Category Archives

Archive of posts published in the category: Progressivism

The Forgottten Man and Civil Liberty

“Now if I have set this idea before you with any distinctness and success, you see that civil liberty consists of a set of civil institutions and laws which are arranged to act as impersonally as possible. It does not consist in majority rule or in universal suffrage or in elective systems at all. These are devices which are good or better just in the degree in which they secure liberty.”

Read More

An Alliance of Victims and Experts

“That is, the experts are not always disinterested, and they sometimes use their powerful positions to find ways to avoid the consequences of their own innovations. Court-ordered busing to achieve school integration, for example, involved many children, but few whose parents were the judges, lawyers, and activists who promoted this remedy.”

Read More

The Risk of Historical Determinism

The evolution of philosophy document so well in The Tyranny of Reason by Yuval Levin brought the dream of scientific reason to the social realm, expressed by Hegel that influenced Marx, the communists, and the fascists and to a much lesser extent, the progressives. It is expressed innocently as the arc of history or the right side of history.  Darwin provided the link from science to society, though he should not be held accountable for those who so bastardized his work. The ‘inevitability’ of history provided cover for the most brutal regimes of the last century.

Read More

The Mutated Rationale of the Administrative State

“Neither the inflation of the 1970s nor the transformation of America’s industrial heartland into its Rust Belt was inevitable, she argues. Both were direct, foreseeable consequences of short-sighted choices: demanding that monetary policy accommodate irresponsible fiscal policy, and labor and management agreeing to enrich one another by fleecing customers and shareholders ever more brazenly.”

Read More

The Dignity of the Destitute

“Hopkins much preferred giving straight cash, even if the reliefer used it for tobacco or liquor; on the whole, he felt, more damage was done to the human spirit by loss of choice than by loss of vitamins.”

Read More

The Forgotten Men

For FDR the ‘Forgotten Man’ was the victim of an unfair society left behind in the capitalist economy. Only a robust central government had the power to right this wrong. For William Sumner the ‘Forgotten Man’ was one who would be required to ultimately pay for it.

Read More

The Liberal Q-Anon

“A note to our progressive friends: This is your version of Q-Anon — falling for obvious, ridiculous lies because you want to believe the worst about people you hate.”

Read More

Democracy and Climate

“Progressives have long struggled with the tension between their desire, often genuine, to be democratizers and their desire to give experts (however unreliably identified) a larger role in the administration of public affairs. “

Read More

The Seduction of Judicial Moral Truth

“Why wait until one can build popular majorities and win elections on your policy platform when unelected judges could give you the results now? Why should judges rely on broadly accepted principles of limited government when they could instead enforce polarizing but substantively rich principles of the public good? “

Read More

CRT as Racial Calvinism

“So critical race theory, protesting the old injustice, embraces its lie. This is not progress but revenge. The motive is not justice but payback, lex talionis—an understandable, if Balkan, impulse. Beware a hedgehog claiming the immunities of an innocent victim. Beware when victimhood is his One Big Thing.”

Read More

Illiberal Ideology Brings Illiberal Methods

“An advocate for unaccountable, totalitarian control of our society is the darling of every single elite institution in America, and is routinely given platforms where no tough questioning of him is allowed.  He is as dumb as Obama is smart; as crude as Obama is nuanced; as authoritarian as Obama is liberal.”

Read More

Why CRT Is Doomed

“Hiring practices and workplaces should be fair and welcoming to all, employees say, but mandatory diversity training premised on the ubiquity of “unconscious racism” and “white fragility” is coercive and insulting.”

Read More

A Foundation of Yesterdays

” If critical race theory were critical in any meaningful sense (a more descriptive name might be self-satisfied race theory), it would critically explain why those politicians most answerable to black voters seem to do so little to improve their lot.”

Read More

Successor Ideology

Andrew shuns the authoritarianism of the GOP’s cult of personality and the illiberal squelching of opinion and commentary of the ‘woke’ left.  If the Democrats do not wrestle control from its illiberal woke element it only feeds the reactionary right. It is more important to stand for clearly articulated liberal principles than to define yourself by what you stand against.

Read More

Fighting to Retain Enlightenment Values

They are not blind to the shortcomings of those ideals, nor are they willing to ignore the value of those ideals.  Only by demonizing Enlightenment values can we find racism in math and science.  In reacting to CRT as they are they are fighting to retain Enlightenment values.

Read More

The Agent Principal Problem

Because socialism always begins with a man in a workshirt and ends with a guy dressed up as Cap’n Crunch,

Read More

The Sanctuary of the Courts

The difference between progressives and conservatives today is far greater than their positions on issues; that is merely a distraction.  There is a fundamental difference between their position on the purpose of government, their understandings of human nature and knowledge,  and their philosophy that ensues from that understanding.

Read More

Progressive Contradictions and Ironies

The first contradiction is the drive to greater democracy while driving more policy making to unelected administrators. Progressive thinkers like Goodwin, Wilson, and Dewey had a faith that bureaucrats would better serve the public interest objectively than elected officials.  They replaced the separation of powers with the separation of politics from administration. Their belief that administration would not be subject to political partisanship seems naive today.

Read More

The General Will

Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson turned this upside down, contending that property rights should be determined according its ability to serve the greater good, the general will. This shift of the Progressive Era from the primacy of minority rights to a majoritarian will defines the progressive shift in American politics.  The question is who or what determines the will of the majority. For Wilson it was the president as the sole official elected by all the people.

Read More

The Inorganic Constitution

A mechanical view is not an obstruction to progress. An organic view is less flexible in its design than we need and it depends on an expertise and competency that is illusory.

Read More