Hollywood loves sequels. When properly planned out theyre pretty good: Back to the Future (Part II, anyway), Lord of the Rings/Harry Potter, Toy Story 2 and 3, Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi from the first Star Wars Trilogy. But when done haphazardly and usually for reasons having little to do with telling the story itself you get the Star Wars Prequels, Hoodwinked 2, and the Jurassic Park series. This truism made me think of today’s progressivism.
The endless movie sequel stream that best models the progressive mindset is the Jurassic Park series filled with people who keep bringing back dinosaurs under the flawed belief that THIS TIME they can control them. That they can correct the mistakes of the previous nincompoops and pull this off. But alas, they cannot. Quick synopsis of the series:
Installment 1: Scientists engineer dinosaurs using mosquito DNA. They put fail-safes in place hoping to control the population by removing their ability to reproduce (see: Eugenics/Margaret Sanger). Lo and behold the reptiles find a way to reproduce, break free, and kill people. Survivors escape and the dinosaurs are left on the island to die off. But that’s not the end.
Installment 2: There was another island of dinosaurs where scientists corrected the reproduction problem. Scientists quickly learn they cannot control the dinos and after a hurricane destroys containment measures two T-rexs make their way to San Diego and tear up the city. Alas they are captured, returned to the island and as is well again. But that’s not the end.
Installment 3: People who think themselves smarter and braver than the people before them start to visit the island and a young boy gets lost on it. A team treks in to find him. Doesnt go well. One of the team members figures he can take a few eggs with him back to the mainland when he leaves. The dinosaur parents attack to get their eggs back, the surviving members of the team barely escape again . But that’s not the end.
Installment 4: After three forays into the world of created dinosaurs that resulted in death and destruction one would think well enough would be left alone at this point. But its not. Somehow a safe and functioning theme park is finally brought to fruition and everything is fine for a number of years. But as always someone gets greedy and dissatisfied with easy times. A genetic hybrid is created, runs a mock on the once tranquil park, people die.
And thus you have the progressive movement. Even though totalitarian governments have been tried in country after country around the world for centuries, they keep trying to get it right. Even though nations with totalitarian governments either fall apart or exist in abject poverty, Progressives keep thinking, This time well get it right.
Under totalitarian rule, traditional social institutions and organizations are discouraged and suppressed; thus the social fabric is weakened and people become more amenable to absorption into a single, unified movement. Participation in approved public organizations is at first encouraged and then required. Old religious and social ties are supplanted by artificial ties to the state and its ideology. As pluralism and individualism diminish, most of the people embrace the totalitarian states ideology. The infinite diversity among individuals blurs, replaced by a mass conformity (or at least acquiescence) to the beliefs and behaviour sanctioned by the state.
Totalitarian countries have included the Maurya dynasty of India, the Chin dynasty of China, Zulu chief Shaka, Germany under Adolf Hitler, the Soviet Union under Joseph Stalin, Italy under Benito Mussolini, North Korea, Cuba under Fidel and Raul Castro, Iraq, Syria, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Belarus.
So of course because of the wild success of those countries America needs a totalitarian-style government as well, right? Its the same mindset those in Jurassic Park 3 looked at those in Jurassic Park 2 with. And with which those in JP 2 viewed the JP1 crew. The failures of the people in the previous movie – we can fix, we can improve, we can do it better! Choose your ism , communism, socialism, Marxism, etc., does not matter. It fails every time.
What gives democracy and democratic republics a sometimes bad rap is the fact that not everyone in a free government system is successful. There are all kinds of disparity an inequality of outcomes. This leads to the argument for a totalitarian government where everyone will be made equal. An appeal that’s strong to those at the economic bottom. The thing about a free society is that if youre poor you have the opportunity to become rich. Success neither easy nor guaranteed, but it is possible in a free society. Under a totalitarian government, because people are dependent on the government they can only have what the government either gives them or says they can have. Everyone is equal equally poor. (Except for the people in control, who somehow live extremely well.)
So just as the people in the Jurassic series keep messing around with dinosaurs, Progressives keep messing around with totalitarian governments. The dinosaurs always get out of control and eat people before the fools realize that the dinosaurs should have been left alone. But then another group comes along, thinks they’re smart enough, have a better system, can finally control them. And the cycle repeats.
Totalitarian governments bring poverty, hunger, and death to their people before those people realize it should have been left alone. But then another group comes along and thinks they’re smart enough to do it better despite the previous failure. Totalitarian governments, like dinosaurs, should be left alone.
by Aaron Martin