Everything that Collapses Must Converge*

Amnesty International was founded in 1961 to protest persecution of prisoners of conscience.  It was always biased towards dissidents of the New Left, but was not, in its youth, a rigidly Leftist outfit. But it became the textbook illustration of Robert Conquest’s Second Law of Politics, and is today fully “converged.”

I was reminded of this last week when I received this e-mail from the Vice President of our campus chapter of Amnesty International.

Howdy Activists!
. . . Please join us in hearing from Dr. Lindo talk to us about both contraception and abortion policy, how Texas has been one of the most aggressive states in enacting policies that have limited access to reproductive health care . . .

A Texas woman frustrated by the inconvenience of procuring an abortion is now, it seems, tantamount to a political prisoner of conscience.

Robert Conquest was British historian of the Soviet Union, and a reactionary in the vein of his friend Kingsley Amis.  His Second Law of Politics states:

“Any organization not explicitly right-wing sooner or later becomes left-wing.”

This has been more recently (and cryptically) expressed,

“Cthulhu swims left, and left, and left.”

“Convergence” is another new word to describe the way in which every organization not explicitly and fanatically opposed to Leftism will eventually be drawn to the center of the Leftist whirlpool, where it will be indistinguishable from every other organization in the Sargasso Sea of progressive “activism”.

Imagine a civic organization called Citizens for a Beautiful Porkville, originally founded to pick-up litter along the highways leading in and out of Porkville, Iowa. Following Conquest’s Second Law, Citizens for a Beautiful Porkville will, sooner or later, expand into other forms of “environmental activism,” will inform the public that litter is part of a larger male problem, and begin to beat its breast over the systemic racism that excludes minorities from the monthly litter pickup along State Highways 12 and 40.  And before you know it, Citizens for a Beautiful Porkville (its title ambiguated by the acronym CBP) is renting buses to drive to the Boarder and demonstrate on behalf of “asylum-seekers.”

Leftists see convergence as humanity progressing along “the arc of history.” Rightest see it as the result of infiltration by angry cat ladies and pathetic neckbeards who are fiendishly clever and diabolically tireless. If we equate history with Cthulhu, and “the arc of history” with “Cthulhu swims left,” I think there is much to be said for both views. Pushing a Leftist cause is like pushing a out-of-gas car downhill, but Leftists are also much more committed to pushing Leftism whenever and wherever they can.

I see that the executive committee of Amnesty International began to support access to abortion in 2007, when it became clear to them that a woman who is forced to carry her child to term is really undergoing torture, if you looked at in the right way.



*) Apologies to Flannery O’Connor.

22 thoughts on “Everything that Collapses Must Converge*

  1. My counterpoint is weak but nevertheless: in the mid/late 90’s, someone wrote a book called “Dow 50,000” and it has since been sent to the museum of histories ironic moments, as the market crashed shortly after its publication. I refer to the idea that “everything will be good forever” as the Dow 50,000 fallacy, and the converse as the Dow 0 fallacy. Nothing stays good or stays bad. If you predict the opposite of the trend on an arbitrary timeframe, youll be right 100% of the time.

    I would amend the law of politics to read “any organization that exists long enough to form a bureaucracy becomes a tyranny”, which applies to both right and left wing politics because to my mind conservatives are just as prone to tyranny as liberals, they just happen to be out of power at the moment.

      • Tyrannical power attracts the tyrannical. As general power attracts the corrupt who are skilled in acquiring said power.

      • I think tyranny originates in the will, but is given more or less opportunity by circumstances. Police work gives many opportunities for petty tyranny, and therefore attracts petty tyrants, but it obviously doesn’t make formerly good men into tyrants. Monarch places few checks on a tyrannical personality, but there have been many just and humane kings. Parental power is potentially tyrannical because it is so asymmetrical and so often exercised in private, and this asymmetry and privacy are inherent to the parent-child relationship, but parenthood is not inherently tyrannical.

  2. Twenty years ago, or so, I was hired to be the first executive director of an outfit (it shall remain unnamed) that touted itself as the conservative counter to the Modern Language Association. It had already been in existence for three years. It quickly became clear to me that in those three years it had veered considerably leftward from its founding statement. In my time in office (about eighteen months), I concluded that the organization would simply become the ultra-snobby version of the MLA, with no real ideological difference. So I resigned and moved to Upstate New York.

    • I sensed the same thing with the National Association of Scholars. It was more grumpy than principled, and would therefore drift left one death at a time. And its not just that the grumpy old men die off, they have a fatal hunger to be seen as decent by their enemies, and are individually eager to yield on any issue that doesn’t annoy them personally.

      • I owe a personal debt to Steve Balch, the founder and longtime president of the organization, and I like Peter Wood, the current president. I maintained my NAS membership for two decades beginning in the early 1990s. I contributed to Academic Questions many times. But after twenty years, asking myself the question, what good has it done? — I lost interest and let my affiliation lapse.

  3. Pathetic cat ladies and neckbeards couldn’t strategically destroy Western functionality in all institutions without exceptions.

    Who is behind it all was let-in when God was excised from the Western mind.

    The left is a means to spiritual destruction; that’s what it is for. Convergence is self chosen damnation at the community level.

    • I am too inclined to think of this philosophically, as men whose belief system is not anchored by the concept of God. This is not wrong, and men’s minds do drift when this anchor is cast off, but I should also think of it theologically. God is a being, not just a concept, and he is a being with whom we can be in wrong or right relations. The Old Testament language of “hiding his face” strikes me as highly relevant. The Prodigal Son had to go home before his father was reconciled with him. His father did not follow him to the far-away city.

  4. Pingback: Everything that Collapses Must Converge* | Reaction Times

  5. Pingback: Cantandum in Ezkhaton 11/17/19 | Liberae Sunt Nostrae Cogitatiores

  6. Is there any ostensibly Right and anti-Left organization that remains consistent with the Right from 100 years ago at least in principles? My general observations have been that the Right swims with Cthulu but only slower.

    • I think that is correct. Organizations that don’t are criminalized (e.g. the Klan), or marginalized (e.g. the John Birch Society), or vilified as nefarious (e.g. Opus Dei). If the Boy Scouts had not converged with progressivism, I suppose it would be likened to the Hitler Youth

      • Just some observations from within.

        Yes, the Boy Scouts of America have been infected with liberalism. Some examples:

        • Despite having consistently won all court cases that sought to force the BSA to allow sodomites to join, in 2103, it shot itself in the foot by allowing youth sodomites in. In the years preceding that move, membership in the BSA was declining by about 2% per annum; in 2013 and 2014, membership declined about 6% per annum. Doubling down on the error, they admitted sodomite leaders in 2015. They let “transgender” individuals join in 2017. (By that time, it seems that all who would leave the group over such policies had gone, and there was no concurrent sharp decline in membership.)

        • The BSA let girls join Cub Scouts in late 2017, and girls started being able to join Boy Scouts, now renamed “Scouts BSA,” this year.

        • The premier adult leader training, called Wood Badge, requires that participants complete five projects that benefit the participant’s unit or other organization. One of those projects must be a “diversity” project.

        Yet for all its liberal flaws, the BSA retains much that is good and admirable. It promotes character development, service to others, individual growth, responsibility, patriotism, religious belief, and other positive characteristics. The vast majority of adult leaders are good, decent people who care about the youth they serve. However, since the vast majority of American adults are liberals, it follows that nearly every American organization will be liberal, too. Sadly, the BSA is no different.

        If American Heritage Girls or Trail Life USA, two single-sex Scouting-like organizations that are explicitly Christian, had units anywhere near me, then that’s what my children would be involved in. They don’t, so we’re all active in the BSA—and we’re better for it.

      • I was a Scout and assumed my sons would be as well. They both started out in Scouts, but dropped out after a few years. I didn’t blame them, based on what I had seen. It didn’t have anything to do with politics or convergence. The first thing I noticed was that the troop had way more adults than my old troop. We had a Scoutmaster and Assistant Scoutmaster, whereas this troop had a dozen adults of no clear rank walking around in neckerchiefs. The second thing was that it was intensely merit-badge oriented. My old troop was camping-oriented. It didn’t produce many eagle scouts, but you were expected to spend one night in the woods at least once in every month of the year. Since this was in western New York state, that meant the campfire we cooked on was often at the bottom of a very deep hole in the snow. I’ve spent most of my adult life around spiritual eagle scouts of both sexes, but my heart has always been with my patrol, stoically shivering around that campfire.

      • As you know, Scout troops are supposed to be youth-led, with the adults around to provide constructive guidance (and help prevent injuries). The more successful troops are youth-led. They go camping monthly, and do what the boys want to do, with some input & guidance from the adults. Unfortunately, not everyone understands, or implements, the distinction between “adult involvement” and “adults in charge” as well as they ought to.

        On the flip side of that, due to injuries and lawsuits, there are a lot more regulations now, too. Adults have to be there to let the Scouts know that while a certain activity might seem like a lot of fun, you can’t do that in Scouting.

  7. Reblogged this on Patriactionary and commented:
    Someone recently asked me, regarding the new charity that Chick-fil-A has chosen to support, Covenant House, “What does homelessness have to do with ‘gay rights’?”, which they enthusiastically endorse. Nothing, of course, per se. But all must converge, unless they refuse from the get-go. Thus Amnesty International is now lost, too.


Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.