I woke up this morning with this idea.
Progressives are on the “wrong side of history.”
I can’t tell you how many times that I have been told this over the past two decades. I’m on the “wrong side of history.” It is the modern progressive form of the old Whig theory of history. The Nazis were on the wrong side of history. We’re Nazis. Therefore, we’re on the wrong side of history.
In this absurd worldview, history in the inevitable march toward freedom, equality, justice and progress. It moves in a linear fashion. The modern day progressive liberal is the summit of human history. They are morally superior to everyone who ever lived before and most people living today. In fact, we are almost criminal in their eyes for standing in the way and doubting the forward march of human progress.
Alternatively, history doesn’t move in this linear fashion. It moves in a circle or more accurately a coiled spiral. There are cycles in history and broad divisions into ages – Renaissance (worldly), Reformation (heavenly), Enlightenment (secular intellect and materialism), Romantic (secular emotion and idealism), Antiromantic (repression of spirit) – in which some idea or another is dominant, which is always a reaction to the previous age and takes the form of an elite consensus. This elite consensus always becomes decadent after about 80 to 100 years have passed when the generation that forged it during the last crisis finally dies off. It is shot through with dry rot and combusts in a new crisis that ends each age.
- The Crisis of the Late Middle Ages which culminated in the Avignon Papacy and the Black Death unleashed the relaxed wordliness of the Renaissance Cycle.
- Dissatisfaction with the relaxed wordliness of the Late Renaissance and humanism with its dawning awareness of the corruption of religious texts over time unleashed the renewal of piety and the heavenly focus of the Reformation and Counter-Reformation era.
- The bloodbath that was the Thirty Years War and the English Civil War and the slow development of Western science in the Late Reformation era unleashed the secularism and materialism of the Enlightenment Cycle with its skepticism of faith and confidence in reason and the intellect.
- The bloodbath that was the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars in the name of abstract universal liberty unleashed the Romantic era with its emphasis on secular emotion, folk cultures and idealism. It led to nationalism which culminated in the World Wars.
- The bloodbath that was the World Wars of the 20th century which was caused by the extremes of nationalism led to the Antiromantic era and its repression of spirit, self loathing, disenchantment and loss of confidence in Western civilization. It lead to antiracism which led to decolonization and demographic change which culminated in … ?
At the end of every age, the elite consensus begins to feel tiresome and stifling to some while others take it to new extremes and dissolve and combust the existing social order in the process. The relaxed wordliness of the Renaissance Cycle turned the Papacy into a commodity. The splintering of Christendom and the Wars of Religion led to a sense of exhaustion with religious doctrine and the turn toward materialism and secularism. Napoleon setting Europe ablaze in the name of universal ideals turned the mind toward what was particular about each nation. The World Wars destroyed the self confidence of Western civilization and led to the loss of spirit, deracination and demographic replacement.
The idea that progressive liberalism is the summit of all human history and the future will be the eternal perpetuation and further development of the present is not suggested by history. Instead, the elite consensus of our times, which is the Antiromantic era, will be taken to an unsustainable extreme like in the Renaissance, Reformation, Enlightenment and Romantic era before it. It will become rotten. The whole structure of society will become the kindling. Fanaticism from within the existing elite consensus will set it ablaze. It is never the “fringe” that plunges a society into a crisis. Fringe ideas or reactive undercurrents tend to advance during and after a crisis in the context of a new social mood.
101 years passed between Luther’s 95 theses and the opening of the Thirty Years War. 138 years passed between Thomas Hobbes publishing Leviathan and the start of the French Revolution. 99 years passed between the final surrender of Napoleon and the beginning of World War I. In America, 100 years passed between the defeat of the Spanish Armada and the Glorious Revolution. 87 years passed between the Glorious Revolution and the American Revolution. 78 years passed between the end of the American Revolution and the War Between the States. 76 years passed between the end of the War Between the States and the American entry into World War II after Pearl Harbor.
It has been 75 years since the American victory in World War II. The dry rot of the postwar consensus – liberalism, antiracism, cosmopolitanism and modernism – is really beginning to show. It is curdling into the familiar toxic form – the sort of extremism that produced the Jacobins and the Nazis – the former being an exaggeration of the Enlightenment ideal and the latter an exaggeration of the Romantic ideal. The Jacobins brought out the guillotine. The Nazis brought out the concentration camps. In contrast, the Woke want to subject our entire society to Sigmund Freud’s psychoanalytic couch and put us all through mass therapy in which we will plead guilty and confess our “sins.” These “sins” are the -isms and -phobias which were all made up in the 20th century to repress our spirit. In their eyes, our very being results in the “systemic oppression” of minorities. We can’t stop ourselves from holding them down.
These people who are the exaggeration of the Antiromantic ideal say that their goal is to destroy America. They will. Their fanaticism will be cheered on by established elites. The self loathing, disenchantment, cynicism and hatred of their own country can end in no other way. Beyond them in the mid-21st century after the crisis into which they will plunge us all lies the next age, which as always will be a negation of theirs: the Age of Spirit, the reenchantment, reraciantion and revitalization of the West.