The Right Opinion
Progressivism: An Adolescent Ideology
One of the things I learned growing up is that, in order to actually grow up, you have to be man enough to admit when you're wrong. In one sense I feel sorry for those people who are unable to do so, because I know they're stuck in a self-imposed purgatory of semi-permanent adolescence. On the other hand, when those people are running things -- into the ground -- and dragging the adults along with them, my sympathy meter moves back to zero.
Millions of people in Europe and America are going to bear the brunt of economic pain far longer than they have to. And they'll do so because people with colossal egos can't admit that their socialist utopian schemes are utter failures.
I was at a party a few weeks ago and a conversation about human nature came up. I asked a women, a progressive as you might surmise from her answer, which is the more likely scenario with regard to an individual receiving 155 weeks of unemployment benefits: one, that person will be beating the bushes for another job staring in the first couple of weeks; or two, that person will be getting "serious" about looking for work around, say, week 150. Without missing a beat she opted for choice number one.
Mother Teresa? Maybe. Most people, as in 99.99 percent? Option number two, which brings us to the essential divide between progressivism and conservatism.
Progressives see people as they want them to be. Conservatives see them as they are.
Once one understands this essential difference, any number of issues can be explained with utmost clarity. Take the European crisis for example. Every monetary policy espoused by the left is based on the idea that people will behave how the left wants them to behave. Just give the tax-phobic, fun-loving, no consequences Greeks a few more years and a few hundred billion dollars more, and they'll eventually become nose-to-the-grindstone, no-nonsense Germans.
Like hell they will.
Anyone who has the slightest understanding of both cultural imperatives and human nature might have realized that long before now, especially given the fact that this is exactly the same "solution" to the problem progressives tried two years and a couple of hundred billion dollars ago.
I believe it was Einstein who came up with idea that insanity is defined as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result each time. But Einstein died long before the twin pillars of leftist philosophy came along. When one buys into multiculturalism, as in all cultures are "equally viable," and non-judgmentalism, as in any assessment of value in inherently prejudicial, Greeks and Germans become interchangeable -- in theory.
In real life? Not so much.
So why continue the insanity? The only logical conclusion -- and one must pause here and remind readers that, on many college campuses, logic is derided by progressives as a "tool of white oppression" -- is that the overwhelming majority of progressives are simply incapable of admitting when they're wrong.
It's not that they don't know when they're wrong. Most of the time they're quite transparent about it, as anyone who's ever been called a racist, homophobe, xenophobe, misogynist, or any number of other colorful epithets is well aware. Shouting one down, or changing the subject completely are the other fallback positions for those who can't defend their argument using the "tool of white oppression," as it were. And then there's the ultimate fallback position when all else fails:
We had good intentions.
The road to hell is paved with good intentions. So are the roads in liberal enclaves such as New York and California where good intentions such as unconscionable giveaways to public unions, sanctuary city policies sheltering illegal aliens, and suffocating do-gooder bans on cigarettes, trans-fat oils -- and now sodas larger than 16 ounces -- must be endured for the sake of assuaging progressive sensibilities. Sensibilities that all revolve around the same premise:
We know what's better for you than you do.
Except that they don't. New York and California, much like Greece and Spain, are insolvent. People tired of living in states that crush individualism and entrepreneurialism are moving away -- by the millions. Thoughtful people are beginning to realize if government hacks like a New York Mayor who thinks he's an emperor can control how many ounces of soda one drinks, it's just another progressive milestone along the way to controlling how many calories one can legally ingest, or how many push-ups one will be required to do -- all to satisfy our wannabe social utopian masters. And mind you, nothing has to have the weight of hard evidence behind it. Only an idiot would focus laser-like on soft drinks, when public schools across the nation have severely curtailed phys ed courses, and when recreation fields remain largely unused by a couple of generations addicted to video games, texting, and perhaps the most sedentary lifestyles in history.
Should we limit the number of hours one can sit in front of a computer as well?
Freedom, among others things, implies the ability to make choices -- including bad choices. The dirty little secret of progressivism is that their five decade love affair with moral relativity has largely eliminated the inevitable consequences that accompany bad choices. Why are millions of kids growing up without fathers? Because millions of sperm donors know government will take care of their kids, and maybe more importantly, virtually no one in the community will shame or ostracize them for their rotten behavior. Eliminate shame and personal integrity becomes the next casualty. A lack of personal integrity leads directly to many things, one of which is a sloven lifestyle accompanied by endless rationalization that allows many Americans to walk around morbidly obese. How do progressives fix the plethora of bad choices absent consequences their ideological worldview engendered?
It won't fly. People are enormously creative, whether it comes to moving billions of dollars out of banks in Greece and Spain as they're doing to avoid the crushing consequences of the EU's demise, leaving New York and California in droves -- or buying two sodas instead of one. To fix these problems, or the innumerable others created by progressives' fundamental misunderstanding of human nature, would require the one thing seemingly absent from progressive DNA: the ability to admit one has made a mistake.
Chances are Europe will burn, the populations of Florida and Texas will swell with Nanny State refugees, and New Yorkers will be drinking carrot juice from thimbles before it comes to that.