How did we arrive in this new golden era? We have advanced, become more open-minded, more accepting and more considerate. On the whole, people are treated as equals, regardless of gender, race or sexuality. We cherish our freedom. We like to be treated, and treat others, as individuals.
However, you must understand the world from the perspective of a New Progressive. Start by recognising that older people, like yourself, are motivated by selfishness and prejudice. You fail to notice injustice and ignore new ‘oppressions’ which are discovered daily. The old ways are crumbling. You must learn a new language, expected behaviours and ways of thinking.
From now on, consider everyone you know and identify them as ‘privileged’ or ‘vulnerable’. You can now start your journey to becoming a New Progressive.
Step 1: Learn your place
Being privileged used to mean having special rights or advantages based on power, influence and wealth. Now, you must reflect on your biology, race and sexual orientation. These define your position in the hierarchy of oppression.
Ask yourself who is privileged:
a) White investment banker
Answers: a) yes b) no c) yes d) no e) no f) no g) yes
Step 2: Find a victim and give them a voice. Your voice Those in need of genuine assistance are not ‘vulnerable’. Consider vulnerability from a different perspective. It is provided to those who are deemed ‘at risk’ of oppression. You must identify the specific oppression at the source of each person’s vulnerability. Act as their representative, to empower them. As their protector, you will gain confidence, authority and status. Although some may accuse you of becoming the newly privileged, you can be trusted because you represent the vulnerable.
Never grant autonomy to vulnerable people; they need to be protected from their own vulnerability.
Step 3: Seek offence on others’ behalf
If you rarely feel this way, you can become offended on behalf of people you don’t know. This is now revered. Alternatively, you can provide vocal support to anyone involved in the public shaming of an offender. This will enhance your status as a New Progressive.
Step 4: Don’t assume common values
Diversity is celebrated as an expression of our differences. As a New Progressive, you will understand that we have little in common with others, few shared values and no common culture. We are incapable of understanding, or truly empathising with, the experiences of people different from ourselves. So, rather than understand, you will show respect. You must remain true to your publicly labelled cultural heritage and avoid appropriating the culture of others.
When eating pasta, express appreciation to Italians; when eating potatoes thank the Irish. Listening to popular music, always remember to identify the cultural heritage of each instrument and melodic style, and pay appropriate deference.
Step 5: Don’t make any assumptions on the sex of others or your own
In the pre-progressive world, your sex was determined by whether you had a penis or a vagina. We now understand that this is a ‘social construct’. Adults are no longer ‘men’ and ‘women’; we self-identify on the fluid spectrum of sex and sexuality. At first, this may seem a difficult concept to grasp. However, you simply ask each person how they ‘identify’ and then change your language accordingly.
‘Mr’ and ‘Ms’ are now ‘oppressive’. Memorise the following to avoid giving offence:
Blx non-binary, fluid self identifying
Bmeh biologically male, but identifies as uninterested
Mre a mystery to the individual and everyone else
MLez biologically male, identifies as lesbian
M0 refuses to identify
Qr identifies as the opposite sex with an air of flamboyance
Tts identifies as mammary
Wknd non-binary in their spare time
Wnkr physical relationship with themselves
Step 6: Inducing shame is the new sex
Once upon a time, government censors banned books and films they deemed to be dangerous or morally corrupting. Censors particularly disliked sex. After a brief period of sexual liberation, we now understand that sex is merely the intimate expression of power between oppressed and oppressor. In the New Progressive world, you will help to openly shame writers, journalists and novelists. Those who write something that can be deemed offensive, must be admonished. By venting your anger and disapproval you will feel the therapeutic rush that results from moral cleansing. You will start to sense the righteous joy of being a New Progressive.
Step 7: Accept that there is no truth
You will develop your own truths by reflecting on your life in the context of your personal role as oppressor or oppressed. Create your narrative, through which to make sense of your own experience. This is your truth.
When putting forward your opinion, utilise ‘your story’. This enables others to place your viewpoint within the context of your underlying truth. Simply preface every sentence with ‘As a [insert relevant position within the oppression hierarchy]…’
As society develops, we are successfully replacing the quest for truth with the mutual respect of each other’s truths. We will remain true to our lived experience.
Step 8: Don’t be fooled by ‘public debate’ or ‘free speech’
In the olden days, free speech was revered. It was mistakenly believed that people should argue their case, counter opposing views and that everyone should be free to make up their own minds.
Now, we understand that people are vulnerable when exposed to speech from the privileged. Showing tolerance towards others with whom we disagree encourages incorrect thinking and discord. Remember, if someone disagrees with anything you say, it is because they are motivated by enmity towards you personally. They are often hiding their malevolence in the guise of open discussion. By disagreeing with you, they are undermining your very being.
Step 9: Promote moralism to replace morality
In the olden days, we lived by a generally accepted moral code and tried to be ‘good’. We established a common understanding of what was considered to be right and wrong. Acts of kindness, charity and selfless behaviour were appreciated and valued, especially when performed without any expected return. However, morality maintains our unequal power structure and a new approach is required.
To indicate your position as a New Progressive, it is important that you publicly display your ‘values’. Show ‘awareness’ of ‘issues’ in a demonstrative way. Wearing the appropriate wristband or badge is one way to achieve this. Alternatively, you can simply denounce others for not announcing their awareness of social injustices.
Step 10: Help to manage the relationships of others. You are not past it — embrace your new role with zeal. Stay strong, stay safe
Personal relationships are complicated. We all enjoy relationships with a wide variety of people. Some are intense and fundamental, others are less so. Different relationships embody emotional fulfilment, practical collaboration, shared humour, love, intellectual stimulation and a common outlook.
All relationships, though, are unequal. Because of the power imbalance, human interaction needs to be managed carefully. Your role is to promote appropriate behaviour and continuous education.
As a New Progressive, you can formulate and implement Codes of Conduct wherever people meet. This includes the workplace, colleges, universities, sports clubs, public bars and nightclubs. As you gain confidence, you can implement Relationship Contracts for your married friends.