One of liberalism’s most unflattering mottos is being on the right side of history. The fact that this not a compliment of one’s morals but rather an indictment is hardly a nuance noticed by right-siders. Committing oneself to whatever side is winning is in no way a commitment to honor or integrity, but cowardice. It’s simply the weaseling of a sucker fish who finds more virtue riding a shark’s body than swimming in front of its jaws.
That’s not to suggest there’s no validity in craven strategies for social survival. After all, the world is bursting with the genes of cowards who weren’t killed on the battlefield. But to suffer suggestions that such winner cheering is an act of valor is really more than a sober man should have to bear. Though fortunately sober men don’t always bear it for long. That’s because a winner’s morality is wholly contingent on who’s winning. And, contra liberal doctrine, that’s not a fixed value. To put it another way, Trotsky once thought he was on the right side of history, but found himself instead on the wrong side of an ice pick.
I was thinking of figurative ice picks for the literal right-siders while reading a piece about some black 80s post-punk band called Joy Reed. I had never heard of the outfit, though apparently one of their members had previously penned some mildly mocking commentary about homosexuals on the band’s now defunct website. Reportedly, the problem was not that the comments were lies or threats, but something far worse: they were on the wrong side of history.
I say reportedly because I am as morally committed to not reading the contemplations of Joy Reed as liberal remora are to swimming on the south end of their social shark. Though what was written is as irrelevant as whether or not it was true. Today’s pieties were breached yesterday. And the fact that Joy Reed had no conceivable means to speak within unknowable future confines in no way diminishes the fact that those previously innocuous and acceptable opinions are now HATE SPEECH. As a black leftist, I’m sure she’s well acquainted with the term.
Of course all of the resulting criticism has to be startling to such a dim, entitled figure. Blacks accuse others of hate speech, they’re not accused of it themselves…unless they try to punch above their hate weight class, that is. Joy Reed is almost certainly coherent enough to avoid that career death trap. But prior Joy Reed knew nothing of the homosexual ascension that was to later occur, and so now the ghost of blog posts past is scratching on her door. Prudent men realize the key to all modern social navigation is to know who can’t be criticized before they do.
This is the hazard of which I occasionally warn my many liberal readers. When the past is always changing, even your own prior actions frequently fall into sordid disrepute. Because as frantic as you are to be a forward-looking sucker fish, one can not do more than speculate on what direction history will wind. And thus there is no way to know for sure whether you’re actually riding a shark or a tuna.
I’m sure Joy Reed’s female liberal blackness will strongly aid in her moral convalesce. She will recover. What people like her never understand is that Trotsky probably will not.