Gay marriage, racism, and what everyone misses about the inevitability of social change

Don't buy into the progress vs. Dark Ages nonsense

Its course is not always predictable.
(Image credit: (Illustration Works/Corbis))

Every group of people has a worldview, and every worldview is based on stories that are at least partly mythical. For example, a key part of the progressive worldview is the idea that social change driven by appeals to science and reason is (a) good and (b) irreversible.

Exhibit A is usually the fate of institutional racism: Once upon a time, the story goes, racism was a given. Since the dawn of civilization, the superiority of some races over others was a basic assumption — until at some point in the 19th or 20th century, people, moved by the spirit of the Enlightenment, recognized that racism was false and moved to abolish it. Progress!

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