Rage-Filled Progressives Embrace Cultural Marxism

In the early 20th century, calling oneself progressive was a self-designation used by both Republicans (Theodore Roosevelt) and Democrats (Woodrow Wilson).  It acknowledged or promoted certain reforms in the body politic, yet by calling oneself progressive, there was the hope of differentiating oneself in the minds of the public from the socialists.  Socialism was deemed part of European culture, a response to the bourgeois culture that had arisen under a system in which there still were kings and queens and an entrenched elite who were perpetuated by being born into the nobility.  Since the beginning of our country, Americans had seen themselves as re-inventing culture.  Thus, the solution to various problems posed by industrialization, the transportation revolution created by the railroads, scientific farming, land use issues, and the growing complexity of banking and finance were perceived by our leaders as requiring new institutions and ways of thinking.

To some degree, the American leadership were led by Hegelian, Marxist, and Fabian socialists.  However, the idea was to transform these ideas into a socio-political and economic framework that was exceptional, with more dynamic and wealth-producing outcomes than the government critics in Europe could even imagine.  The Socialist Party led by Eugene V. Debs was much more critical of the U.S. in its 1912 platform than was either the Progressive Party or the Democratic Party.  Trust-busting to resist monopolies and oligopolies was deemed legitimate, but government ownership of the means of production, even of large industries, was not deemed by most to be needed.  Regulation by government, while a bone of contention, was not intended to reach the point of the federal government or any state or local government entity picking winners and losers (which regulation eventually led to as the century unfolded).  Workers were not perceived as victims, but, nonetheless, they were considered deserving of more respect than they were receiving from some captains of industry, such as the mining executives Teddy Roosevelt forced to the bargaining table.

Woodrow Wilson explicitly did not repudiate socialism, but he did not embrace it, either.  Rather, socialism embraced a Hegelian or Marxist dialectic whereby intellectuals were attracted to the non-linear perception dialectic afforded.  Aristotle's view for more than 2,000 years was linear.  The law of non-contradiction (all being is either A or not A and cannot be both) and the syllogism (all men are mortal; Socrates is a man; therefore, Socrates is mortal) led to either-or thinking.  Dialectical reasoning seemed to allow for syntheses of apparent opposites in social organization.  Thus, for John Dewey, who later affirmed before Congress that he was a socialist but not supportive of communism, there was a desire to see a synthesis of the school and society, or the child and the curriculum, of the "common faith" (in democracy) and the individual processing his own life's purpose and destiny.  Thus, the thought processes of the socialists were embraced more than the actual socialist programs.

Fast-forward one hundred-plus years to the progressives of our own era.  Now, the cultural Marxists, while still calling themselves progressive, have embraced the homosexual and transgender struggles against so-called "binary traditionalism."  They have embraced the struggle of minorities and people of color against white hegemony, so-called.  They have embraced the supposed struggle of females against males (#MeToo), going beyond an earlier phase of emphasizing equal pay for equal work or the need to "break the glass ceiling" for corporate advancement.  Now the male is becoming the enemy.  Campuses have signs plastered everywhere warning students against any and all forms of sexual harassment.  This writer has seen the signs, which portray the male students as though they were predatory beasts waiting to rip life and dignity away from the female students. 

In embracing these artifacts of cultural Marxism, they have had to somewhat distance themselves from the traditional Marxist class struggle since the workers (the proletariat)  are more happy with traditional male-female roles; have more experience working side by side with minorities than the Antifa and college campus freak-out types (especially at the more elite educational institutions); and, just as they regularly did one hundred years ago, respect and love the USA more than they do the "working class."  Thus, workers have become somewhat marginalized from the cultural Marxist version of the class struggle.  For the left, all their concerns noted above tend to converge, so they have adopted the term "intersectionality" to cover this convergence.  But since the workers do not fit neatly into the new pro-Marxist framework, they just hope no one notices and that the beloved proletariat does not show up at one of their rallies and beat the crap out of them.

Thus, following the teachings and leadings of both classic and cultural Marxists like Herbert Marcuse,  Antonio  Gramsci, John Dewey, Gus Hall, Saul Alinsky, Barack Obama, and others who despise the America that existed prior to the 1960s, the so-called progressives want to tear down the fabric of American life.  They promote violent confrontation of groups, interfere with the educational process by forcing ideological uniformity in educational settings K-12 and at the university level, exaggerate white hostility toward blacks and Latinos, and attack the Christian faithful as self-righteous hypocrites.  In any public pronouncement about the past of the United States, they have almost nothing favorable to say.  They repudiate our country as a land of exploitation, rejecting the image of the USA as the land of opportunity.  They are using the immigration issue, as they use every other issue, as an opportunity to tear down the stability, wealth, and Christian neighborliness of our society. 

In about one hundred years, the term "progressivism" has gone through a kind of time-space warp.  There was still an element of balance in the original term.  It was consciously distinguishing itself from socialism.  It tried to mute the rage and hatred suggested by "socialism" and its first cousin, communism.  Now the term "progressivism" has become wholly associated with the Democratic Party.  It is sinister in its program, its implications, and its design.  It is not constructive in its program, but seems driven by an unearthly hatred of the USA.  We need to push back consistently and often against this obsessive, antisocial tide of complaints and false values.

If you experience technical problems, please write to helpdesk@americanthinker.com