We all know the Orwell cliche “who controls the past controls the future and who controls the future controls the present”. The left certainly has in a fifty year war on history.
To begin we must discuss the evolution of the progressive ideology in America. The progressives of the Theodore Roosevelt age fought for a silver standard, temperance, and for small business. One of the lions of the age, William Jennings Bryant faced his Waterloo in the Scopes trial (he stood against evolution). Liberalism and progressivism formed a coalition under FDR that birthed the new deal.
The red scare of the 50’s forced the progressives underground and ended the golden age of progressive force. Like a cicada, they re-emerged in the 60’s in Academia as a small but vocal facility faction. These professors like Howard Zinn began reshaping American history through a marxist lens. The baby boomers came of age making up little under half the population. More went to college than any previous generation. Under the tutelage of the socialist leaning professors, they became righteous acolytes. This was the beginning of the new left. When the personal became political. The Vietnam draft only pushed more youths to seek refuge in the left from dying in a pointless war.
Reagan marked a key moment, separating the true believers from the rest. By the end of Reagan, P.C. Culture had been born from the next generation of academia. Teachers and professors lionized by their mentors moved American education to the left but while CEOs remained perennial boogeymen. P.C. Culture directed progressives away from the growing wealth inequality in America and focused instead on abstract academic concepts on race, gender, and sex. Based on victimization, the PC outlook took Nietzsche’s slave mentality to its logical conclusion. By 2007, this outlook would dominate the Democrat coalition. Even in the aftermath of a global economic meltdown, wealth never became a priority for the new progressives.
America had and has on going systematic issues involving race, gender, and sex. Those issues need to be solved but they are far from the most pressing issues, which would be a fair economy and access to healthcare for all. In fact, I would say PC culture is responsible for the current level of tribalism and partisanship in America. This was done through the revision of history no longer a grand narrative of the course of civilizations but an endless list of grievances. We no longer learn the story of America as much as we learn of every wrong action taken by white men who are rich for the most part.
Worst our enemies are absolved as victims. Take this op-ed on North Korea published in the Washington Post. You would never have guessed that NK started the war. It spins the Kim family’s cruelty towards those under their rule as an American war crime. If NK surrendered, the air strikes wouldn’t have killed so much of the population. If the air strikes stopped before surrender, NK would have been able to overwhelm the American forces and slaughter the people of the south.
But does the modern progressive movement control the future? They certainly believe that they will through demographical shifts. As their views narrow and become dogmatic their influence will wain. Liberalism in all its messiness will return as people seek freedom. Conservatism is changing with the population as well. American history swings towards freedom and truth. We must rebuff all movements that want to take those values.