Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Perpetual Infancy

Political activists on the secular Left have a systemic problem. In order to remain Progressive they must constantly push all social and moral boundaries back and overturn whatever traditions they may encounter in their quest for perpetual change. Like early 19th century pioneers who, when they stopped moving westward, ceased to be pioneers and became settlers, Progressives must continually drive Leftward lest they cease to be Progressives and be absorbed into the status quo.

What this means in practice is that no achievement, no amount of change, can ever satisfy them. For example:

Once abortion on demand was securely entrenched as the law of the land, the Left turned its guns on preserving the right to have a partial birth abortion. Once the right to partial birth abortion is secured, the struggle will then focus on legalizing infanticide and euthanasia for the elderly.

Once prayer was removed from public schools the next step was to banish Christmas as well. As soon as that is accomplished the very mention of the word God will be proscribed from our schools, unless used as an imprecation or expletive, in which case it'll be okay.

Once obscene language restrictions were relaxed on television broadcasts then the struggle began to get them abolished altogether.

As soon as society began to show tolerance and acceptance for gays as people the movement to redefine marriage so that gays can marry was initiated. Once gays win the right to marry, prohibitions against polygamy and other forms of polyamory will come under assault.

As environmental pollution was reduced to minimal levels by legislation a push began to eliminate it altogether, regardless of the enormous cost and the relatively marginal benefits.

If people are paying 50% of their income in taxes Progressives insist they be required to pay 60%. Once the tax rates are raised to 60%, the Left will demand that they be raised to 70%. Likewise with the minimum wage.

If implied sexuality in movies has yielded to more explicit scenes, then the filmmaker should be free to make those scenes as sexually vivid as he wishes.

If the voting franchise is extended to all citizens, then it needs to be extended to non-citizens and illegal aliens as well.

If the voting franchise is lowered to age 18, then it should be lowered to age 16.

If 18 is the age of legal majority, then it should be lowered further so that sex with minors violates no laws.

If the U.S. defeats Iraq in a few weeks worth of combat, it's not to be considered a victory as long as there's looting and economic chaos. Once looting and disorder are placed under control there still is no success until there's an interim government. Once there's an interim government in place, the American effort is still not to regarded as successful until there democratic elections. But elections will be said to be meaningless as long as there's an active insurgency in the Sunni triangle.

The appetite for change is voracious and insatiable. The horizon is always receding. No achievement is ever sufficient. There is no goal or end-point to which we can strive. Once one objective is achieved the ultimate goal is pushed further back in a never-ending dystopic quest for the Progressive paradise. Government must grow ever larger and control ever more of our individual lives. Personal freedom, except insofar as it is freedom to indulge our appetites, must be hemmed in and constrained by a crushing mountain of rules, laws, and regulations.

The Left can never stop and say we've come far enough. Like locusts, they must keep devouring everything in their path, they must keep pressing on in search of new fields to ruin. Like bicyclists, to halt is to lose their balance. To stop is to lose their grip on the meaning of their existence. The animating force of the Left, at least the secular Left, is a neurotic impulse to destroy what has been built by others.

This is why so much of twentieth century Leftism devolved into nihilism, and it is why so many contemporary Leftists offer nothing constructive as solutions to the problems we face today. Their only answer is to tear down or wear away the principles, institutions, and beliefs of earlier generations.

George Santayana once said that "When change is absolute there remains no being to improve and no direction is set for possible improvement; and when experience is not retained, as among savages, infancy is perpetual." It is distressing that perpetual infancy is so appealing to so many in Europe and the U.S.

Inaugural Fallout

An Iranian blog posts this tidbit of news. Apparently the President's speech was boffo, if not in some sectors of the American media and the salons of effete Europe, then at least everywhere that matters:

Reports from across Iran are stating about the massive welcoming of President George W. Bush's inaugural speech and his promise of helping to bring down the last outposts of tyranny.

Millions of Iranians have been reported as having stayed home, on Thursday night which is their usual W.end and outgoing night, in order to see or hear the Presidential speech and the comments made by the Los Angeles based Iranian satellite TV and radio networks, such as, NITV or KRSI.

The speech and its package of hope have been, since late yesterday night and this morning, the main topics of most Iranians' conversations during their familial and friendly gatherings, in the collective taxis and buses, as well as, among groups of young Iranians who gather outside the cities on the Fridays.

Many were seen showing the " V " sign or their raised fists. Talks were focused on steps that need to be taken in order to use the first time ever favorable International condition.

Many Iranians, who were looking for the World's super power firm moral support and financial aid to credible secularist opposition groups, are now becoming sure that Mr. Bush's agenda is indeed to help them to gain Freedom, Secularity and Democracy. They do believe correctly that such way will avoid an unnecessary US invasion or military strike against Iranian facilities which will help the Mullahcracy to consolidate its illegitimate and unpopular power, while causing heavy financial damages and human causalities.

What had always been missing in order to create a wide scale Iranian democratic revolution, such as what happened in Georgia, was till now a firm and noticeable World pressure on the Islamic regime and a trustable Opposition Council with a correct agenda.

Various reports from underground groups are stating that Iranians will be increasing the Civil Disobedience Movement by making more strikes and demos in the days ahead.

It appears that the sourpuss mullahs of Iran are sitting atop a boiling pot trying to keep the lid on. Our President didn't do much to make their task easier. God bless him.