It’s a truism in politics: the pendulum swings. Now, around the world, we see a deep swing rightward:
- Brexit, and the collapse of Britain’s Labour Party;
- Donald Trump, and the routing of the Democrats;
- German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s turnaround on Muslim refugee acceptance; and,
- in France, the rise of the National Front’s Marine Le Pen.
Over the weekend, the Washington Post reported on events in Poland. There, the Law and Justice Party is not only making sweeping changes of a pro-family, religious conservative nature, it has also grown in popularity.
Fearing an anti-intellectual “neo-Dark Age,” the Post finds cause for that worry in the fact that the Poles are downplaying evolutionary science in government school curricula.*
Before the big freak out, note the why of this: the dominant progressive-left paradigm has proven itself incapable of dealing with the challenges of the present age — most being caused by their own policies. Worse yet, those on the vanguard left have become moral scolds and petty language tyrants.
Yes, political correctness is one of the big offenders, here.
So, of course there’s a backlash.
But, turnabout being fair play, if the move to the “right” goes too far — as it probably will — we can expect another swing leftward.
Isn’t it time to give that pendulum bob a whack, to initiate something like an equilibrium position? Many of today’s problems are caused by partisans trying to force their kind of change down others’ throats. There is an alternative: limit government, setting it to just a few tasks, letting society evolve naturally, without forced central planning.
That would be “evolutionary,” and thus neither rightist nor revolutionary-left. Call it neo-Enlightenment.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.
* Poland’s new government has become scary, by reducing transparency, limiting press access, purging the government news network of anti-rightist journalists, hiking subsidies to traditional families and the elderly, shelving the gay marriage issue and allowing local governments to cut back on granting public protest permits. Not all of these are equally frightening, of course. Why should any government be allowed to maintain a government-run news agency? (Ideological purges come with the territory.)