A common belief of liberals and leftists, especially of our current president, is that there is a right side of history, that “the arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice,” etc. History moves in a progressive direction. It’s the old Marxist idea that science has shown that the workers will eventually revolt and destroy capitalism. The most recent election ought to smash that idea, but oddly enough it won’t. So, it’s worthwhile listing some of the other times history didn’t move in a progressive direction.
• The failure of Marx’s predictions for capitalism in the late 19th century, such as the fact that the workers weren’t getting poorer
• The workers’ supporting their own countries instead of each other during World War I
• The rise of fascism and Nazism in the 1930s
• The survival of capitalism during the Great Depression, and the flourishing of capitalist America in the 1960s
• The conservative turn of college students in the mid-1970s
• The smashing of the left in Iran by Muslims in 1979, together with the rise of the Muslim right throughout much of the Muslim world
• The election of Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher
• The fall of the Soviet Union
• The election of George W. Bush, particularly his re-election in 2004, which traumatized liberals and leftists almost as much as the recent election of Donald Trump
• The rise of the far right in Europe, and to a lesser extent, here in America in opposition to immigration policies
Of course, I’m sure that those who have faith in the idea of the right side of history assume that none of these examples proves anything since in the long run, they will be proven right. That is basically a religious faith, but it is a faith held by people who are mostly secularists. Since they don’t believe in a supernatural being, why would they think that history has any kind of arrow toward leftist progress? Why believe that things are always going to get better?
In fact, there are various forces that could destroy a movement to the left. First of all, there are outside forces, such as an invasion of a leftist country by a non-leftist country. Secondly, a leftist vision could be unsustainable, such as happened with communism. Thirdly, the non-leftist forces within a society could be energized when leftists push too hard for what non-leftists and even some leftists see as harmful to their own interests. Fourthly, there could be internecine squabbles among leftists, such as happened in Hungary in 1956. Fifthly, there could be Manchurian candidates who, by their amazing rhetorical powers, move the left in a non-leftist direction without most leftists even noticing. These are the ones I can think of off the top of my head, but I imagine there are plenty of others.
I don’t believe in any right side of history, which is why I make such a big deal out of the left’s insane attitudes toward Muslims. Letting in Muslims is not automatically going to work out, and given that leftism was destroyed by Muslims in Iran, we need to worry about the possibility that Muslims will destroy leftism here in the West as well (along with everything else). And if they do, leftism will likely never be revived in the West, anymore than leftism has been revived in Iran since it was destroyed. And even if the left does somehow manage to get revived, it will only be at the cost of many millions of lives. Why allow for such a bleak future when a little bit of prudence and caution now can prevent it?