Can Progressives and Non-Progressives be Friends? A Personal Testimony

About six years ago, I finally and once-and-for-all threw into the bin my copies of Deleuze, Lacan and the whole rag-tag bunch of post-modern “thinkers”. I stopped watching the grindingly conceited BBC and stopped reading the equally biased and smug Guardian. I started going to church again after a gap of nearly 30 years. I started to learn Russian and spent as much time as I possibly could in the Evil Empire (Holy Rus). I said “Down with the ‘Human Rights Brigade’ and their barely-concealed secular-imperialism!” I rejoiced in Brexit, Trump and Putin in Crimea and wept over the state-police-media hate campaign against the unborn. I breathed the air of freedom, and it tasted good. I knew all I could expect was disbelief and antipathy from the Thought Police who inhabit all areas of ‘civil society’ in the West, be they on the media, in the state, at work or at university; but what of my friends? Liberals to a man (or person) who like me had drunk the flimsy idées reçues of the post-war Establishment with their mother’s milk? 
Whenever we make a life-change there is usually a sacrifice. But without any sacrifice we can’t move on to the next stage of life.
It is always painful and so we resist it and put it off until the impulse inside us becomes overwhelming. It is much easier to live in the make-believe world of the liberal. A world with no sin, no absolute moral code, a world where the doctrine is “go with the flow”, follow your heart (this usually means, “be a slave to the passions”). A world with no transcendent truths. But the world of the liberal is also a very boring one where something as tedious and repetitive as hedonism is elevated to a religion. By hedonism I do not simply mean the endless and vacant material comfort so prevalent in post-war Germany or Australia with their moronic consumers, or the endless search for pleasure of the young,  I mean what Solzhenitsyn called “the mistaken path of worshiping man and his material needs” in which “man is the measure of all things.” A world without sin is also a world without redemption. A world without the cross is also a world without the resurrection. A world without Good and Evil is a world without The Battle; defeat and victory. I had finally prepared myself to “lose” some dear and long-standing friends. A few went fairly quickly, revealing to me what I had always really known; ie. That liberals are the most intolerant people on earth after the Islamic State, which brings me to the first thing I noticed in my “passing over the frontline” into the opposing camp. 
Having been, or at least kidded myself, that I was “a liberal” for most of my adult life (though not my pre-adult life) I was well-placed to view the weltanschauung of progressives and conservatives from the outside. The thing that first really astonished me and continues so to do about progressives is their almost total lack of awareness, either of self-awareness or awareness of the inconsistencies in their positions. They are not wholly to blame for this and I will explain why that is a little later. But firstly, what do I mean by “lack of awareness”? An example is this; many progressives I meet consider themselves to be very “tolerant”, in fact they even consider this to be one of the “guiding principles” of their world-view. Anyone who has lived as a non-progressive for even just one day will immediately roll about laughing when confronted with this nonsense. My advice to these “tolerant” people is this – ok, if you think liberals are tolerant, go to work tomorrow wearing a “Trump / Pence” T-shirt, make no secret of your views that sex outside marriage is a sin, propose a toast to Vladimir Putin at your works lunch, ask people if they want to join your pro-life vigil at the weekend, when people fawn over “the office Muslim” showing him the way to his “prayer room” at Ramadan, demand a room for yourself to say the Rosary in during Lent, worst of all, say you think that “gay marriage” is actually as impossible as a female “priest” and so on. Then you will see how truly “tolerant” your fellow progressives are (actually you will quickly be fired or outcast to such a degree that you have to resign). Another example of the unawareness of progressives are their views on the buzz-word “diversity”. Just as today’s progressives are resolutely intolerant of dissent they are also despisers of real diversity. The truth is that no one hates diversity more than a liberal. This is obvious in the rafts of “diversity” policies which promise superficial diversity based on the way people look (race) or their sexual mores but absolute uniformity in terms of actual belief. So it is ok even to be a “Catholic” as long as you don’t insist on teaching your children about sin, the devil, the Fall, man and woman, as long as you “keep your ‘religion’ private and don’t mention it, ever in public.”  Let us pick the most Maoist and Evangelistic progressive organisation of them all; Amnesty International. The aim of this organisation is the aim of all progressives worldwide; to destroy anything that stands in the way of modern, liberal, secular materialism as a world-view. The weapons used in this combat are the so-called “western values” which should strike fear into the heart of any man or woman who is not 100% committed to the progressivist cause, be they Congolese tribesmen or Roman Catholic nuns. The doctrine is this: all cultures will be homogenised and the millennialist Age of Happiness will begin, brought about by Google’s adventure into all aspects of human life. A telling example of this “rejoicing in homogenisation” can be found in academia and I will take the specific example of the Academy’s burgeoning interest in “religion”. Without a doubt there is no diversity in universities at all anymore. Something which now almost everyone admits - even liberals. I sometimes wonder what it must have been like when there was real diversity in such places – say in the Sorbonne of the thirties when communists battled fascists and monarchists and Catholics in turn battled socialists and fascists. It’s a far cry from the rainbow flags, “safe spaces” and “hate speech” of today’s universities. Recently a lot of western academics (usually Scandinavian or German women) have been getting very upset about the Orthodox Church and Putin’s Russia both of which represent to them a last bastion of “retardedness” against the Progressive Tsunami. Many of their articles end with the prognosis that in any case “liberalism will triumph” just as it did in the Catholic Church during and after Vatican II, after a long, hard battle of 300 years.  Likewise there will be a big “dumbing down” of liturgical practice, Mount Athos will be forced to accept women and so decline into a secular, tourist venue for gap-year students with smart phones, in short the Church will be re-oriented towards man (and woman) and forced to become just another secular, homogenised , state institution like the Anglican Church. A degutted, monstrous museum – a joke. When these “warriors for diversity” have finally cleansed the world of Hassidic Jews, traditionalist Christians, conservative Muslims, Old Believers, Amish and anyone who doesn’t sign up to the LGBTC++ Bible of Human Progress, then they will finally be able to sing their song of victory. But we ain’t gonna go without a fight. 
So why is it that progressives are not themselves wholly to blame for their lack of self-knowledge? The reason is very simple. It is true that they do have free will like all men, but like all men of all times they are also lazy and heavily influenced by their surroundings.
This is especially true of young people who want to “belong” and so are reluctant to question anything. They never meet a non-progressive and their weltanschauung is never challenged by the western media, their work-colleagues, their families, their universities and schools. They live in a bubble. As I said before, “the fish does not know what water is”. So it is with liberals. I sincerely believe that if some of them could (like a flash of lightening) see how fake and flimsy is their fool’s paradise that it would actually kill them. But they are simply unable to step outside their infantilised paradise and question (for example) the whole invention of “human rights” in the way that Solzhenitsyn, for example, so eloquently did. This state of mind is very close to mental illness. One only need look at the hysteria (I don’t use this word lightly but with its true clinical diagnosis) of the entire media over Trump and Russia. This represents an almost non-stop vomiting forth of desperate lies ad infinitum in search for the ‘killer bullet’. I know this infernal machine myself first-hand now thanks to my knowledge of its really appalling smears and lies on the pro-life campaign repeated over and over again despite the fact that these people actually know the truth.  
Back to my friends and colleagues. It might be said that personally I represent an anomaly to both left and right. I am a vegetarian Evangelist, in fact really I should be a vegan but a little hypocrisy makes the world go round. I am an environmentalist but yet an Orthodox Christian who believes that this world is ultimately passing away (in fact materialist progressives also believe this only they believe that when the world goes there will be only a silent expanse, nowhere and forever, so why they bother about anything anyway is beyond me).  I am an anti-Capitalist (that horror of Modernity!) but a believer in inequality. I am able to like Tolstoy and Dostoevsky. All this being said, I myself would never dream of jettisoning a friend based on their beliefs, no matter how absurd and half-baked those beliefs are. The difference is that I live in a world steeped in the progressive agenda. My beliefs are challenged as soon as I wake up in the morning and switch on the radio so I have to be “tolerant” or would no longer be alive. 
So can progressives and non-progressives be friends? My personal experience is that it depends on the progressive. If they are able to have their beliefs challenged and not run whinging away to the nearest safe-space then of course, because I truly believe in human free will.