Author Topic: Deconstructing "Progressive " thought  (Read 331134 times)

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Offline Greymatters

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Re: Deconstructing "Progressive " thought
« Reply #50 on: November 21, 2007, 11:34:03 »
Good article - is a sad day when asking people to take responsibility for their problems is equated to racism, and its been going on for far too long.

Offline DBA

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Re: Deconstructing "Progressive " thought
« Reply #51 on: November 21, 2007, 18:51:53 »
Indoctrination along those lines seems to becoming more and more widespread. University's indoctrination rates as mind control. Seems like a provocative and overly alarmist title until you read about the details of the program itself and then it seems spot on. (list of materials)

It saddens me since it seems so irrational and counter productive.
« Last Edit: November 21, 2007, 18:54:52 by DBA »
It is not worth an intelligent man's time to be in the majority.  By definition, there are already enough people to do that. --  G.H. Hardy

Offline Thucydides

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Re: Deconstructing "Progressive " thought
« Reply #52 on: February 16, 2008, 21:23:53 »
A double header here:

http://voterick.com/wordpress/?p=86

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We Must Salt the Earth

    If the Conservatives ever take power, they will have to salt the earth to hold on to it.

These are the words spoken by a good friend, before the Harper administration was reality. The truth of their content has not changed. I was reminded of them when watching the civil war movie, “Ride with the Devil”. The movie distinguished itself for a revealing kernel of truth embedded in it.

One of the characters is a southern gentleman who describes a trip to a northern state where he relates how he saw the “seeds of their (the south’s) destruction”. He describes the nascent system of public schooling in that state, by saying that all the children were herded into the new schools to be taught “how to live and think like the rest of them”.

This caught my eye because of the parallel to our current Canada. A cursory reading of most newspapers will reveal that a majority of young reporters have been inflicted by a default liberal/socialist/politically correct view. Any time I have doubt of this, it is wiped clean by my daughter’s renderings on the left-leaning tripe she is force-fed in university. Thankfully, her exposure to my conservative beliefs has made her wary of accepting without question, what is taught her, and challenging the sirens’ allure of socialist promise?

By coincidence we are currently viewing, in full technicolour, the end result of this evolving process. The double barreled Canadian Human Rights Commission furors over the actions of Mark Steyn (a book critical of Muslims) and Ezra Levant (publishing of Muhammad cartoons), is a clear stifling of what remains of our freedoms. But why does an institution like the CHRC even exist in a country like Canada? Now that its most horrid warts are readily visible and rightfully feared by those of us who can see the danger to our freedom to think, how on earth did we allow this monster to take root among us?

The intrinsic danger in leftish thought, is the simple answer to that question. The platitude-ridden landscape of socialism and political correctness, promises group-hug solutions to everything. To the unwary, socialism’s flags – helping the weak, saving the planet, making the fortunate contribute more, etc. – are irresistible lures. Their humanist aura is enough to preserve the mental laziness that is required to keep us blind to their poor logical base. The burgeoning ranks of those hired to serve these causes is insurance of their longevity, and guarantee that more will sprout from the fertile minds of this bureaucracy. The political observer will have noticed that the Conservative government’s biggest challenges have come from the generations of encrusted liberal bureaucracy. (Specifically the Canadian wheat board, the CBC and the commercial communication monopoly, the nuclear watchdogs, just to name a few.)

Allan Borovoy, who laid the foundations for the CHRC, must have had the best of intentions. All the social dictators of the world started with an idyllic vision. But even he has begun to see the unintended consequences of feeding our freedom to this monster.

The southern gentleman in the movie, went further to identify the real threat posed by collectivist mentality. While his main concern was defeat of his beloved south, he saw beyond that and into our present, when he said that those people were a threat because they wanted everyone to live like them. If you have been the focus of intolerant frenzy that characterizes the leftish rabble, when they have identified you as different or actively interrogating their politically correct catechism, you know what he means. The recent celebration of Israel Apartheid Week in our institutions of higher learning, is instrumental. This farce was given wings, not because university administrators are equitable in their willingness to expose the student body to diverse ideas. But, because they have taken sides against Israel, and because these ideological cowards fear the repercussions if they don’t.

As the ranks and power of the socialist bureaucracy increases, history has shown us repeatedly, where the sum of our fears leads. Power wants to be wielded, and those who are not amongst the believers become the targets. Because socialists wrap themselves in humanist agendas, they seldom consider the possibility of being wrong. And since they are so right - to the David Suzukis of the world - incarceration is an acceptable method of achieving those goals. Other methods soon evolve from that righteous assurance.

http://canadaconservative.blogspot.com/2008/02/must-read-book.html

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A Must Read Book!!!

LOL... gotta love this new book out of the States...

WASHINGTON – Just when liberals thought it was safe to start identifying themselves as such, an acclaimed, veteran psychiatrist is making the case that the ideology motivating them is actually a mental disorder.

"Based on strikingly irrational beliefs and emotions, modern liberals relentlessly undermine the most important principles on which our freedoms were founded," says Dr. Lyle Rossiter, author of the new book, "The Liberal Mind: The Psychological Causes of Political Madness." "Like spoiled, angry children, they rebel against the normal responsibilities of adulthood and demand that a parental government meet their needs from cradle to grave."

"A social scientist who understands human nature will not dismiss the vital roles of free choice, voluntary cooperation and moral integrity – as liberals do," he says. "A political leader who understands human nature will not ignore individual differences in talent, drive, personal appeal and work ethic, and then try to impose economic and social equality on the population – as liberals do. And a legislator who understands human nature will not create an environment of rules which over-regulates and over-taxes the nation's citizens, corrupts their character and reduces them to wards of the state – as liberals do."

Dr. Rossiter says the liberal agenda preys on weakness and feelings of inferiority in the population by:

creating and reinforcing perceptions of victimization;

satisfying infantile claims to entitlement, indulgence and compensation; augmenting primitive feelings of envy;

rejecting the sovereignty of the individual, subordinating him to the will of the government.


"The roots of liberalism – and its associated madness – can be clearly identified by understanding how children develop from infancy to adulthood and how distorted development produces the irrational beliefs of the liberal mind," he says. "When the modern liberal mind whines about imaginary victims, rages against imaginary villains and seeks above all else to run the lives of persons competent to run their own lives, the neurosis of the liberal mind becomes painfully obvious."

posted by Christian Conservative @ 9:38 AM
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline Thucydides

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Re: Deconstructing "Progressive " thought
« Reply #53 on: February 25, 2008, 00:56:14 »
Spelling out the differences between Liberal Democracy (AKA Classical Liberalism) vs "Progressive" ideology:

http://unambig.blogspot.com/2008/02/progressivism-challenges-liberal.html

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Sunday, February 24, 2008
Progressivism Challenges Liberal Democracy

Liberalism as it is known and understood in western civilization has enabled a kind of evolutionary ideological finality understood as the Liberal Democracy, embraced in conjunction with prosperous capitalism it is a political philosophy which has no peer. It has a universal appeal which is at once superior in ideology to any other mode of failed social systems, yet accommodating of integrated religions and cultures from all over the world. Indeed, it has been considered that Liberal Democracy is the finality of social progression within a tolerant and just society which enables rule of the majority, while taking careful consideration for the importance of the individual strength and spirit. It understands that society is built upon the greatness of bestowing the freedom of the individual, repelling such stagnant notions as National Socialism and Communism, eschewing variants to them for the freedoms which grant the individual the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of whatever it is that makes them happy.

And yet the greatest challenge to our twenty-first Century western civilization is the derisive and unlikely philosophy of Progressivism, the antithesis to the Liberal Democracy which has gained us status as the most forward and free peoples on the planet:

    (1) The ascribed group over the individual citizen

    The key political unit is not the individual citizen who forms voluntary associations and works with fellow citizens regardless of race, sex, or national origin, but the ascriptive group (racial, ethnic, or gender) into which one is born. This emphasis on race, ethnicity, and gender leads to group consciousness and a de-emphasis of the individual’s capacity for choice and for transcendence of ascriptive categories, joining with others beyond the confines of social class, tribe, and gender to create a cohesive nation.

    (2) A dichotomy of groups: Oppressor groups vs. Victim groups, with immigrant groups designated as victims

    Influenced (however indirectly) by the Hegelian Marxist thinking associated with the Italian writer Antonio Gramsci and the Central European theorists known as the Frankfurt School, global progressives posit that throughout human history there are essentially two types of groups: the oppressor and the oppressed, the privileged and the marginalized. (For a detailed examination of Gramscian or Hegelian Marxist influence in contemporary American political life see my "Why There is a Culture War: Gramsci and Tocqueville in America" (Policy Review, December 2000/January 2001.) In the United States, oppressor groups would include white males, heterosexuals, and "Anglos;" whereas "victim" groups would include blacks, gays, Latinos (including obviously many immigrants), and women.



Transnational Progressivism, or Liberal Progressivism, is the single greatest threat to our civilization today. It delineates from the theory of the west that freedom and equality is derived of stripping away our differences, and emphasizing the collective good that is in focusing on our unique and individual strengths. Instead we fall into a strange kind of counterintuitive "regressive liberalism" which seeks to highlight progressive groups which consist of previously aggrieved victim groups and their traditional hierarchal oppressors. Instead of celebrating the uniqueness of that which emancipated class warfare into individual success for blacks, women, and other immigrants, the progressivist seeks to destroy that by creating a class system in which the "privileged" are the barrier to access to a success which is entirely dependent upon individual industriousness. This illogical extension of liberties creates a social inequity by imagining some kind of past transgressions and grouping together people who because of their race, religion, tribal affiliation, or gender, represent some kind of oblique group which has always triumphed, and opposes it against that which has always been defeated.

It is these multicultural ideologists who have utilized a Marxist dichotomy which is in and of itself a paradox. The "multiculturalists" aren't so much interested in true diversity and pluralism as they are the binary groups of Marxist philosophy of oppressor and victim. This is seen in Stephane Dion's Liberal party with his progressive proportional representation being that of the percentage of perceived victimhood in society. Such imbalances receive attention because the progressive liberal paradigm dictates that imbalances in society do not reflect what be the natural order of egalitarianism. The logical extension to this is the change within all progressive societies to change itself according to demographic representation, instead of maintaining a liberal democratic individualist state. The reasoning is that nobody should be expected to conform to hegemonic culture, the latter incongruity formulating that hegemony must be battled with multicultural relativism and multilingualism.

A post-assimilative society is one in which the liberal democracts, Canadians, are borne into a kind of hegemonic thirst for preservation, where none existed before the advent of progressivism. Before, we simply were Canadians. Now we face a situation where the Marxist ideology has identified us as the oppressors in a class warfare, and so we fight back with notions of Freedom of Speech and Section 13.1 of the Human Rights Commission. The radical right which rebels against Muslim intrusion is not borne solely out of an obtuse racialism which self-identifies with white pride and the status quo. Instead it has been forced into an inorganic clash of class warfare between progressivist liberalism and Liberal Democracy. The individual who happened to be white and male is forced from his individual state of disassociative being, into one which is identifies with an enemy who would seek to brand him as the ruling class in the war. We speak of eliminating the Lord's Prayer in Queen's Park as a mode of forward progressivism, when it is in fact a desconstruction of our archetypal symbols and national narratives which described who we are, and where we came from.

Our history is now subject to vast revisionism. We weren't explorers, and settlers, and farmers. We were conquerers, and racists, and colonialists. Our very identity is marred by Liberal progressivism, as we seek to redefine our own ancestors as being sexist, racist, oppressive rulers who have only gained freedom and prosperity on the backs of the underclass victims who represent the Hegelian Marxist proletarian of subcategorical distinctions. We aren't citizens, we are global citizens. We aren't Canadians, we're hyphenated Canadians. Constitutional democracy is supposed to uphold the individual freedoms of each citizen, and yet we speak of ideas in cultural and gender significance. It isn't as though Canadians want to preserve western hegemony, but return to a state of individual liberal democracy in which each person is valued by his freedoms as upheld by the state. Progressivism has slowly gained a dangerous hold on our freedoms and our government, and rather than take us into a twenty first Century of devaluing the ascriptive groups of race, ethnicity, and gender [neo-feminism], we are more divisive and apart than ever before. I strive to be human. Yet I have become thrust into the class warfare of the progressive humanist worldview which challenges all which made western civilization the shining light of contemporaneous democracy.
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline Thucydides

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Re: Deconstructing "Progressive " thought
« Reply #54 on: February 25, 2008, 21:56:37 »
Looking at Senator Obama's brand of Utopian ideology. Although the context is different here, many of the same ideas are in evidence in the Great White North:

http://www.city-journal.org/2008/eon0225fs.html

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Fred Siegel
Yes, We Can’t
From Ralph Waldo Emerson to Deval Patrick, the politics of hope have been a bust.
25 February 2008

Aging baby boomers see in Barack Obama’s down-the-line liberal voting record the promise of a left-wing revival. The college students and twentysomethings of the Millennial Generation see in him a way of pushing the quarrelsome, narcissistic baby boomers off the stage. Someone is bound to be disappointed by this extraordinary performance artist. But what both the boomers and the Millennials share is a desire to be part of what Ralph Waldo Emerson, writing in the 1840s, called “the politics of hope.” Emerson wrote during a time of numerous experiments in utopian living. Obama—whose candidacy rests upon a standard utopian dichotomy between the earthly evils of poverty, injustice, war, and partisanship, and the promise of the world to come if we allow him to rescue us—appeals to the same Elysian strain in American and Western political life, largely in remission since 1980, when the 1960s truly ended.

America’s founding fathers were a famously hard-headed lot; they understood that government had to be structured to remedy the “defects of better motives.” Since self-serving interest groups—or factions, as Federalist 10 calls them—were an unavoidable element of liberty, interest could only be checked by competing interest. But while this insight is the main stem of our political tradition, there is another, albeit punctuated, branch—a utopianism that derives from the millenarianism of the sects that emerged from the Protestant Reformation and eventually populated America. “Utopian . . . ideas,” notes Daniel Flynn in his new history of the American Left, are as “American as Plymouth Rock.” This is why, as Sixties activist Bo Burlingham put it, “the Left bobs up and down in American history, a battered and leaky craft which often disappears beneath the tide, but somehow never sinks.”

In the wake of bloody utopian experiments in 1930s Europe, a slew of erudite authors launched compelling attacks on them. Jacob Talmon, Karl Popper, Raymond Aaron, Czeslaw Milosz, and Hannah Arendt laid waste to the historical, philosophical, sociological, and literary assumptions that supported communism and fascism. But their arguments didn’t endure, despite their power. By the mid-1960s, utopianism had again taken hold, and its lure was such that even Arendt, once a vocal opponent, found herself drawn to the religion of politics. Propelled by her disdain for America in general and the Vietnam War in particular, as well as the promise, as she saw it, of worker-control experiments in Europe, she effectively reversed much of her earlier writings.

She wasn’t alone. In 1949, Arthur Schlesinger had published The Vital Center, the canonical statement of disillusioned, empirical, and anti-utopian post–World War II liberalism. Schlesinger praised “the empirical temper” and a realistic sense of man’s limitations that recognized that “freedom means conflict.” Tracing the shared assumptions behind Brook Farm—the famous American utopian experiment of the 1840s—and the Soviet Union, he distanced liberalism from an optimism born of eighteenth-century rationalism and a nineteenth-century romanticism about progress, which left “too many unprepared for the mid-twentieth century.” Democracy, he wrote, “brooks no worship” of great leaders because “it knows that no man is that good.” And Schlesinger rebuked the leftists who, admiring the USSR, couldn’t believe that “ugly facts underlie fair words.” It was an intellectual tour de force.

But a little more than a decade later, Schlesinger—romanced by John F. Kennedy—walked away from these arguments. His admiration for the liberalism of a “moderate pessimism about man” was replaced by hero-worship and a sense of the dashing, aristocratic, articulate Kennedy as someone who could transcend standard political categories. Kennedy’s untimely death canonized the hard-nosed Massachusetts pol—with a mixed record at best as our first celebrity president—as JFK, a Lincoln-like martyr to civil rights, the King of Camelot who, if he had lived, would have made all right with the world. This Kennedy passed into Democratic Party legend and still inspires some today: remember Bill Clinton’s 1992 campaign ads, featuring a picture of the young Clinton visiting the White House with a group of young student leaders and shaking hands with Kennedy. Kennedy, the ads implied, was passing the torch.

Obama, the celebrity-like candidate drawing on his generational appeal and noble bearing, fits better into Kennedy’s robes than Clinton did. Unlike Kennedy, who didn’t think of himself in messianic terms, Obama seems short on irony. Still, for lovelorn boomers and for youngsters who’ve known only the failures of the Bush years, Obama promises a Camelot-like reenchantment with politics. “I’ve been following politics since I was about five,” says TV host Chris Mathews. “I’ve never seen anything like this. This is bigger than Kennedy. [Obama] comes along, and he seems to have the answers, he’s the New Testament.” In this view, just as Kennedy’s victory in 1960 brought the country out of its Eisenhower-era stupor and put the Catholic question to bed for good, so an Obama victory will reenergize our politics and bring an end to poverty and racial division.

Hillary Clinton has searched in vain for a way to combat Obama’s appeal. In the recent Austin debate, she criticized Obama for borrowing generously from the speeches of his good friend and coeval Deval Patrick, the first African-American governor of Massachusetts. “Lifting whole passages from someone else’s speeches,” she challenged in the debate’s one charged moment, “is not change you can believe in, it’s change you can Xerox.” Clinton’s arrow here was not aimed so much at plagiarism—all candidates borrow heavily from each other and from past campaigns—as at Obama’s claim to authenticity. But with the press, on both left and right, all but openly rooting for Obama, little came of her attack; more important, the press missed the true importance of the Patrick comparison.

Bay State journalist Rick Holmes describes Obama and Patrick, fellow Harvard Law School graduates, as “peas in a pod.” Patrick is the Obama campaign’s national cochair. Obama’s presidential campaign has modeled itself on Patrick’s gubernatorial campaign. Patrick’s 2006 campaign slogan was “Together we can,” while Obama’s is “Yes we can.” The brilliant Chicago political operative David Axelrod has managed both men’s campaigns. Both candidates have made persistent appeals to “the politics of hope.”

So Clinton’s criticism seems an opportune moment to ask how Patrick’s inspirational rhetoric has translated into governing a state where Democrats control both houses of the legislature—the likely scenario for Obama, too, should he take office. Patrick’s governorship is the closest thing we have to a preview of the “politics of hope”—and that governorship has been a failure to date. As Joan Vennochi observes in the Boston Globe, “Democrats who control the Legislature ignored virtually every major budget and policy initiative presented by a fellow Democrat.” Patrick’s record in office, Vennochi concludes, “shows that it can be hard to get beyond being the face of change, to actually changing politics.” His stock has sunk so markedly that Hillary Clinton carried the state handily against Obama in the Democratic primary despite, or perhaps because of, Patrick’s support for his political doppelgänger.

In one area, however, Patrick has achieved some of his goals. In thrall to the state’s teachers’ unions, he has partly rolled back the most successful educational reforms in the country. Most states gamed the federal testing requirements that were part of President Bush’s No Child Left Behind Act. But Massachusetts, thanks to Republican governors William Weld and Mitt Romney, created the Office of Educational Quality and Accountability to ensure that the state’s testing methods conformed closely to the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP)—federal tests that are the gold standard for measuring educational outcomes. In 2007, Massachusetts became the first state to achieve top marks in all four categories of student achievement. One of Patrick’s first efforts as governor was to eliminate the Office of Educational Quality and Accountability.

Patrick hasn’t delivered reform, much less the transformation that both he and Obama promise. This should come as no surprise. Obama’s utopian vision of transcending the interests that make up the fabric of our democracy is unlikely to fare any better than the “politics of hope” did in Emerson’s time. The key question at hand is whether Obama’s Edenic bubble bursts before or after the election.

Fred Siegel is a contributing editor of City Journal and a professor of history at the Cooper Union for Science and Art.
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline JBG

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Re: Deconstructing "Progressive " thought
« Reply #55 on: February 26, 2008, 23:53:27 »
I consider myself"left wing" or progressive. I am a liberal in the sense that I believe in breaking down class and tradition-bound barriers to progress, acheivement and work. The New World is about opportunity, and people showing what they can do and offer. That is the respect in which I am "liberal", i.e. the way Adam Smith and John Locke were. In a more modern context, I regard Harry S. Truman in the US as a true liberal, for starting in a forceful and effective manner the integration of Ameircan society, and recognizing Israel, a force for progress in the world.

I mean really, in what way does Ted Kennedy, Jean Chretien or Paul Martin stand for progress? At least JFK (who I don't overly admire) was in favor of building infrastructure that would reduce costs and improve the quality of life, as well as letting people handle more of the money they earned. Truman broke down raical and religious barriers so that all could accomplish according to their abilities. And Pelosi, Martin and Chretien? Helps well-connected big shots.
If it's us or them, I choose us.

Offline Thucydides

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Re: Deconstructing "Progressive " thought
« Reply #56 on: March 02, 2008, 16:58:15 »
The source of the "Fascists are right wing" fallacy date back to 1930's Soviet propaganda, but the connections are much deeper and more extensive:

http://jr2020.blogspot.com/2008/03/liberal-fascism-book.html

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Sunday, March 2, 2008
“Liberal Fascism” - the book

What do you call a conservative who is winning an argument with a leftist? "A fascist!" Thanks to effective leftist propaganda and plain ignorance, fascism is widely held to be a right-wing ideology. This lie has been so successful that even many right-wingers are prone to believing it. However, the truth of the matter is quite the opposite. Nazism, Fascism and fascism are distinctly left-wing phenomena. Like most variants of socialism, they are totalitarian ideologies.

Most right-wingers can personally relate to the experience of being called a fascist. I recall an Alliance Party rally for newly elected leader Stockwell Day in Victoria. Outside the conference center we were greeted by a mob of young, placard wielding ‘protesters’, many dressed in black leather, chains, and jack-boots, calling us ‘fascists’. They likely had little understanding of what fascism is, but were simply reflexively applying a conventional insult to a group of ‘right-wingers’.

This is how Jonah Goldberg came to write his new book "Liberal Fascism". He says he was tired of being labeled a fascist by "know-nothing" leftists, so wrote his book to counter the lie.

Goldberg’s basic thesis is not new. More than a half century ago Ludwig von Mises, in his classic book ‘Socialism’, clearly identified the socialist roots of Fascism and Nazism (Epilogue, sections 7 and 8). Oddly, Goldberg makes no mention of Mises. Nevertheless, this omission aside, he does a remarkable job of tracing the historical roots of fascist thinking and identifying its clear linkage to the American progressive movement and modern American liberalism. From the introduction:

    [there’s] a mistaken belief that fascism and communism are opposites. In reality they are closely related, historical competitors for the same constituents, seeking to dominate the same social space." [...] in terms of their theory and practice, the differences are minimal.

    ...international fascism drew from the same well-springs as American Progressivism.

    ... American Progressives who had praised Mussolini and even looked sympathetically at Hitler in the 1920s and 1930s had to distance themselves from the horrors of Nazism [...and] projected their own sins onto conservatives.

Goldberg traces modern fascist thinking back to Rousseau, Robespierre and the French Revolution and then shows in great detail how:

    - President Woodrow Wilson (1913 - 21), the first (and last) Ph.D. in the Oval Office, was the twentieth century’s first totalitarian dictator "doing more violence to civil liberties in his last three years in office than Mussolini did in his first twelve".

    - the American progressive establishment of the 20's and 30's enthusiastically supported Hitler’s, Mussolini’s and Stalin’s totalitarianism, racism and eugenics.

    - fascism was manifested under Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s heavily statist New Deal policies.

    - more recently, American fascism has softened and mutated into Hillary Clinton’s "It takes a village" progressive, happy-faced, politically correct world of diversity, multiculturalism, universal health-care and environmentalism.

    - modern liberal progressives are ‘nice’ fascists, but fascists none the less.

'Liberal Fascism' is a fascinating, revelational read - one of the few political books I’ve found hard to put down. It’s a must read for every conservative and libertarian. Liberals and other socialists should read it too. Though I suspect that most leftists aren’t keen on having their ideological roots so clearly exposed - and they’ll go out of their way to deny and denounce much of what Goldberg reveals.

Jonah Goldberg has clearly exposed the problem. The question remains - what can be done about it?
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline Greymatters

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Re: Deconstructing "Progressive " thought
« Reply #57 on: March 03, 2008, 04:02:23 »
Good one, thats the kind of sourcing I was asking about in another thread... thanks for the good info!

Offline Thucydides

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Re: Deconstructing "Progressive " thought
« Reply #58 on: March 03, 2008, 22:12:05 »
A good article which explains the mania "Progressives" have for completely ineffectual laws and regulations:

http://www.nationalpost.com/opinion/columnists/story.html?id=348428&p=2

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A Handgun Ban Won't Work

Lorne Gunter,  National Post  Published: Monday, March 03, 2008

Nearly 340,000 Canadians -- about 1% of the population -- were victims of violent crime in 2006, according to a Statistics Canada study released in late February. But just 8,100 were victims of a violent crime committed with a gun.

If you were the victim of a gun crime, it's probably no comfort to know you were one of "just" 8,100. Still, despite the hype, gun crime is not statistically a serious problem in Canada. Banning guns, or even restricting their use more closely, will have no appreciable impact on rates of violent crime. Knives are used in nearly three times as many violent crimes as guns, yet no one calls for a knife registry. Even blunt instruments are used more often than guns without demands that government licences be required before one may buy baseball bats and lead pipes. So why do liberal-left politicians expend so much energy trying to restrict gun ownership or even ban guns outright?

The principal reason, of course, is that modern liberalism is the victory of symbolism over substance. A public policy or law is seldom designed mostly to solve an identified problem. Its primary purpose is to reflect well on the good intentions of the person or group proposing it.

So what if laws and social programs produce no tangible benefits? They remain on the statute books and retain full funding -- complete with massive bureaucracies -- because they enable liberals to convince themselves something is being done. Activity is confused with achievement.

Gun control is constantly put forward by intellectually lazy politicians and do-gooder activists because attempting to restrict gun ownership is easier than taking on real criminals. More importantly, anti-gun laws enable politicians and activists to claim they are doing something to cure a problem that concerns voters and donors, even though restricting gun ownership among law-abiding citizens has no mitigating effect on violent crime.

Mandatory minimum sentences for guns crimes -- of the kind favoured by Conservative politicians -- may have little impact on violent crime rates, too. The number of violent gun crimes is small. A one-quarter or one-third reduction in gun crime would produce a negligible reduction in the overall rate of violent crime.

But at least mandatory sentences for using a gun punish only the guilty. And a one-quarter to one-third reduction in gun crime means 2,000 to 2,500 fewer victims.

On the other hand, restrictive gun laws punish an entire class of people -- law-abiding hunters, target shooters and gun collectors -- for the actions of others and are never likely to reduce victimization. StatsCan has reported that "handguns made up nearly two-thirds of all firearms used" for violent crimes. This is significant because for more than 70 years, it has been the law in Canada to register all handguns. If registration were an effective method for reducing crime, handgun crime would be nonexistent. Instead, handguns are far and away the most common crime-guns and their use is growing.

So if registering handguns will never reduce crime, perhaps banning them would. That is the solution proposed by Ontario's Liberal government and Toronto's Mayor, David Miller.

Again, this is attacking the problem in a way that will never solve it.

The simple fact is that most crime-guns -- especially criminal handguns -- are not legally owned now. They have never been registered. Their existence is unknown to police. They do not appear in our national firearms databank. Since they are already illegally owned, it's unlikely their owners would hand them in if they were suddenly banned. (Or should I say, "banned more?")

The only people harassed by a handgun ban would be sport shooters and collectors -- people who are already no threat to commit crimes. Drug dealers and gang members would ignore a ban as readily as they ignore existing laws on trafficking, extortion, robbery and murder.

In 2006, Saskatchewan Conservative MP Garry Breitkreuz obtained unpublished StatsCan tables showing that between 1997 and 2005, only 2.3% of homicides were committed with registered guns.

The does not necessarily mean 97.7% of firearms murders in Canada are committed with unregistered guns. In some cases the registration status of the weapon could not be determined.

Still, his numbers show how pointless a ban on guns would be; unless, of course, you were looking for a hollow symbol of your deep and abiding concern.

lgunter@shaw.ca

Copyright © 2007 CanWest Interactive, a division of CanWest MediaWorks Publications, Inc.. All rights reserved.
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline JBG

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Re: Deconstructing "Progressive " thought
« Reply #59 on: March 04, 2008, 22:26:50 »
A good article which explains the mania "Progressives" have for completely ineffectual laws and regulations:

http://www.nationalpost.com/opinion/columnists/story.html?id=348428&p=2

I always thought hardened criminals took gun laws very seriously.
If it's us or them, I choose us.

Offline Thucydides

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Re: Deconstructing "Progressive " thought
« Reply #60 on: March 10, 2008, 11:42:34 »
As we can see, empirical evidence is never a consideration when arguing "for" state run schools. Since schools are the key point of indoctrination, there is every incentive for advocates of socialism and stateism to maintian control in every way possible:

http://westernstandard.blogs.com/shotgun/2008/03/homeschoolers-i.html

Quote
Homeschoolers in trouble

Listening to Rush Limbaugh the other day, a woman called in to tell him that, as everyone should know, homeschooled children outperform not just government-schooled children, but their private-schooled counterparts as well.

Nothing about that struck me as surprising--after all, homeschooling has all the incentives and ingredients for success. Parents have, in general, the right attitude or disposition toward their children (they sincerely care  for their children), that attitude or disposition means they have the right motivation to ensure their children's success (to care for x is to be attuned to the welfare of x, and to be disposed to act in ways that benefit the cared-for object*), and they are sensitive to, and have particular knowledge about, their children's peculiarities and special needs in a way that no civil servant is (they have what Hayek called local knowledge--not general knowledge that might be called "scientific," but specialized knowledge about particular circumstances and details**).

What did strike me as surprising was what she said next: homeschooled children in jurisdictions with fewer regulations outperform homeschooled children in jurisdictions with more regulations. Of course, we'll have to look this up, and my google-ing skills were not up to snuff for this purpose. But this general claim does not matter for our purposes--what matters, given the latest blow to home schooling in California--is whether or not parents with a teaching certificate, or training in a government-approved teaching college, are better able to teach their children than parents without such training.

And I can confidently announce that no, they don't. Parents without "formal" education training do just as well as their "formally"-trained counterparts.

Given this, it's just a waste of money, time, and energy for parents to have to get trained in teaching at state-approved teaching centres. Nevertheless, a judge in California recently ruled that parents must get certified in order to do what parents have done for hundreds of years--teach their own children. Judge Walter H. Crosky wrote, in his ruling, that, "California courts have held that under provisions in the Education Code, parents do not have a constitutional right to home school their children." He also wrote that parents who educate their own children without state credentials will be subject to criminal action. They'll be locked up, even if their kids are better-educated, more knowledgeable, and better-adjusted than their peers.

Thankfully, the Governator has stepped up: "Every California child deserves a quality education and parents should have the right to decide what's best for their children," Schwarzenegger said in a statement. He continued, "Parents should not be penalized for acting in the best interests of their children's education. This outrageous ruling must be overturned by the courts and if the courts don't protect parents' rights then, as elected officials, we will."

Good for him. He's got empirical evidence on his side, and the arguments against homeschooling are not "arguments," they're bugaboos.

Let me just add one more bugaboo to the list: Homeschooled children have social skills that are either at the same level, or superior to, their government- and privately-educated peers. "Really?" Yes, really. "But they don't get the benefits of gov-run schools! Like being tossed in the garbage can for being smart, or getting incessantly bullied for reading books that are not assigned, or be mercilessly accosted for being too fat, too thin, insufficiently athletic, or cool. And how do they get their fashion sense if not from the brutalities of the hallways-cum-runways that is the modern-day highschool? In short, how do they get that all-important sense of what it means to be cool and hip and trendy?" ... Uhm, good point. You're right, homeschooled kids won't learn what it is like to be mauled for being or wanting to be smart. And it will remain a mystery as to how homeschooled children will ever learn to tell the difference between genuine and fake Coach handbags. Chalk one up for the government. Because when it comes to bullies, beauties, and brutalities, nothing compares to the inner-city government-run school.

So why the opposition to homeschooling, and why the constant insistence on regulations that have no--absolutely no--grounding in empirical fact? Why insist that parents get what amounts to a totally useless piece of government paper that lets everyone know they are gov-approved educators? The answer is neat and simple: government schools are protecting their market share, and the bureaucrats with pencils are protecting their jobs.

* Often, we use "care" in the sense of "not being indifferent." But caring has a deeper and more significant possible analysis--to care for or about x is to be disposed to a) have certain emotional reactions on the basis of judgments about whether x is doing better or worse and b) act in ways that we believe will benefit the cared-for object. And all of this we do for the sake of the cared-for object, rather than for some other reason. With respect to a), we are attuned to the up-and-down fortunes of x in such a way that, when we judge that things go well for x, then things go well for us, and when we judge that things go poorly for x, things go poorly for us. For more on this analysis of caring, see David Shoemaker's remarkable paper "Caring, Identification, and Agency" in Ethics, or pick up Harry Frankfurt's "The Importance of What we Care About."

**"...a little reflection will show that there is beyond question a body of very important but unorganized knowledge which cannot possibly be called scientific in the sense of knowledge of general rules: the knowledge of the particular circumstances of time and place. It is with respect to this that practically every individual has some advantage over all others because he possesses unique information of which beneficial use might be made, but of which use can be made only if the decisions depending on it are left to him or are made with his active cooperation."
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline Thucydides

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Re: Deconstructing "Progressive " thought
« Reply #61 on: March 13, 2008, 01:03:21 »
Senator Obama's wife lays it all out for us to see. I wonder how many people are really listening:

http://www.captainsquartersblog.com/mt/archives/017003.php

Quote
The Coming Obama 'Theocracy'

People mocked Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney for their religious backgrounds often during the presidential campaigns, but at least they never claimed to be on a mission to save the souls of Americans through government action. Oh, people accused them of wanting to do so -- to impose Southern Baptist or Mormon theology on an America that wants relentless secularism, but in point of fact both men gave stirring speeches on how their faith informs them personally but not their governance.

One campaign really has explicitly claimed to be on such a mission, however. Michelle Obama gave a speech at UCLA earlier this month in which she told supporters that her husband was the only man who could fix American souls -- if we elect him President first. Here's the transcript:

    In 2008, we are still a nation that is too divided. We live in isolation, and because of that isolation, we fear one another. We don't know our neighbors, we don't talk, we believe our pain is our own. We don't realize that the struggles and challenges of all of us are the same. We are too isolated. And we are still a nation that is still too cynical. We look at it as "them" and "they" as opposed to "us". We don't engage because we are still too cynical. ...

    Americans are not in debt because they live frivolously but because someone got sick. Even with insurance, the deductibles and the premiums are so high that people are still putting medications and treatments on credit cards. And they can't get out from under. I could go on and on, but this is how we're living, people, in 2008.

    And things have gotten progressively worse throughout my lifetime, through Democratic and Republican administrations, it hasn't gotten better for regular folks. ....

    We have lost the understanding that in a democracy, we have a mutual obligation to one another -- that we cannot measure the greatness of our society by the strongest and richest of us, but we have to measure our greatness by the least of these. That we have to compromise and sacrifice for one another in order to get things done. That is why I am here, because Barack Obama is the only person in this who understands that. That before we can work on the problems, we have to fix our souls. Our souls are broken in this nation.


It's hard to know where to start in with this speech. First, what evidence does Mrs. Obama have that the largest part of credit card debt goes to health care? Second, if she has seen the standard of living get progressively worse during her lifetime, she needs new glasses. The living standard of even those classified as poor now have per-person expenditures of the American middle-class of the early 1970s, according to the Census Bureau. Eighty percent of the poor live in air-conditioned housing, 43% of them own their own homes, and the average poor American has as much living space than the average individual living in Paris, London, Vienna, and Athens. Only 3% don't own a color TV.

But it's the notion that only Barack Obama can save our souls that is the most offensive part of the speech, by far. Government doesn't exist to save souls; it exists to ensure domestic tranquility and provide for the common defense. If I feel my soul needs saving, the very last place I'd look (in the US) for a savior would be Washington DC or Capitol Hill. I'll trust God and Jesus Christ with my soul, and I'm not going to mistake Barack Obama for either one.

This, though, is the religion of statism distilled to its essence. Only a government can rescue people from the consequences of their own decisions. Only government programs can provide for your every need, and only government can use your money wisely enough to ensure that your needs get covered. Individuals cannot possibly manage to help their neighbors through their churches or community organizations, let alone encourage people to do for themselves.

And all you need to enter the statist Utopia is to sell your soul. So that it can be fixed.

No, thank you.

UPDATE: Ron at Liberal Values implies that I'm a hypocrite. Ron's a good guy, but he's wrong. People rely on their values to formulate policy, and religious values are just as legitimate as others for that purpose. People who claim to know the status of my soul and promise that they can fix it through government intervention -- on either side of the aisle -- explicitly have crossed a line, not to mention exhibited arrogance in diagnosing the status of my soul.

Michelle Malkin responds:

    When Republicans talk about broken souls in the context of civil society, the nutroots start screaming about the obliteration of the church-state line.

    When the Obama campaign uses the same rhetoric to get him elected to the White House, everyone swoons.

I'd rather both just stick to policy, and let me worry about the status of my soul.

Posted by Ed Morrissey on February 16, 2008 9:09 AM
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline Zip

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Re: Deconstructing "Progressive " thought
« Reply #62 on: March 15, 2008, 06:02:36 »
The truth hurts.

Form Celestial Junk: http://cjunk.blogspot.com/2008/03/progressive-cowards-of-first-order.html

Quote
14 March 2008
Progressive Cowards of the First Order
 
Here's the deal with "progressives", and one of the reasons I mock their politics.

"Progressives" like to claim ... and I emphasize "claim", that they are for the little guy, for the dispossessed, for the downtrodden and above all, for freedom. They rally to the cry of "equality" like rats rally to a carcass, and they boast in the most condescending tones about their belief in the equality of all humankind.

Yet, in practice, "progressives" are likely the most duplicitous political class to have dirtied politics in a long time. While they rale against those who oppose "gay marriage", nary a word of protest emits from their lips when Iran murders homosexuals ... some very young. While they invent victim class after victim class from thin air, hardly a mutter of complaint oozes from their scribes in defense of the oppressed women and girls who live under Islam (about 800 million). While the Taliban rape and murder their way through Afghanistan and Pakistan, "progressive" sit silently by, but the "progressives" moaning is more than one can bear, when Talbin captives are so much as frowned at by our troops. "Progressives" hoot and holler about the "illegal" war in Iraq and fill the ranks of peace marches ... yet they beg and plead that we invade Sudan while rejecting the UN sanctioned mission in Afghanistan.

We could go on, but the pattern is always the same. "Progressives" are always for the wars we aren't in. They're always for troops that will never be sent, but decry the troops that are sent. And, most shameful of all ... as long as "progressives" don't have to sacrifice or take risk to themselves, they are all mighty freedom fighters. BUT ... as soon as they might actually have to risk of themselves to protect the truly downtrodden or freedom, "progressives" are nowhere to be found.

What is perhaps most indefensible of all, is that the "progressive" class is actually willing to trample on human rights in order to avoid "icky" situations. No other modern phenomenon demonstrates this more than the vacant proclivity of "progressives" to defend ... yes, actually defend, Muslim human rights abuses.

For example, in Holland, where "progressives" have had the keys since the Second World War, the country's elite are willing to twist themselves into intellectual pretzles trying to justify the supression of free speech on the alter of fear.

I'll say it again ... the alter of "FEAR!"

Dutch "progressives" are so afraid of Mulsim anger, that they will supress the speech of their own citizens in order create the illusion of peace. They are actually willing to bully and shun their own, in order to keep the bully at bay:



Geert Wilders, the Dutch politician who is making a 10-minute movie about Islam
entitled Fitna (Arabic for “ordeal”), has felt compelled to cancel the March 28 press conference where he intended to show his film. The Nieuwspoort press center in The Hague, which is run by a board of journalists, publishers and government press officers, demanded that Wilders pay 400,000 euros for extra safety measures. “Apparently, you have to be a millionaire to organize such an event,” Mr Wilders said. “Even if I had the money I am not going to spend it on a press conference.”

No Dutch broadcaster, public or private, has been willing to show the film. There are indications that Fitna will also be banned on Youtube, which removed a clip featuring Mr Wilders two week ago, on so-called “ethical grounds”.


So, here's the skinny on "progressives". They are all talk ... but little more. Sure, they stomp and pout when facing the terrifying likes of the "neo-cons" or those indescribably cruel "right wing Christians", or, heaven forbid, the rightwing bloggers. But, rattle a real saber ... threaten to bomb them ... threaten to march and burn .. and they'll evaporate just as fast as the vapors from the steaming guano their philosophy is made of.
"I swear, by my life and my love of it, that I will never live for the sake of another man; nor ask another man to live for mine."
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Offline Chris Pook

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Re: Deconstructing "Progressive " thought
« Reply #63 on: March 18, 2008, 00:57:52 »
Great article from Robert Fulford

Article Link


For me the money quote is this "Is it possible, Hayden asks himself, that Marxism and nationalism won the war but capitalism and nationalism won the peace? Are "the supposedly scientific models of history long embraced by the left being replaced with a kind of chaos theory of unpredictability? Is this all that was ever possible?" "

I have to disagree with Mr. Fulford's closing sentence: "He (Hayden) made his trip, he writes, because "I wanted to understand the long-term lessons." Considered in that light, his journey was a failure."  I would say that Tom Hayden is starting to show signs of understanding.

Ordnung ist nie.




Quote
What happened to the revolution?
Vietnam is getting rich. For Tom Hayden and other 1960s-era Marxists, that's bad news

Robert Fulford, National Post 
Published: Saturday, March 15, 2008


Why aren't the Vietnamese more grateful to Tom Hayden? Recently, he returned for the first time in 36 years to the country that he and his then-wife Jane Fonda tried to save from American domination in the Vietnam war. The trip disappointed him. As he writes in the March 10 issue of The Nation, Vietnam has turned capitalist. Was that what he fought for? Absolutely not. He remains capitalism's enemy, still the same lefty who helped found 1960s student radicalism.

This week, another celebrated American liberal, playwright David Mamet, declared that he's abandoned the ideology he shared with Hayden. Mamet, never gentle, broke this news where it would hurt most --in the pages of New York's Village Voice, a weekly that hasn't carried a right-wing article since it was founded in the 1950s.

Under the heading "Why I Am No Longer a 'Brain-Dead Liberal,'" Mamet denounced every one of the principles that give American liberals their sense of righteousness.

He's abandoned his hatred for corporations, which he now considers merely "the flip side of my hunger for those goods and services they provide and without which we could not live." This comes as a surprise from the author of Glengarry Glen Ross, the play and movie depicting a repulsive business atmosphere. And the role of government? He once considered it fundamentally good but now he's "hard-pressed to see an instance where the intervention of the government led to much beyond sorrow."

He's decided that America is not a schoolroom teaching values but a market-place. He now puts John F. Kennedy on the same moral plane as George W. Bush. And when he listens to the standard liberalism of National Public Radio he mutters that its initials actually stand for National Palestinian Radio (he defended Israel in his last book, The Wicked Son: Anti-Semitism, Self-hatred, and the Jews).

Mamet has decided that free-market thinking meshes better with his experience than liberalism. He even reads conservative thinkers. He names Milton Friedman, Paul Johnson and Shelby Steele, and confers the title "our greatest contemporary philosopher" on Thomas Sowell, an economist always ignored by liberals. (Black skin makes Sowell hard to attack, particularly when he brings severe logic to racial questions, so the left prefers to pretend he doesn't exist.)

It may seem odd that a much-admired writer makes such a noise about the banal fact that he thinks the society he's always lived in is grounded in sound principles and operates reasonably well. But in his milieu, that opinion remains big news.

Successful artists favour capitalism in practice but not in theory. For this they have their own special approach to reality. They accept capitalism's money and buy its products, but prefer not to be reminded that it's essential to the richness of their lives. They pretend, in fact, that they oppose it. Readers of a typical leftist newspaper (such as Now, the Toronto giveaway weekly for the young and the cool) appear to believe they've hooked up with capitalism only until something better comes along.

"Wyrd bið ful aræd"

Offline Thucydides

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Re: Deconstructing "Progressive " thought
« Reply #64 on: March 28, 2008, 09:40:46 »
More on how they think:

http://www.financialpost.com/story.html?id=402197

Quote
A convenient untruth

Global warming gives the preferences of the left, such as for local produce over fast food, historical importance

Andrew Potter,  Financial Post  Published: Thursday, March 27, 2008

One of the most disturbing aspects of the growing concern over climate change is the giddy delight with which some members of the left await the coming global catastrophe. Of course they don't admit to being delighted. Instead, they claim to be extremely upset about the prospect of melting ice caps, rising sea levels, drought, flooding, crop failure, species extinction and so on. But let's be honest, listening to a global warming hysteric rhyme off the terrible and inevitable consequences of driving to work or buying a Big Mac is to hear someone in the rapture of a geo-pornographic fantasy.

Let us call these people "declinists," and their animating philosophy "declinism." What motivates declinism is an attitude so pessimistic that it is almost theological: not only are things worse than they used to be, but they're getting worse with every passing year. Furthermore, the declinist believes that the various strategies that are usually proposed for making things better--the promotion of liberal democracy, technological development and economic growth--cannot be the solution to our problems, since they are actually the cause. That is, it is the principles that underwrite modernity itself that are the problem. As the declinist sees it, the rights-based politics of liberal individualism, combined with the free-market economy, have served to undermine local attachments and communitarian feelings, leading us to seek meaning in shallow consumerism and mindless entertainments.

That is why climate change is the ultimate declinist wet dream. Sure, there is a long tradition of declinist hobby horses, including overpopulation, the exhaustion of natural resources and the industrial poisoning of the land and the sea, but climate change is the rug that pulls the whole room together. From cars and consumerism to mass travel, fast food and inexpensive lighting, declinism gathers up everything the left dislikes about contemporary society and puts it all in the dock facing the same charge: it is causing the planet to heat up. Thanks then to the imagined horrors of climate change, declinism transforms what is essentially an aesthetic preference for live entertainment over television, locally grown produce over fast food and the ability to walk to work instead of commuting in a car into a lifestyle choice of world-historical importance.

The way the logic of it works out, the declinist wins no matter what happens. We either adopt more energy-efficient, lowimpact, "human scale" lifestyles, or the atmosphere will heat up, the economy will collapse and we'll be forcibly thrown back into a subsistence economy. Fate, as the great Canadian pessimist George Grant once wrote, leads the willing and drives the unwilling, and we're headed for a 12th-century economy whether we like it or not. It's a future that the high priest of declinism, James Howard Kunstler (author of The Geography of Nowhere and The Long Emergency), can hardly wait for. While he spent his entire career fighting a losing intellectual battle against the car culture of suburbia, global warming has given him renewed faith in the ability of humanity to destroy itself through consumption. As he wrote recently, "Let the gloating begin."

There is no point in arguing with declinism, because it is not a set of empirical propositions but an ideology. Over the past 100 years, life got steadily better by almost any conceivable measure. Life expectancy rose while infant mortality dropped; the air quality of our cities improved, our food got cheaper and more nutritious, and the workplace became safer as wages steadily climbed. If you have any question as to the arrow of progress, ask yourself one question: Given a choice, when would you rather have been born, 1900 or 2000?

Declinism is both a sin and a betrayal. It is a sin because it displays an utter lack of faith in humanity, believing that we will inevitably abuse the gifts of freedom, knowledge and power and become the agents of our own destruction. It is a betrayal of modernity and of the liberal ideals that have breathed life and hope into human progress for the past four hundred years. In its resentment of modernity, the declinist left finds itself in agreement with a broad spectrum of Islamofascists, evangelical nuts and tin-foil-hat anarchists, who equally fear the globalized future and pray for a return to a glorious but thoroughly imaginary past. If it takes a global catastrophe to get us there, so much the better.

They say that politics makes for strange bedfellows. But when it comes to the politics of declinism, the sleeping arrangements are positively perverted.

--- - Andrew Potter is a columnist with Maclean's and a frequent contributor to This Magazine, where this article first appeared.

Copyright © 2007 CanWest Interactive, a division of CanWest MediaWorks Publications, Inc.. All rights reserved.
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline Thucydides

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Re: Deconstructing "Progressive " thought
« Reply #65 on: April 03, 2008, 11:04:16 »
Comparing religion with the religion of secularism:

http://www.nationalpost.com/todays_paper/story.html?id=415294&p=2

Quote
Magdi Allam rejected Islam and atheism
Michael Coren, National Post  Published: Wednesday, April 02, 2008

ROME -The remarkable Indian Christian philosopher Ravi Zacharias tells a compelling story of his encounter with a white, liberal American academic who had embraced Buddhism. The professor criticized Ravi for his Christianity: "It's Western and as such is obsessed with single truth," he explained. "I, on the other hand, have embraced an Eastern code and believe in simultaneous truths." Ravi responded: "So what you're really saying is that it's either my Christian way of single truth or your approach of Eastern, simultaneous truth? Either one or the other." A long pause. "Oh I see," from the fatuous prof. "Yes, the Christian, Western approach does seem to emerge."

Yes, it does seem to emerge. In other words, truth is exclusive. If it's black it's not white, if it's right it's not wrong and if it's true it's not false. And most religions and ideologies claim exclusive truth, thus by inevitable consequence implying that alternative religions and ideologies are untrue. Which leads us to Pope Benedict's baptism of Italian journalist and former Muslim Magdi Allam this Easter.
The facts are really quite simple. Allam is a friend of the Pope's and is a prominent figure in Italian culture. It would have been surprising if the Holy Father hadn't personally initiated the man into the Church. In Rome the people who made Allam's conversion an international issue were less Catholic commentators than Islamic critics, who wrote and broadcast repeatedly that people should stop repeatedly writing and broadcasting about the episode.

The hypocrisy is so obvious as to be positively banal. In most of the Muslim world a convert to Christianity would possibly be killed and certainly face myriad varieties of persecution. The evidence is legion and the examples blood-stained. In countries such as Egypt and Pakistan even cradle-Christians face appalling discrimination and violence. In Saudi Arabia it is illegal to possess a Christian Bible or crucifix.

Aref Ali Nayed, one of a group of 200 Muslim scholars who claim to be intent on establishing a new, open relationship with Christianity, condemned the Pope's behaviour as "a triumphalist tool for scoring points." The group in question tends to say very little about, for example, suicide bombings, forced conversion of Christians to Islam in Sudan or Turkey's closing of a Catholic seminary. But is extremely upset that the Pope has behaved as, well, the Pope.

It's a spurious, disingenuous critique. Theological dialogue may have been a Muslim tendency 800 years ago but nobody seriously believes that religious pluralism is a regarded concept in contemporary Islam. The denial and double-talk is sickening. Allam had been under police protection long before his conversion because of his staunch critique of violent Islamic fundamentalism. Death threats have increased since his embrace of Christianity and all that allegedly moderate Muslims are saying is that if there is going to be a conversion, for goodness sake keep it quiet.

But why? This is not about changing a shirt but transforming a life. According to Christian belief, Magdi Allam has begun a journey that will lead to eternal life. He has found not interesting opinion but absolute truth. Jesus didn't say "I may be" but "I am" The Way. The only way. The Catholic Church is far more accepting than many Protestants in the way it views the salvational possibilities of non-Catholic goodness; but it still teaches that the only guaranteed way of meeting God is through the Sacramental structure of a church founded by Christ.
This notion of exclusive truth, however, is not just a problem for Muslims but for secularists as well, what with their fetish for ostensible tolerance. Modern liberalism has not merely abandoned certain commandments but replaced those it has expunged with a set of its own. The most important of which is toleration. I tolerate therefore I am. It's nonsense of course, in that it is self-contradictory by nature -- the tolerant cannot tolerate intolerance and are thus no longer tolerant -- but it's also a grand, great lie. Human rights commissions, student unions and leftist activists remind us every day of the authentic meaning of genuine intolerance.

Yet it still plays to the core of secular thinking. The standard argument, taught in universities and passively accepted in popular dialogue, is that because religion believes that it has the truth it is not broad-minded and broad-mindedness is an indication of sophistication and urbanity.

Magdi Allam said yes this Easter. Yes to a truth and no to its rivals. No to Islam, no to atheism. Which has made many Muslims and just as many of their relativist, secular allies extremely angry. An Easter present slightly more important than a chocolate egg or even a teaching course on why nothing really matters.

www.michaelcoren.com - Michael Coren is a writer and broadcaster.


Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline Kilo_302

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Re: Deconstructing "Progressive " thought
« Reply #66 on: April 04, 2008, 10:24:54 »
Quote
While neither the "Left" or the "Right" are monolithic entities, the "Left" has a disproportionate influence over us. About 2/3 of Canadian voters support left wing parties like the Liberals, NDP, Bloc and Green party; most of our electronic and print media comes through a "progressive" filter, discussions in schools and higher education are heavily bent to the left (How many schools are showing students "The Great Global Warming Swindle" either alone or after "An Inconveinient Truth"? Now how many schools plan to show students "An Inconveinient Truth" only?). Most of the Judiciary has been appointed by politicians who come from the Left side of the political spectrum, and I could go on.

The Liberal Party is actually right of centre. They merely disguise their business oriented policies with social window dressing that they know will not affect the real economic statues quo one bit. And why shouldn't the left have more influence over us? I'm not talking brainless, "the universe will provide" left, I'm talking the rational "progression is good" left. The problem with the "right" is it wants to regress, not progress. Now clearly many developments in Canada are for the worse, but how do you pick and choose? There was a time when the "crazy lefties" thought women should have the vote, and the "rational right" thought that it would lead to anarchy. As for pop culture, while it may appear to be part of the giant left wing conspiracy (all those homosexuals on TV!!!), who do you think owns all of the media outlets? Big business. Those guys sure as crap aren't raving hippies. The point is, for business and government the only ideology is capitalism. That's why they'll give gays the right to marry, and make all sorts of noises about a progressive society when they actually don't care as long as all the right wingers AND the left wingers continue to consume.
 
As for your second point, why would anyone show the "Great Global Warming Swindle?" If there was a serious debate on global warming, then yes, by all means show it. But there isn't. Many of the scientists now actively doubting global warming actually supported big tobacco in the 1990s, claiming that cigarettes didn't cause cancer. Most, if not all serious scientists acknowledge that man-made climate change is occurring.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_opinion_on_climate_change

I didn't know that the American Institute of Physics was a politically motivated "left wing" organization.  Another surprise, the Royal Meteorological Society is with the lefties too! This is a debate no longer. It's scientific fact. Just because FOX News can dig up a well paid scientist claiming that nothing is wrong, doesn't mean nothing is wrong.

Offline Thucydides

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Re: Deconstructing "Progressive " thought
« Reply #67 on: April 04, 2008, 14:14:59 »
Quote
why would anyone show the "Great Global Warming Swindle?"

Read the Global Warming Superthread and find out.
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline Thucydides

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Re: Deconstructing "Progressive " thought
« Reply #68 on: April 09, 2008, 22:51:23 »
"Group rights" are completely arbitrary, and with a little semantics, even genocide can be waved away......

http://www.townhall.com/Columnists/JonahGoldberg/2008/04/09/the_genocide_loophole?page=full&comments=true

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The Genocide Loophole
By Jonah Goldberg
Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Last week, Russia's lower house of parliament passed a resolution insisting that Josef Stalin's man-made 1932-33 famine - called the Holodomor in Ukrainian - wasn't genocide.

Not even the Russians dispute that the Soviet government deliberately starved millions. But the Russian resolution indignantly states: "There is no historical proof that the famine was organized along ethnic lines." It notes that victims included "different peoples and nationalities living largely in agricultural areas of the country."

Translation: We didn't kill millions of farmers because they were Ukrainians; we killed millions of Ukrainians because they were farmers.

And that's all it takes to be acquitted of genocide.

The United Nations defines genocide as the "intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group." Left out of this definition are "modern" political labels for people: the poor, religious people, the middle class, etc.

The oversight was deliberate.
The word "genocide" was coined by a Polish Jew, Raphael Lemkin, who was responding to Winston Churchill's 1941 lament that "we are in the presence of a crime without a name." Lemkin, a champion of human rights who lost 49 relatives in the Holocaust, gave it a name a few years later. But to get the U.N. to recognize genocide as a specific crime, he made compromises.

Pressured by the Soviets, Lemkin supported excluding efforts to murder "political" groups from the U.N.'s 1948 resolution on genocide. Under the more narrow official definition, it's genocide to try to wipe out Roma (formerly known as Gypsies), but it's not necessarily genocide to liquidate, say, people without permanent addresses. You can't slaughter "Catholics," but you can wipe out "religious people" and dodge the genocide charge.

Political scientist Gerard Alexander decries that type of absurdity as "Enlightenment bias." Reviewing Samantha Power's moving 2003 book, "A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide," Alexander observed that this bias leaves the greatest mass murderers of the 20th century - self-described Marxist-Leninists - somewhat off the hook.

In Power's book, the most influential writing on genocide in a generation, she scolds - often justly - the U.S. for not doing more to stop systematized slaughter. But by focusing so narrowly on the U.N.-style definition of genocide, she implicitly upholds a moral hierarchy of evil, which in effect renders mass murder a second-tier crime if it's done in the name of social progress, modernization or other Enlightenment ideals.

This is dangerous thinking; people perceived to be blocking progress - farmers, aristocrats, reactionaries - can be more forgivably slaughtered than ethnic groups because they're allegedly part of the problem, not the solution. After all, you've got to break some eggs to make an omelet.

For many, the Soviets and the Red Chinese elude the genocide charge because Communists were omelet-makers. Ukrainian kulaks, or independent farmers, opposed Stalin's plan for collectivization, so they were murdered for that "greater good."

Today, Mao and Stalin aren't in Hitler's class of evil because Hitler wasn't a "modernizer," he was a racist. Note how the Russians have no problem copping to the charge of mass murder but recoil at suggestions it was racially motivated.

It's a wrongheaded distinction. Murder is murder, whether the motive is bigotry or the pursuit of allegedly enlightened social planning.

It's also a false distinction. Racial genocide is often rationalized as a form of progress by those responsible. Under the Holodomor, Ukrainian culture was systematically erased by the Russian Soviets, who saw it as expendable. No doubt the Sudanese janjaweed in Darfur and the Chinese People's Liberation Army in Tibet believe they are "modernizers," too.

Or consider the ultimate racially motivated genocide, the Holocaust. Gotz Aly and Susanne Heim demonstrate in their brilliant book, "Architects of Annihilation: Auschwitz and the Logic of Destruction," that the Final Solution, particularly in Lemkin's own Poland, was perceived by the young economists overseeing it as a "modernizing project that would transform society."

In Germany, the effort to crush Jewry was intertwined with the effort to nationalize the economy and eliminate small and independent businesses. For German social engineers, the Jews were convenient guinea pigs for their economic experiments. The first test cases were not the Jews but the mentally ill, who were classified as an economic liability - "useless bread-gobblers" - in Germany's 1936 Four-Year Plan of economic modernization.

The climate of anti-Semitism made the Holocaust possible, but so did Enlightenment bias, which holds that almost anything can be justified in the name of progress.

I doubt such distinctions would have been of much comfort to Lemkin's 49 relatives.

Jonah Goldberg is editor-at-large of National Review Online.
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

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Re: Deconstructing "Progressive " thought
« Reply #69 on: April 10, 2008, 09:46:01 »
The problem with the "right" is it wants to regress, not progress.

That narrow view made anything else you wrote forgettable.

Quote
As for your second point, why would anyone show the "Great Global Warming Swindle?" If there was a serious debate on global warming, then yes, by all means show it. But there isn't. Many of the scientists now actively doubting global warming actually supported big tobacco in the 1990s, claiming that cigarettes didn't cause cancer. Most, if not all serious scientists acknowledge that man-made climate change is occurring.

Proof please, other than wikpedia of course. Because I smell bullshit in that line. ::)
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Offline Thucydides

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Re: Deconstructing "Progressive " thought
« Reply #70 on: April 22, 2008, 10:37:03 »
Notice the problem is self induced, but the implication is someone else needs to "take care of the problem" (i.e. you and I bail tham out).

http://www.smalldeadanimals.com/archives/008538.html

Quote
"It's Not Fair" And Other Important Rules Of Economics
"Trapped" in the spiral of easy debt... 

Tanya Talaga
Social Justice Reporter

Several years ago, Mary and Don Oxley were living the good life. They earned $100,000 a year between them and bought a modest house in Brampton.

  Don became disabled from a severe sciatic nerve condition in 2004. The Oxleys, who have a 16-year-old son, experienced a rapid drop in income, relying on Mary's $38,000-a-year pay as an office sales support worker and Don's $1,000 monthly disability cheque.

They quickly racked up credit-card debt, taking out cash advances to make their monthly mortgage payments. At one point the debt on their cards reached $30,000. A couple of times they refinanced their mortgage, which ballooned to $180,000.

"It hasn't been the best of times," says Don, 48, sitting in their family room, his canes resting beside him.

"You just barely live," adds Mary, 44.

For a lot of working Canadians, "just barely" living is getting harder to do without spiralling into debt. Some get trapped in unforeseen circumstances, while others borrow beyond their means – because they can.

Like everyone else, low-paid, cash-strapped earners are constantly being tempted by consumer goods and lured by the promise of easy money. Access to financing or credit has never been easier.

From rent-to-own plasma TVs, PCs and used cars, pre-approved credit cards that come in the mail, and lines of credit available to low-income earners at the drop of a hat, not to mention the payday lenders at almost every strip mall, it is easy for the working poor to access cash to buy the latest consumer craze or pay the monthly mortgage.

Bad credit rating? Divorced? Single? New immigrant to Canada? Visa student? No problem. You can go on the Internet and find a variety of companies willing to lend cash instantly, no questions asked.

But being poor is costly. Prices for products and services soar when you rely on lenders that charge high interest rates, which can run from 30 per cent on department store credit cards and rent-to-own company leases to 60 per cent plus fees with payday lenders.

The Vanier Institute for the Family released a study last year that examined the assets and debts of Canada's 15 million households. They found that, based on Statistics Canada figures, the poorest 20 per cent, approximately 2.6 million households, had a net worth of $34 billion but their debts totalled $40 billion.

"This is the only group where the debt is bigger than the (net) value of the assets," says Roger Sauvé, a consultant who prepared the report.


Meanwhile, the richest 20 per cent had debts worth $186 billion but held net assets worth $3.5 trillion. The StatsCan figures also showed the poorest 20 per cent were more likely to have vehicle and student loans and credit card debt than any other group.

Though some provinces, including Ontario, are moving to rein in payday-lending firms with fee caps to protect low-income borrowers, the subprime lending and leasing business is booming. Rent-to-own companies, which are not subject to the same regulations that control payday lenders, are also exploding across North America. One Canadian company, easyhome Ltd., operates more than 200 stores in 10 provinces and is expanding into the United States. It rents out everything from sofa sets to big-screen TVs to home-theatre systems, laptops, digital cameras and pay-as-you-go cellphones.

"All you need is a place to live, a few friends and a source of income," says an ad by easyhome where a sofa and loveseat might rent for $19 a week.

Marion Callow, 59, leased a sofa and loveseat from easyhome. She says she signed up to lease the furniture for more than two years. Less than a year and about $700 into her payments, she noticed a flyer from another store selling a similar couch for $999 and got easyhome to take the furniture back.

Callow said she went to easyhome because it requires no credit. She could also get the furniture the next day. "They've got nice furniture but boy, do they charge," says Callow, who is on disability and lives in subsidized housing in North York. "It's not fair. I'm on a fixed income."

President and CEO David Ingram believes the company provides a valuable service to all sorts of people in various stages of their lives – post-secondary students, those in need of short-term rentals and real-estate agents staging houses. Many customers are blue-collar workers, he adds.

Easyhome's annual interest rate is 29 per cent. If you lease a sofa for $16 a week, the 29-per-cent interest payment is rolled into the price, he explains in an interview.

Ingram says easyhome is different from payday lenders because customers can end the lease at any time, and unlike some payday lenders the company does not charge the equivalent of (once fees are factored in) three-digit interest rates. Easyhome does not contribute to the growing problems of debt since there is no upfront cost, people do not need to borrow money to buy the items and instead are able to rent the products for long as they want, he says. "We give consumers complete control and help them avoid further debt, rather than add to it," Ingram says.

TIM TRIANTAFILLOU, director of resource development at Family Services of Peel, says his concern is that our consumer-oriented society thinks nothing of aggressively promoting debt.

"(Society) sells debt and complicated contracts," he says. "People get sucked into low-interest credit cards and easy access."

His agency served a total of 10,722 people in 2006-2007 – nearly 2,000 of whom received credit counselling.

He recalls one immigrant couple who were enticed into leasing a Lexus SUV and became swamped with payments. "There is always someone there to take advantage of the vulnerable, marginal and new." A growing problem, Triantafillou notes, is clients with intellectual disabilities who rely on Ontario Works or Ontario Disability Support Program payments and receive free credit cards in the mail.

"Somehow their names get on the mailing lists, they'd call the activation number and they'd have a credit card. Or, they'll get a cellphone because they think it's about integration and status. But what are they really getting? Debt."

ABOUT 3.4 MILLION Canadians live in poverty – in Ontario, 1.3 million people, of whom 345,000 are children – based on StatsCan's after-tax low-income cut-off (in 2004, $16,853 for a single person in Toronto and $31,865 for a family of four).

Household income has traditionally been used as an unofficial measure of poverty, but more countries are moving toward also defining poverty by what items or services poor people need and are unlikely to have.

Some anti-poverty activists are hoping the McGuinty government applies a so-called "deprivation index" when it comes up with its first official definition of poverty in Ontario later this year.

But as low-income households wind up with expensive products they borrow heavily to buy, it raises the question: Can someone be defined as poor if they can't afford to buy fresh fruit and vegetables every second day or go to a movie twice a year, but are making payments on a plasma TV, a stereo or a car? The Oxleys believe they aren't poor, but they do live in a constant state of dread. If Mary were to lose her job, they'd be on welfare, she says. "My job is the lifeline."

The Oxleys can't afford either to rent or go to the movies. But Mary's line of credit is maxed out at $19,000 because of a used vehicle she bought. To make things easier for Don, at home all day, and to give the family a source of entertainment two years ago, she bought a large-screen plasma TV and made payments on it for two years.

"You have to have some entertainment for him," she says.

The $3,800 TV is now paid for. But they still have their monthly cable bill of $176, which includes the Internet, cell and home phone.

For many low-income earners, a widescreen TV is "essentially and fundamentally the only entertainment," says Peel Family Services' Triantafillou. "How sad is that? I don't doubt for a minute, if they had the means they'd find other entertainment."

Also, just because someone has a house, that doesn't mean they are wealthy. "You may have your own home, but how do you maintain it when someone is on disability?"

SOME POLICY-MAKERS believe the best way to help low-income families escape the debt trap is to make them financially literate. Community workers, they say, need to teach the basics of budgeting, credit and money management. "Just because you may not have a lot of money doesn't mean you don't need to know how to manage it," says Casey Cosgrove, director of financial literacy initiatives at Social and Enterprise Development Innovations (SEDI), a non-profit group that works with low-income Canadians.

While middle- to high-income earners are guided on how to invest and save money by financial advisers or banks, low earners often don't have the same opportunity.

Other nations have made financial literacy a hallmark of their anti-poverty campaigns. In Ireland, centres across the country teach money management and budgeting. They also have a toll-free helpline. This month the U.S. government announced it is setting up a special committee – made up of representatives from the treasury, education, housing and urban development departments – to improve financial literacy rates of its citizens.

In Canada, the big banks have created tool kits on financial literacy – websites and brochures. But the poor do not always use a bank or have ready access to the Internet. "It is that bridge that is missing," Cosgrove says. "It starts with policy. There is no policy in Canada that says Canadians should be financially literate."

Also, the poor don't realize there are programs and money out there for them, he points out. Learn$ave, an asset-building program run by SEDI that matches every dollar saved with $3 for the first $1,500, helped get Nekesha Blake, 25, out of debt and back to school.

She was $25,000 in the hole with no way out. Most was owed to her credit cards. At the time she was a personal-care worker, looking after the needs of the elderly and housebound across the city.

It was while doing the winter bus slog to Richmond Hill, Woodbridge and Markham that she realized in order to improve her life she needed to go back to school. To do that, she had to save. "I used to think if you were saving money at 1.5 per cent and owed debt at 18 per cent, why save?" she says. "It didn't make sense to me."

In seven years, the 3,609 participants in the pilot program saved $3.8 million. The program, implemented in 10 locations across seven provinces, is slated to end in 2009, and the deadline to enter it has passed.

Blake worked hard and saved her pennies.

She went to George Brown College during the day, then to her job at a long-term-care home, working until 11 p.m. After that, she cleaned office towers. More than once she fell asleep in class.

But she did it.

"I saved $1,500. It was really, really hard." Blake graduated as a registered practical nurse in 2004.

"The word 'debt' should be changed to the word 'dead,' " she says. "It's a real killer – like a noose."

Oddly enough!

Posted by Kate at April 22, 2008 12:32 AM

Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline JBG

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Re: Deconstructing "Progressive " thought
« Reply #71 on: April 23, 2008, 23:30:15 »
Proof please, other than wikpedia of course. Because I smell bullshit in that line. ::)
In Canada, a proof is a proof is a proof is a proof (link for proof of that).
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Offline Glorified Ape

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Re: Deconstructing "Progressive " thought
« Reply #72 on: April 24, 2008, 20:04:22 »
Most variations of Progressiveism and Socialism are explicitly about control of the actions and property of the individual. What is more moral: giving you equal opportunity to meet your needs or moving in and dictating the outcomes of your actions to meet arbitrary and often unsuitable whims from the unelected and unaccountable?


As the Blogger says, it is amusing to see cultural relativists fighting against each other. (How do relativeists define what is worth fighting for anyway?)

http://unambig.blogspot.com/2007/11/but-some-animals-are-more-equal-than.html


I would have thought you'd support cultural relativism as it's the most laissez-faire, non-dictatorial approach to cultural interaction and more in keeping with the libertarian philosophy you support.

I may be misunderstanding, but if you don't believe in cultural relativism, what is your preferred alternative? Surely not cultural imperialism.
Bureaucracy is hell.

Offline Thucydides

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Re: Deconstructing "Progressive " thought
« Reply #73 on: April 25, 2008, 10:51:44 »
I would have thought you'd support cultural relativism as it's the most laissez-faire, non-dictatorial approach to cultural interaction and more in keeping with the libertarian philosophy you support.

I may be misunderstanding, but if you don't believe in cultural relativism, what is your preferred alternative? Surely not cultural imperialism.

Since relativism explicitly denies that anything is or should be more important than anything else, the very idea of cultural relativism is against the ideals of libertarianism or Classical Liberalism. If cultural relativism is "real", then how can you or I defend Freedom of Speech, Free Markets or Property Rights as being ideals for all people to strive towards and take advantage of against those who would restrict or deny these rights? This is not a trick question; these rights are under attack in Canada by various groups and organs of the State. Would you like to take your chances against a potential theocrat promoting Sharia Law or an HRC Star Chamber? (the fact that one is currently using the other is only a marriage of conveinience. Imagine who would go up against the wall if it ever comes to a showdown between the representatives of these two sides).

Incidentally, cultural relativism is imposed by dictatorial means in Universities, notice how students and faculty are force fed certain ideas (the University of Delaware being the most notorious recent case), while other ideas are excluded by force (consider the recent actions against Armed Forces Recruiters, Anti Abortion activists, or supporters of the State of Israel. Try to find a gun club. You get the idea).

As a libertarian, I am quite accomodating. You can practice whatever religion/ideology/diet/music etc. in the comfort of your own home, and I expect you to respect my right to do the same in my home. In the public square we may trade to our mutual benefit, and discuss issues to come to agreement (or not) through peaceful means.
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline Thucydides

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Re: Deconstructing "Progressive " thought
« Reply #74 on: April 28, 2008, 21:12:48 »
One to nine are valid, I will give point 10 a pass:

http://mesopotamiawest.blogspot.com/2008/04/progressivism-everywhere-in-shambles.html

Quote
Progressivism Everywhere in Shambles

Have you noticed how Progressives everywhere are flailing and wailing because their policies are coming apart? Take these examples:

   1. In the United States the Democrats are fighting each other using the politics of identity; Hillary that she's a woman, Obama that he's an African-American. No matter who wins, Progressives lose.
   2. In Iraq, the Government seems more competent by the day, facing down the rebels in Basra and showing signs of actually running the country. Progressives were hoping for defeat.
   3. In Britain, there are now grandmothers in their 30's because Progressives increased support for unwed mothers to the point it was a viable career choice. Now they're everywhere.
   4. In Southern Ontario, Progressives said native rights should be recognized. Now the natives are blockading roads and extorting protection money from local residents. Another Progressive policy upside down.
   5. Progressives were behind the Washington, DC gun ban. The city naturally became the murder capital of the United States. Now the Supreme Court seems set to overturn that Progressive policy.
   6. In Ottawa, a Progressive baby the CHRC has been found hacking an innocent citizen's wireless connection, just like any Internet thief. Progressives look the other way.
   7. In Merritt BC it takes a hunter with a rifle and a dog to find a murder suspect. Progressives rely on the police for their safety.
   8. Food riots have broken out in the Third World because Progressives convinced government to get farmers to switch to growing corn for fuel. They did. Another Progressive policy down the toilet.
   9. Progressives were at it again last week wailing about Global Warming. That was the same week the Trans Canada highway was shut down in Northern Ontario due to whiteout conditions and 20 cm of snow.
  10. Progressives are all Stephan Dion supporters and members of the Liberal Party of Canada. They're about to get shellacked in Quebec.

Will all these bits and pieces of failed policy affect Progressives? Absolutely not. They're right and they're going to march right on, over the cliff and into the sea, like the mindless lemmings they truly are.

I wouldn't mind so much if they had their own little world to screw up with bans on fat, guns, lead paint, kitchen knives, bullying, smoking, speeding, wood stoves, plastic bottles, raw milk, peanuts, drinking -- especially drinking -- owning ugly dogs, owning black rifles, and on and on and on. Communism, Fascism, the League of Nations, thought police, Gulags, all of it sprang from the demented minds of Progressives.

Nothing matters to them, they're so pure, so righteous, so perfect. And now they're also against babies because humans are the ultimate pollutant in the world. Just imagine what will happen if that Progressive policy gains traction.

Which I predict it will before it too crashes and burns.
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.