“G.K. Chesterton warned against “the modern and morbid habit of always sacrificing the normal to the abnormal.” That is liberalism in a nutshell, and it will always find more things to sacrifice on its altar of abnormality.” — Joseph Sobran, from his book Subtracting Christianity: Essays on American Culture and Society , chapter titled, “The Few and the Many”.
Is there any question about that today? Can anyone say, truthfully, that American society is not sacrificing what used to be considered normal for some perverted, ever-changing, abnormality? For example,
- Covid-19, which has done more to disrupt “normal life” than anything which I have ever experienced before.
- State education, which is now openly promoting many of the items listed below.
- LGBTQ agenda
- Cancel Culture
- Trumpism, which is only one example of widespread belief in false messiahs.
- Extreme media bias which does not inform, but is meant to influence.
- Suppression of free speech and promotion of a one-sided narrative.
- The Great Reset, which is aided by grass-roots communistic thought
And more. Too many to mention, in fact, and I am sure that no one can capture all of them.
Societies and cultures tend to move (not the same thing as progress) from normality to abnormality, and then they die and disappear. One observation I have made (not necessarily backed up by science or data) is that the direction of these moves is always from right to left, politically speaking. From individual freedoms and responsibilities to social adhesion and herd-like characteristics. From common sense to mindless pandering to the latest fads, fashions, and drivel endlessly promoted. From clear-headed vision to muddled confusion. And all the time, there are those agenda-driven persons who continually shout, “More, more, more!”, and there are those power-driven persons who implement policies to that effect.
Until it all falls apart and the cycle starts all over again.
There are hard limits to leftward movement beyond which a society cannot “progress”. Eventually, the forced integration of individuals into one seamless, unified mass fails and collapses into splintered bits and pieces. The mantra of leftism is always more government, more rules, more victimization, more control, more collectivization, more punishment, etc., but this is self-defeating. When there are no more persons to be subsumed and integrated, the end has been reached and all that remains to do is to “purify” those within the system, which devolves into social suicide. A society may be driven to a point of total slavery, but once there, nothing more is to be gained and it becomes a system of total loss, eventually destroying itself. The Soviet Union is a good historical example and North Korea appears to be following that same path.
“Despite the obvious absurdity and somewhat comic nature of the bizarre law and spectacle of the ongoing “crackdown” – which sounds like it’s a write-up in The Onion, it strongly suggests that Pyongyang is legitimately worried at this point about maintaining ideological control over the population.” Zero Hedge
Note the words, “legitimately worried”, as the regime should be. They are seeing the handwriting on the wall.
In economic terms, loss (negative growth) can only continue until there is nothing left to lose. Beyond that, there is only room for positive growth and profit, which flourishes as long as freedom is allowed and there is no end to the amount of profit to be made. A society never stays constant nor static. It is always gaining or losing and the only thing which counts is which direction it is moving.
Last word: I do not like the common practice of using the Left/Right continuum to assess political position. In my opinion, it is a flawed metric which does not allow any room for individual freedom, but only compares one type of oppressive government with another. Consequently, the conversation (argument?) only revolves around one question, “Right vs. Left?”, with everyone occupying some space on that continuum. Nazism is the poster child of the extreme Right while Communism is the standard bearer on the extreme Left. The problem with this is that both these, and all other political systems from the Tower of Babel (Genesis 11: 1-9) onward, are socialistic at the core and have no tolerance for free, individual liberty, which must be stamped out of existence, even if it takes generations to accomplish. They all fall on the Left side of the spectrum. A benevolent monarchy may be the most free and stable governmental system, but it still exhibits socialistic tendencies which will, over time, accrue to its detriment.
A continuum which has absolute liberty at one end and absolute slavery at the other would be more accurate and far easier to understand.