Progressives and progressive movements are notorious for whitewashing, censoring, and attempting to re-write history. The recent statue controversy is just one example among many.
Why is this a progressive impulse? History in general is the best argument against progressive ideals, so there’s that motivation. But I think there’s something deeper involved.
Their endless charade of constructivist theories suggests that at the heart of progressivism is a repudiation of the fixed and unalterable. Progressives disdain anything that is beyond their control, for they cannot choose for such things to be present in their utopian vision of the future.
The complexity and multifarious expression of human nature has made human beings their chief laboratory experiment, of course. But the fixed and unalterable nature of the past is much more obvious, and hence is much more difficult to reconcile with progressivism. The events of history are indelibly etched into time, forever beyond our control.
Progressives have attempted to sketch constructivist theories of history, too, to be sure. But is anyone really fooled by such palpable nonsense? Probably not. Hence, such theories have had much less purchase on the progressive imagination. And arguably, constructivist views of history are incompatible with much else progressives believe. If the past were just a construction of the present with no objective reality, for instance, then the well of historical grievances from which progressives obsessively draw would dry up with a little revision.
So what do they do? They attempt to control our beliefs about the past by whitewashing, censoring, and promulgating revisionist histories. A statue represents, among other things, history. So when an Antifa thug defaces a Confederate statue, I think the target of their ire isn’t just “racism,” but the fixed and unalterable nature of history itself.
Perhaps the progressive disdain for the fixed and unalterable also explains their disdain for God and religion.
- How to Do Philosophy Without a Hammer - November 8, 2017
- Why Do Progressives Hate History? - September 29, 2017
- Necessities of Country Living - July 17, 2017
- Epidemic of Strange Injuries Afflicting Professional Philosophers - May 4, 2017
- Philosophy Professor Assaults Trump Supporters - April 20, 2017
- An Even More Modest Proposal - February 17, 2017
- Yes, Clark, Trump Does Represent, Thanks to the Electoral College - January 27, 2017
- Hackslanger’s Fake Diversity Challenge - January 20, 2017
- A Prudential Argument Against Homosexual Behavior - January 3, 2017
- The Pedagogy Paradox for Conservative Professors - December 6, 2016