Situational dominance is contingent on local factors.
For example, a 5’4 female teacher with a firm demeanor is situationally dominant over a classroom full of 5-year-olds. If she raises her voice, she can even be intimidating. Outside the classroom situation, however, she’s a short woman in a low-prestige profession who will have trouble commanding general respect unless there are other mitigating factors. Certainly, she’d have problems bossing around rowdy teenagers.
In the cultural scene — particularly in publishing of all kinds — progressives enjoy a limited situational dominance.
On a university campus, if someone tells you that you have to check your privilege — and you’re trying to move up from being an associate professor — you must submit utterly or have your life destroyed. Even if the person is a 55 year old lesbian who had to quit molesting kids because she became too ugly to have them fall for the ol’ candy-van trick anymore, if you’re an associate professor and she’s the committee chair, you need to grovel to her.
Leftists tend to enjoy that sort of situational dominance over American institutions which becomes absolutely irrelevant outside their particular legal context. In a fistfight, the 55-year-old lesbian loses every time against all but the shrimpiest of men. In an academic-legal conflict, she will win just about every time.
As progressives lose influence and authority internationally and even within their own countries, they’ll find themselves only really empowered where people are compelled to respect their authority. Facing up with that retraction from the world must result in far greater interference and focus on the internal lives of average citizens. And so where there were unprincipled exceptions — like how Silicon Valley could get away without having HR departments and obeying the letter and spirit of Civil Rights Law — they must be expunged, because keeping the leftward momentum internationally is proving to be untenable, as we see with the rebuffed Middle Eastern democratic revolutions being pushed back by ISIS in some regions and by a return to military rule in Egypt.
Much of the consternation about progressive influence over Western culture comes from grousing about the situational dominance of progressives over institutions that they control (such as the US government or academia).
Yes, progressives can get your video game censored, because they own almost all of the magazines and successful websites, and the rest of the media besides. Yes, they can debauch your currency with a central bank, because progressives dominate economics departments and universities in general.
Much of the criticism comes from a sort of moralizing position — “hey, progressives, you should really think twice about using your power, because it’s mean and morally wrong.” This has never worked, but it’s the only opposition which progressives permit — grousing, and grousing is useful to progressives because it helps to identify people for them to exterminate later.
“Seeing Like the State” is especially good at furnishing several examples from many different countries about the utility of temporarily permitting dissent to states. It tells you who your enemies are, so you can have them all killed later, while doing almost nothing to challenge your power.
The point of this is to argue that it’s a bad idea to challenge progressives in areas where they have institutional control. You could counter by using the recent example of right-wingers crashing the Hugo Awards, but ultimately, what that was good for was just demoralizing fringe progressives while heartening some right-wing genre fiction fans. The official science fiction author’s groups are, for the most part, still solidly progressive, and will continue to be so. Creating alternative institutions is more important and effective than trying to take over progressive institutions which are only nominally neutral.
The more profound impact on progressive institutions has come from the re-emergence of self publishing and small publishing enabled by Amazon and its eBook platform — a mostly neutral bookstore which has contributed much to the weakening of the progressive critical establishment, which they complain about endlessly. When the opposition complains about something, it’s wonderful, because they’re telling you where the pain is, and if they’re telling you where the pain is, then that’s where you should apply more pressure to cause more of it.
It’s also important to understand that, when making moral arguments in a progressive country, where most people believe in most of the tenets of progressivism, that you have the low ground when making such arguments. It’s futile to criticize progressives on moral grounds which they don’t accept, and which the majority of Westerners tend not to accept. You have to shore up the alternative moral institutions to provide those opposing sources of authority in order to create a self-sustaining resistance.