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  • Writer's pictureCorey Lee Wilson

Progressivism Madness: A Preface



As in Karl Marx’s older drama, the moral imperative of Progressives is to once again “set things right.” In Marx’s time this was the task of revolutionaries. Today this task falls to progressive politicians and activists, social justice reformers, civil rights workers, cultural appropriation enforcers, diversity, and inclusion warriors and the like who have spread into the media, government, college campuses, neighborhood organizations and workplaces.

Having inherited from their communist totalitarian forbears the self-righteous certitude that they have proprietary rights to virtue and truth, contemporary progressives continue to occult a Nietzschean will to power behind a nimbus of moral superiority. In the good old days of Lenin, Stalin, and Mao, non-conforming opinion was condemned as “bourgeois,” “anti-revolutionary.” Today, the enemies of “so-called” progress are denounced as “bigoted,” “racist,” “sexist,” or “homophobic,” and thereupon subjected to all the latest instruments of revolutionary justice from Generations X, Y and Z, the overwhelming demographic of Progressivism.

Non-progressive opinion—i.e., any criticism of homosexuality, transgenderism, radical feminism, or Black Lives Matter—is criminalized as “hate speech”; ideological censorship is now euphemized as academic “trigger warnings,” “speech codes,” or Big Tech “fact-checking,” or effected by political mobs who have exchanged the brown and black shirts of last century’s utopian fanatics for the more fashionable hoodies and balaclavas of the millennial social justice movement.

In the 21st century, Progressives have innovated in ideology, jettisoning the economic class struggle and replacing it with identity classes: gender, race, sexuality, religion, nationality, and ableness. Now it’s (allegedly) whites (including “white adjacent” Asians and “hyperwhite” Jews), males, and Christians who are oppressors—and people of color, women, LGBTQ++, Muslims, and the disabled who are the oppressed victims.

The Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Delusion

With the “social justice” trinity of “diversity, equity, and inclusion,” progressives have returned us to the days of deep Jim Crow, with some races seen as virtuous and others as evil, the only difference being that the colors have changed. Progressive “inclusion” means including preferred races and genders, and excluding the others, as we see in hiring, college admissions, funding, promotions, and awards.

Equity, meaning the statistical equivalence of races and genders, in practice means more of the preferred and fewer of the despised. Objective measures, such as standardized tests, and advanced education programs, are cancelled, because they don’t produce the desired “equity” results. Now institutionalized racism and discrimination are regarded as desirable by progressives, as long as preferred categories benefit.

Who are the Progressive Left? Answer: They are typically very liberal, highly educated, and majority White—and most say U.S. institutions need to be completely rebuilt because of racial bias.

Although they are one of the smallest political typology groups, Progressive Left are the most politically engaged group in the Democratic coalition. No other group turned out to vote at a higher rate in the 2020 general election, and those who did nearly unanimously (98%) voted for Joe Biden. They donated money to campaigns in 2020 at a higher rate than any other Democratic-oriented group.

What devious force brought all of this cultural destruction into being? Who injected this destructive poison into the Progressivism Left? The source, of course, is our universities where so many academics and college faculty are the post-modernists, pushing “progressive” activism at a college near you.

In response to any opinion contrary to their own, these so-called “progressive” activists do not offer counterarguments and contrary evidence. They do not claim that the facts are wrong or the position is untrue. No, they reject the opinion on identity grounds, saying that the challenge denies their existence as people, and that it makes them feel unsafe. Or just that it denies the truth of their sacred narrative, and that the complainant is therefore a heretic, any of whose words must be rejected.

The response on campus to this identity-fueled mob hate and its manifestation in attacks, condemnations, and cancellations is fear. Students fear bad grades if they do not repeat identity politics talking points, and they fear social isolation if they are attacked as enemies of “social justice.” Professors fear both students and administrators, especially the “diversity and inclusion” officials whose job it is to weed out dissenters for re-education, punishment, and exile.

The False Narratives of Progressives

Radical activists now confront America with a host of unsapient policies, subversive activism, and false narratives like the 1619 Project, Black Lives Matter (BLM), and Critical Race Theory (CRT). The Progressives who champion these false and woke critiques threaten who we are as a nation, accompanied by equally radical proposals to remake our basic institutions.

Furthermore, the progressive activists who lead these woke movements have targeted America’s K12 schools to impose a revolutionary transformation on our country and they also seek to transform the family, work, the marketplace, government, law, religion, entertainment, sports—all of American society with neo-Marxist ideologies.

But every such Progressive pedagogy proposal is ultimately a plan to change the way Americans think. They require a transformation of our schools from places that teach students to seek out truth to places that teach students to seek out power so as to revolutionize America. No free people would accept the radicals’ plans, so they wish to teach our children to embrace tyranny, by persuading them that tyranny is actually fairness or justice.

This sort of intellectual totalitarianism is not new. Neo-racism imitates the logic of Marxism, which uses opposition to its arguments to confirm them. Only a class traitor would doubt the necessity of the revolution. The same self-confirming circularity always accompanies movements that suppress intellectual and political freedom.

Enough! Now is the time to wake up before we do even graver damage—not only to ourselves individually but to our country as a whole. It is a bitter irony of our moment that those who want to drive us into this new hysteria often claim to be “woke.” But there is no awakening in woke. It is the sleep of reason that produces monsters, and it poses a profound peril to our republic.

Article content courtesy of the forthcoming Progressivism Madness: A SAPIENT Being’s Guide to the Idiocracy and Hypocrisy of the ‘Regressivism’ Movement (April 2023).

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