On the one hand [Burke] is revealed as a foremost apostle of Liberty, on the other as the redoubtable champion of Authority. But a charge of political inconsistency applied to this life appears a mean and petty thing. History easily discerns the reasons and forces which actuated him, and the immense changes in the problems he was facing which evoked from the same profound mind and sincere spirit these entirely contrary manifestations. His soul revolted against tyranny, whether it appeared in the aspect of a domineering Monarch and a corrupt Court and Parliamentary system, or whether, mouthing the watch-words of a non-existent liberty, it towered up against him in the dictation of a brutal mob and wicked sect. No one can read the Burke of Liberty and the Burke of Authority without feeling that here was the same man pursuing the same ends, seeking the same ideals of society and Government, and defending them from assaults, now from one extreme, now from the other.
Winston Churchill, Consistency in Politics
Modern Leftism entered this Vale of Tears with the French Revolution, and it is interesting how little it has changed since then. Leftism always periodically collapses as Leftists engage in a game with each other of “I am more Leftist than you!” making them vulnerable to successful challenge by conservatives as Leftism descends into parody. My favorite living historian, Victor Davis Hanson, explains how the Democrat party is now exploring the depths of Leftist parody:
Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi, John Kerry, the Clintons and other senior Democratic grandees forged late-life careers on loudly talking about this and that “community”, and dropping “race and gender” into almost every sentence. But as in every historical leftwing stampede into extremism, and eventual nihilism, yesterday’s radical is today’s reactionary. Certainly, they never quite realized they themselves would eventually lose their exemption and be rendered white-privileged incorrect. Compared to Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton may not be deemed a deplorable, but compared to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez she may be an elderly white and privileged irredeemable.
Not building most of the border wall, leads to not building any of the border wall, to Beto’s (whose Warrenization into a Latino is losing adherents) suggestion to tear down what wall is already up. Obama’s 39 percent top tax rate now looks passe compared to Ocasio-Cortez’s 70 percent, which is now right-wing compared to new calls for 90 percent rate, which in turn is not much compared to an additional wealth tax on private, already taxed capital. And on it goes.
For progressives, that revolutionary purity now is defined by race is an ironic return to the values of the Old South, which sought to calibrate privilege by skin color. The reprehensible Confederate idea of the whitest has now morphed into the least white being the most authentically grieved and thus deserving of the greatest reparatory privileges—the constant, of course, remains that superficial appearance based on race trumps all individual characteristics.
What started with affirmative action became “diversity,” which in turn during the Obama Administration was redefined not as minority groups with either historical grievances against the majority or accepted claims of ongoing racial victimization. Instead authentically diverse were all who claimed to be racially or linguistically distinguishable from the white majority.
Then diversity as a revolutionary moment was further expanded by including gays and woke women, which essentially took the initial African-American population whose plight was the aim of affirmative action and expanded it to in theory a majority of about 200 million Americans who were either non-white or women or both.
Now the revolution cannot figure out its own hierarchy of authentic grievance groups. So it has agreed on a loose “intersectionality,” in which over a dozen and often overlapping victim cadres agree that each degree of non-white-maleness adds authenticity and become a force multiplier of left-wing radicalism.
Among leftists, Kamala Harris, as black and female, trumps Cory Booker who is just black, who trumps Elizabeth Warren who is exposed as just female, who trumps Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders who are reverse threefers as white, male, and heterosexual. None of the progressive revolutionaries ever stopped to ponder whether much of the country targeted by the new racialism might not like it and mirror image this sad descent into tribalism.
In such a revolutionary scramble to be the most diverse and hard left, the logical trajectory ends up with a race to transcend the physical limits of victimhood. Think of the devolution of French anti-monarchists to republicans to Girondists to Jacobins—and on to Napoleon. Or remember how the anti-Czarists aristocrats were overwhelmed by Mensheviks who were crushed by the Bolsheviks as Lenin radicalized everything prior and in the end his Soviet became Stalinized.
So now appears Jussie Smollett.
He is not just left-wing, but a rabid hater of Donald Trump. And he is not just black, but gay as well. And he is not just a victim, but a hyper-victim of white bullies. And not just bullies, but bullies with MAGA hats. And he is not just a victim of white red-hats, but a victim of ski-masked racists. And not just of their blows, but of (frozen?) bleach. And not just of bleach and blows, but of lynch rope as well. And they did not just hit, but smeared and slurred. And not just MAGA sloganeering, but anti-gay, anti-black—and perhaps, worst of all, in our performance society, they slandered his “Empire” TV show!
Progressives are like a worn rope being pulling apart at both ends. At one end, there is an effort to radicalize prior radicalization, and on the other end victimhood is heading toward parody.
Go here to read the rest. Edmund Burke, who saw this mad comedy in its first incarnation, described Leftism perfectly:
On this scheme of things, a king is but a man, a queen is but a woman; a woman is but an animal, and an animal not of the highest order. All homage paid to the sex in general as such, and without distinct views, is to be regarded as romance and folly. Regicide, and parricide, and sacrilege, are but fictions of superstition, corrupting jurisprudence by destroying its simplicity. The murder of a king, or a queen, or a bishop, or a father, are only common homicide; and if the people are by any chance, or in any way, gainers by it, a sort of homicide much the most pardonable, and into which we ought not to make too severe a scrutiny.
On the scheme of this barbarous philosophy, which is the offspring of cold hearts and muddy understandings, and which is as void of solid wisdom as it is destitute of all taste and elegance, laws are to be supported only by their own terrors, and by the concern which each individual may find in them from his own private speculations, or can spare to them from his own private interests. In the groves of their academy, at the end of every vista, you see nothing but the gallows.
Burke published his Reflections on the Revolution in France in 1790 when the French Revolution was in its infancy, but he saw unerringly where it was going. Nothing in the following 229 years of Leftist folly would have surprised him in the slightest.