Friday, January 08, 2010

American Progressivism, A Reader

The subject book, edited by Ronald Pestritto and William Atto provides a sampling of some of the key speeches and writings of key American "progressives". It is a sobering book.

"We today who stand fore the Progressive movement here in the United States are not wedded to any particular kind of machinery, save solely as means to the end desired. Our aim is to secure the real and not nominal rule of the people. With this purpose in view, we propose to do away with whatever in our government tends to secure privilege ..." (TR)

There you have it. Yes, it DOES include doing away with private property and the constitution as we know it, and the subjugation of any individual. The end is mob rule -- any means needed to get there is justified!

 "Living political constitutions must be Darwinian in structure and in practice. Society is a living organism and must obey the laws of life, not of mechanics; it must develop."

"By tyranny, as we no fight it, we mean control of the law, of legislation and adjudication, by organizations which to not represent the people, by means which are private and selfish."
 Those quotes are from Woodrow Wilson. What is the problem? The rule of law. Everything ought to "evolve" to what "the people want". As if life did not "obey" the laws of physics (mechanics). At the core of progressivism is simple wishful thinking -- we can have what we want by voting for what we want and telling others to give it to us. It is a movement dedicated to the ends somehow not only justifying the means, but somehow creating the means.
"Now that mines are great social undertakings, and their products are sold at monopoly prices, has private ownership any basis is reason or ethics?" (Walter Rauschenbusch, theologian, social gospel movement"
Private property is obviously the root of American freedom and economic success, but it is the bane of those who are primarily driven by envy rather than productivity as progressives are. If a thing has value, then a progressive believes that everyone ought own it collectively -- which as we know from the USSR, means that the value is destroyed and everyone loses. No matter to the progressive -- better that all should starve than a few are able to earn their way to wealth through their efforts and at the same time save any from starving. The burning anger in the breast of the progressive for the success of that one person is worth the deaths of any number of people required so that his success can be "leveled".

While the book is useful and contains a lot of good material, I hesitate to recommend anyone but an academic or those hopelessly dedicated to looking at both sides reading it. There are no surprises here, "progressive" is synonomous with "anti-American" if America means anything different from "A standard European socialist state". If it doesn't, then why should there even BE an America?