The root cause, in ideological terms, of modernity’s troubles can simply be called progressivism. It is a hydra that can, and often does, goes by many different names: 1:Socialism. 2:Communism. 3: Leftism. Conceptual definitions, and locating the origins of this ideology will not be pursued here, however (my view — hardly original is that it decedent of Christianity) . The aim here is to understand this philosophy, this world-view system.
What are the goals of progressivism?
In short, its principal goal is power, control and dominance over all people, all nations, all religions and all cultures. It has universal pretensions — like Christianity and Islam.
Power but for what purpose?
Here, I suggest we have two possible interpretations of progressivism. Let’s call the first one the blue pill and the second the red pill.
The blue pill interpretation of progressivism consists of four main principles:
1: Human rights: universal equality and fraternity of all men and women.
2: Pacifism: a belief in the futility and immorality of violence. Solutions should be sought through peaceful negotiations. An “enemy” is a friend you have just not done enough for yet.
3: Social Justice: using the power of the state, under the direction of elites, to end discrimination, intolerance and inequality of outcomes.
4: A belief in a “managed society” by elites who rule as a result of their superior wisdom and virtue.
The red pill interpretation:
1: Human rights can be considered Christianity (from low-church Protestantism) without the theology. A stronger red pill is that human rights — the concept of equality and universal human nature, brotherhood etc —is either a tool in service of imperialism. Or, and in addition, it is a cultural adaption. I.e. this ideology has outcompeted its rivals to become the dominant world-view.
2: Progressives disagree with force or violence being used by their sworn enemies — all those who are not sufficiently “progressive”. Progressives are often sympathetic with, or often support violence against their enemies — the “state” the “establishment” “capitalism” “masculinity” “Christianity” or “white power”. However, in the final analysis, the politicians who adhere to progressivism do go to war — in the name of human rights — but it is their “enemies” who do the fighting — those who are not progressives. A darker red pill is that the politicians who control the military intentionally practice “military mismanagement”, in order to “bleed” their enemies and demonstrate to the wider public that violence is futile. Failure of the military also allows their allies to win — those who the nation is ostensibly at war with.
3: “Social Justice” is simply a power play. The elites enter into a patron-client relationship with various groups deemed to have suffered discrimination (which often does have historical truth to it). The patron-elites change laws so as to confer benefits and employments in return for support from their clients. Furthermore, progressives uses “social justice” to weaken their enemies by breaking down their cohesion and efficiency, for example introducing mandatory quotas into corporate environments.
4: The concept of a managed society is for the elites, on the red pill interpretation, one of pure self-interest: Power, wealth and prestige. Many, perhaps most, of the ruling elite know that their policies are not working, but they have neither the inclination to fix it, or believe it can be fixed (under the current system). Furthermore —and this interpretation does have predictive power — progressives will never, or will be extremely slow to admit their mistakes. If progressives did this, however, they court ruin, and in some cases possibly even imprisonment. The thing to look for then is this: the worse it gets, the worse it will get because progressives will “double down” on their failed policies.
Which is true? Can both interpretations be true, even at the same time? Yes, but it is not something that can ever be proved decisively. The human mind, the human heart, with its murky motivations, can perhaps never rationally be grasped. (There will be more on human nature in a later instalment.)
It is, however, plausible to assume that many do “believe” in the blue pill interpretation. It is likely that many, especially the “foot-soldiers” and middle-managers are “true believers”. At the very top however, it is likely that the principals embody what is called the “dark triad” (Narcissism, Psychopathy and Machiavellianism).
It is likely that you can never truly be able to understand the “true” motives of progressives. However, you can grasp the consequences of their actions by observation, historical study and inference.
The judgement of history, economics and philosophy — the judgement of reason — is clear: progressivism always fails. It always fails, in the sense that its stated aims can never be achieved, or can never be sustained. Progressivism brings disorder, death and destruction. It bears responsibility (to some degree) for the horror of the 20th century. And, its death march is not yet finished.
Progressivism is the ruling ideology of the West. It has been in control of America for at least a century — though the country was founded on “progressive enlightenment values”. However, the roots extend far back in time. Ultimately, in my view, it must be rooted in human nature, or at least of some humans.
America liberated and conquered Europe in 1945. America imposed progressivism on the continent. The Soviet Union did the same but from the opposite wing (geographically and ideologically). The European elite was, however, willingly practitioners of this ideology — they still are. The European Union is a progressivist project through and through. Gradually, more and more countries fell to Progressivism. Spain, Greece and then the eastern European states — all fell to progressivism.
Now, however, a “Great War” exists between the progressivist western States and Islamic societies. However, a power-struggle also exists between progressivism and Russia and China. While you can use the concept of a “clash of civilisations” and it is useful up to a point, the real clash is between two competing Universal doctrines and those who promote them. Progressivists on one side, Islamism on the other, while Russia and China — historically and philosophically inoculated against a virulent and lethal strain of progressivism called Communism (and thus of milder forms of the virus) — are trying to maintain independence from the progressive United States and its allies. Note, again, that substantial, perhaps most of the people in the West are not progressives — at least not fully committed ones — and, if given the choice, once the consequences are fully laid out, may well baulk at what their leaders are intending on doing to them and the rest of the world.
What is the source of their power? At the root of their power is ideas. Their ideas are attractive to many (though not all) humans. Once these ideas are accepted as real descriptions (facts) —descriptions of politics, economics, ethics, religion, — they contain (in conjunction with a moral principle) within them prescriptions (moral values) for changing the world. The language is banal: change, progress, the struggle for justice, increasingly diversity, equality etc. In short, the source of progressive power is mind control.
In a modern democracy, power is not exercised by the people but by those who control the means of production, replication, and dissemination of ideas, narratives, arguments, explanations, data-points, “science” etc.
While it is somewhat cliché to complain about the “Mainstream Media” it is nevertheless true that the media exercises tremendous power or influence over the minds of people. That power is now waning, as a consequence of the Internet. Expect, therefore, America and Europe to begin exercising the same kinds of control that Russia and China currently practice over the Internet. Expect too, greater persecution and imprisoning of “thought criminals.”
The Media and its operators are however, downstream of where the true source of ideological power comes from: the modern university. The professors, who reside in Humanities departments across the Western world, are the “typhoid Mary” who influence their students in the humanities. These students — at least the richest and brightest — go onto become journalists, but also politicians, civil servants, lawyers, authors, poets, artists, or activists and NGOs and foundation employees (a rival contender for supreme ideological power). Also, there are community activists, charity workers, human resource managers, education theorists and primary and secondary school teachers. All (or nearly all) are “taught” at the universities by progressive professors. Of course, some of these students, become professors themselves.
Progressives are intelligent. They are usually highly skilled in verbal intelligence. They are skilled in conceptual analysis and conceptual manipulation, arguments, rhetoric, framing and story-telling. Naturally, these skills serve them well in their various professions by which they exercise power and influence.
The problem, however, is that progressives are wrong on practically every question. Consequently, they cannot use facts and logic to convince rationally and thus must use “dark arts” and “dirty tricks” to achieve and maintain mastery. In addition to fallacious arguments and rhetoric, progressives exclude those they judge to be “heretical”. They cause them to lose their jobs, or force them to recant their “heresy”. In some cases, they mete out violence against opponents. Normally, though, they attempt to silence people by deploying “shame cards” or “guilt cards.” Or, they attach labels that “demonise” opponents. For example, during the Chinese Cultural Revolution, opponents were labeled as “rightists” or “capitalist roadsters.” In a different era, opponents would be labeled as “heretics” “Christ-killers” or “atheist.” Today, the term is “Racist” or “Islamaphobe” or the opponent is accused of spreading “hate.” Progressives, like fanatical monotheists, are obsessed with inner purity and righteousness, and the state of sin of others.
Instead of focussing on the day-to-day goals of progressives, which shift over time, let us focus on consequences. Here are the indisputable consequences of progressivism:
1: Truth is replaced with falsehoods.
2: Goodness is replaced with evil — which we shall define as disorder, violence, revolution, war, mass murder, starvation and totalitarian political systems.
3: Beauty replaced with ugliness — as witness modern art and modern architecture.
4: Excellence replaced with mediocrity.
5: Tradition (which may, or may not be true or useful in all cases) replaced with whatever dogma a university professor has invented.
6: Competent authority and personal judgment (based on experience, wisdom and intuition) replaced with suffocating rules and regulations, process, procedures and committees. Responsibility, rather than concentrated, is dispersed. Consequently, no one is really responsible for anything. The result is chronic bad decision making, and thus bad results.
7: Competition (a fact of life, and one of the necessary ingredients of excellence and true progress ) is replaced with “cooperation” or “sharing”. In effect (see red pill interpretation of “social justice”) this means that the fruits of labour are shared with those who did not labour to acquire it, or who are not good enough to achieve the position. In addition, competition and individual achievement is replaced with an amorphous concern for “esteem”. Nevertheless, the progressives are ruthlessly competitive in the pursuit of their objectives. A mendacious double-standard.
8: Winners are increasingly demonised and replaced with the “cult of the victim.” Strength is replaced with weakness. Intelligence is replaced with stupidity. Enterprise is replaced with indolence. Independence is replaced with dependence.
9: People, men especially, who possess the “winning” virtues, or Alpha male traits are pathologized. Winning is bad, losing is good.
10: Men, and now “White men” are increasingly seen as pathological and the source of all problems in society. This is, perhaps, a vestigial tail of Christianity with its original sin, and need to expiate guilt. It can now be seen openly that many progressives, look forward to the demographic replacement of “White Men”. Needless to say, this is genocidal thinking which may trigger a real genocide, or some kind of war — which, may well perhaps be the point — to provoke one.
11: Progressives are now actively allowing and promoting Islam in Europe and America, as well as censoring and punishing criticism of Islam. Why? Three reasons suggest themselves. 1: They are deluded (see the principles of progressivism). 2: They have sold themselves out to Islamic money and influence. 3: Part of a plan to provoke a war between the West and Islam, in order to completely destroy and dominate certain Islamic lands, oil, and human capital. Furthermore, it also helps weaken and destroy progressive’s enemies — those on the “right”. 4: One red pill interpretation is that progressivism (as one would expect if progressivism is a evolved strain of Christianity) contains a deeply masochistic and suicidal tendency, which when demonstrated by progressives proves one’s virtue and holiness. Whatever the truth, it is delusional and dangerous either way. Nevertheless, given the wide-spread propaganda and obfuscation of Islam by progressives, it is necessary to state, clearly and simply the truth about Islam.
One final point, the position I adopt, as regards Islam, is this: neither friend nor enemy. Given the theological, historical, ethical, and political gulf between the various respective civilisations (especially Russian and Western civilisation) deep, real friendship, or simply trust, is socially impossible. Tolerance (at a distance) is possible, however. Islam and the West need not be enemies, engaged in active warfare against each other — as they are now. But if more war is to be avoided, then many things will have to change. In short, it will be either a Grand Bargain or a Grand War with Islam. (Islam will be the subject of part 5. In part 4, I discuss the “Islam Delusion.”)