Sunday, September 26, 2010
We are Living in The Progressive Age
Rachel Maddow, who I think is the smartest person on MSNBC (I know, that's not saying much), read a litany of liberal actions undertaken by President Ronald Reagan. The purpose was to throw all Obama criticism back in the faces of us racist conservatives. It was unbalanced and simplistic, just the way Obama devotees like their propaganda.
If you want some actual thinking Reagan criticism, look no further than libertarian economist Murray Rothbard. He hits the same point Maddow does, damning all modern-day liberalism in the process.
Progressivism is Here
Progressivism was ushered in by Teddy Roosevelt and nurtured by Professor Woodrow Wilson. It was finally rammed home by FDR, who never let a crisis go to waste. The constitution is trampled, our personal freedoms diminished, and government continues to grow.
That is the political environment President Reagan found himself in. That is the only defense I can muster. Ours is a progressive structure, built over the decades, and even a good strong man like Ronald Reagan weilding a sledgehammer couldn't knock the damned thing down, although he did pull us out of Carter's malaise. President Clinton was smart enough to continue Reaganomics, and we had the greatest economic boom in our country's history.
It's no longer "Liberty versus Tyranny"
Rather, it's "which version of tyranny do you prefer? Republican or Democrat?"
Better stated, it is statist progressivism versus classical liberalism. This is why "progressive" fits the current crowd on the left so much better than "liberal." For they are very illiberal and they castigate all who refuse to pay obeisance to their man-made dogma. As the state increases, individualism decreases. We cede more and more control of our lives to the state and the to the busybody control freaks who infest it.
A Socialist by any other name...
F.A. Hayek rightly calls all of it Socialism. For that is what it is: Chinese and Russian Communism, Italian and German Fascism, and the US Progressive movement embodied in FDR's new deal and Johnson's great society all have theoretical non-party socialism at their core.
Hayek uses the term to include even states that do not physically take over the means of production, but merely redistribute the fruits of those enterprises through the coercive power of government. Why should the bureaucratic overlords get their hands dirty when all they have to do is shake down the producers at the end of each workday?
The end result is the same: The state ignoring its founding principles and confiscating personal property and "spreadin' it around." That is how progressivism leads to totalitarianism.
The Road to Serfdom, F.A. Hayek, Edited by Bruce Caldwell