The madness of postmodern Anglo-American progressivism far exceeds Lewis Carroll’s Wonderland, whose inhabitants can hardly run fast enough to remain in the same place. In 21st-century America and Great Britain, progressive people—running as hard as they can—are working to drag their civilization backward into the pre-civilization that used to be called barbarism.
Liberals have long considered themselves defensores artium atque literarum and the fine arts: partly as a means of self-justification, as until recently they contributed so heavily to all of them. Yet from the beginning of the 20th century down to the present day, liberals and their progressive heirs have viewed artistic production as being valuable in its own right, not for anything art might signify about transcendental realities. Indeed, now that self-described artistes are agnostics or—more commonly—frank atheists, large numbers of liberal-progressives have “advanced” beyond appreciating art for art’s sake to recognizing and exploiting its inestimable value as a vehicle for progressive propaganda.
Progressive utopia is a therapeutic world of correct attitudes, carefully calibrated and monitored speech, and the scrupulous avoidance of aggressions, “microaggressions,” and “conflict.” It would value speech, expressed sentiment, and various other forms of social signaling over action, and thus—ironically—stagnation over “progress.” And it would be a world of complete equality where, as in Carroll’s Wonderland, all have won and all must have prizes. In this world, no one’s ideas are contradicted and everyone is included in everything; everyone is (somehow) affluent, healthy, and long-lived, and pain of any kind—physical or mental—has ceased to exist, owing to a benevolent, well-funded (but how?), all-powerful, and all-seeing central government. Climate change has been halted and reversed, due to unanimous respect for “the science”—and even more for the scientists behind it.