Traditional Americans believed every individual had a responsibility to society to work at being a good person. In contrast, progressives believe that individuals are inherently noble and it is our flawed society, not flawed individuals, that needs improvement.
The unconscious logic goes like this, starting from the “Human beings are inherently and transcendentally noble” branch of the newthink worldview tree:
• Human beings are inherently and transcendentally noble.
• Our bad behavior is caused by society damaging our nobility.
• To change the world for the better, change society, not individuals.
Newthinkers believe that, in terms of social power, macro is more important than micro. The progressive way is to mass people together toward a single purpose. Progressive group identity is strong, and because of that, true individuality among progressives is rare. For example, the hippies of the 1960s had a strong group identity. They were easily identified by their hair, their clothes, their language, their attitude. One of their credos was “do your own thing.” But their “thing” – their appearance, their political views, their cultural norms – was strikingly uniform. Their individuality tended to be fake. On the other hand, true individuality – people pursuing their own ends, but with shared values – was the traditional American way.
Several entailments branch out of this belief. The unconscious logic is: to change the world for the better, change society, not individuals. Out of that belief springs:
• We need to gain social power for the purpose of social change.
• We need to organize politically for the purpose of social change.
• We need to control large institutions for the purpose of social change.
• We need to teach the youth our view of the world for the purpose of social change.
Under the influence of these beliefs, newthinkers seek social power to improve the world.
Under the influence of these beliefs, newthinkers seek social power to improve the world. (Keep in mind that their definition of social improvement is different from that of traditional Americans.) As part of their purpose of social improvement, they organize to achieve their goals; they join and eventually control most social institutions: schools, universities, libraries, government bureaucracies, foundations, nonprofit organizations, think tanks and political parties. As an example, our public schools and universities are now largely controlled by progressives, powered by the unconscious belief that “we need to teach the youth our view of the world for the purpose of social change.” A study of college professors found that 72% of them were self-described left/liberal while only 15% described themselves as right/conservative. The U.S. public at the same time described themselves as 18% left/liberal and 37% right/conservative.* Similarly, the history of the Democrat party since the 1960s is the account of its takeover by progressives, starting with the riots at the Democratic convention in Chicago in 1968.
* Stanley Rothman, Robert S. Lichter and Neil Nevitte, “Politics and Professional Advancement among College Faculty,” The Forum, Vol. 3, Issue 1, 2005.