Forty years ago, in the summer of 1968, leftist radicals fought the police outside the Democratic National Convention in Chicago.
The radical Left was a fringe movement in the late 1960s, comprised of politically marginalized and socially outcast racial minorites, feminists, homosexuals, environmentalists, student radicals, leftist intellectuals, counterculturalists and the antiwar movement. Now, forty years later, what was marginal in 1968 is normal, mainstream and a cultural majority at the end of 2008.
The electoral victory of Barack Obama symbolizes the culmination of the long march from the streets of Chicago to full institutionalization of the radical Left of a previous era. That Obama, the individual, is more of a centrist than a leftist and was only a child in 1968 is less significant than what he represents. The 68ers have now seized the establishment and those who insisted the establishment could never be trusted have become the establishment.
On virtually every issue, the radical Left of the 1960s has either won or is in the process of winning. Racism? Despite the claims of “anti-racist” professionals who insist that Nazis are hiding under every bed, racism is at an all-time low. Blacks are only 12.5 percent of the U.S. population, and have a lengthy history as an outgroup, yet a black man wins the presidency. If hatred of blacks was particularly common, the Obama presidency would be impossible.
Student radicalism? Many of the student rebels of the 1960s are now tenured academics, and there is no place in American society where the far Left is more secure than in academia. The sexual revolution? This has proven to be every bit as enduring as the civil rights revolution. Very few Americans even remember that some states had laws prohibiting contraceptive devices in the 1960s. Pornography and adult entertainment are now almost as mainstream as rock and rap music.
Indeed, even the “conservatism” of the present time is “liberal” compared to the pre-1960s period. Ronald Reagan did not govern appreciably to the right of John F. Kennedy. Reagan’s wars in Central America were simply a repeat of Kennedy’s Bay of Pigs and early involvement in Vietnam. George W. Bush has not governed to the right of Lyndon Johnson, presiding over the same kind of failed combination of joint extension of the warfare and welfare states as LBJ. The present day leadership of the Republican Party are the neoconservatives, who were on the far left end of the Democratic Party in the 1960s, the so-called “state department socialists.” What about the Religious Right? There is no group around more consistently demonized by the Left, and the literature of the Left is full of wild claims concerning an imminent theocratic coup by the Religious Right. The reality is that the Religious Right are simply convenient scapegoats for the Left and useful idiots for the Right.
Prior to 1965, the U.S. maintained a racially restrictive immigration policy, which has since been liberalized remarkably. America was ninety percent white in 1960. Today, the U.S. is only sixty-eight percent white, and proposed policies to so much as deny welfare state benefits to illegal immigrants are denounced as racist and xenophobic.
Though the Left has achieved complete or nearly complete victory on just about every issue, the Left will never admit as much. Sixties radicalism has become what any other movement becomes once it is institutionalized. The purpose of the Left today is to simply perpetuate its own existence and its own vested interests. For this reason, invisible armies of racists, sexists, homophobes and theocrats must constantly be said to be hiding behind every rock or tree. Heretics who dissent from left-wing orthodoxy on any number of matters must be constantly sought out for denunciation, repression or persecution.
The 1968 radicals have won, as Michel Houellebecq has said.
What was once far-Left is now the norm, much as it became normal in France and Russia following their revolutions.
Thanks to the political system of our ancestors, the American Revolution (as opposed to the war of independence from Brokeback Island) was a bloodless coup; however, no system designed to minimize a method (bloodshed) can turn aside moronic or destructive intent.
If the right is to survive, it needs to get back to conservation conservatism. Family. Nature. Values. Communities. You can’t beat the defense drum any more, gents, and you’ve got to prove you’re not bought and sold by lobbying. You need to work harder and smarter and focus on the American middle class, who are always the people who elect you — until a leftist media, leftist academics, and leftist social groups turn their minds away because your presidents do the unpopular but necessary.
Tags: 68ers, leftism, march through the institutions, michel houellebecq