[Editor’s note: Make sure to read Robert Spencer’s masterpiece contributions in Jamie Glazov’s new book: Barack Obama’s True Legacy: How He Transformed America.]
Contrary to universally accepted usage, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Bernie Sanders and the rest are not “progressives,” and we must stop calling them that. To continue to do so is misleading and dangerous.
One of the most important aspects of combating the Left’s assault on freedom and rationality itself is to counter its manipulation of language. “Gender-affirming care” isn’t gender-affirming care, it’s the mutilation of healthy people in the pursuit of delusions. “Book-banning” isn’t a resurgence of fascist thought control, it’s the cleansing of our libraries and schools from the pornography and propaganda with which Leftists have filled them. Abortion isn’t “women’s healthcare,” it’s the murder of a child. And behind all of the Left’s language-bending is the fundamental lie that Leftists are “progressives.”
This one has become so generally accepted in American culture today that the likes of AOC and Bernie are regularly called “progressives” even by their opponents. This is not simply the benign name of a political faction. It implies that those who bear the name are on the right side of a grand progression of history. Human experience, the “progressives” contend, is moving inexorably toward an inevitable outcome. History, they say, is a science, and that science demonstrates that the world is moving toward a messianic age of earthly justice, in which everyone gives according to his or her or xis ability, and receives according to his or her or xis needs.
Does that sound familiar? It should. It’s Marxism. It was the dyspeptic misanthrope Karl Marx who proclaimed that he had cracked the code and discerned the riddles of history, and could now declare with scientific certainty that history was moving toward socialism and there was nothing anyone could do to prevent it. The workers’ paradise was an inevitable fact. Reactionaries may try to obstruct it, but they would ultimately fail.
This idea of an inevitable progression of human history toward peace, justice and equality became a staple of Marxist thought. Leon Trotsky believed it with such unshakable certainty that even when Stalin had outmaneuvered him and declared him an enemy of the Soviet state, Trotsky continued blandly in his assurance that since he was on the right side of history, he would eventually prevail. It took the axe of a Stalinist in Mexico, to which Trotsky had fled to await history’s vindication, in Trotsky’s skull to demonstrate once and for all that history is not always so easily predictable and does not operate according to scientific rules.
In America today, when Leftist politicians call themselves “progressives,” they are claiming the inevitability of history for themselves. The Donald Trumps and Ron DeSantises of the world may try to stand in their way, but ultimately socialist authoritarianism will prevail no matter what they do. Even if we’re not living in rental pods and eating bugs by 2030, it’s going to happen eventually. The “progressives” are as certain of it as Trotsky ever was, and in America at this time, there is no Stalinist axe-man in sight. That is, no one is challenging them from the Left, and patriots are, despite the relentless demonization of them by the Biden regime, peaceful and law-abiding. When patriots call these Leftist apparatchiks “progressives,” they’re unwittingly endorsing the entire world view of an inexorable progression of history. We must throw off this usage and refuse to accept the Leftist mindset.
This is imperative for many reasons. One is that if we stop calling them “progressives,” we will stop tacitly acknowledging the inevitability of their victory. We will be able to be clearer in enunciating the opposing point of view, which is the Judeo-Christian understanding that the human race is not progressing toward anything, and will continue to suffer wars and injustices until the actual messianic age, which will not be ushered in by human effort. Accordingly, government schemes that Leftists claim will bring about the justice and equality that has been so sorely lacking in human experience can be opposed for the forays into authoritarianism and totalitarianism that they are, without anyone being bamboozled into thinking that they represent actual “progress” toward an earthly paradise. There will be no earthly paradise. The Left’s idolatry of political action doesn’t actually offer any solutions to our problems, but will only make them worse and create new ones as well.
Instead of calling them “progressives,” then, patriots should call them what they are: statists, enemies of freedom, believers in all-encompassing government control, foes of the freedom of speech, foes of the freedom of religion, advocates of government coercion, and the like. Calling things by their right names, after decades of Leftists twisting words in order to fool people into supporting them, will go a long way toward restoring our nation to societal health.