Good article, Ed.
What goes unnoticed is the degree to which progressivism has gone after all belief systems as if values themselves were to be discarded - not just as an academic statement that values are relative or that values are subjective - but to actually cause society to be in a historically sudden state of value-flux. Whether you are talking about views as to what are normal or desireable gender roles, or sexual mores, or religious beliefs, or ethical standards, or economic understandings or political principles, or the relations between generations, or etiquette... all have been under attack. Even the standards of discourse are changed and ridicule replaced reasoned argument.
Saul Alinsky rules have been applied to cultural disruption (and always, not far in the background, is the ultimate Alinsky goal: power).
It's undeniable that many of the traditional beliefs that made up our culture needed to be changed or at least improved. While others were good beliefs, like free enterprise, although needing proper philosophical foundations. But all these belief systems are a part of the culture and each has a degree of joining to the belief systems they are epistemologically adjacent to - like a collection of items in a box, these systems - taken together - represent Western Culture. Most of the separate belief systems have evolved, for the better or the worse, and at a slow pace, and in the company of the other belief system.
The mistake is to see these arguments against this or that belief as a something other than the end goal of cutting the anchor line of culture as such. We should have seen how much the accent was on attack and not on improving or modifying or presenting an alternative. Seen as a whole it is cultural nihilism - nihilism disguised as setting right traditional wrongs. Violent anarchists whose political philosophy accompanied communist revolutions. In today's news we cultural anarchists at work.
Cultural Marxism is the application of Critical Theory to the culture. Only when the culture is broken into separate pieces, each of which is left in seeming disrepute, none of which feel like they are solid ground that could be stood on, are the reins of government easy to reach out and snatch up. And, a powerful time accelerator was splitting the generations apart in these culture wars.
Whether it is a fascist or socialist who takes up the reins will depend on which collection of flawed arguments find the strongest emotional response from a voting public whose set of values have been so shaken that there doesn't seem to be an up or down for them, and whose knowledge of political principles, economic principles, history, and critical reasoning are no longer taught in the schools, visible in the media, or taking place in public discourse.
(Edited by Steve Wolfer on 6/10, 9:49am)