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Nostalgia for Utopia

 

 

 

 

Dave Griffey at Daffey Thoughts notes the charming Leftist habit of damning the past:

 

Exhibit A.  MSNBC host Joy Reid posted this little Twitter gem after Trump’s speech.

So?  What’s the big deal Dave?  When I was at Patheos, I posted a whimsical little piece suggesting that not everything in America’s past was bad, and that in our zeal to change everything in the universe, we might have lost a couple things worth keeping.  I suggested that all things considered, that period of time after WWII but before the youth revolutions had some good points.

The most common retort?  Sure Dave, go back to a time when women were barefoot and pregnant and dying in back allies, while Blacks were lynched and LGBT people murdered.  It was the dark ages of America’s long history of Nazi level racism and genocide.

That was the assessment of the age of Eisenhower, Elvis and Uncle Miltie.  It’s what the Left, through the Democrats, and with help from the press and entertainment industries, have worked tirelessly to convince each up and coming generation: the United States has always been the real Nazi Germany, and the kids are called to rise up and throw the Beast into the trash heap of history.

They are told to hate the United States and, to a broader extent, the Western and Christian tradition.  They are to be like a young woman I worked at a publishing company with years ago when I first became Catholic. She was working on her Masters here at Ohio State.  She had gone to Boston College and lived abroad during her undergrad years.

Her appraisal of the Cold War?  Completely on America, its imperialist government and vile military industrial complex.  The famous ‘we will bury you’ quote?  We said it first.  The Soviets, though far from perfect, were the brave defenders against America’s lust for world dominion.  That was someone raised roughly in the late 80s and 90s, going into college around 9/11.

That’s what Ms. Joy and colleagues have labored for decades to accomplish.  The Democrats replaced Blacks, Jews and any other minorities with WASPs once the Civil Rights movement made it clear that hating on Blacks was no longer wise politics.  In keeping with the party’s long history, they would need another “Them” to teach Americans to fear, hate and resent.

And the card fell to WASPs.  That group was high on the list of baddies as I grew up in the 70s and 80s.  There was a dark time in American history, when white people from Protestant backgrounds called the shots, but we were slowly coming out of the darkness and into the light.  The fact that many of us were actually WASP, and yet ate up the narrative, shows just how powerful guilt is when it comes to propaganda in a Christian based civilization.

Of course in no time Protestant was broadened to Christian in general.  Likewise, Europe, which was already busy trashing itself into a stupor of narcissism and apathy, was more than happy to throw the entire Western tradition onto the bonfire of its vanities.

All of this couldn’t have come at a more advantageous time as the West, through sheer introspection and the desire to do the right thing, was handing the countries it had conquered back to their original owners.  And those owners, as Solzhenitsyn once pointed out, might not be ready to let bygones be bygones – forgiveness as mandatory being a uniquely Christian characteristic.

So faced with cultures and societies chaffing at what they perceived as the unique evil of Western imperialism, and an internal movement within the West more than happy to join in and stoke the fires of bitterness, resentment, and revenge, we have the Left pushing the narrative that you can draw a line before 1963, and all you get is racism, homophobia, sexism, Jim Crow, military imperialism, government corruption, white racist men, and cowering minorities.  Any other interpretation of that time is akin to Nazi propaganda and places the denier squarely in the circle of the Alt Right.

Like whipping a donkey (no pun intended), Reid’s tweet was supposed to trigger that well established narrative, that to be in the 50s is to be an Fascist, racist nation just like the Red States want.   It’s an America the Left hates, and hopes youngsters will grow to hate just as much.  Whether it will work remains to be seen.  The growing number of groups jumping on the bandwagon for a post-American world suggests it will require quite a turn around from where we’ve been going if we don’t want America to join the has-beens of history.

Go here to comment.  Cicero once noted that to be ignorant of what had happened prior to your birth was to remain ever a child.  Perhaps that helps explain a  strong strain of infantilism on the Left where a distorted view of the past is ever served up in order to serve the current needs of the Left.  Thus the Fifties must be depicted in the darkest of hues, lest people seriously look at them and consider how we got to be where we are.  For example, a serious study of the Fifties would note that both the Civil Rights movement and Feminism began to be forces in society in that decade, and that the growth of the role of academia in our society radically increased during those years.  Contemporary society did not spring full grown like Athena from the brow of Zeus.  Societies are constructs of humans over great gulfs of time, and attempting to ignore, or politicize, their histories clouds our understanding of who we are, how we got to be the way we are, and whither we should go as a society.  Of course such thoughts are anathema for most of the Left, as their policy items tend to prosper in times of high emotion and little thought.  Thus the past is ever damned on the Left and the  completely illusory socialist utopia of the future is ever worshiped.

 

“Who controls the past,” ran the Party slogan, “controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.” And yet the past, though of its nature alterable, never had been altered. Whatever was true now was true from everlasting to everlasting. It was quite simple. All that was needed was an unending series of victories over your own memory.

George Orwell, 1984

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Donald R. McClarey

Cradle Catholic. Active in the pro-life movement since 1973. Father of three and happily married for 35 years. Small town lawyer and amateur historian. Former president of the board of directors of the local crisis pregnancy center for a decade.

8 Comments

  1. The thing about the past is also that you learn how often the Left keeps proposing the same ideas, despite their repeated failures.

  2. Sublimating our will to the will of God will bring forth Utopia. Atheistic communism rejects God. Atheistic communism rejects the sovereign person and his free will. Atheistic communism demands Utopia from its subjects or else.

  3. There were examples of feminine achievement ca. 1955 (Clare Booth Luce and Sarah Lee Lippincott to name two). However, it would be tough to find much akin to the feminist discourse trafficked in by people like Gloria Steinem 15 years later. Academic feminism manifest in women’s studies programs is malignant and an utter waste of institutional budgets; the journalistic sort traded in by Betty Friedan, Gloria Steinem, Eleanor Smeal, Ellen Goodman &c has little to recommend it either and we’d all be better off if it simply disappeared.

  4. Art,

    Excellent: “You say that like it’s a bad thing”

    This is why I can’t talk with my liberal relatives.

    Also, try to slowly explain using one- or two-syllable words like “Suppose you were a liberal. And, suppose you were an idiot. But, I repeat myself.” With apologies to Mark Twain.

    If you feel charitable and need to penance (Lord, grant me a spirit of mortification! Amen.), you may converse in a charitable fashion. Ask “What facts, data can you cite?” Ask, “Compared to what?” Ask, “How much will it cost and where will you get the money?” Hat tip to Ann Coulter.

  5. This era supports perpetrators as victims.
    Here’s one; “Abortion saves lives!” When I confronted the man and asked about his sign and the proofs of his statement he just laughed me off. “You’ll never get it,” he said. I replied nope.. I’ll never understand how you can support the killings of millions of babies and dare tell anyone that abortions save lives.
    “Adoption saves Lives….the mother and baby,” but abortions.. never.

    The left is void of conscience…my conclusion.

  6. “Cicero once noted that to be ignorant of what had happened prior to your birth was to remain ever a child. ”

    I just can’t help myself.

    Nescire autem quid ante quam natus sis acciderit, id est semper esse puerum. Quid enim est aetas hominis, nisi ea memoria rerum veterum cum superiorum aetate contexitur?

    Oratio ad M. Brutum

    Literally:

    However it is always to be a child to know not what happen before you may have been born. For what is the age of man, except it is interwoven with the memory of ancient things with the age of the higher.

    MPS can correct my errors. 🙂

  7. LQC, don’t help that– I like having both the sense of what is said, and the exact words.

    Training that’s come in handy in many quasi-political situations– did you know that saying you’d have a body-cam when going to a dangerous place is to announce you’re planning to trick innocent newbies into embarrassing themselves?– but it can have pretty awesome non-political results, too.

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