Quotes to shred progressivism


Melanie Phillips

TheBlaze.com has 10 quotes that shred progressivism from a best-selling British author who left the Left. These can be very helpful in conversations with friends and relatives infected with Liberalism – a disease that separates the individual from personal responsibility and historical fact.

The quotes come from award winning British journalist Melanie Phillips’ book “Guardian Angel” which tells the story of how Phillips started her career in British journalism on the Left in the late 1970s, only to become a stalwart Liberal culture warrior.

1. The “Chicago Way” (in London) ”I always believed in the duty of a journalist to uphold truth over lies, follow the evidence where it led and fight abuses of power wherever they were to be found. I gradually realised, however, that the left was not on the side of truth, reason, and justice, but instead promoted ideology, malice, and oppression. Rather than fighting the abuse of power, it embodied it.

MelaniePhillips2Through demonizing its enemies in this way, the left has undermined the possibility of finding common ground and all but destroyed rational discourse. This is because, as shown by its reaction to Lady Thatcher’s death, it substitutes insult and abuse for argument and reasoned disagreement.”

2. Leftist totalitarianism ”Moreover, while there were undoubtedly serious differences, the distinction between tankie totalitarians and the soft left served to mask the fact that the soft left was also totalitarian in its instincts. It may have recoiled from the tanks rolling into Hungary or Czechoslovakia, but it most certainly parked its own tanks on the lawns of British society. From there it proceeded to lay siege to the fortresses of Western culture, crushing all dissent beneath its tracks.”

3. The Overton Window ”More devastatingly still, by twisting the meaning of words such as liberal, compassion, justice and many others into their opposites, it has hijacked the centre-ground of politics. Left-wing ideology is now falsely said to constitute the moderate centre-ground, while the true centre-ground is now vilified as ‘the right’. This is as mind-bending as it is destructive, for it has introduced a fatal confusion into political debate on both sides of the Atlantic. Redefining the true middle ground of politics as ‘right-wing’ has served to besmirch and toxify the commitment to truth, reason, decency, and reality which characterises where most people happen to situate their thinking. At the same time, by loudly asserting that left-wing ideology is really ‘centrist’, the left has succeeded in presenting extremist, antisocial, or even nihilistic ideas as unarguably good, and all dissent is promptly vilified as ‘extreme’…For by asserting that it embodied the centre ground, what the left actually did was to hijack the centre ground and substitute its own extreme values — thus shifting Britain’s centre of political and moral gravity to the left, and besmirching as extremists those on the true centre ground. And something very similar has happened in the US, where language has been appropriated in order to engineer a seismic shift in attitudes, concealed by a mind-bending reversal of the meaning of words.”

4. The Middle Eastern double standard and Leftist racism ”In a leader conference one day, I asked why the Guardian appeared to be pursuing a double standard in its coverage of the Middle East. Why did it afford next-to-no coverage of Arab atrocities against other Arabs while devoting acres of space to attacking Israel for defending itself against terrorism? The answer I received from my colleagues that day stunned me. Of course there was a double standard, they said. How could there not be? The Third World did not subscribe to the same ethical beliefs as the West about the value of human life. The West therefore was not entitled to judge any mass killings in the Third World by its own standards. That would be racist.

I was most deeply shocked. The views they had just expressed amounted to pure racism. They were in effect saying that citizens of a Third World country were not entitled to the same assumptions of human rights, life, and liberty as those in the developed world.

But how could this be? This was the Guardian, shrine of anti-racism, custodian of social conscience, embodiment of virtue. How then could they be guilty of racism – and moreover, dress it up as anti-racism? Of course, this is the core of what we now know today as ‘political correctness’ – where concepts are turned into their polar opposite in order to give miscreants a free pass if they belong to certain groups designated by the left as ‘victims’. They are thus deemed to be incapable of doing anything wrong, while groups designated as ‘oppressors’ can do no right. According to this double-think it was simply impossible for the Guardian folk to be guilty of racism, since they championed the victims of the Third World against their Western capitalist oppressors. But when those Third World unfortunates became the victims of the Third World tyrants ruling over them, the left remained silent – since to criticise any Third World person was said to be ‘racism’. This twisted thinking is what now passes for ‘progressive’ thinking in Britain and America. Thus the left actually abandons the oppressed of the world to their fate, all the time weeping crocodile tears for them – while sanctimoniously condemning ‘the right’ for its heartlessness! It is this hijacking of language and thought itself that has done so much to destroy any common understanding of the political ‘centre ground’, the lethal confusion that has so unfortunately polarised political debate into vacuous caricatures that have precious little to do with reality…The really striking thing was that…Israel and Jew-bashing bigotry was strongest on the supposedly anti-racist left. As I noted in 2003, what was going on was a kind of Holocaust inversion with the Israelis being demonised as Nazis, and the Palestinians given a free pass as the ‘new Jews’. Hatred of the Jews now marched grotesquely behind the left’s banner of anti-racism and human rights, giving rise not merely to distortions, fabrications and slander about Israel, but mainstream media chat about the malign power of the Jews over America and world policy.”

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So are we doomed? Melanie Phillips says:

“All, however, is not lost. A culture can pull back from the brink if it tears off its suicidal blinders in time. This can still be achieved — but it requires a recognition above all of the paradox that so many fail to understand, that freedom only exists within clear boundaries, and that preserving the values of Western civilisation requires a robust reassertion of the Judeo-Christian principles on which its foundations rest. And that requires moral, political, and religious leadership of the highest order — and buckets of courage.”