Having won all the battles, the Left is losing the culture war

Having won all the battles, the Left is losing the culture war, by Richard Fernandez.

David Gerlenter writing in the Wall Street Journal says something self-evidently true. The Left seems to have won every single culture battle fought.

“Although the right reads the left, the left rarely reads the right. Why should it, when the left owns American culture? Nearly every university, newspaper, TV network, Hollywood studio, publisher, education school and museum in the nation. The left wrapped up the culture war two generations ago. Throughout my own adult lifetime, the right has never made one significant move against the liberal culture machine.”

The late Andrew Breitbart noticed the same thing. Observing that “politics is downstream from culture” he argued the Left has made us the villains of our own stories. …

Even before Breitbart’s warning, there was Orwell who understood that the Left’s ultimate ability was to uproot the past and plant their chosen seed for the future. His famous dictum “he who controls the past controls the future. He who controls the present controls the past” is an unsurpassed indictment of groupthink totalitarianism. There seemed no doubt they would succeed. Within its bubble the Left’s control of culture is so absolute they can watch 1984 without realizing it’s about them.

Yet … truth matters. Even total control like in the USSR was not enough, and it fell.

Look around you. Every single country which adopted socialism as an economic system went bankrupt. The Soviet Union collapsed. Now the Western Gramscian project is self-immolating in the fires of its own absurdity. The current political crisis is the collective shudder of mortality passing through “every university, newspaper, TV network, Hollywood studio, publisher, education school and museum in the nation.” The left may have “wrapped up the culture war two generations ago,” but it is rotting inside the wrapping. …

The only thing one can be sure of is that the Republican Party didn’t cause it; nor did their tame and feeble publications. …

Yet most of us know who did it, though we hesitate to name the obvious suspect. The Left, even in its downfall, has stilled our tongues. The word comes to the edge of our lips before we choke it back, fearful even now of the ridicule and abuse we will get should we blurt it. That word is God. God killed the Left. Of course one could legitimately use some other term. “Reality,” “consequences,” the “laws of nature,” “economics,” even “truth” will do. Through some process of increasing entropy, failed memory management, or unanticipated side effects, the status quo — the one dominated by the Left — is collapsing.

But whatever name one chooses for the cause, it is functionally the same thing. God is the simpler and more transgressive term. The Left is losing because it failed, it lost the Mandate of Heaven, as the Chinese would say; went the way of the buggy whip and the slide rule; missed the boat in the paradigm shift. …

Politics may be downstream of culture but history is downstream of them all, the river which bears away the all-conquering creeds. 1984 has come and gone many times before. The annals of humanity are littered with the tales of kings and politicians who thought they could control destiny, always won the culture wars — yet ultimately failed before the mysterious complexity of reality. They perished and never knew why.