his name is.” (In case we’ve forgotten, his real name is Shekar Ramanuja Sidarth. Not exactly easy to remember, even for a Senator.)
But, of course, the Left and the media (but I repeat myself) had to spin it, to further their ends of destroying our understanding of language.
You see, there is a species of monkey, a cousin of the rhesus, called “macaque.” Therefore, George Allen (flaming racist that he’s always somehow secretly been, without anyone being the wiser to it), very publicly, on camera, called this young man a monkey. Makes perfect sense.
Yeah, and if someone called my family “the Reeses”, I’d be properly offended and accuse them of racism because it sounded like “rhesus.” And no one would say I was silly for taking offense, right?
But, the Progs succeeded in twisting the language, in that instance. And, in getting away with it, they became emboldened.
For example, last year Colorado Congressman Doug Lamborn was vilified across the news media for days over a comment he had made on a local talk show in his district. What was that comment? That trying to deal with Barack Obama and the Democrat leadership on spending cuts and a viable budget was “like touching a tarbaby.” Meaning, you get all tangled up and can’t get free.
The Left and media (again, pardon my redundancy) spin? You guessed it! Doug Lamborn called the President of the United States a tarbaby! What a racist SOB! He must resign!
Never mind the fact that the metaphor was entirely appropriate for the situation he was describing. If you recall, Br’er Rabbit did make several attempts at conversation before punching that tar baby. Likewise, the GOP attempted to “negotiate” a deal on the debt ceiling issue (before folding like a tarp at an Occupy Whatever gathering).
And, by the way, I also called for Lamborn to resign on my radio show, at the time. Not for the original comment, mind you, but for apologizing.
Rather than filet their ridiculous red herring of “racist!”, the Congressman fed into it with his apology, making it that much easier for them to continue using it.
What’s worse, because the Progs’ false premises and language-twisting have invariably been allowed to stand, we soon saw the right adopting the same tactics.
We quickly found out that Democrats aren’t entirely immune to this nonsensical conclusion-jumping competition (although, the media never becomes nearly as frenzied, do they?). Earlier this year, in February, to be exact, Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown made a statement about his colleagues on the other side of the aisle being “niggardly.” Oh, sure, it raised a bit of a fuss. For about 2 hours.
Mother Jones even jumped on him a bit, but only after a right-leaning publication pointed it out.
Of course, niggardly means “miserly,” and has its roots at least 2 centuries before the dreaded “N-word,” but that didn’t stop some people, like writers at the Daily Caller, in that instance, from being utter fools and attempting to felch some racial connotation from Brown’s statement.
And, having not been roundly repudiated by our side for this witch hunt, “conservatives” began using the very same tactics and language-twisting to fulfill their own personal vendettas with “friendly-fire.”
The very next month, in fact, we saw the “conservative” echo-chamber again circling the wagons. This time, instead of a sitting Democrat Senator, they went after staunch long-time First Principles activist Brooks Bayne.
His thought-crime? Pointing out the fact that Sandra Fluke’s invite to Congress may not have been such a random event, after all, given her relationship to the Mutterperl family, and their long-standing friendships with Democrat stalwarts. Fairly innocuous, right? So why the fuss?
Because, in the same article, Brooks called attention to the cultural-Marxist paradigm of the Mutterperl family (which they come by honestly, being secular European Jews).
Controversial? I would think not, given the fact that Mark Levin and Milton Friedman (both Jewish) have made the same point, numerous times, about the socialist leanings of some Jews.
But, I guess Brooks being Hebrew by blood is only Jew-ish. Levin is a practicing Jew, so saying “Jews like that have been known to the rest of us for a long damn time.” is OK for him, right?
Then we moved into April of this year, when John Derbyshire was fired from his writing gig at National Review Online for attempting to point out the utter ball-lessness of those on “our side” who refuse to even discuss certain topics, for fear of being pilloried by those who worship at the Progressive totem.
Naturally, for pointing this out, Derb was, himself, pilloried. By “our side.” And, because they got away with it, the practice continued.
We saw the “conservative” echo chamber attack Donald Trump, Ann Coulter, Brooks Bayne and The Trenches, and even the Founders and Framers, in the last few weeks before the election last month. All the while, they embraced Jenna Jameson, Lindsey Lohan, Stacey Dash, Clint Eastwood, Lee Stranahan, Ali Akbar, GOProud, and “Hating Breitbart” director Andrew Marcus (an admitted gay mafia and pro-death activist).
Why the hypocrisy?
This next paragraph is offered with apologies in advance to John Fogerty. Why do we keep lending credence to these people, whose sociopolitical paradigms are antithetical to ours? Much less grant them clear water to sail, unhindered, into the conservative ranks? Why, indeed, when it is evident that what we truly need is a revival of First Principles, rather than their further erosion? The big wheel of Progressivism keeps on turnin’, after all, with very few left who are willing to jam a monkeywrench into its cogs.
I coined a term, back in 2005 (or, at least, I’d never heard the term before I began using it): “Ridiculocity.” It connotes an issue or situation that is utterly ridiculous (thus worthy of merciless ridicule), yet, due to its extreme high velocity, has the potential to spin wildly out of control.
The origins of the preceding examples can only be described as the product of ridiculocity. And the spiraling out of control started in, of all unlikely places, Germany. (That was sarcasm.)
The Frankfurt School picked up where the Fabian Society of Western Europe left off, the aim being to burn down society (figuratively and surreptitiously, through incrementalism) in order to “remold it, nearer to the heart’s desire.”
“Repressive Tolerance” is probably the best summation of what Herbert Marcuse brought to the US from the Frankfurt School. Read it if you like, but prepare to be thoroughly spun.
It amounts to so much pseudo-intellectual pablum, at first glance wrapped in the language of freedom, but with the cloyingly bitter aftertaste of full-bore collectivism.
As with all Progressive attempts to implant an idea, and promulgate it throughout the society at large, Marcuse’s work utterly dismisses the experiential in favor of the experimental.
Historically proven human limitations are tacitly rejected as immaterial in the quest for the philarch’s conception of the paradisaical, which will be instituted by these same flawed humans. The irony of that premise is lost on these self-proclaimed “moral” busybodies.
Ironic, I say, because these same human frailties are used as justification for the usurpation of personal liberty by these “more worthy” humans (but humans, still) who have been granted power.
Yes, the so-called “logic” of their premise is circular, at best. But consider, for a moment, the sheer audacity it takes to, nevertheless, present this premise to a society as large as ours. One that is (or was) thoroughly steeped in the notion of individual Liberty and personal responsibility for success, as well as failure, all underpinned by experiential and observable natural law.
Consider, further, that (to a very great degree) it has worked. The premise has, indeed, taken hold. The notion that certain grand guardians and princely philarchs can better order the affairs of a population than the individual members of said population runs rampant in modern American society.
How else can unelected bureaucrats at the EPA get away with classifying a substance (which every human on the planet exhales) as a pollutant in need of strict government regulation, without facing a full-scale revolt? How can the same environmental busybodies essentially ban the crowning achievement of individual human innovation, the incandescent light bulb, in favor of one that, when broken, requires a hazmat team to clean up?
If not for the wholesale surrender of individual choices to the whims of a small do-gooder class, how could these policies be implemented? And even those examples do not even begin to graze the surface.
The sad fact of the matter is this: when false premises, which are the hallmark of Progressivism, are first posited, they must be rejected immediately.
Yet, history shows us that the main opponents of Progressivism in the early 20th century (a paltry number, sadly enough) all attempted to defeat Progressive ideology using the Progressives’ own terms.
Allowing the terminology (and, by default, the false premises behind it) time to fester is all that is required for them to also take root. The exact same scenario has played out countless times. Yet, as I illustrated in numerous specific examples above, we continue to see politicians and pundits (and just plain people who should know better) allow it to happen.
Fear of being ostracized by members of their circle of influence. Fear of being labeled as “insensitive,” or “out of touch,” or “prudes” by the very same individuals who advance the false premise to begin with. Fear, in short, of not being joined by others in speaking the truth, and choosing, instead, to maintain their silence and not “rock the boat.”
And the premise, by virtue of going unchallenged, becomes, instead, accepted.
And, on top of this false premise, allowed to stand unimpeded, a thousand more find their footings.
I coined a term for this, as well, over a year ago: “philosophistry.” The philosophy of Progressivism simply cannot stand under the harsh glare and hammer-blows of experiential truth. It is, quite literally, indefensible.
So it must gain a foothold through sophistry, by convincing enough people to go along with it, whether due to fear of retaliation or, through yet another false progressive premise: “choosing one’s battles.”
There are only two underlying reasons for failing to engage in a particular battle: fear of being outnumbered in terms of troop strength, or fear of being outflanked by a smaller force which somehow has the advantage of superior tacticians (or weaponry).
The Progressives have neither. And it’s high time we realized that.
Their philosophy is flawed, folks. The proof is staring you in the face, each time you look at a region where their ideas have been made manifest. Disease, famine, economic depression and stagnation, misery on a massive scale and, ultimately, massive piles of corpses: that is the legacy of Progressivism.
Yet, we cower in fear? Scared to death of challenging their ideology? Afraid to begin chipping away at their wall of philosophistry? Because it can’t be done with a bumper sticker?
And whose fault is that? Of course it will take time to tear down over a century of false premises and replace them with the correct ones. No one has ever actually tried it before. Does that mean we should abandon our duty to do so, before we’ve even begun?
Do we have that little conviction in the time-tested notion of individual Liberty, within a civil society, leading to the greatest prosperity the world has ever known? Are we that unsure of ourselves and our beliefs, when we see the evidence of their resounding successes all around us, as far as the eye can see?
If that is the case with you, I would question whether you even belong on the side of Liberty. Why not take the few extra steps and join the totalitarian hordes in selecting the next philarch to rule benevolently over misery and turmoil?
You’re already over halfway there, after all.
And who knows? Maybe, if you prove yourself devoted enough to their Sisyphian cause, you, too, may end up in the running for “Philarch For a Day.”
As for me, and the rest of us here at The Trenches, we opt for the thrill of battle, and yearn for the opportunity to assault the next false premise placed before us, even as we hurl grenades at those false premises set up in the past, against which only a mere handful had the guts to take up arms. We refuse to play the role of the ants marching along the Möbius Strip, never actually making progress because they are unable to take on the other side.
If fear is your guide, stay safely on the sidelines. Our battle will continue, regardless, until our First Principles are restored.
If you have the courage of your convictions, and the resolve to stare down Progressives and pseudo-intellectual “academics” and their apologists – welcome. Take up your ideological arms. Learn the philosophy of Liberty, and engage.
As Ayn Rand said, “A political battle is merely a skirmish fought with muskets; a philosophical battle is a nuclear war.”
And, in this philosophical war, we must realize that our Hiroshima and Nagasaki are Language and Culture. We don’t need to blow them up completely, mind you, but simply destroy the elements that have been infected by Progressivism. This will be no easy task, and it will take decades.
But it must be undertaken, for once. Then we can help the innocent townspeople rebuild Language and Culture, on a solid foundation of premises proven to be correct by human experience.