Friday, August 10, 2007

Progressives or Regressives?

I found a great piece on Cafe Hayek by Economist Donald Boudreaux discussing how the term "Progressive" is actually a misnomer by those who like to use the term to describe themselves. He argues that those who call themselves "Progressives" are, in fact "regressive" in their belief that us weak minded commoners must be protected by those that know better.

"These "Progressives" want America to "progress" back to a state of mind that holds that we ordinary men and women are so naturally weak in mind, body and willpower that we must be protected by heroic white knights from nefarious forces intent on destroying us.

Just as feudal lords protected their serfs from being raped and pillaged by invading hordes, so, too, will the modern state protect us helpless and ignorant ordinary folk from unsafe foods, immoral drugs, blackhearted corporations, naughty words and inexpensive foreign products."

He goes on to equate how the Lords of old insisted on controlling and running the lives of the serfs who, of course, didn't know any better. If those serfs ever broke away from their Lord's control, their world would fall apart.

"And if the peasants succeeded in breaking the bonds of their servitude, society would disintegrate into a terrible free-for-all in which no one knew his place and every man and woman would run about making individual choices based on nothing more than their own petty, narrow and base preferences. Orderly society would be replaced by unpredictable, disorderly chaos.

"Progressives" today believe the same."

I love how Mr. Boudreaux sums it all up and says...

"Of course, when medieval superstitions, stasis and status eventually gave way to individualism, society did not collapse. It thrived as never before. Great cities were built. The profit motive led entrepreneurs to invent lifesaving medicines, more abundant food supplies, vibrant cultural products available to anyone who wished to partake in them and creature comforts undreamed of by even the wealthiest medieval monarchs.

In short, individualism -- and the freedom and free markets that it entails -- sparked and sustained progress as never before.

Today's "Progressives" seek a return to the status and static society in which the few direct and "protect" the many. That, of course, is the opposite of genuine progress."


  1. The present day use of "liberal" or "progressive" is almost Orwellian these days.

  2. Steve: Of course it is Orwellian. The entire liberal agenda is a list of Orwellian phrases:

    Right to Choose = Infanticide
    Freedom of Expression = Pornography
    Lifestyle Choice = Sodomy
    Affordable = Welfare
    Sustainable = State Control

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  5. Amazing, what the idle mind can do. Or is it the idiotic mind? I can never be too sure.

  6. No, it's the idiotic mind located at:

    90665 Libby Lane
    Coos Bay, OR 97420-7643

  7. Wow that Tony's a peach eh.

  8. Hey, that’s the same address where the Oregon drug task force meets!

  9. Yeah...and where the Montana Dept. of Revenue is still trying to collect on back taxes owed.

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