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The Progressive-Traditionalist War

An orthodox Jewish man argues with a reform Jewish woman wearing a prayer shawl at the Western Wall.

An orthodox Jewish man argues with a reform Jewish woman wearing a prayer shawl at the Western Wall.
Photo Credit: Nati Shohat/Flash90

http://sultanknish.blogspot.co.il/2012/06/progressive-traditionalist-war.html

The main weapon that progressives wield against traditionalists is their ability to break down the values that make up their worldview by challenging norms of behavior and thought, with the goal of using cultural friction to slowly replace traditional values and mores with their own.

This is a weapon that progressives have explicitly disavowed using against Islam. In Europe there are some hesitant attempts at promoting integration, but it’s a fitful self-doubting effort that consists of the authorities telling everyone who listens that integration is moving along smoothly, while the No-Go Zones grow, black ghosts haunt the alleyways of major cities and the mosques go on crying Jihad from minaret loudspeakers rising above European capitals.

There is the occasional burqa ban, a nervous ban placed on the most extreme of the extreme clerics, an occasional investigation of a school that teaches that infidels are animals to be killed, and a cautious warning from some putatively conservative politician to the Muslim community that things have to change. But none of them adds up to anything.

The left, which excels at attacking traditional values, has signed a pact with Islam. Not only does it refuse to undermine its religion and traditional values the way that it undermines those of everyone else, but it actively promotes Islamic values and traditions as morally superior to those of its own society.

The reason for this is simple strategy. The progressives of the left in each society are at war with their own traditionalists. American liberals are at war with American conservatives. European liberals are at war with European conservatives. Liberal Christians are at war with Conservative Christians and Progressive Jews are at war with Traditional Jews.

This war isn’t always as overt as it was in the Soviet Union, or as it is in Cuba or Sweden. It’s a quiet war marked by “artistic statements,” by the school curriculum and the late-night newscast, by laws that transform public spaces into government spaces and private spaces into public spaces, and put the whole thing under government regulation whose overriding purpose is behavior modification.

Despite their many victories, the progressives have numerous disadvantages in this war. They are a minority dependent on front groups and divide-and-conquer politics. Rarely are they able to openly state their agendas and beliefs, because, if they did, they would be stoned on the spot. Instead, they have to worm their way in, presenting a false front of moderation, and slowly move their agenda through its outer stages to its inner core.

The left is up against common sense, which is just shorthand for the traditional way of thinking. And traditions exist because they are natural; right or wrong, they are organic, embedded in human nature and the way that people live their lives and draw their conclusions. Its utopian schemes put it up against the human animal, so that the left has to ride the body politic like a bronco buster fighting to stay on a mutinous steed. Much of its rank and file doesn’t know this, but its leaders and planners are well aware of how precarious their position is.

But there is also a more practical angle. Demographics. The progressives tend to have a lower birth rate than traditionalists. If values were transmitted on a generational basis, by now they would be deader than Disco. To compensate for their demographic disadvantage, the left reproduces by insinuating itself into the educational system. The Cuckoo’s reproductive strategy is to plant its eggs in the nests of other birds to be raised by those birds, but the reproductive strategy of progressives is to raise someone else’s young as a member of their species, while getting paid for it by the taxpayers.

This demographic disadvantage makes it vital for progressives to attack tradition, because it is also the only way that they can reproduce. Their reproductive strategy is entirely dependent on disrupting the ability of fertile groups to pass on their values to their offspring.

There are parallels in biology to this behavior. A number of species compete for territory by interfering with the reproduction of another species. The fertility limitations of liberals make it an ideological imperative to disrupt the reproduction of more traditional species.

About the Author: Daniel Greenfield is an Israeli born blogger and columnist, and a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. His work covers American, European and Israeli politics as well as the War on Terror. His writing can be found at http://sultanknish.blogspot.com/. The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not represent the views of The Jewish Press.


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