Furthest Right

Why Did America Shift Left After WW2?

Back in the 1990s, many people started to figure out that things had gone wrong. Like Biden, when Clinton got into power, he focused on ways to entirely reverse the positive changes that Ronald Reagan.

Reagan, in turn, had rolled back what Carter had done. It worked because Carter was a disaster. His successor simply went back to what occurred before Carter, JFK, and LBJ really mucked things up.

The Reagan presidency had its problems. Facing a big tent of squabbling individualistic conservatives who divided themselves with the same failure to make decisions that blights democracy, he made a compromise.

Using the notions of William F. Buckley, Reagan centralized the Right around the idea of “Christian libertarianism” for those who love defense and think that individuals should have the right to live conservative lifestyles.

The Left promptly targeted that by creating political correctness, effectively demonizing conservatives and forcing everyone to behave like a Leftist in order to be accepted in the new post-1960s social order that combined ideology and business.

By the second Clinton term, America ran into what we now recognize as the Obama-Carter malaise: all of those “new” ideas that sounded so good to the Leftist crowd turned out, when applied in reality, to make permanent slow decay.

Even worse, the Clinton transformations had worked. His embrace of diversity accelerated the changes made by the Hart-Celler Act back in the 1960s, just like his selling out to China altered business, and so everything was a ruin by 1998.

After that, GWB came in and partially fixed things before going off on a vision quest to bring Christianity and gay rights to Iraq, or something like that. Religion can be misused as a drug; it is not there to make you feel good, but to make you pursue good.

Obama un-did GWB and quickly rambled into the typical malaise after a celebrated first term. Trump un-did what Obama and Clinton did, and got us back to a Reagan-JFK hybrid of moderate, market-based, freedom-based living.

Now Biden has erased all of that because his supporters care more about Red Team Versus Blue Team than the consequences of their actions, which is why so many are fleeing these shores for Switzerland, Costa Rica, and Ireland.

If we roll it back however, we arrive at JFK kicking all of this off in the early 1960s, following a decade a increasing liberalization during the 1950s. The 1950s brought us forced school integration, forced busing, and a Civil Rights Act.

The 1960s just inherited that inertia, and through an accordion pattern of actions and un-doing of those actions, we are still caught in that loop. Politics today remains stalled at the end of the Korean War, the last time we faced Chinese troops.

This leads us to ask why everything got so neo-Communist after WW2, since the 1950s started barely five years past the end of the war. We can look at a number of reasons:

  • Iconoclasm: Following the previous War for Democracy, WW1, intellectuals became soured on their nation, forgetting that it was democracy they should blame, and that made Communism the trendy belief shared by all “right-thinking” intellectuals in the 1930s. This happened after the disaster decade of the 1920s, when men coming back from WW1 were so heartbroken and depressed not just by the war, but by its failure to produce the promised Utopia, that they gave up on everything and basically died out in a haze of alcoholism. Our first democracy war brought us misery, social disorder, an immigration crisis addressed partially in 1924, and and rampant speculation in the absence of healthy markets which led to the Great Depression.
  • Propaganda: Democracy operates like a riot; you shout things at the crowd, and when one inspires them, everyone cheers and then rushes off to storm the Bastille, burn down Watts, or loot every athletic shoe and television in Los Angeles. This means that if you do not come up with some constant crusade to distract them, the proles are going to follow someone else, so democracies need constant crises. The next possible crisis was civil rights, since we had just introduced the topic by making ourselves into the “good guys” who supported democracy and individualism in WW1 and WW2.
  • Alliances: Perhaps the most obvious condition on here, our alliance with the Soviets in WW2 made us believe that Communism was less bad than National Socialism, at which point the votard herd translated that into an acceptance of Communism or, at least, an absence of condemnation for an empire that operated by theft, murder, kidnapping, and indoctrination. Our world went right from WW2 into Korea and shortly thereafter into Vietnam, at which point we were fighting the Soviets, but our world order was based on joining hands with Communists to defeat the inegalitarian fascist, National Socialist, and imperial Axis.
  • Disappointment: Like WW1, the second world war billed itself as freedom conquering oppression and therefore, a magic golden age would result. Nothing of the kind happened. Jobs were still dreary, cities streaked in advertising and filth, people venal, and crime rampant. In short, nothing really changed, and the world that we saved was not worth saving. Like after WW1, a profound depression and alienation settled over the West in the ensuing decade.
  • The Snowball: I write often of my theory of historical development, the Aggregate Theory of History (ATH), which is that humanity has no plan but merely relies on what has not failed or become taboo and merges that into an aggregate which may or may not be internally consistent at all. This creates problems because it is based on a negative assessment which changes with the trends, instead of looking honestly at what we do and asking whether it is worth doing in the long-term. Under bourgeois middle class rule, whatever offends the herd is rejected, which preserves inoffensive but ineffective and expensive policies while throwing out useful ones that encountered problems but were otherwise necessary. According to ATH, American civilization started with natural rights, added civil rights, and then merged those two with anti-fascism to create an ideology of absolute equality which naturally led to diversity and socialism.
  • Competition: During the Cold War, we were competing with the Communist system, and it proved popular with our underclasses, so we offered our own competing version, which was essentially National Socialism without the nationalism: a socialist-style safety net grafted onto a free market economy. This abolished culture and heritage, since this new system made free markets into an ideology and not a natural state of humanity, and ideology always replaces any competing philosophies or behavior like culture, family, heritage, faith, and history.

In other words, the Allied victories in WW1 and WW2 were pyrrhic triumphs. They defeated their foes, yes, but could not beat the ideas that spread among us on the wings of our despair at the failure of these wars to save Western Civilization.

This tells us where we must watch in the future: we are in a war of ideas, with some that seduce most of our people and lead them to self-destruction, like democracy, socialism, equality, individualism, and diversity.

If we are to prevail — to save Western Civilization by ending its period of decay and rebirthing it with principles and genetics continuous to its founding — we must tackle the ideas, instead of fighting each other.

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