History really did end, not because things stopped changing but because they stopped staying the same. There was a time not long ago when the past seemed to have some weight, and that which had long endured was assumed to have deep roots. A conservative accusing progressives of seeking to change the definition of marriage from what it has been “for thousands of years” alludes to this sense. A progressive invoking the “long arc of history” does as well. Now, effective resistance to the Left has nearly ceased to exist, and one can expect any aspect of social life to be transformed or eliminated as soon as a consensus on the Left forms that social justice demands it. Whether this is good or bad, it means the death of the historical sense. 
This might seem an odd accusation, at least when directed at progressives. After all, their entire worldview is indignation at the oppressive past and devotion to a utopian future. But this worldview is ahistorical in the sense that modernists used to accuse traditionalists of being ahistorical in their devotion to the past, in that the past is imagined to have been static (all history until yesterday being white Christian patriarchal oppression in about equal measure as far as the progressive is concerned) and morally unambiguous (evil, in this case). (Whiggery, by contrast, was not ahistorical in this sense.) Nor can today’s progressive imagine what future progressives will be demanding in a hundred years; if he could imagine it, he would be demanding it right now. So he is not consciously a link in a continuous progression. His moment is the phase transition from evil to good, the only truly dynamic moment of mankind.
In the face of Leftist power, the conservative also steps outside of history. The past has no enduring presence, and we feel completely alone when we believe what all of our ancestors believed. The future has no reality for us. It no longer makes sense to say that one is fighting to preserve something for one’s children or grandchildren. The time of their adulthood presumably will come, but it is beyond our horizon; we can neither predict it nor do anything to influence it. As I’ve written before, the whole purpose of conservatism has changed. One no longer fights liberalism with hopes of victory or even stalemate. Defiance is a performance, an act of fidelity–to God, to the truth as one sees it, or to oneself–carried out for its own sake. Because it cannot accomplish anything, there is no obligation, no uniquely right decision. The very fact that a man has only the present compels him to decide what he wants to do with his time (a short time, but the only time that is real to him), how he wants to live it.