(Joe Parks February 1, 2017)
Those marching, rioting and denying free speech throughout the Western world see themselves as the revolutionary resistance to an oppressive establishment. They couldn’t be more mistaken, they are not revolutionaries, they are reactionaries.
The “resistance” is the outward manifestation of the ire of the progressive elites. Actors posturing at award ceremonies, billionaire internet entrepreneurs and investors, media moguls and business corporations; they are lashing out at the popular revolt against their rule and influence. The revolution has already happened, in June and November when the Brexit and Trump insurgents won. What we are witnessing is a reactionary counter-revolution.
Today’s protests are the reaction of an establishment which sees its power beginning to slip away and lashes out. The demographic most opposed to the people’s insurgency are the cultural elite who attempt to silence opposition and whip up their useful idiots by overwhelming media manipulation.
Last week there were violent riots at UC Berkelely including arson, smashing windows and physical assault designed to prevent Milo Yiannopoulos speaking. Instead of condemning them Democratic Congresswoman Val Deeming said, “I thought it was a beautiful sight — as we encourage people to get involved, what direction and instructions and how can we have a more organized effort so that they can be a major tool in moving our agenda forward?”
Sally Kohn political commentator on CNN, during a recent two day symposium on campus free speech at Missouri University, argued that it’s good if conservatives aren’t allowed to speak, especially if they oppose progressive social positions, claiming, “If they feel like they can no longer speak against positive social change, good.”
Since the sixties the left have ceased to be revolutionary insurgents; they couldn’t be, they had already won, they had become the establishment. The left took control of nations throughout the Western world and proceeded piece by piece, from the family up, to dismantle them. The social and economic priorities of the left were promoted, inculcated and accepted, and became law.
A network of media, academia, bureaucracy, corporations, charities and political elites set the agenda and shaped the society in their own progressive image. Nicholas Kristof, NY Times op-ed columnist, progressive commentator and two times Pulitzer Prize winner analyses his own side,”As I see it, we are hypocritical: we welcome people who don’t look like us, as long as they think like us.”
This is not the result of some vast New World Order conspiracy, it is merely elites doing what comes naturally. Throughout history elites, such as the medieval aristocracy, have had greater kinship, physical, cultural and emotional, with other elites than with the people of the nations they rule. Today’s progressive elites are no different; they see the nation state as a dangerous anachronism to be replaced by much more efficient supra-national and global governance run by them and people like them. For them patriotism is a dangerous limiting concept.
It is no accident that the opposition is so intense, and shall get worse. Brexit and Trump both struck at the heart of progressive ideology, they breathed life into the idea of the nation state once again. What could be more guaranteed to anger progressives than the idea of Britain freeing itself from an ever growing European Union super-state? American progressives were genuinely aghast that anyone could seriously speak of making America great again. In their book anyone who clings to the nation state must be a racist or ignorant.
Out-of-touch arrogance could be no more clearly expressed than by the progressive standard bearer and losing candidate in the American election. “You can put half of Trump supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables,” Hillary Clinton said to the applause and laughter of a gay and lesbian rally for her in September. “Right? Racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic, you name it.”
The protesters now chanting “No borders” and “Immigrants welcome here” are proclaiming their primary allegiance. They have no more attachment to Great Britain, Australia or the USA than they do to Facebook, Buzzfeed or Twitter. Their communities are virtual communities, online and remote. The demonstrations give them a rare opportunity to gather together physically to reaffirm their existence en masse. And the progressive media plays them like a fish on a line.
The protests are taking place in the name of supposedly oppressed minorities such as Muslims. Yet, ask any of the protesters about the basic doctrines of Islam and their response will be “Islamophobe”, and “Love trumps hate”. They know and care as little about Islam as they do about Hottentot fertility rites. Their protest is not for Islam but against nations defining themselves and their culture. The protesters have little reason, only reactions. Like the social media which organises and manipulates them this is not about content, its about branding.
They are psychologically unable to comprehend the attachment the men and women in the street have to their native land and its culture. They see all as a matter of economics and the manipulation and distribution of wealth. This was evident in the Brexit debate where the argument centred on whether Britain would be richer or poorer following a Brexit vote, but ignored the question of whether Britain would be more or less British if it voted Remain.
Nations are more than land. Like the traditional family, another target of progressive scorn, they are ideals which are actualised in real things which matter; the relationships, attitudes and history which are accepted and shared between us. Progressive trailblazers have become so enraptured by their vision of leading the world into a globalised future that they have lost connection with the little people who encapsulate the nations.
But it is our shared relationships that give us meaning and a sense of worth. It was the rejection of those values and that meaning by our opinion formers which drove so many to vote for Brexit and Trump. Yet they never learn. The elites still cannot accept that families and nations have more meaning to ordinary people than vast multicultural cities and interchangeable sexual identities. Most people want something real to hold on to, such as our families and nations, even if it does require work and financial sacrifice.
Dr Campbell Campbell-Jack is a retired Presbyterian minister who lives in Stirlingshire in the UK and blogs at A Grain of Sand.