Category: What is Progressivism?

Anti-Elitism

Hatred of “elitism,” with its inherent suspicion of anything that seems to imply a standard of human superiority, follows inevitably from long immersion in political and moral egalitarianism. Democracy, the political product of the principle of equality run amok, is the fertile soil of egalitarianism’s most spiritually invasive weeds, gradually fostering a general, almost instinctive anti-elitism. In practice, this anti-elitism constitutes a most...

Soft Despotism 101: An Introduction for the Softly Despotized

Once, while discussing Brave New World with a Korean student, I introduced Alexis de Tocqueville’s incisive warning of a new political danger simmering within the age of modern liberalism, a tyrannical form of democratic paternalism which he evocatively named “soft despotism.” The aptness of this contextual discussion was obvious, for at its best, Huxley’s dystopian novel is little more than a progress report...

Disagreement

Proponents of soft despotism have long understood that with the proper attention to universal schooling and heightened public sentimentality, it is possible to gain absolute power over the majority of any population if one is patient enough to plant the seeds and cultivate them carefully. However, soft despots have also long understood that there will always be a significant proportion of any population...

The Black Face of White Supremacy

I just read a headline from the LA Times declaring gleefully that — according to someone called Erika Smith — California Republican gubernatorial candidate Larry Elder is “the black face of white supremacy.” Because nothing says journalistic integrity like accusing a well-known, highly educated black man of being a front man for the Ku Klux Klan.  Because nothing fights systemic racism more effectively...

Notes On The Tribunal: Cancel Culture

Anything you have ever done or said, in any context, is grounds for moral condemnation today, if that word or action is deemed inconsistent in any possible way with current progressive attitudes. And the condemnation is absolute, disqualifying you from employment, public service, public discussion — in effect from anything that the Tribunal or its millions of ideological allies (or self-protective cowards) wish...

Notes On The Tribunal: Cultural Appropriation

Cultural appropriation is a thoroughly Western notion. Therefore, every non-Western intellectual or activist who declares cultural appropriation in defense of his own society’s exclusive rights to its local customs, fashions, or language is actually committing cultural appropriation in so declaring. For, on the premises of the progressive argument, he is employing ideas to which he has no right, grounded in intellectual concepts and...

On Trusting China to Do the Right Thing

Here is a fun story I have been following over the past few weeks, as it may become somewhat relevant to me: The spokesperson for Electricite de France (EDF) said on Thursday that while it was “not an emergency situation” at the Taishan Nuclear Power Plant, located in China’s southern Guangdong province, it was a “serious situation that is evolving.” If the reactor...

Some Questions About Socialism (and One Answer)

Garry Kasparov describes socialism, correctly, as communism with “better marketing.” He abhors dictatorship and all evidence of authoritarianism, and believes it is incumbent on free nations to take hard stands against global aggressors like Xi Jinping, Vladimir Putin, and the Mullahs in Iran. Why, then, is he a consistent and vocal supporter of the Democratic Party? Please do not say, “Because at least...

Full Frontal Nihilism

I just read that Antifa has clashed “violently” (how else would Antifa clash with anything?) with Los Angeles police outside a Korean spa where, according to a video complaint by a woman (actual), a transgender woman (non-actual) exposed “herself” (man, this stuff gets complicated, typographically speaking!) to young girls. Needless to say, Antifa, tireless fighters on behalf of flashers everywhere, refused to take...

American Progress, aka Walking the Plank More Quickly

In the 1970s, Larry Grathwohl, a most courageous FBI informant, famously told the world that the Weather Underground leadership had hypothesized about the process of dividing up the United States among the major communist powers after their Marxist revolution, and further, that in answer to his own question as to how those who remained resistant to the necessary communist re-education would be dealt...