State of Mankind

A New Way Of Thinking

I. Progressivism & Libertarianism

CHAPTER I 
 
 Progressivism & Libertarianism
 

                     The first thing I would like to discuss is the language which will be used, as meanings of words and names are often confusing and many times mean opposite things to people on different ends of the political spectrum.  With this in mind, I will begin this review at almost the end of Quigley’s book on pg. 1,231, which states:  

                 “Because this is the tradition of the West, the West is liberal.  Most historians see liberalism as a political outlook and practice found in the nineteenth century.  But nineteenth-century liberalism was simply a temporary organizational manifestation of what has always been the underlying Western outlook.  That organizational manifestation is now largely dead, killed as much by twentieth-century liberals as by conservatives or reactionaries.  It was killed because liberals took applications of that manifestation of the Western outlook and made these applications rigid, ultimate, and inflexible goals.  The liberal of 1880 was anticlerical, antimilitarist, and antistate because these were, to his immediate experience, authoritarian forces that sought to prevent the operation of the Western way.  The same liberal was for freedom of assembly, of speech, and of the press because these were necessary to form the consensus that is so much a part of the Western process of operation.   

                 “But by 1900 or so, these dislikes and likes became ends in themselves.  The liberal was prepared to force people to associate with those they could not bear, in the name of freedom of assembly, or he was, in the name of freedom of speech, prepared to force people to listen.  His anti-clericalism became an effort to prevent people from getting religion, and his antimilitarism took the form of opposing funds for legitimate defense.  Most amazing, his earlier opposition to the use of private economic power to restrict individual freedoms took the form of an effort to increase the authority of the state against private economic power and wealth in themselves.  Thus the liberal of 1880 and the liberal of 1940 had reversed themselves on the role and power of the state, the earlier seeking to curtail it, the latter seeking to increase it.  In the process, the upholder of the former liberal idea that the power of the state should be curtailed came to be called a conservative.  This simply added to the intellectual confusion of the mid-twentieth century, which arose from the Irrational Activist reluctance to define any terms, a disinclination that has now penetrated deeply into all intellectual and academic life.   

                 “In this connection we might say that the whole recent controversy between conservatism and liberalism is utterly wrongheaded and ignorant.  Since the true role of conservatism must be to conserve the tradition of our society, and since that tradition is a liberal tradition, the two should be closely allied in their aim at common goals.  So long as liberals and conservatives have as their primary goals to defend interests and to belabor each other for partisan reasons, they cannot do this.”   

                 A little later he defines early (19th century) conservatism.   

                 “…Conservatism of this type was, indeed, closer to what I have called liberalism than the liberals of 1880 were, since the conservatives of this type were perfectly willing to use the Church or the army or the state to carry out their moderate and tentative projects, and were prepared to use the state to curtail arbitrary private economic power, which the liberals of the day were unwilling to do (since they embraced a doctrinaire belief in the limitation of state power)” (Pages 1,231-1,231).   

                 In my reading and study, he is absolutely correct.  When reading Hayek’s The Road to Serfdom or any other European work from WWII or earlier (sometimes even modern European journalists), it is important to keep this understanding of meanings in mind.  For my purposes, I will use the terms Libertarian (meaning 19th century Liberal, negative liberty, or freedom from government) and Progressive (meaning 20th century Liberal, positive liberty, or freedom through government).  It is worth looking a little closer at these ideals, as it is difficult to define a belief by a label.  I believe Quigley wanted to use the confusion of the definitions of these labels to push his idea that the parties should both follow one agenda.  He states:   

                 “The argument that the two parties should represent opposed ideals and policies, one, perhaps, of the Right and the other of the Left, is a foolish idea acceptable only to doctrinaire and academic thinkers.  Instead, the two parties should be almost identical, so that the American people can ‘throw the rascals out’ at any election without leading to any profound or extensive shifts in policy” (Pg. 1,247-1,248).   

                 The problem that I see with Quigley’s idea here is that the candidates are supposed to represent the people, not the other way around.  We want to ‘throw the rascals out’ because we don’t agree with the policies and want the shifts.  Quigley would limit our choice to only a narrow difference offered by the party leaders.  I think there should be diversity equal to that of the people.  I believe that we need real debate between the Libertarian and Progressive ideas, so the people can decide which they truly want.  It is, however interesting that there are Progressives in both major parties today, as well as those that lean more Libertarian.  In essence, Quigley is quite correct if he predicted the parties to become almost the same.  Many people in both parties would use government power to push their agenda.  Both parties have spent us deep into debt.  I would argue that we need real choices and real debate.  To frame what I think the real debate is, in the long term, let’s look at who represents these opposed ideals.   

                 I’ll start with the Progressives.  I think President Barak Obama, a self proclaimed Progressive, gives the best starting point.  In a speech on WBEZ (Public Radio) on Jan. 18, 2001 he said the following:   

                 “…But the Supreme Court never ventured in to the issues of redistribution of wealth and sort of more basic issues of political and economic justice in this society.  And to that extent as radical as I think people tried to characterize the Warren Court, it wasn’t that radical.  It didn’t break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the founding fathers and the Constitution, at least as it’s been interpreted.  And Warren Court interpreted it in the same way, that generally the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties, says what the states can’t do to you, says what the federal government can’t do to you.  But it doesn’t say what the federal government or the state government must do on your behalf.  And that hasn’t shifted, and one of the, I think the tragedies of the civil rights movement was because the civil rights movement became so court focused, I think that there was a tendency to lose track of the political and community organizing activities on the ground that are able to put together the actual coalitions of power through which you bring about redistributive change, and in some ways we still suffer from that.”   

                 So Barack Obama believes in the redistribution of wealth, though he admits it is not constitutional (at least the way it has been interpreted for 200 years).  He believes the constitution is a ‘charter of negative liberties’, though he wants it to include positive liberties (what the government must do on your behalf).  He seems to believe that by creating ‘coalitions of power’ thorough community organizing, redistribution could be brought about.  To further understand the progressives, let’s look at what Edward Mandell House believed.  He was an early progressive.  His ideas are reflected in his book ‘Phillip Dru: Administrator’.  They reflect the basic idea of the Bull-Moose party of Teddy Roosevelt (often considered the first true progressive president).  He was also an important member of the Woodrow Wilson administration as well as the Franklin Roosevelt administration (both progressive).  Many of the policies that House wanted were enacted by these administrations.   

                 “Our Constitution and our laws served us well for the first hundred years of our existence, but under the conditions of to-day they are not only obsolete, but even grotesque” (Page 119).   

                “The strong will help the weak, the rich will share with the poor, and it will not be called charity, but it will be known as justice.  And the man or woman who fails to do his duty, not as he sees it, but as society at large sees it, will be held up to the contempt of mankind” (Page 25).   

                 “I agree with you that this much-to-be desired state of society [speaking of Socialism] cannot be altogether reached by laws, however drastic.  Socialism as dreamed of by Karl Marx cannot be entirely brought about by a comprehensive system of state ownership and by the leveling of wealth.  If that were done without a spiritual leavening, the result would be largely as you suggest” (Page 27). [The person he was talking with had essentially condoned Socialism, but questioned if people would put little effort into working.]   

                 So House believed in finding a pragmatic Socialism (motivating people to work through spirituality).  He also believed in what is called Social Justice, a Socialist idea that elevating the poor by forced redistribution is Justice.  He believed that the Constitution was the major roadblock to achieving his aims.  The phrase “…not as he sees it, but as society at large sees it…” would also indicate the fundamental outlook of House is collectivist.  President Obama also talks of “political and economic justice”, redistribution of wealth, the Constitution as the major roadblock to these ends, and his outlook is essentially collectivist (community organizing, etc.).  Consider, as well, his comment to Joe the Plumber:   

                “I think when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everyone.”  -Barack Obama   

                 To fully understand Progressivism, it is necessary to look also at the ‘other side of the isle’.  George W. Bush was supposedly the face of conservatism during his presidency.  The numbers and facts tell another story.  He signed the McCain-Feingold (Soros backed) campaign finance reform bill, which limited political contributions from many sources, making the Soros network of tax exempt political organizations the most powerful network in the country.  He and the Republicans passed the Medicare Part D prescription drug entitlement, which is currently underfunded by $7.2 trillion (that’s with a t).  He and both parties passed ‘No Child Left Behind’, which is a huge step in the Federal government running local education.  The Patriot Act, which he signed, is possibly the biggest Federal intrusion on civil liberties since World War II.  The list could be longer, but it can be summed up in the numbers:  The Federal Register (regulations) increased from 64,438 pages to 79,400 pages from 2001 to 2008, and Bush increased the number of Federal regulatory staffers by 91,196 (during the Clinton administration it was actually cut by 969).  Glenn Beck, hardly a left-wing critic, summed up George W. Bush’s spending habits as follows:   

                 “If 9/11 and the ensuing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan had never happened, Pres. Bush still would have spent $5 trillion more (or 2 trillion more in 2009 dollars) than Clinton spent over the course of his Presidency”(Glenn Beck, ‘Broke’, page 118).   

                 So much for the Conservative idea of limited government, much less our Libertarian idea of freedom from government.  Huge, unfunded entitlements and massive overspending, combined with massive regulatory increases and civil liberties violations, and finally the nationalization of the financial industry (started by Bush, completed by Obama) put George W. Bush in the same Progressive category as Woodrow Wilson or Franklin Roosevelt.  It’s possible that Lyndon Johnson doesn’t even stack up.  Perhaps, President Bush explained the difference between his words and his actions best when he explained he “abandoned free-market principles to save the free-market system” (explaining the financial bailout).   

                 Further study of this issue can be left to the reader, but to keep focused, Progressivism can be defined as Collectivist.  The economic ideas (often Socialism of one type or another), the ideas of Positive Liberties, and many others fall under this general title.   

                 Now to look at the other side of the spectrum, what will be referred to as Libertarianism.  This was the basic idea of our Founding Fathers and 19th century Liberalism.   

                 “The utopian schemes of leveling [redistribution of the wealth], and a community of goods [central ownership of means of production and distribution], are as visionary and impracticable as those which vest all property in the Crown.  [These ideas] are arbitrary, despotic, and in our government, unconstitutional.”               -Samuel Adams   

                 “I have long been of your opinion, that your legal provision for the poor [in England] is a very great evil, operating as it does to the encouragement of idleness.  We have followed your example, and begin now to see our error, and I hope, shall reform it”(Smyth, writings of Benjamin Franklin, 10: 64).   

                 It should be noted that Franklin was a very, personally, charitable person.   

                 “If we can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people, under the pretense of taking care of them, they must become happy.”                           -Thomas Jefferson   

                 “…though the people support the Government, the Government should not support the people.  The friendliness and charity of our countrymen can always be relied upon to relieve their fellow-citizens in misfortune.”                                -Grover Cleveland   

                 “I believe there are more instances of abridgement of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power, than by violent and sudden usurpations….This danger ought to be wisely guarded against.”              -James Madison   

                 “If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace.  We ask not your counsel or arms.  Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you.  May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.”      -Samuel Adams   

                 This list could go on for many pages, but will be left for personal study.  To sum up, Libertarianism can be defined largely as Individualism.  The economy, the morals, decisions in general are to be made by the individual.  Government is viewed as necessary to protect life, liberty and property, but they also must be protected from Government in the view of the Libertarian.  This is the ‘negative liberties’ view.   

                 The debate has been set between these two opposite views for a reason.  It is clear that they cannot both exist together.  Wealth cannot be redistributed if private property is protected.  We cannot be free from the government and conform to never ending government mandates.  Positives and negatives oppose each other.  Rather than having petty arguments, society needs to decide whether we stand with the Founders and the Constitution or if we want to fundamentally change to another way.   

                 My personal opinion is that we should stand with the Founders and the Constitution.  My reasoning is summed up in my beliefs, but also explained very well by the historical observations of F. A. Hayek (pictured below):   

                 “It is true, of course, that in Germany before 1933, and in Italy before 1922, communists and Nazis or Fascists [collectivist mentality] clashed more frequently with each other than with other parties.  They competed for the same type of mind and reserved for each other the hatred of the heretic.  But their practice showed how closely they are related.  To both, the real enemy, the man with whom they had nothing in common and whom they could not hope to convince, is the liberal of the old type [Libertarian].  While to the Nazi the communist, and to the communist the Nazi, and to both the socialist, are potential recruits who are made of the right timber, although they have listened to false prophets, they both know that there can be no compromise between them and those who really believe in individual freedom”(Hayek, The Road to Serfdom, page 81).   

                 Hayek makes the case that individual freedom is the one mentality that cannot be co-opted by a tyrant.  I believe it stands to reason because a tyrant requires a large government and willing followers, where an individualist or Libertarian mentality accepts neither.  This is why I believe it is important to keep the Libertarian ideas in the debate.  No one is accusing anyone of being ‘a Hitler’, but I think we must avoid creating the conditions from which such people come.   

                 So, in conclusion to the search to understand the meaning of political names it seems that political names have switched meanings a number of times, often to opposite the original.  They do this many times to try to label themselves or others in a way to control the way people think about a movement.  For example, Fascists on the right and Communists on the left, when they are, actually, very similar ideas.  When the beliefs of the movements are analyzed, they can be split into individualist (Libertarian) or Collectivist (Progressive) beliefs.  If we get past the name game, the real debate is between these ideals.  We need to decide what freedom is, if we are to preserve it.   

 

17 ResponsesLeave one →

  1. Troy B.

     /  February 16, 2011

    Fascinating first read. I really thought your explanation and definition of Libertarian and Progressive were very clear and well done. Initially, I find myself siding with the Progressives and the Collectivist ideals. However, I have never viewed myself at odds with the Constitution or with the ideals of individual freedom. I have actually wondered if there is not a third position in this debate, because rarely is the usual divide between two opposites the reality of my experience.

    I value and even cherish individual freedom to the point I have often stood in opposition to members of my own faith regarding issues such as gay rights, role of women, and abortion. The thought of a government (or religion) forcing me to do anything is horrifying. However, don’t we as Mormons support a collectivist ideal? Isn’t the Celestial Kingdom a place where there is a perfect unity of thought and action, where the whole functions because of individuals working for the common good instead of self fulfillment? I envision an eventual collectivist utopia (for lack of a better term at the moment) that we arrive at through the agency of individual freedom.

    This of course are just initial thoughts. I’ll sleep on it and revisit.

    Reply
    • Brinton

       /  February 16, 2011

      Great comments. I really like the thought process of looking for a third position, and would love to hear ideas from anyone. There are some ‘third positions’ that have been attempted-later in the review the ‘pluralist’ economy is discussed. With regards to issues like gay rights, role of women, and abortion, I think you are absolutely correct to question the role of the government in these moral issues. I tend to look at each thing desired and ask myself if someone is looking for a ‘positive’ or ‘negative’ liberty (am I looking for the government to condone or support an action, or simply to give the freedom to act by one’s own conscience). I think all people of strong religious beliefs need to question whether they are pushing a ‘righteous tyrrany’ or teaching free people with love. I believe my teaching and example setting skills improved greatly as a parent when I decided I couldn’t oppress my children into righteousness. With regards to the ‘collectivist utopia’ (someday you’ll be famous and quoted by many people), I basically agree with you and think you hit the nail on the head when you say “through the agency of individual freedom.” I have covered this more in depth in the essay on oppression. Thanks again for the great comments!

      Reply
    • of the authors of such books as None Dare Call It Conspiracy, The Unseen Hand,The Shadows of Power, the books of Nesta Webster, just a few of hrdeudns of bookswritten from the foundation of the United states and before, as well as through thenineties and beyond when I was a thirty year student of the plan of the elite to bring tofruition the ancient plan of the New World Order. We were left to look at the facts anddocumentation for them and come to our own conclusion. Most of these book, decadesand some even centuries later, need no revision. The lions share of them have stood thetest of time. There was a minuscule percentage of the American population that wasaware of any of this, and we were all deemed crazy.Well folks, we are still out here. We are experts well beyond you folks with media andmicrophones that finally woke up after 2001, even 1995. In fact, You media types havebeen the best cover for these elite . We called talk shows and were ridiculed. We tried toget on TV and were made out to be lunatics, talk show hosts, comedians and columnistsgladly shut us out. Not to mention the misinformation planted in the media by the peoplewho owned it, that most of you folks blindly work for, to make us all look crazy. Youpeople have missed or forgotten it all. It took me the better part of my life to figure out asmuch as I have. And I am blessed with great gifts. It’s gone to far to catch up now if youonly woke up ten or fifteen years ago. I couldn’t get any further than you have if I startedthen. Why don’t you folks seem to realize this? Personally, I think it is human arrogance.Now, there is a new crop of media types who think they discovered all this stuff in the lastten or fifteen years. You know some stuff, but you haven’t had the time to get the wholepicture, and you are missing major parts of the puzzle. And you still ignore us. You don’tanswer our emails, return our phone calls, or realize that we don’t have any hope thatyou ever will, so we never call.What you don’t realize is that YOU are the reason that the elite have been successful,because your older contemporaries as well as some of you who have been in mediasince the 80 s or so have run cover for these people by shutting people like myself out ofthe discussion.The other thing you don’t realize is that we know so much more than you that we knowthat critical mass for the elite’s was reached before you folks woke up, that they haveworld order in the bag, and now you are being used to expose the very stuff they used tohide, as the new distraction to keep you from seeing what they are doing now.We also know that there is no point trying to reach you any more. You won’t hear fromthe people who get the whole picture, in the same way that no one with a brain wouldrun for president. Anybody smart enough wouldn’t want the job. We know you can’t hearus, so we stopped calling to y689ou.As an example of what I’m talking about, I would mention G. Edward Griffin, the authorof the creature From Jekyll Island. He had all the facts he was including correct, butbecause he didn’t have the major piece, which none of you current media conspiracyfighter types seem to have understood, ended his book with stating the worst casescenario was not likely, when we knew as lunatic experts that he was wrong, missed thewhole point of his own book, and has had to admit now that he blew it.So why am I trying now? Shot in the dark. Nothing to loose, and I’m sick of listening to theignorance or mis info coming out of the mouths of some people who could know better.It’s been a frustrating and maddening thirty five years watching you people run aroundlike keystone cops, when once upon a time you were our last hope. It’s like trying to startthe car with a dead battery, just in case the car would start, maybe God would do amiracle, it happens, you know.What you wet behind the ear’s new comer types are missing is the backdrop that yourpuzzle pieces plug into. It’s not a jigsaw puzzle. The pieces don’t connect to each other.They are pieces that complete a background picture with holes in it. You can’t see thewhole because you only look at the pieces you all seem to think you discovered aftertripping over them forever, until a recent event woke you up.Good luck.Just thought it would be fair to say something, dare you to answer me.Dave Zolla74

      Reply
      • Troy B.

         /  April 8, 2012

        I would be VERY interested to hear more of what you have to say. I am a young man and not as experienced as you it would appear. However, your post made it sound almost fruitless for me to try. How does a person of this generation begin to unravel this mystery? My request is sincere, please expound more on your thoughts.

        Reply
  2. jbaggaley

     /  February 17, 2011

    In regards to the comment about the collectivist utopia I would like to add my two cents worth. I think that Joseph Smith summed it up quite well in saying that (to paraphrase) “I teach men correct principles and let them govern themselves”.

    Again, this is in my own opinion, but the view that a centralised power, such as a federal government, should enact laws to ‘make’ someone charitable by contributing to the utopian society, is in direct conflict with allowing men to govern themselves. Indeed the two plans presented in the pre-earth life were one of agency, that allowed men to freely choose “liberty and eternal life” and the other which would ‘make’ everyone live righteously (creating a utopian society with everyone harmoniously existing due to strict law). This is the problem I have with the progressive ideals. The desired result is (or could be conceived as) noble, but the way they are trying to get there is not through the agency of man, but through the control of man.

    The unity that I see existing in the celestial kingdom will be one where we have had our hearts changed to the point that our own will IS THE SAME AS the will of the Father. In this sense we will be as Nephi (from Helaman Chapter 10) with whom the Lord promised that all that he desired would be given him. This is not because he had earned the right to have his desires granted, but because his desires (through his own choice) would be exactly in harmony with what the Lord desired.

    Reply
  3. ghn1021

     /  May 31, 2011

    I agree with the thoughts of jbaggaley.

    I don’t pretend to know exactly what the Celestial Kingdom will be like, but I find it difficult to see how the idea of collectivism fits with the restored truths of the gospel. Abraham and Joseph F. Smith both taught that there were “noble and great ones” in the pre-existence (Abr. 3:22 & D&C 138:55), indicating that we were not collectivist automatons prior to birth. D&C 130:19 teaches against post-mortal collectivism… “And if a person gains more knowledge and intelligence in this life through his diligence and obedience than another, he will have so much the advantage in the world to come.” A Celestial Kingdom where some have greater knowledge, intelligence and “advantage” over another does not sound like a collectivist utopia to me.

    I also believe that the Savior taught against collectivism with the Parable of the Talents in Matthew 25:14-30. Each servant was given talents, “to every man according to his several ability”. Each servant applied his talents differently and had different results, eventually leading to the removal of talents from the slothful servant… ”Take therefore the talent from him, and give unto him which hath ten talents. For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath. And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” (vs. 28-30)

    I envision a Celestial Kingdom where each of us will continually work towards becoming more like our Heavenly Father, at our own pace and according to our individual “knowledge, intelligence and advantage” (ie. “talents”). I envision a Celestial Kingdom where each of us will strive to lift and strengthen, guide and direct one another along our different levels of progression, much like we do in this life.

    However, I believe that ultimately our eternal destiny in the Celestial Kingdom is not in a collectivist mass, but hand in hand with our eternal companion, striving to do our part to help Heavenly Father achieve “[His] work and [His] glory, to bring to pass the exaltation and eternal life of man.” (Moses 1:39)

    “Then shall they (husband and wife) be gods, because they have no end; therefore shall they be from everlasting to everlasting, because they continue; then shall they be above all, because all things are subject unto them. Then shall they be gods, because they have all power, and the angels are subject unto them. Verily, verily, I say unto you, except ye abide my law ye cannot attain to this glory. For strait is the gate, and narrow the way that leadeth unto the exaltation and continuation of the lives, and few there be that find it, because ye receive me not in the world neither do ye know me.” (D&C 132:20-22)

    I can think of nothing more “self-fulfilling” than the thought of an eternity spent with my beautiful spouse and “a continuation of the seeds, forever and ever” (D&C 132:19).

    Reply
    • Brinton

       /  June 1, 2011

      I really enjoyed thinking about your comments through the day, especially the picture you present of the Celestial Kingdom.

      I recently found a great talk on some of the issues concerning collectivism, from Marion G. Romney. http://www.latterdayconservative.com/articles/marion-g-romney/is-socialism-the-united-order/

      Reply
      • 1c 78cI think we should douprce some T shirts with this wonderful quote by Mark Twain:For in a republic, who is the Country ? Is it the Government which is for the moment in the saddle? Why, the Government is merely a servant- merely a temporary servant; it cannot be its prerogative to determine what is right and what is wrong, and decide who is a patriot and who isn’t. Its function is to obey orders, not originate them. Who, then, is the Country ? Is it the newspaper? is it the pulpit? Is it the school superintendent? Why, these are mere parts of the country, not the whole of it; they have not command, they have only their little share in the command. They are but one in a thousand; it is in the thousand that command is lodged; they must determine what is right and what is wrong; they must decide who is a patriot and who isn’t.Who are the thousand that is to say, who are the Country ? In a monarchy, the king and his family are the country; in a republic it is the common voice of the people. Each of you, for himself, by himself and on his own responsibility, must speak. And it is a solemn and weighty responsibility, and not lightly to be flung aside at the bullying of pulpit, press, government, or the empty catch-phrases of politicians. Each must for himself alone decide what is right and what is wrong, and which course is patriotic and which isn’t. You cannot shirk this and be a man. To decide it against your convictions is to be an unqualified and inexcusable traitor, both to yourself and to your country, let men label you as they may. If you alone of all the nation shall decide on way, and that way be the right way accordng to your convictions of the right, you have done your duty by yourself and by your country hold up your head. You have nothing to be ashamed of.- Papers of the Adam Family 74

        Reply
    • 1c 934I think our governments(the rich and perowful elite) final move to take over the USA and create a one world government is to violate the American people so bad we form Militia’s all over the country. Then we challenge everything that goes against the constitution like we should have done the moment it was violated and we end up in war. They kill everyone off who isn’t in compliance and whoever is left is scared so bad they surrender to China, Russia, And every other big Country all forming one big Country because the world is so out of Control that we need to team up to save it. That is the illusion they will feed everyone. Look at the events leading up to today. If it doesn’t happen like that they will make it seem like the world cannot operate unless all these countries combine to make one country so the world can be saved. Its not about money. Its about POWER. The richest people in the world are affiliated with each other. Its about Control. Nobody ever ruled the whole world. That is their goal. Money and Monetary systems are tools used for control. When the countries combine they have a plan already underway to implement how the new monetary system will be along with everything else so that it puts them so far up the system nobody can have more money than them. Which in turns gives them all the control. The best puppets who comply up until then will earn a seat on the wealthy side of things. The better the puppet the better the seat. And that is how our Country operates now! Check mate! Then they make it appear that the world is on its way to be fixed when in reality they are just keeping everybody working for them. Slavery never disappeared. It was just disguised. The plan is to bring it out back to full effect so your either clearly a slave(poor) or are wealthy. Fear is just as big a tool as money. They feed you alien bull crap and y2k and yada yada yada so you will do as your told when the time comes. The plan is to have you so scared for your life that you will risk it to do what they say. I’ll keep my sanity thank you. Were all gonna go someday anyway, we need to restore honor and courage into our American people. Tv has brainwashed a lot of us along with how our Country operates. Its routine. We need to restructure our world by doing whats right74

      Reply
  4. I drop a leave a response when I appreciate a article on a site or I have something to contribute to the discussion. It’s triggered by the sincerness displayed in the article I browsed. And after this post I. Progressivism & Libertarianism | | State of MankindState of Mankind. I was moved enough to post a comment :) I actually do have a few questions for you if you tend not to mind.:-P And, if you are posting at additional social sites, I would like to keep up with everything new you have to post. Would you list the complete urls of your shared sites like your linkedin profile, Facebook page or twitter feed?

    Reply
  5. Troy B.

     /  March 25, 2012

    After careful consideration of this article, I realize that the definition you use for Progressivism is one that I do not agree with.

    For me Progressivism is based on three propositions. First, is the recognition that we are wholly dependent on others for our success, joy, and realization of our potential. Second, material advantage in the form of property, money, and resources is a tremendous source of power, the uneven distribution of which has created gross inequalities of opportunity. Third, equity or the quality of treating others with fairness is the very core of our effort to secure the protection of rights. I do, however, agree that we as Americans, and more importantly as human beings, many among us value fairness, responsibility, and hard work. When these values are violated or destroyed through systematic injustices perpetrated by government or society at large, we are rightfully concerned and even outraged. Furthermore, we value the natural rights identified by the great English thinker, John Locke. The rights of life, liberty and property are as fundamental to our way of thinking as breathing is to our ability to sustain life. We abhor attempts by others, most notably our governments, to impose restrictions on these rights and pledge our lives in the defense of them. Ever we must be vigilant in the resistance of unrighteous encroachment into the realm of personal freedom and its efforts to curtail the privilege of making decisions for ourselves. We as reasonable and compassionate people seek to guarantee the rights of not just ourselves but of all human beings whether they be male or female, black or white, rich or poor. Empathy and logic encourage us in our endeavor to improve the human condition by protecting the rights of those who are advantaged and, wherever necessary, restoring the rights of those who have been disadvantaged.

    I believe that the right of property is one that needs to be revisited. I believe in the fundamental concept that it is immoral to seize a person’s substance; however, we need to look more closely at where the substance came from to begin with. Name one thing you have done in isolation. Seriously. Take a few minutes to list your achievements, your successes, your awards, your moments of genuine learning and find one in which the accomplishment of that thing or that gaining of knowledge was not, at least in part, the result of the labor of another human being. You honestly couldn’t think of any, could you? Because try as we may, we are inevitably brought back to the fact that the very life we have is the product of another person’s labor and love. Ultimately everything comes back to our Father in Heaven. The fact that we are commanded to pay tithing is proof that what we have is not ours and we can not own it. How else could we steal from God by not paying tithing? We can not steal what is rightfully ours. Furthermore, King Benjamin counsels us that if we were to labor all our days with all our might for the Lord we would still be unprofitable servants. We can not earn our way with the Lord.

    Your argument tying President Obama to the Progressivism you defined I find problematic for a few reasons. First, Obama, a self-proclaimed Progressive, most likely does not define the word as you have defined it. Your definition seems to suggest that Progressivism is tied to greater government control and limitation of the rights as Locke proposed. I understood your argument to be a warning that Progressivism does not just limit but may well destroy out rights. Although you are careful to say you are not calling anyone Hitler, the logic of your argument follows that Obama, Nazis and Communists are all very similar if not identical in the use of ‘Progressivism’ to limit rights. I also am a self-proclaimed Progressive and I abhor the Nazis and Communists and their attempts at coercion.

    Second, I found the speech you refer to it and listened to it in full and I am coming away with a completely different interpretation. I do not think President Obama is criticizing the Constitution or that he views it as an obstacle. How he actually views it I can only speculate; however, he recognizes that the Constitution does not address all the issues that face us now. He recognizes that the document is not perfect and is a living document and a work in progress. He laments that the fact the Civil Rights movement did not more fundamentally rectify the gross injustices that had been perpetrated on African slaves and their descendants. Relying only on the courts to right centuries of wrongs was not enough. The legislative process is needed to invoke greater equity (fairness) in healing this great scar. Obama recognizes that it is not enough to give freedom to a group of people who have been long oppressed. African slaves and in many cases their descendants have systematically had their labor, talents, and resources stolen over generations by a government that professes to uphold the rights of life, liberty, and property. Without a restoration of that what was stolen African slaves and their descendants have been disadvantaged and oppressed for much of American history. This is what I would argue is the real challenge here. How do we rectify centuries of rape, murder and theft, the effects of which linger today and still keep a class of people in subservient status?

    Perhaps an analogy would help clarify my position. Two men line up for a race one of whom is chained to a treadmill. The chained man is told to run or he will be beaten. As he runs, he remains stationary, but the energy of his treadmill is harnessed to power the moving walkway the other man is running on. The other man is also free to run using his own power. After just a few minutes the free man is well ahead of his starting position, but the chained man has not moved at all. Suddenly the spectators cry out for the situation is grotesque and abhorrent. We unchain the man and tell him he is now free to run. He takes off on his own power. Some among the crowd then say, “See we told you the chained man wasn’t a good runner, look how little he has progressed. Perhaps he is lazy or he just simply does not have the ability to compete with the other man.” Others say, “It is what it is they both now have the opportunity to achieve and reach the end. The man who was chained needs to just learn to work harder and to forget the injustices that were committed. After all how can he complain, isn’t he now free and equal?” This of course is ridiculous. How can we even say that both men have been treated fairly and that the outcomes are just and proper. Such a race would be at best a complete farce! This is exactly what has happened in American history and this is just one example of what has happened.

    Property that has been stolen can not be protected as a right. Samuel Adams and our other founding fathers would never support the keeping of stolen property or the governments protection of such, nor would Locke. This brings me to my third point, the treatment of all people with equity is the ONLY way rights can truly be guaranteed. Many people who are now wealthy, possess wealth that is not rightfully theirs. Their property is ill-gotten and therefore their property rights are a sham and those who have been systematically oppressed are in need of having their rights restored. Only when wealth and property are morally gained can the rights Locke and our Founding Fathers spoke of actually exist and the fruits thereof be enjoyed. This does not mean everyone will possess equal wealth and property, but that such wealth and property will be obtained and administered according to the principles of the gospel and people will follow these principles of their own free will.

    I might further add that when such a time occurs, there will be no need wealth and property.

    Reply
    • Brinton

       /  March 27, 2012

      Troy,

      After closely reading your comment and pondering on it, I believe we actually agree on the definition of Progressivism. I have defined Progressivism as (at various points in this article): 1. Supportive of redistribution of wealth. You have explained why you are for the redistribution of wealth. 2. At minimum needing a different interpretation of the Constitution. You have supported the “living document” theory which is the current Progressive theory, which suggests we need to interpret the Constitution differently (as times have changed). 3. Positive Liberties (what a government must do for its citizens). You have explained why you are for the government doing a number of things for its citizens. 4. Collectivist. You have explained why you embrace a collectivist point of view. So I believe we agree on the definition.

      I also agree with your three propositions, even with great emphasis. I believe a careful reading of your three propositions will show that rather than reasons to be a Progressive, are actually motives and ideals that most people agree on. The only thing I think we disagree on is where these priciples lead us to stand politically. I would say that because I recognize that I am fully dependent on others for everything of value in life, I would never use the coercive power of government to decide what to do with their resources. I would respect each unique individual to follow his or her own conscience in such matters. John down the street may be a social darwinian who believes only in the theory of evolution and feels that helping others is morally wrong. I believe that charity is absolutely fundamental. I will support charities while John will support whatever he feels strongly about. George wants to save the earth by buying land to preserve. He is free to do so. I believe in the “Community of Interests” which says that people will naturally associate with and give to those causes which represent their beliefs. I believe in this because of the respect I have for others and their beliefs and opinions and recognize that I am what I am because they are what they are. I will run a blog (and even claim to be insufferable) to persuade them to support my ideas, but I will never use government to force them to do so. My first question is that of the separation of church and state. George, John, and I have greatly different morals. Why should the state support mine at the expense of theirs? Is this not a breech of freedom of conscience? Is it respectful to them, those who have built me to be who I am?

      I believe perhaps more than anyone that material advantages in the forms of property and money create a huge source of power. In fact, due to my study of Quigley, I believe this power essentially controls government by political donations and media propaganda. Because I believe exactly what you do, I fight against greater government power because what I have learned leads me to conclude that giving government greater power simply gives these people even more power. Money is a coercive power. Government is a coercive power. When the two are combined, it tends to become an unstoppable coercive power in the hands of the extremely wealthy. I try to expose what the agendas of these extremely wealthy people are, so people can decide whether to give them such power or not. I therefore reassert my opinion that more government power is dangerous to our civil liberties. I did want it known that I don’t question the motives of Pres. Obama. I don’t think he wants a totalitarian state. I don’t think he is a bad guy. I think he has been led to believe, as has most of society, that we need to give some more power to the government. I believe this will one day (probably after he is long gone) lead to totalitarianism.

      I, and everyone I know, values fairness as a foundation. I believe true fairness lies in making people free and neither hindering nor helping one or another person’s progress. To apply the law equally to all people is fair in my view. Thus, outcomes will be different, but that is a price of liberty. I believe in Charity as a core priciple which must cover for the shortcomings of a government which must be fair. I believe that by limiting government in this way, we will grow in charity and be prepared for the coming of our savoir who will require this of us. I don’t believe life is a race, but a learn at your own pace experience. I believe slavery was a terrible blemish on our country. The proper remedy from the government is to offer true freedom and equality before the law. The proper remedy from the people is to have charity and help those who were repressed to learn and grow. Our church does this very well. I recommend the ad that occasionally pops up (on this site) about the ping pong champion.

      I believe strongly that god is the giver of all we have and we can never be anything but a debtor to him. Because of this, I respect the stewardship of life, liberty, and property that he has given to all people. In Luke 16:10-11 the lord teaches why he gives stewardships. “He that is faithful in that wich is least is faithful also in much; and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much. If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches? So this life is a temporary game to see what we will do with what we are given. If we are wise and charitable, God will give us true riches. If we are foolish (possibly materialistic) we will recieve no such thing. Who am I to stand in the way of the Lord? This brings me to one more question. With what authority does the government act for god in redistributing stewardships or promoting charity? To my understanding, the authority to act in behalf of god belongs only to the Priesthood, which follows the priciples in D&C 121. D&C 121 teaches that we accomplish things by love and persuasion and the minute coercion (such as the threat to go to jail) is used, the authority is lost. Unfortunately, this unauthorized attempt to act for God and create a collectivist system where none can fail seems to me much more like the situation in Moses 4:1–“…and I will redeem all mankind, that one soul shall not be lost, and surely I will do it; wherefore give me thine honor.” Is our faith in God or government?

      Reply
      • Troy B.

         /  April 2, 2012

        Excellent questions and material to consider! To do so properly will require some more time on my part and I will have to respond in depth a little later. However, I would like to challenge your assertion that we agree. I still don’t know think we agree.

        #1 – If restoring property that is stolen or unjustly taken is the redistribution of wealth, then I guess I do support redistribution of wealth. I stand firm in my belief, however, that the right to property does not nor should it cover property that is stolen. I feel our country has too long supported the right to property, except for the poor. Much like it supported liberty, except for African slaves, Native Americans, and women.

        #2 – I don’t support a different interpretation of the Constitution (we all interpret it differently to some degree). I do , however, support actual changes to the Constitution in some areas when it is needed. I reject the idea that the Constitution is perfect and can not be improved upon. I also recognize as did the Founders that the Constitution not only will change, but MUST change to meet circumstances that are different and that we can not forsee as of yet. For example, changing the Constitution so it no longer says an African is only 3/5 of a person is a good thing. The Constitution was also changed when the Bill of Rights were added, another VERY good move in my opinion. Also, making changes so that slavery is illegal, women can vote, and term limits are imposed are more examples of good changes. Of course, there are many people who claim to know the intent of the Founders. This in my view is silliness.

        #3 – The idea of positive liberties is an important one that I am still clarifying and researching for myself. I will say that our difference here is your belief that the government is something different from the people. I don’t see the government as separate from myself. To me, you are the government, I am the government. When people attack the government, I see it as an attack on themselves.

        #4 – I am rejecting the word Collectivist because it does not convey what I mean and envision. A better word for me is Communitarian. By this I mean a group of people who support a community. This will of course, be elaborated on further.

        Reply
        • Brinton

           /  April 3, 2012

          Thanks for your further thoughts. Perhaps I jumped the gun thinking we agreed on this definition, so let’s look a little deeper to see exactly where we stand. I’ll use numbers 1-4 to correspond with yours.

          1. I don’t understand your position here very well. No one that I know supports theft. Are you making an argument for reparations? Are the rich considered thieves because they are rich or am I misunderstanding all together? Is not everyone’s property protected by law whether rich or poor? Please elaborate and clarify. As far as redistribution of wealth goes, it is defined well by Wikipedia at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Redistribution_of_wealth
          Perhaps using their definition we can get a better idea.

          2. I agree that the constitution has had good changes in the past. There have also been some not so good (Prohibition may be a quick example). You seem to suggest that you are in favor of it being amended, which I agree would be the proper way to change it. I do disagree somewhat, though not fully with your argument against “original intent”. I agree we cannot know exactly the mind of another person who lived in another time. However, we do know very well the basic premeses of the Founders from their writings. The Federalist papers as well as the anti-Federalist papers give us a good look at where they stood on many issues. I believe it is necessary to understand the Constitution in this ballpark to avoid it being interpreted exactly opposite of how it was intended, or ignored as the 10th amendment has been for many years. Any good lawyer (or politician) knows that a legal document without a fixed meaning is a legal document with no meaning.

          3. Positive and negative liberties are well defined at: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/liberty-positive-negative/. Your view of being the government is by this definition a ‘positive liberty’ view. While I respect you and your view, it is not universally held. To force such a view on one who wants freedom from government, I would define as tyranny, as I have explained, proposing the alternative of the community of interests which, I believe, alleviates the conflicts in freedom of conscience.

          4. Communitarian is an interesting word. I support my community as well, but we will need to elaborate further to see if our agreement stops here.

          I’ll probably start a new page to continue this discussion when I receive your next comment. Thanks for the discussion and I ask your patience so we can gain a full understanding.

          Reply
    • 1c 69cFor quite a few years now I’ve had a government by the lpeope idea rolling around in my head but I’m just a small voice in search of bigger voices that would like to help further the idea. We know the system is sorely broken and this may help fix it. We have an enormously powerful tool called the computer that could be called into service in the following manner: If we elected our politicians as usual, charged them with the authority to write bills, as is done now,but then had them translated into simple english that the average high school graduate could understand, then posted them to a dedicated network of computers at public facilities such as town halls, libraries, etc. At that time the public would have a period of time, say a month or two, to review these bills and ACTUALLY VOTE ON THEM THEMSELVES. I’m sure you can see some of the implications of this in reducing the power of special interests, bringing down the elites, etc. I’m pretty sure the average citizen isn’t worldly enough to immediately do the right thing, but empowered in such a fashion, I don’t think it would take too long for these newly empowered lpeope to get up to speed and know they now had a new, very loud voice with which to express themselves.I’m also aware the average politition would be terrified by even the concept, but if the citizens were made aware this kind of system were possible, I think it could start a chain reaction that would be unstoppable. This to me is government by the lpeope in its purest form. Pure majority rule. We would have political discourse in this country like nobody has EVER seen. What do you think?74

      Reply
  6. Brinton

     /  March 29, 2012

    You should be able to get a feed by clicking on the “subscribe” icon at the top right of the screen.

    Reply
  7. Brinton

     /  March 31, 2012

    The spam eating machine tends to eat anything that appears to be an advertisement. I’m definitely a beginner as well, so the only tips I could give are be yourself and find someone smarter than me to set everything up.

    Reply

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