June is Pride Month. And in the West, whether it is actually June or not, Pride now casts a very long shadow over politics and popular culture. Twenty years ago, this was hardly the case. Back then, Pride festivals were simply a narrow cultural phenomenon of direct interest to a small share of the population. Today, it is anything but.

In a short span of time, we have developed several new and vaunted Pride Month traditions. One such is the bearing of witness to tacky and borderline parodic virtue-signaling by governmental and corporate entities. This year, the US Marine Corps posted an image riffing on the movie poster for the 1987 film, Full Metal Jacket, depicting a combat helmet decorated with rainbow-colored bullets, with the caption “born to serve” scrawled on it.

So Pride has gone from being a totem among a small sexual minority to something enthusiastically evangelized by the state itself. This co-optation opens the question of “woke imperialism”—best illustrated by the image of a rainbow flag flying from a fortified US outpost in Afghanistan.

“The turn toward spreading morality instead of spreading the wealth is, when all is said and done, a celebration of inevitable decline.”

Get the best of Compact right in your inbox.

Sign up for our free newsletter today.

Great! Check your inbox and click the link.
Sorry, something went wrong. Please try again.