More theories of liberalism

Expounding on my earlier post

Likening social justice to a religion, although by now hardly an original observation, is uncanningly accurate. Social justice has many of the same attributes of an organized religion, as it provides its adherents a sense of belonging, purpose, and an outgroup to oppose and to give the religion justification for its existence, that being opposing the non-woke. You look at why Only Fans is so popular, not because there is this sudden libidinous desire for porn, but because the site provides a sufficiently good substitute for a real-life relationship, much like how social justice does a sufficiently good job mimicking an organized religion for a large population of otherwise secular young people.

Other explanations:

  1. Americans enjoy such a high standard of living that holding extreme left-wing beliefs is a way of differentiating oneself from the masses, as material possessions are no longer sufficient in this regard. In the past, having a color TV, a large house, and a Buick sedan conferred status, but not anymore. Now you need to be woke and have a master’s degree specializing in some esoteric subject, because large homes and big cars are commonplace and do not mean much anymore. However, this does not explain how Singapore and South Korea , despite also having very high standards of living, have not succumbed to wokeness in the way the US has.
  2. The 1964 Civil Right’s Act, the rise of the bureaucracy, Rawls, social workers, the Great Society, etc. The rise of these things parallel each other. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the ‘Great Society’ programs necessitated a large bureaucracy to enforce it. Rawls helped popularize in academia the idea of a big government as a solution to poverty and inequality, with equality and fairness being the sine qua non for the advancement of social justice. Similar to Gene Roddenberry, another leftist idealist of the era who envisioned an egalitarian society, Rawls was not a ‘snowflake’, having enlisted in the US Army during World War 2. A lot of people, of diverse backgrounds (not just college students), saw equality and social justice as patriotic, an unalloyed good, and something to aspire to.
  3. The groundwork of the modern liberal bureaucracy was laid by FDR and Wilson, the latter who was a progressive (although not in the modern sense of the word) who championed a bigger government and established the Federal Reserve ( The Federal Reserve Act ) and ratified a federal income tax (Revenue Act of 1913). Under Truman and Eisenhower, the post-war era saw America cement itself as the superlative global superpower, with Russia a distant second (China would not enter the picture until decades later). This meant that the bureaucracy had plenty of time to grow, without being threatened. The era of ‘McCarthyism’ saw the backlisting of Communists in Hollywood and others areas of employment, but it would prove short-lived, lasting around decade until 1957. when studios, producers, and directors saw the continuation of the blacklists as being bad for business and broke rank, and McCarthy himself was censused in 1954 by a Senate vote, limiting his influence thereafter.
  4. Unlike today’s billionaires, who pledge to give away their fortunes but never actually do, the tycoons of the early 20th century–J.P. Morgan, Henry Ford, Andrew Mellon and John D. Rockefeller–donated lavishly to philanthropic causes while alive and posthumously, such as to universities churches, schools , hospitals , libraries, etc. Some of this money helped fund the 60s counterculture, such as through university grants and other programs, as well as the contributions of wealthy patrons descended from the gilded era, so ironically some of the very people who are held up as exemplars and paragons of capitalism and ‘American ingenuity’, helped indirectly fund later ideologies and movements that opposed such values, or at least sought to subvert them.