Progressivism is totalitarian

Progressivism is an authoritarian impulse, whether its liberal or conservative. They are two sides of the same bent coin. Today, we are beset on all sides by those who desire to see their progressive urges initiated, despite the fact that a majority of Americans do not agree with them. Understanding human nature and its moral limitations is not in their repertoire. Neither is making the best of the possibilities. Instead, they would waste effort trying to change human nature.

The problem lies in what Progressives determine to be the self-evident superiority of their viewpoints. At its heart, it has determined capitalism and tradition to be insufficient, if not malignant, aspects of industrial society. Norms are not acceptable and must be legally challenged. Traditions have their roots principally in religion and must be eliminated. Liberty and freedom come second to égalité. Demand-driven results are insufficient, if not suspect. In other words, what you and I choose, and the results of the choice of the masses is never good enough if the results don’t match the Progressive vision. More than that, conflict theory is used to distort history and shame individuals with nonsense.

There is social progressivism and there is conservative progressivism, as I said. The first is usually described as a liberal tendency, though that is not always the case. Plenty of conservatives have social progressive tendencies. By the same token, liberals have adopted many of the traits of conservative progressives. Conservative progressivism might otherwise be called international progressivism. Some call strict adherents “neo-conservatives”.

Social Progressivism

Current positions associated with social progressives include same-sex marriage, government supplying contraceptives, public funding of stem cell research and abortion on demand.

Its no surprise that all of these positions are morally and ethically objectionable to most Americans. In “Enquiry Concerning Political Justice”, William Godwin wrote that man’s understanding and disposition were capable of intentionally creating social benefits. The “intention” to benefit others is the “essence” of virtue. Most Americans know the difference between something that works and “good intentions” and find little virtue in the latter. Facts are stubborn things, and uncomfortable for social progressives. As are the trade-offs they don’t talk about.

Same-sex marriage

Today, every man can marry a woman and every woman can marry a man in America. That’s equality. We disdain every other form of marriage, and there are dozens in the world. What Progressives seek is not some form of equality, but, in their mind, a form of enlightenment. Ask them if any of the other numerous forms of marriage should be allowed, and you get deer in the headlights. They could care less. They won’t talk about it.

A true libertarian impulse would suggest that any version of marriage anyone finds acceptable for themselves should be allowed, if traditional marriage is not good enough. But Social Progressives could care less. They see no benefit to their ego having “good intentions” only a few people care about. As a member of the smallest minority, the individual, pardon me, but if you don’t agree anyone can decide what marriage is, you’re a bigot.

The F*&k Abstinence Movement

Government-supplied contraceptives, stem cell research and abortion on demand are all symptoms of the timeless criticism of the United States. Like slavery, government is used as the catechism against what the individual knows is prudent. While Progressives contend government fixed these social problems, the reality is slavery existed because of government. It was the individual, like our Founders, who knew of the wrongness of the practice and helped found a country to end the practice. What would critics have? An America founded amidst the shame of slavery towards the goal of ending it, or no America at all? But they talk about how ugly history is, how “wouldn’t it be nice if we weren’t so bigoted”, all the while foisting racial and class warfare and a culture of death upon society. It doesn’t matter to Progressives that the only certain method of birth control is abstinence, or that stem cell research is dead, or that abortion on demand kills millions of the poor and minority. Those “unintended consequences” are irrelevant.

Conservative Progressivism

Conservative philosophy is usually tied to the notion of tradition so the notion of conservative progressivism might be confusing to some. Current positions of conservative progressivism include using American economic and military power to bring liberalism, democracy, and human rights to other countries. They are generally comfortable with a welfare state; and, while rhetorically supportive of free markets, they are willing to interfere for overriding social purposes. Our last Republican President is a case in point. When the time came, it was perfectly fine to toss the Constitution and free market principles.

Bringing democracy abroad

Conservative progressivism can trace its roots back to Teddy Roosevelt and his “manifest destiny” theme. Roosevelt believed that the English speaking world stood far in advance of the rest of the world and used this to justify American expansionism. The acquisition of the Phillipines was explained as a benefit to the ruled. Roosevelt sought to avoid class warfare and social disruption, and he tried to bring his party around to accepting what he thought were inevitable changes. By the end of his presidency, he was at war with his own party over his proposals to extend government regulation to the economy as a whole and to introduce a social welfare state. And in his effort to unseat Taft, Roosevelt went even further, championing a plebiscitary democracy with fewer constitutional checks.

This writer has no use for progressives of any stripe. Future endeavours to engineer democracy around the globe must be curtailed. This does not mean ending our status as the worlds policeman. The Torah says “If your enemy is coming to kill you, get out of bed and kill him first.” There is nothing wrong with self preservation. But it must be clearly distinguished from conservative progressivism. Equally so, the insincere efforts of Social Progressives to enlighten the rest of us must also be confronted. Caring for your neighbor and your local church assisting the poor must be divorced from the notion of government as “charity” or a proponent of enlightenment.

What must be understood is that progressivism – in whatever form – is antithetical to your individuality. You are nothing but part of the masses, waiting to be molded, improved, enlightened or emboldened. The progressive only waits for the chance to turn government into their very own danse macabre.

About Terry Crowley