Just what is “Progressivism?”


by Mustang

The word “progressive” has been so overused in the past thirty years that no one today is quite sure what it means.  In the 18th century Immanuel Kant defined progress as being a movement away from barbarism toward civilization.

Immanuel Kant (Prussian philosopher, 1724-1804)

Immanuel Kant

It included, of course, advances in science, technology, economic development, and social organization.  It evolved from the Industrial Era, a belief that economic inequities impeded social progress.  The argument was adopted almost entirely by Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, two clever men who discovered how easy it was to divide societies for their purposes.

As with many words, “progressivism” has had many meanings.  In the early 20th century, American progressivism began as an intellectual rebellion against Constitutionalism, whereby enumerated powers limit government authority.  No modern progressive respects the Constitution, which has become the crux of socio-political disagreement in the 21st Century.  After Theodore Roosevelt, progressivism became identified with eugenics — the notion that human populations can be improved by excluding inferior groups and promoting people of “superior” quality.  No political party embraced this concept more than American Democrats and German Fascists.  Thankfully, we’ve managed to rid ourselves of the German Fascists; we remain plagued with Democrats, however.

More recently, American Democrats have cloaked their long-held belief of racial superiority within their demand for public policies that guarantee socio-political supremacy.  Claiming to represent the interests of “ordinary people,” modern progressives insist on more government control of nearly every aspect of American lifestyles, including the economy.  The juxtaposition, of course, is that progressives claim to champion the ordinary man while at the same time harboring deep resentment for populists.

Populists are the people who cling to their Bibles and their guns, who deeply resent the progressive elitists because of their haughty assertions that they know what is best for everyone else.  Populists passionately detest progressives because of their overwhelming repudiation of Constitutionalism and their embrace of communism/Marxism.  Mind you, many populists suffered the loss of loved ones and relatives who were combat veterans in wars against communism.

Despite two hundred years of “progress,” our world has not become a better place.  One would think that after two world wars (and numerous lesser-sized conflicts, albeit equally deadly to those who participated in them), Americans might at least have learned a few lessons.  For instance, progressive-minded people might have learned something from the collapse of the Soviet Union; they might have learned something about communism from the millions of innocent dead who were the victims of communism.  But — no.

No sensible person today anxiously embraces the horror of what communism presented to the world — which, I think, is my point.  We today find ourselves confronting a long line of irrational human beings, utterly incapable of knowing, much less understanding the essential elements of enlightened thought.  We must understand this, of course, in the context of their deep commitment to communism, where such things as freedom of speech, association, religion are as abhorrent to them as gulags and firing squads are to ordinary people.  There may be rational progressives, somewhere, but if there are, they have become grossly overshadowed by the supremely ignorant, foolish, and absurd.  Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez stands at the head of that line.

But at least now we know the enemy — which is the right word to use.  They are not “opposition,” as in polite discourse.  They are a dangerous enemy, but it is the civilized process of electioneering that must defeat them.  We can, of course, shoot them in self-defense, but we must not deny them their right to have an opinion or express it — no more than they are entitled to refuse populists their Constitutional rights, as established in the Bill of Rights.  But what must change are the people we choose to represent the American point of view in Congress.

First, however, we must know what the American point of view is, and then we must find people capable of articulating it.  The Republican Party no longer measures up to even our lowest expectations.  The Democrats have not embraced American values since 1828.  We must find a different way.

What say you, citizens of Bunkerville?

Mustang also blogs at Fix Bayonets and Thoughts From Afar

18 Responses to “Just what is “Progressivism?””

  1. Hannelore Barnard Says:

    Good blog post.🔥 🤠 2021-06-21 03h 28min

    Like

  2. Bill H. Says:

    Forget all of the analysis. None of the Democrat terms mean anything. They are just buzzwords. “Progressive” came into use to replace “Liberal” when the Republicans put the latter into a negative context, as in “tax and spend liberal.” Calling oneself a “liberal” began to sound bad, so they all became “progressives.” None of them are anything of the sort, of course, since both things mean “forward thinking,” and they are followers (note “followers”) of the teachings of Karl Marx, who died decades ago.

    Liked by 4 people

    • bunkerville Says:

      Thanks for the Cliff Note edition. I appreciate the time taken by others who take the time to try and sort out the nasty stuff. But then again I am a history buff… one of the few and far between kind of person.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Bill H. Says:

      It always gives me a good feeling when I am “liked” by someone who uses the globe and anchor as a signature.

      Like

  3. peter3nj Says:

    A simple yet shining example of how well our progressive media is doing its job:
    I’ve mentioned more than once that our family is supporting four families in Venezuela starving and suffering poor health under the communist’s workers paradise, where there is no work and no paradise. Saturday after shopping and loading the $300.00 of groceries ( the cost to ship to Venezuela will be close to $500.00) into my CRV I went back inside our local Shop Rite supermarket, receipt in hand located the store manager, a gentleman of Latino extraction and asked if there was anything the store could donate for the suffering people of Venezuela. His quizzical look told me everything before he even he begged ignorance of what was going on in Venezuela. He feigned shock and surprise before saying no to any donation. Imagine if you can a Latino living in america in the early 60’s ignorant of the Cuban people’s plight or Imagine if you can in 1980 an american of Slavic background ignorant of Poland’s Lech Walenska’s fighting to throw off the yoke of communist oppression? Would he have been successful with the media of today? Anyone’s guess….
    As they would say in the hood where billions if not trillions of taxpayers dollars have disappeared, “Dat’s dope yo.”

    Liked by 3 people

    • Mustang Says:

      I applaud your devotion to your in-laws, Peter, and for the goodness of your soul. Perhaps the manager of Rite Aid will later reflect on your conversation with him and come to some conclusion about his state of grace. We can hope. My guess is that even if everyone in America chipped in $500 to send to Venezuela, nothing would change there … and won’t until the people find some way of changing their political landscape. Given the history of Venezuela, I won’t hold my breath. I’ve written several pieces about Spanish culture and its manifestation in the New World (Old West Tales). No one has been crueler to the Hispanic lower classes than the Spanish upper class. The Spanish inherited their caste structure from their Moslem conquerors, which was ingrained in them for close to 800 years. We can hope, though …

      Liked by 3 people

      • peter3nj Says:

        And the fallout is spreading with neighboring Colombia being inundated with Venezuelan refugees. Dominoes anyone?

        Liked by 3 people

      • Mustang Says:

        Such has been the successful domestic policies of the government of Mexico and all points south. Drive the people toward the Americanos and let them handle the problem of the poor and huddled masses. It is a policy that benefits not only the central American regimes, but it works out well for Democrats/Communists, as well. It’s been a winning combination since Franklin Roosevelt announced his “good neighbor” policy in 1933. “Action passed is action complete.”

        Liked by 3 people

    • bunkerville Says:

      I echo Mustang’s comment Peter. How well I recall the fall of Cuba to Castro and the nightly news coverage which was discussed by my family. I had relatives working in Cuba at the time…I bet if asked, few could tell you about any of it. There is only the present now.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. markone1blog Says:

    I have often wondered what real progress for America has been made by progressives. Based on the actions of those who embrace the “progressive” label, I would suggest “regressive” would be more apt.

    Liked by 5 people

    • kidme37 Says:

      Well, they have continually upped the bar in FUBARing…

      Liked by 4 people

    • Mustang Says:

      I would suggest that the amount of progress achieved by the “progressive movement” somewhere between -0/+0. American society seems stuck in an accelerator that is moving us at nearly warp speed toward the kind of dystopia reflected in the film Mad Max.

      General acceptance for this disastrous “way forward” is the direct result of the brainwashing that occurs in our public education system. Taking a close look at all the teacher’s colleges in the USA, there is only one possible explanation: that it is an intentional effort to permanently transform the American Republic from that which it once represented into something more akin to the utopian ideals of Karl Marx and Frederick Engels — one child at a time.

      It’s time to stop pussy-footing around with such labels as “liberalism” and “progressivism” and cut to the chase. It’s communism, purely and simply. Our enlightened forefathers were liberals. There is nothing liberal about the Democratic Party. Zip. I completely agree with NRRinglee’s comments, below. The argument communists made about economic inequity didn’t work, so they’ve returned in full force to what they know does work: racial disharmony. Wake up America, it’s time for a reality check.

      Liked by 4 people

  5. nrringlee Says:

    Colonel House’s Book “Charles Drew: Administrator” is a users guide for Social Darwinists who find themselves in the federal bureaucracy. Positivism, Social Darwinism, Fabian Socialism these are all names that brought forth the Progressive Movement of the latter part of the 19th Century and absolutely dominated public discourse up until the end of the Wilson Administration. By then the progressives had so sullied the term ‘progressive’ that FDR and his gang of authoritarians had to rebrand the democrat party under the banner of “liberalism.” Nothing could be more oxymoronic but there were enough morons in our population to happily follow these pied pipers of positivism and Social Darwinism that they gained power. I hit this nerve while working in the stacks located in the basement of the SF State library. That little recon mission unearthed a mountain of policy documents and papers relating to the progressive administrations in the latter decades of the 19th and early 20th Centuries in California and their nefarious impact on public policy and people. And that discovery made me a marked man. Anyone who dared utter that term and question the intent of the American left risked immediate transport back to the remote penal colony of Alinsky Island. I took the risk and have enjoyed a rare clarity since. When the likes of Limbaugh used the term ‘libs’ to describe the monsters of the left I cringed as they did not deserve that pardon nor did granting them cover under the term liberalism serve the cause of liberty. But other than that, the scales fell from my eyes and I could see the many nefarious bureaucrats working their nefarious deeds within the safety and anonymity of our bureaucratic leviathan and call them out by their proper names. I guess that might be why the wise oracles in the monitor branch never moved me to DC for a Pentagon or HQMC tour. I knew the gig. Semper Sic Tyrannis. Semper Fidelis

    Liked by 4 people

  6. Ed Bonderenka Says:

    Progressivism? https://youtu.be/64BOxYpVZpU
    Totalitarianism.
    It’s interesting to watch the old movie “Things to Come”.
    That’s the “progressive” agenda right there.
    Rule by an elite.

    Liked by 4 people

    • nrringlee Says:

      So true. And the starry-eyed fools of today have yet to learn those lessons. Of all qualities describing the political activists and organizers of today I can find no better term to describe their character than ‘hubris.’

      Liked by 3 people


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