Sunday, February 08, 2009

Good company

I have a lot of admiration for Victor Davis Hanson. In a rather anecdotal column today, he writes:
I had a conversation (an argument) recently with a European, about contemporary culture. I tried to explain the mutually reinforcing elements of socialism, atheism, utopianism, pacifism, and statism (he was giving America a second chance to morph into Euros under Obama).
I certainly don't claim that my model of the Seven Pillars of Progressivism is original, but it is nice to know that Mr. Hanson has a similar sense of the interlocking nature of these isms. He gives them slightly different names, but I think we'd agree on the general idea.

And just in case you haven't had the benefit of my little exercise in political science...

The heart of contemporary liberalism, the progressive agenda, is compulsively egalitarian justice.

The basic leftist narrative is this: In a just order, all designated groups would have equal status and power.

The greater status and power of traditionally successful groups has been immorally gained at the expense of traditionally less successful groups.

Traditionally successful groups are called oppressors and traditionally less successful groups are called victims

Being less powerful, victims have moral entitlement; being more powerful, oppressors have moral debt.

The moral and liberal agenda is to use social control and state coercion progressively to reduce the status and power of the oppressor groups in order to increase the status and power of the victim groups.

There are seven major areas where unjust inequality produces serious harm and where the liberal solution is required:

White dominance of non-whites, called racism
Male domination of women, called sexism.
Capitalist economic injustice, called classism.
Competition/conflict among states, called nationalism.
Religious bigotry and social control, called theocracy.
Organized violence, called militarism.
Environmental degradation, called consumerism.

The solutions to these seven unjust inequalities are seven isms, called

the protection, celebration and promotion of non-white cultures.

the protection, celebration and promotion of women.

the transfer of wealth from those who have it to those who don't.

the reduction of national identity and sovereignty.

the privatization of religion, especially Christianity.

the derogation and rejection of the military, police, and weapons,
along with the masculine virtues of the warrior.

the protection, celebration and promotion of non-human species
for their own sakes
(and the mythic veneration of the planet as a female victim)

It should be noted that the West, being the most successful civilization of the last five hundred years, is an oppressor to the rest of the planet. Consequently, reducing its status and power in order to increase the status and power of the rest of the planet is included in the progressive agenda.

And as I have noted, behind the progressive set of ideas stands a single kind of enemy, the source of the unjust inequalities that each of the seven pillars addresses:
the white male capitalist patriotic military Christian* consumer.

*Israel and Jews now function as stand-ins. Ironic. And Muslims, although they are masculinist theocrats who regularly engage in violence and some of their countries' ruling classes are among the richest on the planet, are accorded victim status by being coded as non-white non-Westerners.


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