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Progressivism: American Fascist Collectivism
Here's another man's experience with Progressivism: The Audacity of Progressivism. I wonder if he is related to the former Treasury Sec.?

Quote:The Audacity of Progressivism
by Andrew Mellon

Recently, I got into a big fight with my cube-mate. After attacking him for his listening to Bill Maher during the workday, he shot back and mocked my Glenn Beck listening. As if there was some moral equivalence between the two.

“But Beck’s predictions have been right throughout the last two years. Why would you not at least give him a listen?” I questioned. My Georgetown-educated cube-mate shot back: “Because most of the people that listen to Glenn Beck are uneducated mid-westerners.” Infuriated, I protested “Do you have any idea how arrogant and elitist you sound right now?” Leave aside the irony that I was attacking his condescension while as a colleague of ours pointed out, showing beneath my loafers were our company holiday gift socks dotted with various currencies.

As my cube-mate went on to say, though he conceded that government should not be all-encompassing, “I want smart people to make decisions for people.” In other words, us silly hicks are incapable of governing ourselves. This is the fatal conceit of which F.A. Hayek wrote that reflects the attitude of the intellectual class today. Why is it fatal?

First, the “highly educated intellectual” today routinely receives a subpar education. Believe me, I went through it at Columbia, one of the few remaining schools with any semblance of a valuable curriculum. A real education is about teaching the pupil to think critically. Routinely, education today is more about spending time in science classes listening to professors talk about the merits of joining the Peace Corps (yes, this happened to me), iconoclastic gender, race and political studies courses and cultural Marxist programming of the heirs apparent of the political, economic and cultural hierarchy of the country.

Of those who graduate from these institutions and matriculate to the political realm, the progressive ethic pervades. And what is this ethic? The elite must decide for the sheep.

Progressivism argues that man should play G-d, organizing society as he sees fit, “nudging” people as Cass Sunstein advocates towards making the right decision of a governmentally-defined set of choices and socially engineering swaths of society.

Never mind that central planning fails given that the planners can never make the decisions that self-reliant and self-interested individuals acting freely would make, and that central planners lack the specialized information of the millions of actors that make up the economy. Never mind that even if you don’t buy this argument on theoretical grounds, every nation guided by central planning has ended in mass poverty, mass genocide or both.

The manifest defects of central planning are not nearly as bad as its dehumanizing nature. For the progressive central planner is a regressive tyrant. What he seeks to do by regulation is only different than what the master does by the whip in his coyness. The progressive enslaves as he believes that there is no value in the individual — there are only masses of malleable animals that must be shaped and coddled by paternalistic wise men in government. Egalitarianism must reign. Natural differences, desires and ambitions must be discarded for the greater good. Social welfare is but a small price to pay for the fat cat, selfish innovators, entrepreneurs, job creators and investors who subsidize it. Forget about the fact that practically every good and service around us was provided by the very system the progressives seek to destroy, to the disproportionate detriment of the lower classes.

Yet the question is never posed, is such a system moral? Should you by virtue of living in America be forced by law to live to support your fellow man through government? Should you be an indentured servant for months each year in effect working for the government middle man so that he can bribe and satisfy his constituents? Should the politician be able to compel you by law to plan your retirement by paying into an insolvent Ponzi scheme like social security; to at the point of the gun make you cut a check each year for failing public schools that teach the very principles to the nation’s youth that most disgust you? And is it moral that these progressives who would be the first to attack religious advocates impose their own leftist religion through the involuntary mechanism of brute government force?

The progressive philosophy, an economic failure, is also a massive blight on our souls. For it enchains man to his fellow man and impoverishes all of society by taking away man’s individualism, his sense of responsibility and his self-worth. The progressive state dehumanizes and demoralizes man, leaving him an apathetic and impotent slave. There is no compassion in such a system. There is no morality in such a system. All that there is is man ruling over his fellow man, throwing bread crumb benefits at various faceless voting blocs unable to see through such a scheme after so many years of socialist ideological subversion. Shame on the progressives for their disdain for their fellow man, their hubris in thinking that they are right to rule over him and their disgusting glee in molding society for their own political gain. And shame on us for sanctioning such a system.
Have a Gneiss Day!
you must be so proud to be backasswardly silly, you even believe it's a badge of honour. do you really think it's better for you if you have to feed the losers of your family who for any reason can't (anymore) care for themselves in a society where everything is commercialized, than to leave it to mutual solidarity, the cornerstone of civilization? you don't sound like iq 139, rather half of that.
"You know, Paul, Reagan proved that deficits don't matter." Dick Cheney
(06-09-2011, 12:58 PM)quadrat Wrote: you must be so proud to be backasswardly silly, you even believe it's a badge of honour. do you really think it's better for you if you have to feed the losers of your family who for any reason can't (anymore) care for themselves in a society where everything is commercialized, than to leave it to mutual solidarity, the cornerstone of civilization? you don't sound like iq 139, rather half of that.

Is this what you would pass off as even semi-intelligent posting "Q"? Or are you struck with a horrible case of Intellectual Flatulence?

If you would just go back and reread your post, even you must have a problem understand yourself. Should we call your nearest hospital and have them send an ambulance for you?

Have a Gneiss Day!
"Mutual solidarity" has never been a building block of any society. In the countries that specialized in collectivism and redistribution - the elites at the top always took the gravy and returned far less to individuals than they could have had on their own.

Look - it's a simply proven fact. Government cannot do things as efficiently and as well as the free market. In the world of commerce, the profit motive, the structure of incentives. and the stifling tendencies of bureaucrats are such that those businesses run by entrepreneurs will consistently outperform those run by the government. The history of the world is clear: It is government that charges outrageous prices and tries to pawn off shoddy merchandise, while the private businesses that supplant them do the job right, charge lower prices, and do it without government subsidies that keep monopolies afloat.

Whenever you see businesses stumble, look and you'll see government bureaucracies with their legs stuck out in the aisle.
amazing, you have to change a single word and nonsense starts to make sense such as - america's elites always took the gravy and returned far less to individuals than they could have had on their own.

what business is run by the government? None. so what is the hogwash in the paragraph 2 supposed to express? lets change it a little too - the government has the mandate to make sure that entrepreneurs can charge outrageous prices and pawn off shoddy merchandise, and to keep monopolies afloat. that's the world of commerce, the profit motive, the structure of incentives.

which stumbling businesses? gm, aig, bank of america?
"You know, Paul, Reagan proved that deficits don't matter." Dick Cheney
quadrat Wrote:amazing, you have to change a single word and nonsense starts to make sense such as - america's elites always took the gravy and returned far less to individuals than they could have had on their own.

what business is run by the government? None. so what is the hogwash in the paragraph 2 supposed to express? lets change it a little too - the government has the mandate to make sure that entrepreneurs can charge outrageous prices and pawn off shoddy merchandise, and to keep monopolies afloat. that's the world of commerce, the profit motive, the structure of incentives.

which stumbling businesses? gm, aig, bank of america?

Not "America's" elites: that was everyone. In America, we historically went through a realization of government excess - just prior to the Civil War, and rewrote State Constitutions to forbid government from getting into the marketplace. FDR and the Progressives did what they could to re-enter it - but by-and-large, not at the same level as the rest of the world. Look at every tin-plated dictator skimming off the top and strewing dregs to his people. They make no pretense of doing the people's work - they take without excuse and ignore any outrage.

The entrepreneurs in a Free Market are regulated by the market, itself. If a company provides bad service - it can only survive with government sponsorship. The market is self-regulating unless the government steps in, thinking it knows best.
Heres more on Uncle Teddy the Progressive.

Quote:Theodore Roosevelt Was No Conservative
There's a reason he left the GOP to lead the Progressive Party.


We know that Barack Obama and his allies identify themselves as "progressives," and that they aim to implement the big-government liberalism that originated in America's Progressive Era and was consummated in the New Deal. What remains a mystery is why some conservatives want to claim this progressive identity as their own -- particularly as it was manifested by Theodore Roosevelt.

The fact that conservative politicians such as John McCain and writers like William Kristol and Karl Rove are attracted to our 26th president is strange because, if we want to understand where in the American political tradition the idea of unlimited, redistributive government came from, we need look no further than to Roosevelt and others who shared his outlook.

Progressives of both parties, including Roosevelt, were the original big-government liberals. They understood full well that the greatest obstacle to their schemes of social justice and equality of material condition was the U.S. Constitution as it was originally written and understood: as creating a national government of limited, enumerated powers that was dedicated to securing the individual natural rights of its citizens, especially liberty of contract and private property.

It was the Republican TR, who insisted in his 1910 speech on the "New Nationalism" that there was a "general right of the community to regulate" the earning of income and use of private property "to whatever degree the public welfare may require it." He was at one here with Democrat Woodrow Wilson, who had in 1885 condemned Americans' respect for their Constitution as "blind worship," and suggested that his countrymen dedicate themselves to the Declaration of Independence by leaving out its "preface" -- i.e., the part of it that establishes the protection of equal natural rights as the permanent task of government.

In his "Autobiography," Roosevelt wrote that he "declined to adopt the view that what was imperatively necessary for the nation could not be done by the President unless he could find some specific authorization to do it." The national government, in TR's view, was not one of enumerated powers but of general powers, and the purpose of the Constitution was merely to state the narrow exceptions to that rule.

This is a view of government directly opposed by Alexander Hamilton in Federalist 84. Hamilton explains there that the fundamental difference between a republican constitution and a monarchic one is that the latter reserves some liberty for the people by stating specific exceptions to the assumed general power of the crown, whereas the former assumes from the beginning that the power of the people is the general rule, and the power of the government the exception.

TR turns this on its head. In his New Nationalism speech he noted how, in aiming to use state power to bring about economic equality, the government should permit a man to earn and keep his property "only so long as the gaining represents benefit to the community." The government itself of course would determine what represented a benefit to the community, and whether society would be better off if an individual's wealth was transferred to somebody else.

We can see the triumph of this outlook in progressive income taxation, which TR trumpeted in his speech (along with progressive estate taxes). We may also see this theory in action when a government seizes private property through eminent domain, transferring it to others in order to generate higher tax revenues -- a practice blessed by the Supreme Court in its notorious Kelo v. New London decision of 2005.

Some conservatives today are misled by the battle between TR and Wilson in the 1912 presidential election. But Wilson implemented most of TR's program once he took office in 1913, including a progressive income tax and the establishment of several regulatory agencies, such as the Federal Trade Commission.

Others are misled by TR's crusade against an activist judiciary. But unlike our courts today, the judiciary during the Progressive era properly struck down legislation that violated our bedrock rights to liberty of contract and private property. TR hated the judiciary precisely for standing up for the Constitution; this is certainly no reason for conservatives today to latch on to his antijudicial rhetoric.

Many who respect individual liberty and the free market believe that the electoral tide has turned, and that an era of big government is inevitable. But recall that John McCain gained traction in the closing days of his campaign only when he attacked Mr. Obama's desire to "spread the wealth" through higher tax rates on the upper-income earners. His attack clearly resonated among the public. But it came too late, and truth be told, his heart wasn't really in it.

Looking ahead, conservatives hardly need to look back to progressives for inspiration. If there is a desire to "conserve" or restore something about our political tradition that has been lost with the rise of modern liberalism, how about the American founding as a model? It is with the founders that we can find the patriotic promotion of America as an exceptionally great nation -- a notion that attracts some conservatives to TR.

The difference is that, with the founders as a model, we get the idea of American greatness, but without the progressives' assault on the very enduring principles that justify America's claim to greatness in the first place.

Mr. Pestritto is the Shipley Professor of the American Constitution at Hillsdale College and a senior fellow at the Claremont Institute. Among his books are "Woodrow Wilson and the Roots of Modern Liberalism" (Rowman & Littlefield, 2005).

Have a Gneiss Day!
J.D. Tuccille, from over at Disloyal Opposition, has the Bamster's trek to genuflect before Teddy Roosevelt nailed this all down tight.

Quote:You can keep your not-so-new nationalism

I’ve always found Teddy Roosevelt to be among the more repugnant of the already repulsive batch of grifters and autocrats we’ve been unfortunate enough to call “Mr. President.” He managed to combine militarism, authoritarianism and economic collectivism with a cult of the state that he called “new nationalism.” As presidential scholar Richard M. Abrams puts it in his discussion of the 26th president, “He spoke righteously for freedom but placed individual liberty in the context of a greater obligation to the nation. He acknowledged that most individuals probably preferred business as usual, to be left to cultivate their own gardens and to pursue modest livelihoods and comforts, but he viewed such an outlook with scorn.”

In economic terms, TR was obsessed with “national efficiency” — a principle he expounded in his (in)famous new nationalism speech in Osawatomie, Kansas. He called for powerful federal and state governments, with all-encompassing powers that allow for no “neutral ground” where people might hide from the government. Said he, “I do not ask for the over centralization; but I do ask that we work in a spirit of broad and far-reaching nationalism where we work for what concerns our people as a whole.”

People who disagreed with his views, he implied (or explicitly stated) were unpatriotic.

If he’d made his speech 20 years later, Teddy Roosevelt’s views could have comfortably clothed themselves in brown shirts (as could those of his cousin who was actually in office at that time).

So, when Barack Obama tramps back to Osawatomie to deliberately echo TR’s speech and views, color me nauseated. “[I]n America, we are greater together – when everyone engages in fair play, everyone gets a fair shot, everyone does their fair share. … [A]s a nation, we have always come together, through our government, to help create the conditions where both workers and businesses can succeed.”

Once again, the appeal to tribal identity, the call to submerge individual interests in the name of the greater good of the group — as identified by the speaker. And if you don’t agree with the speaker’s very specific idea of what’s good and right? Well, Teddy Roosevelt called you a “reactionary”; Obama, in our psychologized age, insists you and your co-dissidents have “collective amnesia.”

But we live in an age that’s not just psychologized, but fact-checked, and even the Washington Post called bullshit on much of Barry’s supporting evidence for his exhumed not-so-new nationalism.

On Obama’s insistence that “expensive” tax cuts for the “wealthy” are responsible for the current economic mess:
Quote:Obama certainly inherited an economic mess, and we have argued he does not deserve blame for the massive loss of jobs early in his administration. But it seems odd to keep blaming poor job growth on the Bush tax cut, especially because Obama himself pushed through a nearly $1-trillion stimulus and took other actions that have affected the economy, for better or worse.

Finally, Obama blames the Bush tax cuts for “massive deficits.” It is certainly true that the Bush tax cuts helped blow a hole in the budget. But they did not do it all by themselves. We looked at length at this issue earlier this year, assisted by new Congressional Budget Office data.

The data showed that the biggest contributor to the disappearance of projected surpluses was increased spending, which accounted for 36.5 percent of the decline in the nation’s fiscal position, followed by incorrect CBO estimates, which accounted for 28 percent. The Bush tax cuts (along with some Obama tax cuts) were responsible for just 24 percent.

And on the president’s insistence that the uber-wealthy are even more successful at tax avoidance than even the Occupiers have charged in their wildest fever-dream accusations:
Quote: “Some billionaires have a tax rate as low as 1 percent — 1 percent. That is the height of unfairness.”

This is a striking statistic. But the only evidence that the White House could offer for it was a TV clip of a conversation on Bloomberg TV, in which correspondent Gigi Stone made this assertion during a discussion about the tax strategies that the very wealthy use to avoid paying taxes. The TV clip was promoted by the left-leaning website Think Progress.

Stone quoted from a Bloomberg News article last month that reported on such tax strategies, which mostly involve complicated ways to defer paying capital gains taxes. But the article never made the one-percent claim. It also noted that the IRS had gotten more hostile to such transactions in recent years.

An administration official conceded the White House had no actual data to back up the president’s assertion, but argued that other reports showed that some of the wealthy pay little in taxes.

The Post even quoted Judge Learned Hand pointing out that “Anyone may arrange his affairs so that his taxes shall be as low as possible; he is not bound to choose that pattern which best pays the treasury.”

So, calls for authoritarianism founded on appeals to tribal identity, based on manufactured data. Thanks anyway, but I’ll pass.
Have a Gneiss Day!
Dr. Thomas Sowell has put out three nice little article, where he explains American Progressivism. Here is the first one, to be followed by the next ones.

Quote:The 'Progressive' Legacy
By Thomas Sowell

Although Barack Obama is the first black President of the United States, he is by no means unique, except for his complexion. He follows in the footsteps of other presidents with a similar vision, the vision at the heart of the Progressive movement that flourished a hundred years ago.

Many of the trends, problems and disasters of our time are a legacy of that era. We can only imagine how many future generations will be paying the price -- and not just in money -- for the bright ideas and clever rhetoric of our current administration.

The two giants of the Progressive era -- Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson -- clashed a century ago, in the three-way election of 1912. With the Republican vote split between William Howard Taft and Theodore Roosevelt's newly created Progressive Party, Woodrow Wilson was elected president, so that the Democrats' version of Progressivism became dominant for eight years.

What Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson had in common, and what attracts some of today's Republicans and Democrats, respectively, who claim to be following in their footsteps, was a vision of an expanded role of the federal government in the economy and a reduced role for the Constitution of the United States.

Like other Progressives, Theodore Roosevelt was a critic and foe of big business. In this he was not inhibited by any knowledge of economics, and his own business ventures lost money.

Rhetoric was TR's strong suit. He denounced "the mighty industrial overlords" and "the tyranny of mere wealth."

Just what specifically this "tyranny" consisted of was not spelled out. This was indeed an era of the rise of businesses to unprecedented size in industry after industry -- and of prices falling rapidly, as a result of economies of scale that cut production costs and allowed larger profits to be made from lower prices that attracted more customers.

It was easy to stir up hysteria over a rapidly changing economic landscape and the rise of new businessmen like John D. Rockefeller to wealth and prominence. They were called "robber barons," but those who put this label on them failed to specify just who they robbed.

Like other Progressives, TR wanted an income tax to siphon off some of the earnings of the rich. Since the Constitution of the United States forbad such a tax, to the Progressives that simply meant that the Constitution should be changed.

After the 16th Amendment was passed, a very low income-tax rate was levied, as an entering wedge for rates that rapidly escalated up to 73 percent on the highest incomes during the Woodrow Wilson administration.

One of the criticisms of the Constitution by the Progressives, and one still heard today, is that the Constitution is so hard to amend that judges have to loosen its restrictions on the power of the federal government by judicial reinterpretations. Judicial activism is one of the enduring legacies of the Progressive era.

In reality, the Constitution was amended four times in eight years during the Progressive era. But facts carried no more weight with crusading Progressives then than they do today.

Theodore Roosevelt interpreted the Constitution to mean that the President of the United States could exercise any powers not explicitly forbidden to him. This stood the 10th Amendment on its head, for that Amendment explicitly gave the federal government only the powers specifically spelled out, and reserved all other powers to the states or to the people.

Woodrow Wilson attacked the Constitution in his writings as an academic before he became president. Once in power, his administration so restricted freedom of speech that this led to landmark Supreme Court decisions restoring that fundamental right.

Whatever the vision or rhetoric of the Progressive era, its practice was a never-ending expansion of the arbitrary powers of the federal government. The problems they created so discredited Progressives that they started calling themselves "liberals" -- and after they discredited themselves again, they went back to calling themselves "Progressives," now that people no longer remembered how Progressives had discredited themselves before.

Barack Obama's rhetoric of "change" is in fact a restoration of discredited ideas that originated a hundred years ago.
Have a Gneiss Day!
John the problem of juxtaposing the early 20th century with the 21st in terms of economic activity is that in the former there was "wealth creation", while what we have today is better labeled "wealth concentration" amid a political dialogue best described as saponification! Historically, the notion that investing in real estate represent "wealth creation" is of course a falsehood since it was this notion that destroyed the Venetian Republic, where its upper classes rather than investing in trade directed their capital toward acquiring land in the Veneto. Would you care to guess as to what percentage of the national wealth is held essentially in mortmain? Yes, and here I am employing the term not with respect to perpetual ownership associated with religious institutions but in terms of the myriads of corporations and trusts (whether charitable or not) that have become the playthings of managerial parasites. Just my pet peeve but such is nevertheless worthy of analysis since we can always see the fate of Kodak in the digital age even though it was that hallowed company that developed the digital camera!
"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I am not sure about the former."

Albert Einstein
Why should I, or Dr. Sowell, have any problem "juxtaposing"* the two periods in US history? We are talking about the general principle. The fact that the two are one hundred years apart can be mentioned and then continuing with the explanation. After all Left is still Left, and Collectivism is still Collectivism, whether it be early 19th century or early 20th century. The principles are identical.

Are you stating that we should not compare ideologies due to the difference in time? Based upon your thesis, perhaps the use of an old word such as 'justapose' is out of place?

* Juxtapose: To place side by side. In other words, "to compare".
Have a Gneiss Day!
Here's Part II

Quote:The Progressive Legacy: Part II
By Thomas Sowell

"Often wrong but never in doubt" is a phrase that summarizes much of what was done by Presidents Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson, the two giants of the Progressive era, a century ago.

Their legacy is very much alive today, both in their mindset -- including government picking winners and losers in the economy and interventionism in foreign countries -- as well as specific institutions created during the Progressive era, such as the income tax and the Federal Reserve System.

Like so many Progressives today, Theodore Roosevelt felt no need to study economics before intervening in the economy. He said of "economic issues" that "I am not deeply interested in them, my problems are moral problems." For example, he found it "unfair" that railroads charged different rates to different shippers, reaching the moral conclusion that these rates were discriminatory and should be forbidden "in every shape and form."

It never seemed to occur to TR that there could be valid economic reasons for the railroads to charge the Standard Oil Company lower rates for shipping their oil. At a time when others shipped their oil in barrels, Standard Oil shipped theirs in tank cars -- which required a lot less work by the railroads than loading and unloading the same amount of oil in barrels.

Theodore Roosevelt was also morally offended by the fact that Standard Oil created "enormous fortunes" for its owners "at the expense of business rivals." How a business can offer consumers lower prices without taking customers away from businesses that charge higher prices is a mystery still unsolved to the present day, when the very same arguments are used against Wal-Mart.

The same preoccupation with being "fair" to high-cost producers who were losing customers to low-cost producers has turned anti-trust law on its head, for generations after the Progressive era. Although anti-trust laws and policies have been rationalized as ways of keeping monopolies from raising prices to consumers, the actual thrust of anti-trust activity has more often been against businesses that charged lower prices than their competitors.

Theodore Roosevelt's anti-trust attacks on low-price businesses in his time were echoed in later "fail trade" laws, and in attacks against "unfair" competition by the Federal Trade Commission, another agency spawned in the Progressive era.

Woodrow Wilson's Progressivism was very much in the same mindset. Government intervention in the economy was justified on grounds that "society is the senior partner in all business."

The rhetorical transformation of government into "society" is a verbal sleight-of-hand trick that endures to this day. So is the notion that money earned in the form of profits requires politicians' benediction to be legitimate, while money earned under other names apparently does not.

Thus Woodrow Wilson declared: "If private profits are to be legitimized, private fortunes made honorable, these great forces which play upon the modern field must, both individually and collectively, be accommodated to a common purpose."

And just who will decide what this common purpose is and how it is to be achieved? "Politics," according to Wilson, "has to deal with and harmonize" these various forces.

In other words, the government -- politicians, bureaucrats and judges -- are to intervene, second-guess and pick winners and losers, in a complex economic process of which they are often uninformed, if not misinformed, and a process in which they pay no price for being wrong, regardless of how high a price will be paid by the economy.

If this headstrong, busybody approach seems familiar because it is similar to what is happening today, that is because it is based on fundamentally the same vision, the same presumptions of superior wisdom, and the same kind of lofty rhetoric we hear today about "fairness." Wilson even used the phrase "social justice."

Woodrow Wilson also won a Nobel Prize for peace, like the current president -- and it was just as undeserved. Wilson's "war to end wars" in fact set the stage for an even bigger, bloodier and more devastating Second World War.

But, then as now, those with noble-sounding rhetoric are seldom judged by what consequences actually follow.
Have a Gneiss Day!
Here's Part III.

Quote:The Progressive Legacy: Part III
By Thomas Sowell

The same presumptions of superior wisdom and virtue behind the interventionism of Progressive Presidents Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson in the domestic economy also led them to be interventionists in other countries.

Theodore Roosevelt was so determined that the United States should intervene against Spain's suppression of an uprising in Cuba that he quit his post as Assistant Secretary of the Navy to organize his own private military force -- called "Rough Riders" -- to fight in what became the Spanish-American war.

The spark that set off this war was an explosion that destroyed an American battleship anchored in Havana harbor. There was no proof that Spain had anything to do with it, and a study decades later suggested that the explosion originated inside the ship itself.

But Roosevelt and others were hot for intervention before the explosion, which simply gave them the excuse they needed to go to war against Spain, seizing Puerto Rico and the Philippines.

Although it was a Republican administration that did this, Democrat Woodrow Wilson justified it. Progressive principles of imposing superior wisdom and virtue on others were invoked.

Wilson saw the indigenous peoples brought under American control as beneficiaries of progress. He said, "they are children and we are men in these deep matters of government and justice."

If that sounds racist, it is perfectly consistent with President Wilson's policies at home. The Wilson administration introduced racial segregation in Washington government agencies where it did not exist when Wilson took office.

Woodrow Wilson also invited various dignitaries to the White House to watch a showing of the film "The Birth of a Nation," which glorified the Ku Klux Klan -- and which Wilson praised.

All of this was consistent with the Progressive era in general, when supposedly "scientific" theories of racial superiority and inferiority were at their zenith. Theodore Roosevelt was the exception, rather than the rule, among Progressives when he did not agree with these theories.

Consistent with President Wilson's belief in racial superiority as a basis for intervening in other countries, he launched military interventions in various Latin American countries, before his intervention in the First World War.

Woodrow Wilson was also a precursor of later Progressives in assuming that the overthrow of an autocratic and despotic government means an advance toward democracy. In 1917, President Wilson spoke of "heartening things that have been happening within the last few weeks in Russia."

What was "heartening" to Wilson was the overthrow of the czars. What it led to in fact was the rise of a totalitarian tyranny that killed more political prisoners in a year than the czars had killed in more than 90 years.

Although Wilson proclaimed that the First World War was being fought because "The world must be made safe for democracy," in reality the overthrow of autocratic rule in Germany and Italy also led to totalitarian regimes that were far worse. Those today who assume that the overthrow of authoritarian governments in Egypt and Libya is a movement toward democracy are following in Wilson's footsteps.

The ultimate hubris of Woodrow Wilson was in promoting the carving up of whole empires after the First World War, in the name of "the self-determination of peoples." But, in reality, it was not the peoples who did the carving but Wilson, French Premier Georges Clemenceau and British Prime Minister David Lloyd George. Walter Lippmann saw what a reckless undertaking this was. He said, "We are feeding on maps, talking of populations as if they were abstract lumps." He was struck by the ignorance of those who were reshaping whole nations and the lives of millions of people.

He said of this nation-building effort: "When you consider what a mystery the East Side of New York is to the West Side, the business of arranging the world to the satisfaction of the people in it may be seen in something like its true proportions."

But Progressives, especially intellectuals, are the least likely to suspect that they are in fact ignorant of the things they are intervening in, whether back in the Progressive era or today.
Have a Gneiss Day!
(02-14-2012, 02:23 PM)John L Wrote: Why should I, or Dr. Sowell, have any problem "juxtaposing"* the two periods in US history? We are talking about the general principle. The fact that the two are one hundred years apart can be mentioned and then continuing with the explanation. After all Left is still Left, and Collectivism is still Collectivism, whether it be early 19th century or early 20th century. The principles are identical.

Are you stating that we should not compare ideologies due to the difference in time? Based upon your thesis, perhaps the use of an old word such as 'justapose' is out of place?

* Juxtapose: To place side by side. In other words, "to compare".

Just suppose that in his juxtapositions excoriating Roosevelt and Wilson as the predecessors of the "managed society" according to Sowell, one must perforce understand that what is presented is caricature! All of the huffing-and-puffing that took place at the dawn of the 20th century was the political response to the forces of reactionary populism at war with the new industrial and commercial realities. In fact, "politics" is the fundamental explanation for the policies of both men and the presidency of Taft provides the fulcrum for this explanation.

Anyway exercise in "blaming the dead" while making for a good read comes forth solely by the dismissal of a very real present. Now what would you say that today's "tea partiers" and their appeals to a very non-existant past recall all the fire and vitriol fumed by the Populists proclaiming outrage between 1892 and 1912?

Politics--yes the old "balancing of factions--does explain it all and goes a long way to underscore the inconsistencies.

"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I am not sure about the former."

Albert Einstein
Derek Hunter writes about why we should stop calling Progressives anything but Progressives, including the word "Liberal": Why “Progressives” and not “Liberals”? Of course, there is nothing 'Liberal' about them, with the possible exception of the profuse lies and rhetoric spilling from their lips.

But what endears me to Mr. Hunter is his final paragraph to this article.

Quote:Every time leftists, regardless of what they call themselves, are exposed for what they really are, Americans reject them. Sometimes slower than others, but always. That’s why Barack Obama ran on “Hope and Change,” not “I’ll waste trillions and break us while slipping payoffs to my donors, raping your liberty…” etc., etc.

People are busy. They don’t have time to follow politics the way those of us who make our living doing it can. Nor should they. If we had an honest media, no one would have to. If we had an honest education system, no one would have to. If we had an honest government that adhered to the Constitution… You get the idea.

So that’s just a small snippet of why I use the word “progressive” instead of “liberal.” And why I think it’s important that you start too.

Also, don’t forget progressives are not just of one political party. You can’t pick them out by the stench of Zuccotti Park emanating off them like stink-lines in a comic strip. In 2008, John McCain couldn’t tell the world enough that he was a progressive. His idiot daughter likes to do the same thing. It’s a philosophy, not a party.

And just think, there are people here, who actually rejoiced, and even voted, for this "doofus" in the 2008 election. It just goes to show that in politics, party manages to take precedence over ideology with many. And now some of us are told that we should do this very thing again, just so we can vote one disaster out of office, and replace him with another disaster, but from the 'annointed' party.

I'll vote my conscience, Thank You!
Have a Gneiss Day!
Why John the expression "hope and change" is a working definition of what is meant by progressive! Keep in mind that in American usage as a noun, this term is intimately associated with the years immediately after the Civil War. But as you well know when discussing politics and purported ideological perspectives, I tend to side with the working definition adopted by Ambrose Bierce in The Devil's Dictionary:

Conservative, n. A statesman who is enamored of existing evils, as distinguished from the Liberal, who wishes to replace them with others.
"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I am not sure about the former."

Albert Einstein
It is hard to deal in theoretical constructs, when the real life results are what are searched for.

Obama spent his life under tutelage of political activists and Stalinist philosophers and professors. Too bad his school records are hidden away behind lock and key, it might be useful to study who he was involved with. Some of his papers might be useful to study as well. His political handlers gave him a resumé as a "Constitutional Scholar, yet what he can quote is Alynski - not Madison.

What good is studying the etiology of "Progressivism" when the media does not report issues?

Ten out of twenty Democrats are happy being called either term, and none agree on the meaning that they have of themselves. As such, such names are for the scholars to argue about, with arrogance and unwarranted certainty.

Politicians like Teddy Kennedy and Chuck Schumer talked heroically to rescue the common man - yet what were they truly centered on? They asked for power, so they could give what they said was asked for. Most of us think power was first, and if there was anything in second place - it may well have been well-meaning, but usually just unintended consequences from whatever the power grab caused.

drgonzaga, your definition may have been meant humorously - but it is way off base. "Conservatism" is not about keeping command power within the state - but in reducing the State's power over individuals - to comply with the Constitution's guaranty of individual pre-eminence.
Paul Kengor makes a good point, that Progressives can mean one thing today, and something entirely,.......or almost, different tomorrow.
Have a Gneiss Day!
Agree with Kengor... Progressivism grows by being unchecked. Every time we prove them wrong, the media expands the lie and ignores the truth.

Ann Coulter has a dead-on column on this. Her point is that the Progressives do it on purpose, and the lies are remembered over veracity.
Coulter Wrote:Fifty years from now, everyone will agree that Karl Rove committed treason by revealing the identity of CIA "spy" Valerie Plame, tea partiers shouted the N-word at a black congressman and Duke lacrosse players gang-raped a stripper.

Liberals tell whopping lies, and most conservatives can't be bothered to learn history.

In the last few days, we've heard both George Will and Charles Krauthammer, otherwise intelligent people, repeating bogus Democratic talking points about how Joe McCarthy allegedly smeared innocents with false allegations.

These two, and many lesser lights, have invoked the standard liberal calumnies against McCarthy in order to ridicule Sen. Harry Reid for making a Birther-like accusation against Mitt Romney, saying that the "word is out" that Romney didn't pay taxes for a decade.

This, it is claimed, is comparable to Sen. Joe McCarthy's "famous speech" in 1950, in which he allegedly said he had a list of 205 communists at the State Department -- but then he never produced that list!

As a coach, I understood early on when training young athletes, that the teaching process is a fourth of the inputs each kid must process. One is what is learned by oneself. One is what peers say. One is what comes from family. And one is what a teacher or coach says. The first is the most important - if that individual has been taught HOW to learn. An outstanding few pick it up on their own. Most are taught how NOT to learn on their own and then become part of the Progressive target voting base.

Like Coulter, I point out the heroism and correctness of McCarthy's investigations into Communism, and refute the bald-faced lies that have become accepted by so many - even the brighter ones like Krauthammer and Will. History will self-correct farther down the road - but near-contemporaneous beliefs are always held hostage by the charismatic spewers of disinformation and the complicit media that repeats their drivel. We will eventually get it right - but current efforts are always needed to fight today's lies.
Here is a cautionary tale for all Democrat lovers to heed..
Have a Gneiss Day!

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