Monday, October 11, 2010

Watch out, the evil 'progressives' are coming

The men's dressing room at my gym is tuned all day long to the Fox Propaganda Network. And one thing I've been noticing, is that they really hate those 'evil progressives'. Apparently, progressives, who, according to Fox are way, way worse than those pot-smoking-tree-hugging-baby-aborting liberals, are plotting to grow the size of government and, huh, put an end to conservative crap.

Progressivism, it turns out, is simply a political attitude favoring or advocating changes or reform. That's it. Here's a nice little snippet borrowed from Wikipedia: 'According to John Halpin, senior advisor on the staff of the Center for American Progress, "Progressivism is an orientation towards politics. It's not a long-standing ideology like liberalism, but an historically-grounded concept... that accepts the world as dynamic." Progressives see progressivism as an attitude towards the world of politics that is broader than conservatism vs. liberalism, and as an attempt to break free from what they consider to be a false and divisive dichotomy.'

There. I hope that settles it.

The only constant thing is change. The Universe is a dynamic place, and we must constantly adapt to changing conditions, observe new trends, and always - ALWAYS - make intelligent, data-driven decisions.

We cannot make effective social or economic policy without sufficient data points to truly understand the effects of our actions. Unfortunately, demagogues of all political stripes adhere to parrot-repeated rhetoric, and promote social and economic doctrines that are untested and unproven.

So to hell with conservatives and liberals alike. Let's use proper logic and scientific methodologies for a change. So much of politics is bullsh*tty babble, it's time to grow up.


  1. JD, thanks for sending the link.

    I have to disagree though:

    To the progressive, the State is God. To the libertarian, the State is Satan

    Vox is using the word 'progressive' to describe a 'statist'. It is true that many statists have had progressive leanings, but not all progressives are statists. (All sheep are mammals, not all mammals are sheep).

    I am a progressive-libertarian. There are things I am progressive about, and there are things I am libertarian about. I don't love the State, and I don't hate the State. I pick and choose from each side what I agree with, because I can.

    Progressivism is not a political ideology. It's an attitude of openness towards change, nothing more. Back in the 19th century, 'progress' was a good thing for big business. It meant capitalist accumulation of wealth through mechanization and industrialization. Now it means something completely different; the meaning of what constitutes 'progress' changes over time, it is not fixed. Same thing with conservativism; the meaning changes over time. It used to be that if you allowed a woman to vote you were a conservative. In some countries, it means you own your wife(or wives) and you make her(them) wear a burqa. The old order is always being replaced by a new generation.

    In the 18th century, the right to keep and bear arms was considered UBER-liberal. Paupers with muskets? Democracy? How anti-monarchic!

    The State fulfills some good functions: fund the building and maintenance of roads and bridges, the keeping of police forces and courts of Justice. The funding of schools and medical research.

    But sometimes the State goes too far: taking naked pictures of people at the airport is one recent thing that comes to mind, for instance.

    What is needed is balance, not an 'all-or-nothing' mentality.