In May 1942, the Japanese navy and a scratch American force fought the Battle of the Coral Sea. At the time, the most optimistic Allied assessment called it a draw. In hindsight, it was the beginning of the end for Japan. Forced (as they saw it) to commit to land campaigns against both Port Moresby and Guadalcanal, they lost both, and that was the end of the Empire’s ability to project power in the South Pacific. Three more brutal years of war would follow, but the outcome was never in doubt.
Similarly, the USSR was through from the minute Nikita Khrushchev finished his “secret speech” in 1956. At the time, most Soviet-watchers thought the USSR was finally getting it together, eliminating Stalin’s worst excesses, tightening their control abroad, and getting set to take over the world. To be fair, it looked that way — the Russians shocked the world a year later with Sputnik 1, and communist insurgencies were gaining ground everywhere (including a Communist country right off America’s coast in 1959. But the Soviets were toast for all that, because Khrushchev’s speech made it obvious to anyone who was really paying attention that cults of personality, gulags, and all the rest were a feature, not a bug, of Communist governments. Though Marx’s dharma heirs kept confidently predicting that the capitalist system would collapse any minute now under the weight of its contradictions, in practice the commies collapsed under the weight of theirs.
The interesting thing for us is what happened to the American Left after the “secret speech.” Orthodox Marxism was dead, but no “intellectual” has ever admitted he was wrong about anything, so they went all-in — overnight — on “cultural Marxism.” The Frankfurt School was a fringe group in the Thirties and Forties; by the end of the Fifties, though, every goodthinker in every Western university had at least thumbed a copy of Marcuse’s Eros and Civilization. The Left went from nattering on about “forces of production” and “the dictatorship of the proletariat” to “the return of the repressed” and “anal-retentive compulsion” in the blink of an eye.
From there, it was just a short hop to Postmodernism and all the rest. Once you’ve convinced yourself of the fundamental metaphysical Truth that there’s no such thing as fundamental metaphysical Truth — that everything up to and including gravity is “just a social construction” — it’s child’s play to argue that bearded dudes built like linebackers and hung like racehorses should be able to go weewee next to young girls.
(Yeah yeah, I know, almost nobody has heard of this stuff. Freud was laughed out of real life long, long ago, but he’s very much alive in the ivory tower. That “intersectionality” nonsense is the “logical” extension of the basic premises of the Frankfurt School, and the Frankfurt School ranked Freud just below Marx himself in their pantheon. You’ll never hear this in school, of course, for the same reason fish don’t notice water).
As the Z Man points out today, the Left has just had another one of those “beginning of the end” moments. Of course they’re already circling the wagons, UFO-cult style, but just like their fathers and grandfathers after Khrushchev’s speech, a lot of Lefties have just received a mortal blow. They can’t give up their Leftism, of course, but they really truly did believe, with all their hearts and souls, that Trump was going to prison for treason. There’s no coming back from that. Like the overnight transformation of the Old Left into the New Left in 1956, so the New Left will be forced to become the New New Left. Just like the last time, it’ll happen with blinding speed — a year from now, we’ll be talking as if whatever new lunacy they decide on has been the immutable truth forever, while the old stuff will never be heard from again.
It beats my pair of jacks as to what the new idiocy will be — if I could predict it, I’d fleece those fools for all they’re worth — but I know one thing: If I were one of those aforementioned linebacker-built, racehorse-hung dudes who likes to hang out in the girls’ room, I’d be tucking it back into my pants right now. You people were the avatars of the old lunacy, so they’ll have to unperson you with NKVD-like ruthlessness.
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