Living in a Progressive theocracy means the framework of civic debate is always going to be a Progressive framework. The Prog mullahs establish the premises, set the rules and dictate what is and what is not permitted. They police the debate to make sure no one is coloring outside the lines or questioning the official orthodoxy. In Iran, they allow debate until it bumps into heresy, then they start shooting people. In America, the Progs will ruin a few careers to send a message to the others that may have heretical thoughts.
It should be noted that the two most successful Middle Eastern countries, in terms of stability and world influence, are both theocracies, Iran and Saudi Arabia. If you throw in Israel, which is a Western implementation of Levantine theocracy, the three most successful Middle Eastern societies are theocratic. You’ll also note that the machinations of these three countries are at the center of great power politics. Russia, China, Europe and the US Empire are fixated on the Middle East. Theorcracy is not without its merits.
Anyway, the Prog theocracy of America is a hybrid creation that evolved over the last century into something that relies on the tools of an official religion to exploit the institutions of a modern social democracy. Progressives control the normal public debate that occurs within a social democracy by declaring a wide range of topics off-limits on moral grounds. This narrows the range of possible answers, funneling the public debate into the cattle chute of their choosing, thus resulting in a policy the Prog mullahs prefer.
A good example of this is race. It is largely assumed that Progs use race as a political lever to win elections or as a cudgel to beat the bad whites. That’s part of it, but the real utility of race for the Progs is to maintain their position as the moral authority, the arbiters of what is and what is not acceptable public discourse. As long as they are the ones determining the line between good and evil, they control pubic debate. There’s no argument you can craft that can overcome their moral superiority.
You see that here in this story on the collapse of black entrepreneurship. It’s a long emotive ramble not worth reading, but the gist of the article is that the collapse of black business is due to the magic of invisible discrimination by big business and banks. No evidence is provided, but good thinkers don’t need it. The bulk of the piece is the writer establishing his credentials as a friend of the black man, thus providing him with the moral authority to call out the heretics. Unsurprisingly, it is The Man!
As Steve Sailer pointed out, there are explanations for this collapse in black entrepreneurship that don’t involve magic. Immigration is one explanation that leaps out on a ghetto tour. In Baltimore, for example, Koreans and South Asians go into tough neighborhoods and open cash businesses like liquor stores and food stands. Their willingness to do business through bullet proof glass allows them to complete in these neighborhoods. Their clannishness allows them to dominate.
This is not the result of magic. It is the result of Progressive polices over the last thirty years. Similarly, is the Prog desire to decorate corporate enterprise and the academy with non-white faces. Instead of the Talented Ten Percent staying in the black community, building businesses, providing discipline and leadership, they are out in honkyville. Diversity hiring is a form of colonialism that skims the best and brightest into the dependency of corporate life, leaving behind the squalor of the rest.
There are certainly other reasons why black enterprise has collapsed, like the financialization of the American economy via credit money. There’s no doubt that the concentration of wealth, as well as the lack of restraint by the political class on its use, has severely disrupted the American middle class. There’s a lot of material there if someone is genuinely curious about what is happening in the black community. That’s not what matters to the Progressives. What matters is establishing their moral authority.
When the Iranian youth decided it was time to take on the Mullahs at the start of the Obama administration, they just assumed they had the numbers to force change on the regime. The regime, on the other hand, knew they possessed the moral authority to enforce order. That’s the real power of possessing moral authority. It’s not that it intimidates enemies of the regime. It’s that it sidelines the uncertain and motivates the true believers. When you get to draw the moral boundaries, you always win.
That’s the challenge to any movement that seeks to displace the Progressive authorities in America. It’s not about winning elections or getting the numbers in legislatures. It’s about stealing from the Progs their moral authority and their ability to frame the debate. If they have to rely on facts and reason, they are doomed, but as long as they get to set the terms of the debate, facts and reason don’t matter. That’s why the medieval House of Saud still stands and why the Mullahs in Iran are still with us. They define right and wrong.