If you are wondering why I chose a picture of “William Strannix” (portrayed by Tommy Lee Jones in the 1992 film Under Siege) to open this post, it is because the Strannix character delivered a number of witty, yet thought-provoking lines. The most poignant of these lines was the following:
Yes, of course! Hence the name: movement. It moves a certain distance, then it stops, you see? A revolution gets its name by always coming back around in your face. You tried to kill me you son of a bitch… so welcome to the revolution.
A very succinct way of describing the difference between a movement and a revolution, even if the word “revolution” in this context really describes a “revolt” and not actual physical circular movement, but then that is what makes puns so creative and fun to use.
Modern progressivism is often described as a movement, so whenever I hear it referred as such in the media or talking with friends and associates, I often remember the Strannix quote and sometimes I cite it as a counterpoint.
Movements truly only move a certain distance, or in other words only achieve certain goals, and then stops, or more accurately, ends.
Movements are often built around solid, worthy objectives to spur people into active participation to support the movement and achieve the objectives. Usually to correct unjust laws or policies or to get a government or corporate entity to change their practices that are deleterious to society.
Some people will argue that the progressive movement is trying to get government and corporate entities to change their actions that are deleterious to society…
Is that really the goal of the leadership of the current progressive movement or is it just another twist on liberal political ideology meant to rally the younger generation and disaffected voters who don’t see the Democratic Party as representative of them because it doesn’t lean far enough to the left?
I posit that it is both the latter and the former.
Liberalism is typically the ideology of the youthful and idealistic because the young are still impressionable, and thus, malleable. This isn’t to say that young conservatives and young libertarians are not impressionable and malleable, but the young and impressionable tend not to embrace traditionalism, but rather “progressive change”.
My post is not meant to bash the progressive movement. There are many progressive ideas that make logical sense for our country and since change is the inevitable process of existence, it doesn’t make sense to preserve traditions that are archaic or are impediments to needed change.
However, the progressive movement is likely to fail for the same reason all movements tend to end short of their ultimate goal(s)…
The leadership gains power and then becomes part of the establishment, then the followers mature with age and experience and become less idealistic, and thus, less malleable.
Reality eventually blunts the sharp edges of the youthful idealism that liberal movements tend to exploit. Not that there aren’t any old liberals, but as I often point out, political ideologies are mere conduits for rallying the faithful. Given the additional fact that all political ideologies are based upon wishful thinking, it stands to reason that any movement based upon a political ideology will, as Strannix opined, move a certain distance and then stop.
As the father of classic conservatism Edmund Burke once said, a society without the means to implement some change (albeit slowly) is without the means of its preservation.
Welcome to the revolution…
-The Rational Ram