A look back at why we are where we are.
The West took a turn for the worse about 100 years ago. Three versions of a new political vision—fascism, communism, and progressivism—came to power at about the same time. Each one put the government at the center of national life. The political history of the 20th century in the West is largely the story of these three versions of a modern statist vision.
In 1922, Benito Mussolini, the founder of the fascist movement, was elected prime minister of Italy. In 1917, Vladimir Lenin seized power in Russia and founded the Soviet Communist state. In 1913, Woodrow Wilson won the presidency and swiftly laid the foundations of the progressive state that America is today.
As Mussolini put it: “Everything within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state.” According to Mussolini, fascism meant the politicization of everything—and everything was swiftly politicized in Lenin’s “dictatorship of the proletariat,” too.
Does it seem to you that American life today is politicized to an astonishing and often ridiculous degree? Have you heard that the city of Berkeley in California has decided that the term “manhole cover” is sexist? It’s true. In Berkeley, they shall henceforth be called “maintenance hole covers.” It took the progressives about a century, changing the rules and changing the culture step by step, progressively, to make this a problem the Berkeley City Council had to solve.
But the politicization of American life is no laughing matter. Failing to adhere strictly to the Nazi party line in the Third Reich or the Communist party line in the USSR could cost you your life. In America today, failing to adhere strictly to the dictates of political correctness can cost you your livelihood, as we have seen in far too many instances already. Basic, common sense terms such as “he” and “she” have become politically radioactive, and in coercively many-gendered New York City, you can be fined for using the wrong pronoun.
As I always say, the question before us isn’t, as VDH asks in another post I’m working on, “Can’t we all just get along?” The REAL question, given that the non-negotiable precondition for “getting along” with the Left is blanket acceptance of being ruled by them, is: should we even WANT to?