I suggest that we are going through another upheaval against the establishment-this time from the right. “An anti-anti-establishmentarianism.”
Timothy Egan wrote in the New York Times
“We know that Trump-induced stress has spiked. As a response, many people are looking for larger meaning in their lives — or at least a psychological shelter from the storm. In a way, this echoes the first of two earlier Great Awakenings. In stepping on American values, Trump has prompted people to find out more about those values, and ultimately to defend them. The high to his low is an unexpected renaissance.”
I have to assume that Mr. Egan is unaware that the Enlightenment of the 18th century introduced us to new philosophies claiming the end of theism, the arrival and departure of deism, and the reign of atheism. A new religion reigned. That new religion was Reason. An objective reality of God was pursued. Voltaire proclaimed, “With the decline in the strength of religious creeds . . . there would follow a concomitant decline in human hatreds, in the urge to destroy another man” because of his religious beliefs.
The 20th century was the most violent in modern history.
President Trump heard the call from millions of people looking for greater meaning in their lives. A return to the basic values make America Great, that Mr Egan finds less than admirable. A return to the values of the Judeo/Christian ethic that make democracy possible –which “surprise”- includes diversity and tolerance and inclusion and accommodation” but not to the point of suicide-by-democracy.
While American pundits wax poetic about pre-Trump values, Canada is dealing with a Prime Minister who seems to be living in his own dream world. Trudeau said in 2015:
“Canada figured out a long time ago that differences should be a source of strength, not a source of weakness and the more we can do to bring in diverse perspectives, diverse points of view, and indeed to define a country not based on a national identity or ethnicity or language or background, but on values shared by all people in our country, values of openness, respect, compassion, a willingness to work hard, the desire to be there for each other. It is truly how countries in this globalized world where migration and immigration is going to be the norm rather than the exception. This is a lesson that we all need to learn.”
I don’t think Canadians are learning that.
“In a national polling partnership between CBC and the Angus Reid Institute, 68 per cent of Canadian respondents said minorities should be doing more to fit in with mainstream society instead of keeping their own customs and languages. The same question was put to Americans, with only 53 per cent of respondents saying minorities need to better adjust.” Interesting. Accusations of Donald Trump being a white supremacist, racist, anti-semite, yet fewer Americans than Canadians are concerned about assimilation.
I suggest that we are going through another upheaval against the establishment-this time from the right. “An anti-anti-establishmentarianism.” It’s just that the politicians, pundits and professors aren’t jumping aboard. This revolution does not fit their self-described “progressive” narrative; so this revolution does not seem to be as popular as the world-wide, from the left, protests of 1968: The “we are one” revolution from France to Mexico, the USSR to America.
That was a time of colossal upheaval.
The feminist revolution led to bra burning as well as pot; protests against the Vietnam war and for Civil Rights. The music of John Lennon;Revolution and Imagine; “no countries, no possessions and no religion.” From Haight Ashbury to Woodstock.
“1968 also signified the renaissance of culture – particularly affecting artists, musicians, students and the middle layers in society – but more importantly, the re-emergence of the working class after the seeming torpor and social stability associated with the ‘rebirth’ of capitalism in the post-1945 period.”
It was a time of hopefulness for young people. Being anti-establishment was an honourable position to take.What could be more just than fighting against perceived corruption, repression and exploitation? Many look back on those days with a sense of wistfulness.
Well, we did more than imagine. We lived it for more than 60 years and for millions this Kumbaya call has failed.The EU is faltering. This grand experiment in open borders and one currency, nationalism, and free movement of people, to prevent populism (whatever that means) was gobsmacked when Britain left the union. And now more European countries are contemplating a return to smaller groups-as in individual nations with local state control-not over-site by a group of appointed officials making all the decisions. In the USA states are demanding devolution from Federal (centralized) control.And the same thing is happening in Canada with provinces taking back power.
This anti-anti-establishment, anti-populism, anti-globalization coming from the grassroots is scaring the Progressives. And rightly so. Their value system is under attack. This revolution is demanding a return to absolute values and away from moral and cultural relativism that have swept through democracies like a raging forest fire. It is moral and cultural relativism that is elevating Islam in the West as Islam continues to call for death to the Jews and Christians in daily prayers.
We have seen the results of imagining one world with open borders and globalization. Too many are not happy. They are not reaping the benefits promised. As a matter of fact,they are falling behind. Working longer; making less and under constant attack for not accepting the “New World Order” of the left.
The Progressives have no response to these facts on the ground. Instead they respond with fear-mongering. If we veer from their chosen course we will fall into another Great War; we will relive the horrors of the first half of the 20th century –as if we have learned nothing. We have learned.
We have learned that we veered too far to the left. This is the “unexpected renaissance.”