More or less like this; like these months we now are living, perhaps – if we are fortunate, and steadfast.
Minds work in sympathy. They are attuned to each other. They think of the same sorts of things at more or less the same time; notice the same things, neglect the same things. They proceed in general agreement on the shape of things, this being the only way they can make themselves intelligible to each other, or therefore coordinate their acts. They feel here or there each a quibble or discomfiture, an uncertainty or perplexity. But these are smoothed over by the great massive flux of their agreements, rolling along like a huge river. A thousand pebbles fall into the river, and it does not notice. It is disturbed for a moment, but not troubled or changed in its course.
But every now and then something huge happens to the river. A flash flood driving down a side canyon carries millions of tons of rock debris into the main bed, damming it. The river rises behind the dam, then tumbles down an altogether new spillway. Where before it had skirted a wall of the canyon, now it rams directly into the base of it. The erosive power of the river saps the wall, and then soon – in the twinkling of an eye, geologically – the immense wall collapses, and the river must once again find a new course, this time over a much larger dam.
Even ancient meanders, entrenched thousands of feet below the rim, can be abandoned in this way.
This is what is now happening to the mind of the West. There have been a number of flash floods that have shunted the river bed back and forth within the raw new canyon carved in the aftermath of the Jacobin earthquake. But now, some more radical shift is under way. The canyon itself is changing course. With the rise of what to the Leftist press, immured still within the windowless ideological categories of Jacobinism, is intelligible only as “populism,” but that orthosphereans can see is something like a nascent Reaction, the West has perhaps begun to turn from its long nightmare struggle with the Revolution. The quest for utopia is now revealed to be an utter fool’s errand. Word of the nakedness of the Emperor who called it is now spreading everywhere. The authority of the Established old regime is in millions of minds shattered to pieces, its instruments of power are now flaccid.
It’s not a tidy process, and in each mind takes some time. The scales fall from the eyes one by one. But once they do begin to fall, their fall compounds, and forms soon a cascade. Minds operate in synchrony; they reinforce each other by the tales they tell each other. When scales are falling from the eyes of many, they fall that much more frequently from many others. When a reasonable woman of wide acquaintance begins to question, say, feminism, so do many others who hear of it.
The water of the river is now piling up in a confused mass at the foot of this titanic new dam that has ruined its old reliable courses. Where shall we send it?