In a recent article, Vox Day chronicles how a popular author is finding himself at odds with the progressive establishment over his political views. The author is Orson Scott Card, author of Ender’s Game and he is finding that not being loyal to the progressive culture is a thorny business. Card writes,
And as my politics diverged from the political correctness that has captured the left — I mean, [in] 1976 I was a Daniel Patrick Moynihan liberal Democrat — and without changing any of my principles, I’ve now become quite a right-winger in the eyes of the left. And I’m a little baffled by it because I’m a liberal and they’re not. They’re repressive, punishing, intolerant of the slightest variation, absolutely the opposite of what it means to be a liberal. But that’s the way it goes. They still get the label.
In the cultural conflict of the past fifty years, progressives have presented themselves as “liberal,” a culture of liberated individuals living their lives in tolerance of others. It was set in stark contrast to the conservative culture, which was decried for its rules, limits, and expectations, including religious orthodoxy and its demands for a moral separation of right and wrong. Being free from any such restrictions, which were called “Puritanical,” was highly attractive and young men and women walked away from their churches and conservative circles in droves to join newfound “liberal” freedom.
However, that is now changing. The progressive culture has discovered that loyalty and fundamental unity of thought is important to preserve its ideas and established place in American culture. The result is that it is now applying its own moral rules, limits, and expectations to those who claim loyalty to the movement and rejecting as morally wrong those who dissent.
For example, in the progressive circle, one must accept scientific inquiry as the premiere source of knowledge and ethics. To declare science flawed in its efforts and not wholly trustworthy, especially in terms of ethics, requiring the seeking a transcendent source of knowledge, is a violation of progressive thought. To reject the virulent disdain the progressive movement has for ethnic Anglo men and their history, which is commonly called “equality” and “diversity,” or to value the works of dead white men, is a violation of progressive thought. To reject the push for complete sexual anarchy for a more ordered and organized focused practice of sex, is to reject progressive thought. (It is worthy to note that while progressives have long promoted freedom of sexual practice, they still tend to marry and practice fidelity, which is the opposite of what they have promoted for others).
If progressives were to be honest with themselves, they are not for liberal culture or for liberty. Rather they have a worldview with expectations and the need to suppress dissent and challenge opposition. There is no accepted liberty from progressive culture. The religious conservative culture has always functioned in the same way and understands what is needed to promote and preserve a particular culture. Progressives claim to be against conservatives, but they have become like conservatives.
Genuine liberalism, the concept of true freedom for all, is being consumed in the cultural conflict between the cultural conservatives and cultural progressives. They both have their own set of rules and expectations and neither will tolerate their dissenters being equal with them.
The ultimate proof is the cultural chasm caused by the election of Barack Obama. The progressives became emboldened in their expectations and their desire to overthrow and silence dissent to achieve dominance. It is not a very liberal voice that has echoed through progressive halls in the past few years. Progressives have long claimed to be the “left-wing” of liberty against the “right-wing” of rules and restrictions, but they are now looking like a “right-wing” themselves.