From the blog No Delusions, No Despair (another good blog name), The rise of barbaric progressivism:

Shortly before he died in the late 1930s, Sigmund Freud, by then a refugee from Nazism, wrote, “We live in very remarkable times. We find with astonishment that progress has concluded an alliance with barbarism.” He was referring to the rise of fascism and communism, and their combination of the most modern forms of science, technology, economic theory, and even aesthetics with the most horrific and savage forms of violence and sadism.

Today, the most fervent believers in the power of progress in the United States are the members and supporters of the eponymous progressive movement. It is a bit difficult to fully define this movement, as it is easily confused with other movements of the left like socialism, communism, and even anarchism. It is possible, however, to say that its view of progress is the polar opposite of Freud’s. By and large, it holds that 1) Humanity can be made better and even perfected. 2) The history of humanity is the history of inexorable progress toward that perfection. 3) It is the duty of the individual and society to be on “the right side” of that history—that is, on the side of progress. 4)  Humanity’s ultimate state of perfection will take the form of a blessed society in which suffering, poverty, and oppression have been overcome. 5) Anything that opposes or retards progress is a form of metaphysical evil.

While today’s progressivism maintains its façade of upper-middle class rectitude, it barely conceals a quasi-totalitarian mentality that puts down any dissent or opposition without much compunction. At the same time, many progressives have engaged in considerable violence and allied themselves with forces that are not only violent themselves, but categorically reject the values and mores that progressives themselves claim to hold sacred. Many progressives have gone so far as to adopt ideologies they claim to oppose passionately, such as racial hierarchy and antisemitism. The cost to the moral integrity of the movement has been immense, and there are no signs that the descent is slowing, let alone reversing itself.

It is notable, for example, that the institutions ruled by American progressives, particularly academia, are by and large the least free institutions in American society. They place a great deal of value on ideological conformity and almost none on fundamental liberties like free speech and assembly. Basic legal rights do not exist in the academic disciplinary system. Those who wish to avoid being fired or expelled for alleged transgressions must often submit to humiliating Maoist-style reeducation and struggle sessions during which they are forced to confess and repent their sins in a wretched public spectacle. As a result, progressive rule suffocates independent thought and silences criticism, thus destroying two of freedom’s greatest benefits. Similar circumstances prevail in those areas of corporate culture, the arts, the media, and even sports that are dominated or ruled by progressives.


Unfortunately Progressivism has become identified with wokism and is very different from the Progressivism of Teddy or Franklin Roosevelt.  It is challenging to keep up with these changing definitions, but that is why it is necessary to define them as we use them.

It is also why it is important to remember the principle behind the divided government and intentional firewalls to democracy designed in our constitution: that human nature is permanently flawed and cannot be trusted with concentrated power, whether that power originates in the divine right of kings or the ‘will of the people’.  Where our founding came from the thinking of the Enlightenment and classical liberalism, Progressivism grew from the historicism of Hegel, Pragmatism (capital ‘P’), and social scientific thinking that thought principles of the physical sciences could be applied to the social realm.   Progressivism in the U.S. was tempered by the Constitution, but it traveled in the same boat as political ideologies that considered human nature malleable and capable of improvement, if not perfection, by the state if it is in the right hands.

Accepting human flaws and governing accordingly has proven far less oppressive than those who spoke in the name of ‘the people’ in their grand schemes to improve humanity.

I recommend reading the entire article.