Tag Archives: Progressivism

The Essence Of Progressivism Is Refusal To Deal With Reality, by Francis Menton

If only you controlled things and could make everyone else do what you want! Then the world would be just perfect. That belief is responsible for countless horrors and deaths. From Francis Menton at manhattancontrarian.com:

Reality is harsh. Let’s face it, our world is imperfect, often even deadly. Not only that, it’s always going to be imperfect. So let’s get to work on enjoying our brief lives as best we can amidst the imperfection, while striving for such incremental improvements to the world as are within our modest capabilities.

If you think that way, you definitely are not “woke.” To be a woke progressive the first requirement is that you must refuse to acknowledge the real world as it exists. You must pretend that the world is something else, something immediately transformable into a fantasy of perfection through coercive collective action. You also must firmly close your eyes to any facts or evidence that might contradict such progressive fantasy, and indeed you must demand that any such facts or evidence be suppressed and never mentioned.

Among numerous illustrations of this point, perhaps the most striking is the current hysteria sometimes going by the name “anti-racism.” Here, the official progressive fantasy is that any under-representation of blacks (or other minority group of your choice) at designated heights of society can only be the result of “systemic racism.” Therefore all must commit to the coerced program of “anti-racism,” whereupon, I presume, perfection will promptly be achieved.

Continue reading→

The Progressivism of the Future Is Really Just the Socialism of the Past, by Anthony P. Mueller

In terms of political philosophies, there really is nothing new under the sun. From Anthony P. Mueller at mises.org:

The world is currently in the midst of a newly aggressive drive to bring about a new socialist order through a powerful and “efficient” technocratic state. This new order has been labeled as “progressive,” but it is merely the latest version of the socialist impulse which we have seen before in the form of socialism and communism.

A War on Private Property

Summed up in a single sentence, the plans of the communists aim at the abolition of private property. From there, the other major demands follow, such as abolishing the family, nation, and countries, and finally, as Marx noted, “communism abolishes eternal truths, it abolishes all religion, and all morality.” In as much as the program of liberalism “if condensed into a single word….is private ownership of the means of production” (as described by Ludwig von Mises), the program of the communists is the abolition of private property.

A Promise of Efficiency and Expertise

Yet Marxian socialism—i.e., communism—has not found many followers in the United States. The communist appeal to justice and equality found more resonance in the old world. To have an appeal to the Americans, socialism had to be packaged differently. In the United States, the gospel of socialism appeared under the name of “progressivism” and was preached as bringing society to the highest degree of efficiency.

Under President Woodrow Wilson, progressivism attained its first peak as the dominant philosophy of the state. Society was to these socialists a single organization. The bureaucrats as public administrators found a vivid expression in the political novel Philip Dru: Administrator: A Story of Tomorrow by Edward Mandell House, who was a very close friend of Wilson and who served as the president’s most important political and diplomatic advisor.

Continue reading

Progressive Policies Wreck Everything, by John Stossel

Theft has never been a basis of progress, even when the government is doing the taking and it’s for a “good cause.” From John Stossel at townhall.com:

I laughed when I saw The Washington Postheadline: “Minneapolis had progressive policies, but its economy still left black families behind.”

The media are so clueless. Instead of “but,” the headline should have said, “therefore,” or “so, obviously.”

Of course, progressive policies failed! They almost always do.

“If you wanted a poster child for the progressive movement, it would be Minneapolis,” says Republican Minnesota Senate candidate Jason Lewis in my new video. “This is the same city council that voted to abolish the police department.”

The council, which has no Republicans, spends taxpayer money on most every progressive idea.

They brag that they recycle most everything. They have a plan to stop climate change. They tell landlords to whom they must rent. They will force employers to pay every worker $15 an hour. They even tell supermarkets what cereal they must sell.

Despite such policies, meant to improve life for minorities and the poor, the Minneapolis income gap between whites and Blacks is the second-highest in the country.

While that surprises the media, it’s no surprise to Lewis, who points out, “When you take away the incentive for work and savings and investment, you get less of it!”

Exactly. When the government sends checks to people who don’t work, more people don’t work. Guarantees like a high minimum wage raise the cost of potential workers, so some never get hired. High taxes to fund progressives’ programs make it difficult for businesses to open in the first place.

Continue reading→

Progressivism Survives Trumpism, by James Ostrowski

Other than Ron Paul, there is no major political figure, including Trump, championing individualism and freedom as paramount ideals. The belief in governments’ coercive power and beneficence runs deep. From James Ostrowski at lewrockwell.com:

In my book, Progressivism:  A Primer (2014), I advanced a bold thesis: that progressivism, properly understood as the belief that aggressive state violence in the form of various interventions into the market and private voluntary behavior will improve human life, is America’s ruling ideology, dominating the thinking of both parties and accepted to a large degree by the vast majority of Americans including Republicans.  I provided evidence that no major progressive programs were abolished during Republican administrations, even during periods when the Republicans controlled the Presidency and both houses of Congress.  The question now is, has anything changed in light of the election of Donald Trump and subsequent events?

Trump’s own ideology, to the extent that it can be discerned, does not contradict my thesis.  He is a pragmatist with no clear or firm ideology beyond his populism and nationalism.   As explained in my book, pragmatism melds nicely into progressivism as it leads to a desire to experiment with various government interventions that a rigid ideology might preclude.  Populism can be defined as the desire to do what is good for average people as opposed to elites, which, in the absence of ideological libertarianism, could very well involve a variety of progressive programs.  Nationalism is yet another fuzzy concept susceptible to many meanings including a libertarian interpretation.  Trump’s nationalism manifests itself mainly in the form of increased trade protectionism.  Using tariffs and other legal means to restrict and regulate trade with foreign counties is itself a clear example of progressivism.  It is the use of aggressive government force—force against peaceful people–to make human life better.

Continue reading