Progressives by nature want progress. Since the majority of progressives are young kids (or old children), that suffer from chronic Dunning-Kruger effect (those that know the least are the most self-assured) and think they know how to fix everything better than the people who have spent their lives in those industries, progress is virtually always an immature "knee-jerk" far-left reaction on how to make things better, that results in unintended consequences and would make things much worse. If only they had the wisdom to listen to the experts before regulating/legislating. But if they had that wisdom and temperament, they would be moderates.
Progressives is kind of a broad brush, and a sloppy one -- in that different countries might have different standards. But basically they have a few sub-segments, some of them worse than others. The worst are the "College Kids" regurgitating what they were taught in Marxist Grievance Studies classes, gullibly trying to change the world, without understanding the first thing about the past, present, or able to think through the consequences of their policies (and thus the future). It is slightly unfair to paint this vocal minority as all progressives -- but then most progressives have no problems with using the broad brush sloppily, so don't they deserve a little back? Maybe. But insert some caveats here, and don't just all of them by the actions of their vocal majority: it's just the 90% that give the rest a bad name.
|Progressives see other progressives as good (by ignoring all the ways they aren't). They see those that resisted progress as bad, luddites, or vile (by ignoring the ways they aren't). They teach their side to fear the other side: Goldwater, Nixon, Reagan, Trump were all like Hitler, or dangerously unstable. (Lookup the Goldwater Rule). They know their side is morally superior, because they scare their base about the opposition. Any deeper glance at their side shows some rather unsavory behaviors from the likes of Teddy Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, FDR, Martin Luther King Jr., Margaret Sanger, and a rapid emotional (fearful?) attacks on anyone that points out their flaws.
|There's no moral high ground in taking other people's property, keeping a cut, and giving a percentage to your cronies or constituents. Teddy was a blowhard war-monger. Wilson was a racist pawn of corporate interests. FDR was one of more corrupt Presidents and nasty human being. MLK was a philander and a hypocrite. Margaret Sanger was a vile eugenicist. And so on. The world is a lot more nuanced, and people a lot more complex than the caricatures painted by leftist historians. But if they told the truth, their voters might not fear the alternatives as much. If you doubt it, point out inconvenient truths and see if they can accept them, or they attack.
Progressivism : 11 items
Unintended Consequences -
Social Security - Instead of helping people to save for their retirement and creating a program where they owned what they saved, we created Social Security. That youth-tax Ponzi-scheme taught people to not plan for their future (trust government): turned people into dependents, and Americans savings went down. Americans save less than about any other society in the world - why should they? The government will take care of them. So many are far worse off today than they would have been had there been nothing but empty promises, backed by inflation devaluing the returns in their golden years. Imagine if we’d taught society to take responsibility for their own retirement? SS has even helped break down the family bonds since people don't have to care for parents or grandparents and think "that is governments job”.
Progressives ruin everything - That statement is kind of a joke, but while part tongue-in-cheek, it is real. They don't have, they just always will. Why? There are some reasonable ideas, that taken too far, become very very unreasonable. Things like FISA warrants, Russia investigation, stop and frisk, abortion, immigration laws (both ways, first too restrictive, then too lax), justice reform, social safety nets, healthcare, hating Trump, Political correctness, homelessness (and remedies), protecting victims and hate crime, me too, and so on, and so on. If your voices are extremist activists that exaggerate or mischaracterize (or don't understand) a problem, and see the only solution as fascism (State control of private business or the individual), and they refuse to be moderated by reason or accept when it is failing, it will always end poorly. Some disasters may take longer than others, but with no moderation or checks and balances, it's just a matter of time.
Progressives gave us - You often hear advocates claiming, "if it wasn't for progressives, you wouldn't have X...", then they explain without progressives, we wouldn't have roads, schools, police, fireman, military, or some other thing we had for decades or centuries before progressives. But I wanted to compile the other side of the equation (the balances). Here's a reminder of what they gave us that wasn't so great, or started off fine but entropied into something bad, so people can decide if jumping on every new big-government bandwagon is a good idea… or if a little prudence, caution and research is warranted before gobbling up the bandwagon fallacy and putting on that Che Guevara T-Shirt. The short list of losers would include the following:
- Financial servitude: centralized banking/money (the Fed), fiat currency backed by debt (and the inflation that results in), they gave us the 16th amendment, the IRS, the worst tax code in the free world (73,954 pages), they fought for every tax increase and against all relief or simplification (to fund themselves), and then they piled on 174,545 pages of regulations (over 1,040,940 restrictions spread among them) in our regulatory code, and that’s not touching the 23,000 pages in our federal legal code (and over 300,000 criminal punishments burried within the discretion of administrative agencies).
- Bigotry: centralized education with the admitted intent of reprogramming the youth (against their immigrant/catholic parents), they were champions of racism (and still are in affirmative action), supported eugenics, created our anti-immigration quotas and policies as a favor to unions (then call anyone that wants to enforce those laws a xenophobe), FDR blocked all immigration for a while, interned even 2nd generation Japanese, Germans and Italians,
- General Statism: they replaced the constitution with federalism (jurisprudence and precedence over original intent), invented supreme court stacking and judicial activism, they gave us the 17th amendment (popular vote senate which broke the constitution and states rights completely), they gave government the power to take our property (eminent domain, national parks/federal lands), and to control what we can do on our land (via the EPA and other agencies)
- Too big to fail: they have always been in bed with big business (like organized labor) and created the biggest cartels and trusts in the nation (utilities, unions, federal reserve, banking, Fanny/Freddy, tort lawyers, AMA, and so on),
- Enemies of liberty: they gave us Prohibition and the post-prohibition drug war, they granted the Fed it's own unconstitutional police forces (FBI, NSA, DEA, OSS/CIA, IRS), centralized transportation (like Amtrak), used centralized road as a way to force things on the states that were unconstitutional (like the 55MPH speed limit, forced raised the drinking age, and so on), then they complain that our federally mandated highways and bridges are crumbling (the agencies they created, failing to do their charter), they invented the anti-liberty regulatory state: the FDA was created so they could control what we put in our own bodies, the FCC and fairness doctrine were created to control our free speech (so FDR could bully any TV/Radio stations that did unfavorable pieces on the administration or it’s policies), they gave us FISA warrants and invented domestic spying (look at Espionage and Sedition Acts of the 1917-1918 and how they empowered government to read our mail, listen on phone calls, and how they undermined free speech), they created American imperialism (and got us into the Civil War, Spanish American War, WWI, WWII, Kosovo, Bosnia, Vietnam, and Central/South America), they gave us conscription/draft, they took away our guns for our own good, invented the poverty industrial complex (which is over 2/3rds of our budget and 9/10ths of our future liabilities), they made it harder to save for our retirement and replaced it with a youth-tax ponzi scam calls Social Security, then they raided the Social Security Trust fund and left IOU’s in their place (for our kids to pay for our debts/sins), they invented congressional appointed agencies to give congress plausible deniability and more opacity in government, and most of all, they won’t accept responsibility for any of it. It’s all the Republicans fault.
Progressive Quotes -
Progressive Choice -
- (a) You can live the life of angry progressives. You see Social Injustice, resent it, and "them" for their color, money, privilege, and give in to the hate and envy. Spend your life conspiring how to take what's someone else's, to make things more "fair". Punish wealth, success, luck, gender, or genetics, all to try to control the world and make up for past wrongs. Since you'll be addicted to imagining and obsessing over the injustices that you can never completely make up for, you're doomed to never succeed, and just die a bitter and unhappy progressive. The problem is your perception, but if you can cure that, you won't be a progressive any more.
- (b) Or you can learn the life of a happy anything else (libertarian, conservative, Christian, agnostic, etc). You look around and see that there's people that make less, have less, had it much rougher than you did (or had more misfortunes hit them), and yet they're more successful (as in happy with what they have) than you are. They're not sweating that your pay-check or house is bigger, they're living life like it matters, and trying to help others up (instead of holding others down). They're not living their lives trying to punish, and control -- but to help and serve. You can choose to be like them, but then your progressive friends will all hate you.
I think society is better the more people b's and few a's there are. So I'd rather doom people to a realistic optimism of (b), than the cynical pessimism of (a). Life sucks and is hard for most people. But the green-eyed monster of envy or trying to force fairness on an unjust world, is dooming people to failure and a bitter existence. While teaching them to cherish what they have, will make life better for them, and most who interact with them. Emotionally happy and healthy people aren't progressives.
Living Document - One of the stupidest things the Progressives have ever done (and they've done a lot), is around the turn of the 19th century, Harvard and other progressives tried to re-invent Contract Law and the Constitution as a "Living Document". This is another way of saying that, "A legal documents words have no fixed meaning, and can be altered without the consent of either party, in order to meet the political whims of subsequent generations". In other words, a contract means nothing, the only thing that matters is the opinions of 9 oligarchs residing in the top court. Thats' fine if you're one of the judges, but it makes America a Democracy where only 9 people's opinions matter.
Good Predictions - Not all good predictions are by conservatives or the right. But by nature of being older, wiser and more cynical -- and willing to look at tradeoffs and consequences (especially Unintended Consequences), the odds are that their predictions will be more right than left-wing idealists painting a Utopic picture that all change is good change, or that they can fix every problem with more government and less freedom.
Fascist Quotes - These are a bunch of quotes from the worlds famous Fascists on what they thought about Socialism, Guns, or Social Justice -- just to remind people that they were left-wing activists, they thought of themselves as Socialists, and they had similar policies and ideologies as the progressive left in America.
- " Title: Chief editor for Avanti, the most powerful Socialist paper in Italy " ~ Benito Mussolini
- " The keystone of the Fascist doctrine is its conception of the State, of its essence, its functions, and its aims. For Fascism the State is absolute, individuals and groups relative." ~ Benito Mussolini
- " Democracy is a kingless regime infested by many kings who are sometimes more exclusive, tyrannical and destructive than one, even if he be a tyrant." ~ Benito Mussolini
- " It is the State which educates its citizens in civic virtue, gives them a consciousness of their mission and welds them into unity." ~ Benito Mussolini
- " [fascism is a] merger of state and corporate power " ~ Benito Mussolini
- " We have buried the putrid corpse of liberty" ~ Benito Mussolini
- " For if the nineteenth century was a century of individualism it may be expected that this will be the century of collectivism and hence the century of the State " ~ Benito Mussolini
- " We are socialists, we are enemies of today’s capitalistic economic system for the exploitation of the economically weak, with its unfair salaries, with its unseemly evaluation of a human being according to wealth and property instead of responsibility and performance, and we are all determined to destroy this system under all conditions." " ~ Adolf Hitler
- " National Socialism is the determination to create a new man. There will no longer exist any individual arbitrary will, nor realms in which the individual belongs to himself. The time of happiness as a private matter is over " ~ Adolf Hitler
- " [My task is to] “convert the German volk (people) to socialism" " ~ Adolf Hitler
- " I have learned a great deal from Marxism … as I do not hesitate to admit " ~ Adolf Hitler
- " What Marxism, Leninism and Stalinism failed to accomplish we shall be in a position to achieve. " ~ Adolf Hitler
- " We must “find and travel the road from individualism to socialism without revolution " ~ Adolf Hitler
- " While not a quote, "Forward" has long been a term used by unions and socialist/left leaning orgs (and now by the President) as their slogan. Again, this is the opposite of conservatism, which they play as "Backward" (towards tradition). " ~ Obama Campaign Slogan
- " Unity in faith is theocracy; unity in politics is fascism. " ~ Maajid Nawaz
- " Fascism was a counter-revolution against a revolution that never took place. " ~ Ignazio Silone
- " A revolution without firing squads is meaningless. " ~ Vladimir Lenin
Broken Promises -
Bad Predictions - Not all bad predictions are by progressives or the left. But people are resistant to change, and progressives want change -- so in order to get change, they need to sensationalize problems and paint a utopic picture of what the solutions will be like. Whereas if you're conservative and want lesser change, or things to stay the same, you don't need to hype problems and can be skeptical (moderate) about solutions. Plus, conservatives are more cynical and look for ways that things can go wrong, thus negative predictions (about Unintended Consequences) are more likely to be on target. Thus the vast majority of bad predictions come from the left.
Progressives : 4 items
Thomas Piketty and Emmanuel Saez - Capital in the 21st Century (a play on Marx’s Das Kapital). Economically, the study/book was crap: politically, it was gold. It told the left leaning and their media what they wanted to hear. So it made the NYT best seller list in Fan Fiction, and everyone talked about it. It was peer reviewed and debunked in spades, but not before the gullible gobbled it up as a tasty plate of confirmation bias. Nom nom.
Margaret Sanger - Progressive activist racist eugenicist founded Planned Parenthood to exterminate as many inferior (brown) babies as possible, to advance white protestantism. The party that loves to hate and remove Confederate heroes and statues has no problem worshiping at the feet of their bigots: proving all standards don't apply equally.
Linda Sarsour -
- She defends sharia law and Saudi Arabia’s legal system — which, as CNN explains, denies women basic rights, such as the freedom to “marry, divorce, travel, get a job or have elective surgery without permission from their male guardians”?
- Sarsour is pals with many terrorist sympathizers and organizations: if it's radical Islam, she supports it (with all the sexism in tact)
- Her "Mentor" (her words), was Imam Wahhaj - an unindicted co-conspirator of the 1993 World Trade Center bombings and a prominent leader of the Muslim Alliance in North America. (Never enough evidence to bring charges).
- Imam Wahhaj's son (Siraj Ibn Wahhaj) was found creating a terrorist training camp in Taos, New Mexico. His radical islamic school for teaching kids how to do school shootings had 11 pupils and the body of his "missing" son.
- She tweeted that female-genital-mutilation survivor and activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali is asking “4 an a$$whippin’ ” and “I wish I could take their vaginas away — they don’t deserve to be women.”
Jim Jones -
You've probably heard of Jim Jones, the Jonestown cult, and references to drinking the Kool-aid. And you might have heard the basics that 900 people died in Jonestown, Guyana on November 18, 1978, because a religious cult leader convinced them drink the cyanide laced Kool-aid, and commit mass suicide. But if you don't know that Jim Jones was the first trans-racial Marxist, given the MLK award, was called the most influential Democrat on the West Coast, and was supported by Jerry Brown, Willie Brown, George Moscone, Milk, John Burton, Diane Feinstein, and was appointed to head Housing and Human Services in San Francisco, then you've been a victim of propaganda, and don't really know what happened. He started a far-left Cult by promising everything the left ever wanted in one place, and when it turned out like leftist utopias always do, he did what many leftists resort to: killing their own rather than admitting their mistakes. Following in those footsteps, the media/left does their best to suppress that part of the story, or waive it off as "not real socialism" (aka the appeal to purity or No true Scotsman fallacy).
I'm not saying progressives are ALWAYS wrong. But they are virtually never right... at least not in degrees.
It's not that I don't like progressives: quite the opposite. We NEED progressives.
- When they're the minority, they're great. Since they're a consensus culture (collectivists), and they know they don't have the majority, they point out real problems, push for moderate change, reasonably, and they're a great counter-balance to change-nothing (or too little) conservatives.
- But when they get 50%+1 of the vote, they put on their jack boots, and their cupidity can never be assuaged. They push for radical change, ignoring the speed limit of progress (how fast society can adapt), and they cause backlash. Then blame that backlash on everyone but themselves. Since their ideas don't fix things, they keep looking for more and more radical/extreme variants to fix them, never questioning that they might be wrong or that they are taking things too far. And they will tear communities apart, and bully anyone who disagrees with them. They become California Bay Area, or NYC under Bloomberg, and keep getting worse until they're Detroit or Nazi Germany.
So, I like progressives... and in many ways, I am one. Or at least an educated one... which makes me a moderate. I like some of the things they champion: just not to the degrees or velocity they do. If they could grow up, they'd be great. But the problem is that if they grow up, they grow up out of being progressive, and into being more moderate and eventually conservative with change. Once you understand the consequences of change, it's harder to be a blind and ignorant champion of it. And if you want conservative and cautious change, and to apply skepticism, well then, you're an adult and a conservative.