The Progressive Timeline

A topic of interest amongst many crime-thinkers, as well as some mainstream writers who secretly read crime-thinkers for column material, is why Progressives can never come to terms with the fact that they have been in charge of most of society for generations. It’s as if they have been asleep for the last fifty years or were taught an alternative history.

Detroit collapses in on itself and Progressive are out in the streets protesting as if the city was run by a secret cabal of Free Masons. They demand change and the implementation of their preferred solutions. Left out is the fact they were the ones in charge for fifty odd years and they had implemented all of their preferred polices, causing the collapse.

Race is the most obvious big social issue which has been totally controlled by Progressives. Since the 1950’s, the Left has had a free hand in trying tonmake the races get along. They even control the definition of “getting along.” Despite this, the last few years has been a non-stop campaign to “fix” race, as well as a cynical effort to cause a race war.

After the church shooting, every member of the Cult was out in the streets claiming nothing has changed since the last time a white guy killed a bunch of black people, which was fifty years ago. Normal people would look at the near total absence of white on black crime in the South, relative to the bad old days, as an amazing development. To the Left, this has not happened and it is still 1955.

My theory for why Progressives have a folded timeline is that their religion is synchronic versus diachronic and it is emotional. The Western tradition, informed by the Catholic scholarly traditions, is diachronic and dispassionate. History is a series of events, each influencing the other. The French Revolution, for example, led to Napoleon, the latter being the result of the former.

The Progressive sense of history is synchronic and emotional. The Civil Rights Movement has enormous emotional resonance with the left so it is of constant interest and talked about as if it happened yesterday. On the other hand, the near total domination of America urban centers by Progressive politicians has no emotional resonance so may as well have happened ten thousand years ago or not at all.

This jumps out when talking with millennials, who have been marinated in the New Religion throughout their schooling. Even those who ostensibly reject the one true faith have this emotional timeline baked into their thinking. They divide the past into two parts. There are those events that happened a long time ago before they were around and those events that happened in their time, which are all consuming.

For instance, I recently was talking with a millennial about mobile phones. He made the comment that life must have been rough before Steve Jobs invented the iPhone. He just assumed that this thing important to him, was a seminal moment in history. When I explained to him that I had a mobile phone in the 1980’s, I may as well have told him I lived in the age of dragons. He was incredulous.

I think this explains the current moral panic over the Confederate flag. In the Progressive timeline, the Civil War looms large, casting a shadow over everything. Their emotional response to the flag is the same as abolitionists felt in the 19th century. It’s why plagiarists like Doris Kearns Goodwin try so hard to make Lincoln into a Progressive Democrat.

It’s also why after half a century that we are still treated to JFK retrospectives around the anniversary of his death. Kennedy was an insignificant figure in American history, but he looms large in the Progressive imagination, even larger than FDR. The reason is he was “martyred” and then turned into a saint in the Cult of Modern Liberalism. The real JFK would have been revolted by modern liberalism, but the mythological one is the Brigham Young of the faith.

A strange little book I read a long time ago is The Man Who Folded Himself, by Star Trek writer David Gerrold. The premise is that the timeline can be folded on itself so that points separated by eons can appear to be moments apart. That’s the mind of the Progressive. Events of great emotional import are clustered together on their timeline in the near past. Everything else is scattered in the distant past, many beyond the event horizon.

The result of this folded timeline is a historical amnesia. It is, perhaps, a defense mechanism to deal with disconfirmations. When the prophesies do not come true, those events quickly recede into the distant past so the believer can maintain their faith. Think about how chronic gamblers never remember their loses, but remember every cent they won.

Those events that fit the narrative are always in their minds as if they just happened. Sometimes, they confuse the imaginary events like the Mathew Shepherd murder with real events. Just the other day a moonbat brought this case with me. When I pointed out that he was not, in fact, a victim of homophobia, the moonbat was incredulous. I had to provide proof and they were still insisting it could have happened.

Oddly, the Dark Ages are described as the period when the barbarians snuffed out the light of Rome. That’s not exactly true, but it is useful. What will we call the period when the fanatics turn out the lights on the past, disconnecting us from material reality? Maybe in  the future, our time will be known as the start of the Blind Ages.

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17 Comments on "The Progressive Timeline"

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Bob Marley said it best : If you know your history, then you would know where you coming from. The problem is that people today don’t know their history, thanks to the Leftist control of education. Conservatives understood this far too late.

I’ll give Marley some props, he had a decent grasp of reality. As for our progressive Moonbats, their brains have been so seriously warped by an indoctrinating education system that they can barely tell time as the above piece shows. Very soon the SHTF and these poor uneducated souls will be the first to fall victim to the peril that is coming to us from outside the country. 70+ people were killed today and no one cared who or what they wanted to sleep with. these killers only cared about the fact that they were not muslim and are daily… Read more »
When teaching a class once I mentioned that I can recall seeing my first ad for a ‘home computer’ which, IIRC, has a staggering 1mb of memory and required hooking up to the TV to show that you could repeat a word (in black and white) multiple times across the screen if you got the BASIC coding right My students were both appalled and fascinated. How did those dark days exist before computers? they wanted to know. How did you meet people without the interwebz to assist? What on earth did you do for entertainment? And what about the lolz,… Read more »
Steve C.

We tend to suppress those unpleasant memories of the time spent foraging for nuts and berries. When we weren’t cowering in the undergrowth, hiding from the dinosaurs. At least we had it better than our parents. Nobody should have to walk to school in 5 foot snow drifts, uphill.
Both ways!

I am not making this up. I was at a party with some Hollywood technical types once. There were a couple of women there from the creative side as well. One of them was holding forth on the evil of the Boy Scouts (this was around ’99, a few years before the anti-Scouting campaign hit the big time… which supports the contention I’ve seen here and elsewhere that these IO campaigns are disseminated and honed internal to the cult for years before they launch in the media). She said she had a Boy Scout handbook from the 15th century and… Read more »
Dr. Mabuse
Another example of how time stands still for Progressives is the matter of sex education in schools. I’m 55, and I remember sitting through sex ed in the 5th grade. And mine was hardly the pioneer class; it had been offered in schools for quite a few years before. Yet Progressives never tire of advocating for sex education as if it were a daringly brand new idea. They talk as if kids today are being brought up dangerously ignorant of their bodies, like Carrie. Yet if you think about it, anyone Carrie’s age today is being raised by parents who… Read more »

When I was a grade schooler in the ’40s, I learned about sex the old fashioned way – standing on the corner under the street light at night listening to the older guys talk. Sixty years married and six successful kids later, it has served me well.

james wilson

Progressive education must be doing unexpected wonders. High school inmates would rather stink than enter the shower, they don’t want to be seen around mobs of other naked kids.

Thank you for this insightful commentary. One of the (many) odd things about the climate debate is this: only during a period about 20-25 years long, from the late 1970s to the late 1990s or early 2000s, have CO2 atmospheric concentration and global mean surface temperature been observed to go up together. At all other times, when CO2 has gone up, temperature has not. To those not laboring under preconceived notions, this 20-25 year period can be perceived to be a coincidence. But not to the CO2’ers: that 25-year period was when the CO2 mania really took hold among the… Read more »

On another topic, Lincolnian that I am, I take offense at the notion that Lincoln would be a Democrat today, and I’ve explained why he wouldn’t be.


[…] a strange tick, but what’s even odder is what’s on the list. I’ve written before about the Progressive timeline. Instead of viewing time as a linear thing, they see events on an emotional timeline. Events with […]


[…] great insight from a blog I just […]


[…] I was listening to something the other day and the guy talking made a point about public attitudes toward homosexuals. His point was that attitudes have changed quickly. He said something along the lines that just a few years ago homosexuals were treated as bad as blacks in the south during segregation. The implication being that just last week we maintained separate accommodations for the homos. I just laughed as I’m used to the Progressive Timeline. […]

John C Wright

Brilliant. Bravo. I have referred to the current age as the Dark Ages. What is commonly called the Dark Ages, as you say, is something of a misnomer.

John C Wright

More to the point, Leftism, in the economic sphere, is offering solutions to problems, such as the overgrowth of trusts and monopolies, or the progressive immiseration of the masses, which either never existed at all, or which were last seen in the Victorian Era.