Friday, April 22, 2011


Progressivism is a political movement favoring or advocating changes or reform through governmental action.

Who can possibly be against progress? Well, progressivism and progress are not even close to the same. The spelling is very similar by design: to deceive. They are not even remotely similar in meaning.
Progressives, taking their values from Europe, came to regard the state as the vehicle to a nearly utopian society. Gradually it displaces individual responsibility, parental authority and communal institutions. — Dennis Prager
I stand for personal progress. Personal progress means personal growth, personal opportunity, personal responsibility, personal accountability, personal service to others, personal charity (not to be confused with social justice), individual rights, and the objective to perfect ourselves.

Progressives, on the other hand, push for government progress. When government progresses, all the above personal characteristics are stifled and even prohibited. While progressives profess to help those who need help, in reality, progressivism demands government regulation and taxation to tear down the most successful (except, of course, for the political elite in the progressive movement). When they seek to impose their agenda on the people, they become fascists.

Progressivism has given us a Nanny State, which purports to take care of all citizens. It must, in the process, impose of volumes of regulations, restrictions and arbitrary rules.
An important art of politicians is to find new names for institutions which under old names have become odious to the public. — French diplomat Talleyrand (1754-1838)
Progressivism evolved during the period from the 1880s to the 1930s (coinciding with the establishment of secular land-grand colleges* and the elevation to sainthood in the Atheist religion of the recently deceased Darwin and Marx) as the courts, political leaders, news editors/reporters/commentators, educators, and some religious leaders adopted five general ideas:
Rights are permissions and gifts from the government -- not God-given inborn characteristics of children of God.
▪ Government exists to make everything "fair" and nice by redistributing wealth and by controlling a variety of aspects of life -- not protecting rights "endowed by our Creator."
▪ Courts must exercise judicial restraint and not get involved when legislatures, presidents, and bureaucrats decide to violate rights. Presidents must exercise executive restraint and not get involved when legislatures, judges, and bureaucrats decide to violate rights. Legislatures must exercise legislative restraint and not get involved when judges, presidents, and bureaucrats decide to violate rights. Bureaucrats do whatever they please.
▪ The concept of a "living" Constitution which can and should be reinterpreted or ignored with the passage of time without going through the formal amendment process defined in the Constitution itself.
▪ The virtue once called truth and the old-fashioned sense of right and wrong has evolved into moral relativism. Progressives reject the concept of God-given truth. Instead, whatever man conjures up is "his reality" and is therefore his "truth"! Truth is temporary, vague, and changeable. This degradation of truth allows judges and politicians to ignore moral absolutes and natural law to impose their own will or the will of others upon the people.

The parallel establishment of land-grant colleges is significant because previously, higher education was generally affiliated with religion. This secular higher education system established an educational environment where God-given truths and the time-tested moral absolutes of religion are replaced with moral relativism -- the idea that there is no absolute truth, that truth evolves or changes with the circumstances or the whims of man. This supersedure of society's religion-based moral compass provided the conditions where progressivism could flourish (fester).

Progressivism dominated the political discourse in the early decades of the twentieth century. This movement inspired the growth of the regulatory state bureaucratic bloat. This era put us on the path to the overgrown, inefficient, intrusive, and expensive government that we have today.

While progressives may think and claim that the nation's founders were progressives as defined over the past 100+ years, they were not. Instead of "favoring or advocating changes or reform through governmental action," they rejected a burdensome government. They designed a new government with minimal intrusion into personal lives. The established a government to protect rights, not redefine rights or to change rights into privileges or to change privileges into rights. They wrote into the Constitution very specific and long-ignored restrictions on the government to preserve and enable personal progress.

We progress best when we have personal opportunity and motivation. Opportunity exists when individual rights are protected (a proper and major role of government). Motivation comes only from within -- not from some government bureaucracy.

We do not progress personally when we allow or expect the government to do for us what we should do ourselves. At best, we lie fallow. Most likely, our lot in life only worsens. Most importantly, we all pay a huge spiritual cost when we allow progressivism rule our lives and usurp our privilege and duty to serve each other.

Progressives appear to seek to do good. But, they do it with other people's money and labor. They define "good" to fit their own statist ends. That is not progress. It is tyranny.

In medicine, some diseases are referred to as "progressive." In government and politics, progressivism is a disease.

Recommended books:
Progressivism: Our Road to Serfdom
Progressivism: Our Road to Serfdom

How Progressives Rewrote the Constitution
How Progressives Rewrote the Constitution

American Progressivism: A Reader
American Progressivism: A Reader

Who Really Cares: The Surprising Truth About Compassionate Conservatism
Who Really Cares: The Surprising Truth About Compassionate Conservatism

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