“The personal is the political” is a New Leftist slogan. I think what it really means is morality is altruist-collectivist-statist. Your values are not personal, but are bound up in and determined by politics.
This inversion of hierarchy makes politics more fundamental than morality, and so demotes values. Values are no longer intensely personal, but are collectivist: one conforms out of duty to the group. This creates a bizarre way of looking at the world, as seen in this video by Rock the Vote, which advises young people to withhold sex from people who oppose the leftist campaign to nationalize medicine.
Religious fundamentalists would probably say the young people in this video are “selfish” because they’re having sex. As Mencken said, puritanism is the suspicion that someone somewhere is having fun. The real problem with the morality of these young people — promiscuous-collectivist, if you will — is that they lack the true self-esteem to feel intense passion about their values. Instead sex is all casual. Let’s do it. No, let’s not do it because you oppose health care reform. Whatever.
These young conformists are the product of Dewey’s educational theory, which makes “socialization” an important concern of education. Americans now have a socialized morality and way of thinking. The Democrats are currently in the process of remaking our society so that it reflects the prevailing morality.
The brilliance of the New Left is that they focused on changing culture first, and left economics to follow. An individualist culture would never accept socialism, but a collectivist culture will go along with statism in docile obedience. The wonder is that our fragmented, diverse nation still has a significant portion of individualists resisting the growth of the state.