A Turning Point in Human History

Thursday's Editorial - March 23, 2017


1. Before reading the commentary, read the definitions under "Background" for the words found in the article.

2. Define progressive and propaganda as used in this commentary.

3. What is the purpose of the propaganda the commentator describes? (What does he say is the goal of this propaganda?) - See paragraphs 6-10

4. For each of the following assertions made by the writer, write agree or disagree and explain your answers.

a) “Every news broadcast. Every movie. Every lesson in every classroom. … Every poll. Every TV show. ... In ways large and small, overt and covert, subtle and blatant, the society around us is infused with progressive ideals and agendas, whether you realize it or not.” (para. 3)

b) “Many of the progressives fighting (and seemingly winning) the "culture wars" may not even realize the ultimate purpose of their activism -- most naively think that the goal of altering America's social mores is merely to alter America's social mores, and nothing beyond that. What other objective could there be? The answer, of course, is obvious: Political change.” (para. 7-8)

c) “The way to achieve communism in advanced nations would be to first change the culture so that progressive ideals become dominant, and then people will simply vote themselves into communism without the need for a revolution.” (para. 10)

d) “The way to change the culture, according to the theory, is to slowly infiltrate and then surreptitiously seize control of the "institutions" which shape cultural awareness -- most importantly the mass media and the educational system.” (para. 11)

e) Every single thing the Left has done since the 1950s has been catastrophically wrongheaded and misconceived. It has all backfired. Which means that going into the future, when they will (as they surely will) continue their failed strategy on autopilot, it will all be for [nothing]. Why? Because these techniques only work if the victims don't know they're being propagandized. Yet the public in recent years has become much more sophisticated. Now we do know. And we can never un-know once our eyes have been opened. (para. 24)

5. What was your initial reaction to the assertions made in the first half of this commentary (paragraphs 1-16)? Were you:
surprised, shocked, astonished, angered, dismayed, skeptical, disbelieving, etc. Explain your answer.

6. What was your reaction to the assertions made in the second half of this commentary (paragraphs 17-27)? Were you heartened or disheartened? Explain your answer.

7. The purpose of an editorial/commentary is to explain, persuade, warn, criticize, entertain, praise or answer. What do you think is the purpose of this editorial? Explain your answer.