"Progressive"? Toward what end?

By

Robert Godwin, a.k.a. Gagdad Bob, is proprietor of a thought—provoking (and I confess occasionally perplexing to me) website called One Cosmos. He is unfailingly literate and provocative, and offers perspectives informed by an extraordinary set of intellectual tools.

Today, he takes on "progressives" and "conservatives" and supplies, as usual, some great insights.

In a sense, progressivism is deeply ahistorical, for it merely examines the now, pronounces that it does not like the now, and proposes radical policies to change the character of the now. And this is why the policies so frequently end in disaster, for as Thomas Sowell has written, they never take the time to 'think beyond stage one' and calculate the actual effect of their policies. [....]

... by hijacking the word 'progress' and incorporating it into their very name, everything progressives do is.... progressive, no matter how regressive——high taxes, redefining marriage, multiculturalism, moral relativism, appeasing terrorists.

Conservatives——at least this conservative——are interested in conserving the very conditions that allow progress to occur (especially psycho—spiritual progress), while progressives simply assume the conditions and try to tinker with the outcome, both in the micro realm (e.g., the family) and the macro realm (economics, foreign policy). [....]

How do we measure actual progress? Again, progress—which is relative——can only be measured in terms of some absolute, whether it is explicit or implicit. In purely the horizontal world of secular progressives, I suppose it can mean only one thing——material equality, as if it were somehow possible for everyone to be above average. But by definition, half the population is below average in whatever it is you are measuring. Therefore, to enforce equality in the name of progress might be fine for the lamb but is tyranny for the lion. No wonder 'job one' of the Democratic party is converting people into lambs, otherwise known as victims.

See what I mean? Bob is well worth reading.

For new readers, allow me to plug my own thoughts on the word "progressive."

Thomas Lifson   9 13 06

Robert Godwin, a.k.a. Gagdad Bob, is proprietor of a thought—provoking (and I confess occasionally perplexing to me) website called One Cosmos. He is unfailingly literate and provocative, and offers perspectives informed by an extraordinary set of intellectual tools.

Today, he takes on "progressives" and "conservatives" and supplies, as usual, some great insights.

In a sense, progressivism is deeply ahistorical, for it merely examines the now, pronounces that it does not like the now, and proposes radical policies to change the character of the now. And this is why the policies so frequently end in disaster, for as Thomas Sowell has written, they never take the time to 'think beyond stage one' and calculate the actual effect of their policies. [....]

... by hijacking the word 'progress' and incorporating it into their very name, everything progressives do is.... progressive, no matter how regressive——high taxes, redefining marriage, multiculturalism, moral relativism, appeasing terrorists.

Conservatives——at least this conservative——are interested in conserving the very conditions that allow progress to occur (especially psycho—spiritual progress), while progressives simply assume the conditions and try to tinker with the outcome, both in the micro realm (e.g., the family) and the macro realm (economics, foreign policy). [....]

How do we measure actual progress? Again, progress—which is relative——can only be measured in terms of some absolute, whether it is explicit or implicit. In purely the horizontal world of secular progressives, I suppose it can mean only one thing——material equality, as if it were somehow possible for everyone to be above average. But by definition, half the population is below average in whatever it is you are measuring. Therefore, to enforce equality in the name of progress might be fine for the lamb but is tyranny for the lion. No wonder 'job one' of the Democratic party is converting people into lambs, otherwise known as victims.

See what I mean? Bob is well worth reading.

For new readers, allow me to plug my own thoughts on the word "progressive."

Thomas Lifson   9 13 06