The Red Century
It’s the sad destiny of all progressive movements that gangs of wily opportunists easily master the progressive lingo of the day and begin to destroy the movement from within under the guise of fighting for purity among the ranks.
The first to fall are always the most earnest believers because they genuinely care for the cause and can be easily convinced that they are the source of all sorts of harm. First, they engage in public acts of renunciation and self-shaming. But that’s never enough, so they always get destroyed or expelled.
The last left standing are the coldest, most cynical bastards who believe in nothing but their own advancement. They terrorize the less cynical members of the movement into compliance, and gradually the movement becomes its own exact opposite. Champions of the working class turn into rich exploitative bastards. The defenders of the indigenous burn indigenous villages. Feminists cheer the subjection of women.
Progressive movements are almost never defeated by outside enemies. They are destroyed from within because of their peculiar nature of dependence on words.