Thursday, May 23, 2019

Progressivism and puritanism

This is a quote from an article deploring a boycott of Morrissey. I've always found Morrissey too irritating to keep informed of what he does so I have no idea if what he has or has not done is defensible. But this specific claim intrigues me (emphasis added):
Only this boycott isn’t organised by uptight Bible-bashers, Mary Whitehouse-style loathers of punk, or racist posh women, who think a young black man saying ‘Fuck tha police’ is the end of civilisation as we know it. No, the boycotters this time are progressives. Or at least that’s how they’d describe themselves, somewhat inaccurately.
There are two assumptions behind that. The first is that progressives are good people and the second is that moral puritanism isn't typical of progressives.  I'm inclined to believe the first one; I think most progressives mean well even though they often produce negative outcomes. The second, though, I don't believe. If anything, it seems to me that puritanical moral attitudes and progressivism go hand in hand. Not all puritans are progressive but all progressives become puritanical.

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