If there is an overwhelming legacy of the 20th century, it is the legacy of the struggle of the minors, the workers, the disadvantaged, the common people, … against the power of capital—David against Goliath. The struggle is praised by the majority of the media, by Hollywood movies, by Nobel Prize selection, … to name but a few examples.
We live in a time when we all feel uncomfortable even thinking of capital as a positive evolutionary force. We hate Karl Marx, but we are proud of the Democrats who evolved Marxist and Leninist values under the name of liberalism and the free market. The money goes to Hollywood blockbusters that plant values of “evil capital” against “good minors.” The money goes to publishers who promote the value of fighting capital, the same capital that makes big publishing possible. It is as if a powerful alien is implanting a virus in the minds of Westerners that feeds on a diet that promotes starvation. It is indeed a virus in the form of a meme, or rather, a meme complex. It is not the One World Conspiracy that threatens us. Even the One World Conspiracy Theory has already fallen victim to this legacy, this virus. That is why there is not much difference between Republicans and Democrats, between left and right. That’s why we should understand that the true opposition of values is only between progressives and conservatives along the liberal line. See Political Brane Topology post and update in the form of the Political Bell Topology. The surprising effect of this shift caused by this virus is that all progressive forces (no one wants to be conservative) share this traumatic attitude towards minors, leading to government intervention in the economy, welfare statism, and focus on distribution instead of production. Ayn Rand noticed this shift in the years just before she died and criticized Republicans even more than Democrats for extolling the values of looters more than productive values.
When we speak of “the legacy of the 20th century,” we do indeed mean the legacy of Western culture. Indeed, our (Western) view of the 20th century does not correspond to such a view of the present in more traditional, ancient, conservative cultures. “They” know that time does not flow like a linear arrow from the year 0 to 2,000 and onward. They encapsulated Einstein even before his peers did not understand Einstein.
The claim that this “Western virus” I speak of is caused by progressivism and the simultaneous abhorrence of capital seems to be a paradox. But if we know that progressivism is, by definition, a kind of Platonic ideology that claims that there is some kind of final stage of evolution in which all conflicts are resolved, in which all people are equal, and in which all people get exactly what they need. This futuristic ideal can have no other form, as Karl Marx best described it as a utopian communist state where there is no more class struggle, and everyone gets what they deserve (redistributive ideology). The tragedy of such a Platonic utopia is that you end up a communist or a fascist if you start as a progressive. So even if you are a strong free-market advocate, but your mindset is infected with the progressive virus, you end up with collectivism and totalitarian regimes.
One of the strongest carriers of this virus is a fatal flaw in our way of thinking about man and Man. This flaw was analyzed in an earlier post. Now I want to point out that whenever there is a discourse that focuses on Man without distinguishing this concept from a concept of man (as an individual human being), such a discourse tends to develop totalitarian values. One can talk about Man as a unified concept if that Man is not made up of millions of men and women with countless interests, endowed by nature with countless conflicts. Anyone who has the intellectual power to avoid this trap of unification and eliminating intrinsic conflicts can speak only about a particular man (woman) and only about a particular public defined by particular common interests. The result of such strict intellectual discipline is called homonism. Homonism is conservative, focused on the individual, on his life force fighting against entropy (which comes from work), not obscured by collectivism and not misled by any kind of utopia.