Socio-cultural revolutions

Pascal Emmanuel Gobry challenges the assumption that time has a one-way arrow when it comes to revolutionary progress.
Now, it's important for me to make clear what I am not saying. I am not saying that today's progressives are "the real racists." I am not saying that same-sex marriage or any other progressive social movement is the equivalent of racism. Today's progressives have at best a fuzzy lineage with yesteryear's, and all of us are implicated in this civilizational enormity; as one who is "conservative" by today's political standards but firmly in the camp of Enlightenment liberalism, i.e., a "progressive" on the scale of millennia, I don't exculpate myself from this legacy. Not all racists were progressives and not all progressives were racists (it was the French Revolutionaries who banned slavery in the French colonies, for example). No group — ideological, religious, or otherwise — comes out of that complex history looking good (which itself should warn us off easy narratives of Progress vs. the Dark Ages).

1 comment:

Grim said...

He's right about that. There's no such thing as social progress. There's just "people who agree with us more than other people." Since values rub off, naturally there are more of those people closer to you than further away. That's true in both space and time.