The delusions of the progressives

Thanks to Donald Douglas, I found this article on what “progressive” has actually meant in the past:

‘Progressivism’: the greatest source of death and terror in the twentieth century
By George Neumayr | Sun Feb 16, 2014 20:00 EST

February 14, 2014 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The English author George Orwell wrote that “political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.” In the history of manipulative political language, the term “progressive” surely occupies a high place.

The term is used incessantly to describe policies, political figures, and churchmen, among others, whom a liberal elite deem enlightened. Through repetitive use of “progressive,” modern liberals have hoped to gull the public into equating progressive with progress. But no such equation is justified. The gulf between the rhetoric of “progress” and the reality of progress is glaring.

The darkness of the twentieth century is sufficient to dissuade anyone from confusing “progressive” with progress. Its vilest ideologies were all presented as “progressive.” In the name of bettering humanity, self-described progressives felt emboldened to “progress” beyond the most basic precepts of reason and the natural law.

While some causes labeled “progressive” in the twentieth century qualify as either innocuous or at least debatable, many were unmistakably evil. The century’s eugenic schemes, for example, came not from so-called reactionaries but from proud self-described progressives. The West’s leading judges and university presidents championed eugenics openly before World War II.

In the 1920s, Oliver Wendell Holmes, considered a pillar of progressivism, thought nothing of calling for widespread sterilization of whomever the elite considered inferior. After all, he wrote, “It is better for all the world if, instead of waiting to execute degenerate offspring for the crime or to let them starve for their imbecility, society can prevent those who are manifestly unfit from continuing their kind…. Three generations of imbeciles are enough.”

More at the link.

While Mr Neumayr goes through the sad and sorry history of what the “progressives” thought to be progress, I’m interested in this quote he note from Hilary Clinton, during her thankfully-failed 2008 presidential campaign:

I prefer the word ‘progressive,’ which has a real American meaning, going back to the Progressive Era at the beginning of the 20th century. I consider myself a modern progressive – someone who believes strongly in individual rights and freedoms, who believes that we are better as a society when we’re working together and when we find ways to help those who may not have all the advantages in life, get the tools they need to lead a more productive life for themselves and their family. So I consider myself a proud modern American progressive, and I think that’s the kind of philosophy and practice that we need to bring back to American politics.

It would be difficult to find a more self-contradictory statement. You cannot both “(believe) strongly in individual rights and freedoms” and “(believe) that we are better as a society when we’re working together,” unless that second belief is one which is subordinate to the first, and hold that the rights of the individual to not go along with what others may want are paramount. The health care plan is a perfect example: Mrs Clinton believes that everyone should work together, to make us better as a society, if all buy health insurance . . . and supported a plan in which the individual’s right to choose not to buy health insurance was simply overridden.

But that is the essential nature of the “progressive:” if the “progressive” decides that something is in everyone’s better interests, then that something should be and must be imposed on everyone by the government, and the rights of those who disagree are simply inconsequential. Liberalism, progressivism, are necessarily incompatible with freedom, because they are based on the notion that state power can legitimately be used to enforce their ideas and policies.

7 Comments

  1. There is nothing “progressive” about a 19th century economic/political philosophy which has resulted in bloodbaths and poverty everywhere it’s been tried. America, because of our belief in the freedom of the individual and the individuals God given right to keep the fruits of his labors, has contributed more to the well being, health, technology and achievements of people than anything any communist or “progressive” could ever hope to. The most important economic right we have is the right to own property. That ownership begins with oneself and continues to his labor his wealth and his real estate. Any government that can unlawfully take a man’s property can take his wealth, his labor and eventually his life. And history shows governments will do just that. Even today in communist nations like North Korea, murder, rape, executions and “disappearances” occur on a daily basis. While they wait in line for toilet paper in Venezuela and bask in the radiant glow produced by their 4 hours a day of electric power in Cuba we have our own people here who practice sedition on the very nation who has provided them with Freedoms average people have never enjoyed in the history of mankind. But as ropelight and DNW frequently point out the seditious bastards want to “feed” off the rest of us and when denied, call us the “greedy” ones. Pot, meet kettle. Someone needs to explain to me how I’m greedy for wanting to keep the money I earned yet Perry considers himself compassionate and generous by stealing my money through the force and power of government and giving it to someone of his choosing.

  2. Eric might be right when he more or less asserts that there is nothing to figure out when it comes to leftists. That, they really have no ideology other than expediency in the name of self-gratification. Meaning they will do or say, whatever it is that will get them what they want with the least personal effort possible.

    On the other hand they do continually promote a particular view of reality which is radically at odds with the view of reality held by most of the people who made this country into the economic powerhouse and bastion of freedom that it has been up the the present point.

    And as you might expect I’m not talking about Darwinism or evolution here. I’m referring to something more profoundly radical which has become the core principle held by most leftists … which is nihilism. No objective truth. No actual natural kinds. Materialistic monism, man as meat machine, intentionality, consciousness and the very self as an illusion …

    Yet after granting the progressive his premises, and then viewing him through the lens he has provided us, we are expected to take these admittedly soulless, center-less, pointless congeries of appetites as significant and important and worthy of consideration, for some reason other than feeling a need for their company.

    And no matter how often you ask these son-of-bitches how exactly that is supposed to work in the face of all that they have said about the pointlessness of a largely illusory existence, including by implication their own pointless existences, they are unable to say; and just go back to yammering in your face like some kind of fleshy machines inhabited by demons from the age of the Scriptures.

    Is there, to use AOTC’s phrasing, really no one behind those eyes of theirs? If so, who or what is it?

    And frankly, if Eric is right that they neither believe nor are actuated by the principles they espouse, but are merely cynical, manipulative, exploitative parasitical and exceedingly intellectually shallow hypocrites, it’s just as bad.

    Is there no progressive anywhere who can defend those claims he makes against the lives of others who owe him nothing?

  3. Yet after granting the progressive his premises, and then viewing him through the lens he has provided us, we are expected to take these admittedly soulless, center-less, pointless congeries of appetites as significant and important and worthy of consideration, for some reason other than feeling a need for their company.

    What could be is the left wingers have TWO views of reality. One which applies to the rest of us, the other which applies to themselves. Notice how the global warming frauds expect US to make sacrifices “For the planet”, while THEY get to keep living high on the hog. Or notice how Perry once agreed with Pho that humans were just soulless meat machines (basic science, according to Perry), but then got all indignant when YOU referred to him as “Soulless”. In short, THEY are privileged while WE are scum.

    Or, take the notion of “Equality”. Dennis Prager, who is normally a pretty smart guy, insists that left wingers really are motivated by equality. This is nonsense. The left winger clearly sees himself as superior (and thus fit to rule) and us as inferior, and thus needing to be ruled by them. They may favor a rude sort of equality for the proles, an equality of poverty and lack of individual rights, the sort of “Equality” enjoyed by the serfs of North Korea. But for themselves they have no desire to join in this equality. Like I said, they want to be the privileged class, the ruling class. They’re just better at hiding this than most of history’s previous tyrant classes.

  4. I was reading over at The Lonely Conservative about how Perry’s comrades are killing any opposition to their communist “ideals”. Caracas is in flames. Dead citizens lying in the streets, many shot in the head. And surprise, the government is closing down news rooms. You know, like the Democrats here want to do to FOX and some others in the good ole US of A. Remember, Chavez and Venezuela are supported by Cuba. Comrade Perry’s storm troopers are all over the globe.

  5. Hoagie
    Friday, 21 February 2014 at 09:56

    I was reading over at The Lonely Conservative about how Perry’s comrades are killing any opposition to their communist “ideals”. Caracas is in flames. Dead citizens lying in the streets, many shot in the head. And surprise, the government is closing down news rooms. You know, like the Democrats here want to do to FOX and some others in the good ole US of A. Remember, Chavez and Venezuela are supported by Cuba. Comrade Perry’s storm troopers are all over the globe.”

    Yeah, government paramilitary Tupamaro allies, mounted on motorcycles, riding in gangs and shooting up the place.

    Goodness, what has Perry had to say about all of this on his website? Something about Bush or Israel?

  6. It’s not only their delusions about the murderous political policy they endorse, it’s their delusional inability to open their eyes to see the economic destruction their domestic fiscal policies create. A guy (MPH) at Newsbusters had this comment about how delusional Obama and his dopey followers are when it comes to the consequences of his own damn dumb policies:

    He increased spending 30+% his first year ($800,000,000,000), and he thinks he’s been dealing with austerity? Moron! If he’s been dealing with “austerity”, then W. Bush must have been dealing with destitution.

    Charles Krauthammer already covered this (all the following are his words):

    I find it astonishing that he goes around making speeches in which he deplores the state of the economy, the growing income inequality, chronic unemployment, staggering middle class income, and it’s as if he has been a bystander, as if he’s been out of the country for the last five years. It’s his economy; he’s the president.

    He’s talking as if this is the Bush economy, I don’t know, the Eisenhower economy, and he just arrived in a boat and he discovers how bad the economy is. This is a result of the policies he instituted. He gave us the biggest stimulus in the history of the milky way, and he said it would jump start the economy. The result has been the slowest recovery, the worst recovery since World War II, and that is the root of all of the problems he’s talking about, the income inequality — the median income of the middle class of Americans has declined by 5% in his one term. So who’s responsible for that? Those were his policies. He talks about this in the abstract and he actually gets away with it in a way that I find absolutely astonishing, it’s magical. This is his economy and he’s pretending he’s just stumbled upon it. And the policies he proposes are exactly the ones he proposed and implemented in the first term.

    It’s like comrade Perry crying about income inequality and the dying middle class a after five years he still endorses the dumbass policies that cause it. Duh! If it ain’t workin’ perhaps we should change course. I love how Obama throws around the term “austerity”. What is so austere about 85 billion a month in Federal Reserve quantitative easing? But that money, going straight to millionaires and billionaires at banks and on Wall Street who work with Obama is okay. That’s not income inequality. The same goes for billions going to Hollywood millionaires, or “green” schemes no prob. The only income inequality the comrade sees is when someone he doesn’t like gets the money. Then it’s a damn travesty.

  7. It’s not only their delusions about the murderous political policy they endorse, it’s their delusional inability to open their eyes to see the economic destruction their domestic fiscal policies create.

    Never assume these people are delusional. They know exactly what they want (a police state with them as the police) and they aim to get it.

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