Progressivism – Not the Way to Go
Today’s liberal ethic is rooted in the cultural revolution of the 18th Century Enlightenment (and Modernism, ‘the culture of rational discourse’). “Enlightened” intellectuals rejected the reason and traditions of the past, especially its entrenched historical religious authority, embracing instead a secular ethic of natural reason – conclusions based solely on evidence – pioneered by Descartes’s largely mechanistic approach to the world. Although the Enlightenment originated within the purview of Christianity, its secular liberalism would limit the influence of religion by driving all religious thinking from traditional philosophy, replacing it with scientific-technical humanistic values. That reason had survived at least 2500 years of human development prior to the Enlightenment was of no matter – feelings would replace fact as the criterion for progress.
Liberal science remains technological and mechanistic in its attempt to be values-free. As such it is incomplete (failing to recognize anything beyond the physical), and amoral.
The foundation of modern liberalism lies in Critical Theory, an early-1900s product of Germany's Frankfurt School. Based on Marxist conjecture and underlying thesis that “all history is about which groups have power over which other groups,” its goal was to combine social theory, philosophy, economics and cultural criticism, and eliminate the distinction between the individual and the group – in other words, Communism. The movement migrated to the U.S. via New York in 1920 and California in 1930, firmly ensconcing itself at the University of Wisconsin along the way. Eventually critical theory abandoned its German idealistic roots and morphed into American pragmatism and, finally, Political Correctness.
Progressivism is a broad-based secular reformist movement espousing a technical and cultural elite of professionals and highly-paid bureaucrats. Its ideological basis (agenda) is big government, eliminating individual rights, and removing all evidence of religiosity from public places. Progressives would limit the free exercise and influence of religion in public life generally, and would have the establishment disenfranchise religiously-motivated voters to achieve their ends.
The Progressive ethic emerged as a result of societal changes brought about by industrialization. Its ideology claims that knowledge is only achieved with empirical evidence – reason alone is not the criterion. Only social organization and technology could improve the human condition – individual freedom is not required. It eschews corporate concentration of power, marginalization of the electorate and militarism, and advocates peace, human rights, civil rights and liberties, social and economic justice, gun control. nonviolence and a preserved environment.
The Progressive framework includes Deconstructionism, a 1960s outgrowth of the Enlightenment’s ‘philosophy of language’ that removes meaning from existing text, reinserting another meaning of the elitist’s choice. (It amounts to one’s being told by the ‘enlightened’ elite what one thinks, a simplistic but correct description of the work of Jacques Derrida). Deconstruction denies even the possibility of essential meaning – absolute truth – and, conceptual hierarchy; no word can acquire meaning by being the unmediated expression of something non-linguistic (anything other than the word itself, including reality). It denies (and defies) rational thought.
Our Founders warned against such factions. Progressivism is an unethical anti-American faction whose standards fly in the face of our Constitution. It would destroy liberty and the American way of life as we know it. It has no place in our culture. It must be arrested.