Religion of Progress

Religion of Progress August 12, 2016

Peter King is an avowed Antimodern, a reactionary with a sensitivity to the unintended consequences of any effort at reform (much less revolution) and skepticism about progress. Reactionaries don’t necessarily have to move to be reactionaries. When progress is the reigning creed “anyone can be a reactionary, including trade unionists who oppose their members losing their jobs and Christians not prepared to accept changing attitudes to marriage and sexuality.” These have “merely stood still and would like to continue doing what they have always done.

Generalized progress can turn vicious. In Reaction, he tells the story of “Dutch politicians Pim Fortuyn and Geert Wilders, who have argued against Muslim immigration on the grounds of Islam’s supposed intolerance to Europe’s post-Enlightenment values. These politicians have argued that the Dutch should not accept migrants who reject sexual and gender equality. Yet, so-called progressives on the left have taken the view that Fortuyn, who was an openly gay former sociology profess, was a fascist, and hat Wilders was a right-wing extremist who was accordingly banned from entering the UK in 2009 on the grounds that he was a ‘threat to one of the fundamental interests of society,’ namely, ‘community harmony,’ and that his presence might post [sic] a threat to public safety. Both these politicians have been seen as reactionary because of the manner in which they have sought to protect western liberal values by opposing multiculturalism” (3). Fortuyn was murdered in 2002, and Wilders has been described as the “most dangerous man in Europe.”

The religion of progress is an intolerant faith.

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