Sunday, December 04, 2011

The Progressives Did It to Themselves

It is a rather humorous take on Occupy Wall Street - the corporations control the government, so therefore we need more government to control the corporations. It would seem to indicate a flaw in progressive thinking, if the goal of progressivism was to regulate the economy for the benefit of the people.

But a look at history, when liberals and progressives were considered to be something different instead of today's misunderstanding which considers them the same, reveals a different picture of what progressives stand for and why.

When the so-called "Gilded Age" gave way to the "Progressive Era" the succession of William McKinley, Theodore Roosevelt, and William Howard Taft show the actual motives of the progressives, and why they actually sought to increase government power in spite of claims that it was for the good of the masses.

A significant portion of United States history can be explained by the conflict between the Rockefeller family and the Morgan family, with each family backing political candidates. The goal was to use the government to attack the interests of the other. Theodore Roosevelt was sponsored by, and acted for, the Morgan family. William McKinley and William Howard Taft were candidates of the Rockefeller family.

With all three, the appeal was made to give the government more regulatory powers, while the motive was to use those powers to attack the interests of the other family.

Libertarians and progressives both have a product to sell, and the target audience of both is liberals. Right now progressives are the more successful salesmen. They know how to frame their ideas in terms that appeal to liberals. They are able to frame the issues more successfully, because control for the sake of control isn't a liberal value.

The combination of Occupy Wall Street and Ron Paul preparing to face Barack Obama in the general election has thrown the whole issue of progressivism's true values into sharp relief. It is getting harder and harder for progressives to sell their poisoned product to liberals, and that is why progressives really are more terrified of libertarianism than ever before and so staunchly oppose the candidacy of Ron Paul.


Cornelius said...

Not so here:

Ayn R. Key said...

You realize that I'm using a strict definition of "progressive" based on the time when "liberal" and "progressive" meant something different?

Libertarian, Liberal, Progressive

Progressive Feudalists