Category Archives

Archive of posts published in the category: Progressivism

The “Woke’ Bastardization of Progressivism

The term ‘Progressive’ has come to mean something Theodore or Franklin Roosevelt would never recognize.  A pejorative for dysfunctional policies detached from any accountability or reason.  While I have come to appreciate the aims of Progressivism at its inception, I still recognize the inevitable flaws of permanent government solutions to every conceivable social problem. Perhaps this ‘woke’ bastardization of the term ‘progressive’ was the inevitable outcome from a movement that was incapable of articulating any limits on government power.

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An Excess of Democracy

There was more than just the lack of power that the central government needed to function properly that the current alliance circumvented.  There was also an abuse of democracy that mere modification of the Articles could not address.

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The Threat of Revolutionary Justice

Threats to intimidate and undermine our legal institutions is no different from undermining our electoral institutions.  Systemic racism and CRT and all of their iterations seek to undermine these critical institutions.  Social justice is a poor substitute for real justice, and can easily become its opposite.

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A Carefully Constructed Republic

The critical point is not that we are simply a republic and not a democracy, but that we are a very carefully constructed republic, reflecting an understanding of human nature, with numerous firewalls that are designed to prevent the democracy from degenerating into anarchy and tyranny.

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Oligarchical Solialism

“The technocratic future is already upon us. And it has little need for the labor of the lower classes—or the messiness of democracy. These same people have amassed the power to control and disseminate information far more subtly and efficiently than Mussolini, Hitler, or Stalin.”

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Hyphenated Capitalism

“Hyphenated capitalism is no capitalism at all. The better name for it is socialism lite.” Nikki Haley

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Capitalism and The New Deal

“Recovery had proceeded far enough to end despair, but not far enough to restore satisfaction. People still felt that many things were wrong, but no longer felt, as they had in the terrible days of 1933, that their single duty was to trust Franklin Roosevelt and hold their peace. By transforming the national mood from apathy to action, the New Deal was invigorating its enemies as well as its friends.”

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Political Observations 2021 09 29

Whether you are a Democrat or a Republican you cannot incite a mob and expect to control it for long. The French learned this long ago. 

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A Reasonable Use of Liberty

The government or the politicians who seek the power of government tend to promise benefits without paying for them.  When there is an eviction moratorium what happens to the landlord? When we forgive college debt or any other debt who makes up the shortfall?  When the minimum wage is raised where does this increase come from?  We pretend either the shortfall magically appears or worse, it comes out of the pockets of evil greedy people who deserve to be shorted.

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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.”

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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.”

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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.

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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.”

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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.”

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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.

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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.”

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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. “

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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? “

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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.”

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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.”

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