If you grew up in the 1990s, you probably at one time or another played Super Mario 64 – or enviously watched your friend play it on the Nintendo 64 your parents wouldn’t buy you.
Most of the game is centered around the castle; inside, there is a staircase leading up to the top of the main tower and the final level against Bowser. However, if the player hasn’t earned enough stars, acquired by completing other levels throughout the castle, the stairway goes on forever. The player can have Mario run up it forever, and though it seems like he is making progress, in reality it is a never-ending journey up a flight of stairs.
This same concept applies to the leftist mentality.
Tom Woods once summarized leftism as perpetual revolution via the state. This means there is no stopping point. There is no final objective in mind, and if there is, like Mario trying to get to the top of the tower without the required stars, it’s an unreachable goal.
We see this in the way they speak on any of their pet issues, whether it be racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia, or the latest fashionable trend, transgenderism.
“We’ve come so far, but we still have a long way to go before reaching true (fill in the blank).”
Ever hear someone say that?
In a way, it is an absolutely brilliant strategy, because no matter what gains they make, no matter how much they uproot or unravel tradition, custom, heritage, and morals, they successfully convince society that it’s still not enough, and that little has been accomplished, by continually moving the goalposts – and few dare to call them out on it.
But there is another reason for why it’s a never-ending political journey. As long as there is “work to be done,” they can still claim to be victims and in a state of disenfranchisement.
Feminism has completely saturated every stratum of our culture, yet as they would have you believe, woman are still horribly oppressed (because some people don’t want to be forced to subsidize women’s contraception’s via taxation). But what incentives do they have to admit it? What is their gain in doing so?
However, the truly vital part of this framing is that it allows them to set double standards for themselves and their enemies. This is where the disenfranchisement rationalizing comes in. Their enemies must adhere to a code of conduct that they don’t, because despite all the progress made, the enemy is “still in charge.” If feminists admitted or conceded that women have achieved more than the suffragettes of the 1920s could have any thought possible, then they would lose an incredible amount of power and moral superiority in the debate.
Thus we get ideas like “institutional racism/sexism/patriarchy” used to justify standards based on one’s race and gender. And by the way, this is all stuff that cannot be quantified, measured, or adequately defined to satisfy the intellectual honesty or curious.
Anyone who has examined America from a century ago knows that the difference between then and now in terms of racial treatment of minorities is beyond comparison. Yet the Al Sharpton’s of the world would gladly surrender an arm or leg before admitting that America has removed restrictions in any meaningful way for African Americans or “peoples of color.”
Not because he and other activists care about the plight of minorities, but because then they would have to find another day job.
Now, some may argue that this mentality I describe applies to the Right as well, and in a way, they are correct. Organizations that are pro-life or fight for gun rights have a perverse incentive to maintain a delicate balance between winning actual political victories yet preserving the leftist threat that gets people to make a most generous donation that keeps these nonprofits running.
However, the difference is that the Right has, with a few exceptions, accomplished little besides slowing down the speed with which the Left has taken over institutions.
Ironically, they tend to move the goalposts, but backwards in order to make it seem as though the Left isn’t winning at every turn.
Lastly, I would say that leftism denies its status as the establishment, because to have power is to have responsibility. You can’t pass the buck if you’re in charge.
For example, it is laughable to think that right-wing puritans are responsible for the hookup culture and the disaster it has wrought on both men and women. Nevertheless, someone is at fault, someone encouraged the situation we have, and they must accept that their policy was deeply flawed. Who wants to do that?
So when someone says “we still have a long way to go,” know that they are referring to the top of a never-ending staircase.