by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Unlike coups or political revolutions, cultural revolutions don’t just change governments or leaders. Instead, they try to redefine entire societies. Their leaders call them “holistic” and “systematic.”
Cultural revolutionaries attack the very referents of our daily lives. The Jacobins’ so-called Reign of Terror during the French Revolution slaughtered Christian clergy, renamed months, and created a new supreme being: Reason.
Mao cracked down on supposed Western decadence such as the wearing of eyeglasses. …
… But inevitably cultural revolutions die out when they turn cannibalistic. Once the Red Guard started killing party hacks too close to Mao, it began to wane.
If toppling Confederate statues is required, what then about Nancy Pelosi’s own mayor father, who once, as Baltimore’s mayor, dedicated honorific statues to Confederate generals?
If racists understandably do not deserve their names on national shrines, what to do with the iconic liberal graduate program at Princeton, the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs? It was named for a president who did more to further segregation and racial prejudice than any chief executive of the 20th century. …
… Once a cultural revolution gets going, there can be no contextualization of the past, no allowance for human frailty, no consideration of weighing evil vs. good.
Eventually, the architects of cultural upheavals always make two miscalculations.
One, they presume that destroying things will never apply to themselves, given their loud virtue-signaling.
Two, if they are fingered by the mob, they assume they can somehow use their clout and influence to win exemption.
In other words, once cultural revolutions turn anarchic and eat their own, they lose support. When quiet sympathizers conclude that they too may targeted, they turn on their former icons to survive.
We are seeing that now. Liberal sympathetic bystanders are wondering whether downtown arson and looting will go private and reach their suburban homes.