Tuesday, March 11, 2008

If This Is Progressive....

I get more than annoyed whenever I hear some hack socialist refer to himself, or the so-called socialist movement, as "progressive." We all know that socialist stuff regularly becomes pejorative, because individuals with more sense start calling it what it is. At one time, for example, socialists were called "socialists," and it was a completely acceptable term. Wiser heads began analyzing what socialists really were, and more and more individuals saw socialists as straw-brains, disconnected from reality and living in a worlds in which they were "kings," perhaps "philosopher kings," wisely taking care of the needs and wants of the unthinking masses.

As level-headed individuals saw the reality of this silliness, "socialist" became a synonym for "airhead," or the like term of the day.

Because, at the time, the word "liberal" was a term that meant political progress toward more individual freedom (Thomas Paine, Thomas Jefferson and many like-minded intellectuals were called "liberals"), the socialists of the day, over time, began to co-opt the word "liberal" as the preferred term to use in reference to themselves. Socialists thought it would make their plans for slow enslavement of unsuspecting individuals more socially palatable. Eventually, it caught on, and for a time, socialists falsely basked in the good will that really belonged to those who favor individual freedom.

Again, in more recent times, the term "liberal" has become pejorative. 'Tis a rare socialist who, while running for elective office or otherwise trying to curry popular favor, who will call himself a "liberal" today.

Hence, the current attempts to destroy the meaning of the word "progressive." Progressive, to most of us, means moving from a worse condition to a better one. From poverty to solvency. from sickness to health. Thus, socialists, no longer wishing to be called "liberals," are beginning to co-opt the term "progressive," as their reference to themselves.

Now, one might ask, can a philosophical system that reveres serfdom as an ideal--the notion of an elite group of overseers watching over the enslaved masses, deciding what are their needs, taking care of those needs in a bureaucratically blundering way, including shortages, rationing, soviet-style mis allocations (parkas to Miami, raincoats to Phoenix, snow shovels to Los Angeles, etc--really be called progressive?

Was the USSR ever progressive?

I have a better name for socialists, if they are that ashamed of what they are: thuggee. If they don't adopt this name or something similar, they're not only socialists, but liars.

Calling a spade a digging tool.

Warm regards,

Col. Hogan
Stalag Calif.


T. F. Stern said...

I knew there would be something worth reading at the end of the day. This is like the end of the movie Beverly Hill' Cop. The rich guy's house is all shot up, the rich bad buy has been shot dead, the idiot chief of police looks at the Lt. and says, "I suppose you have an explanation for all of this..."

Kent C said...

Nice piece Col.!

I liked David Kelley's (atlas society) comment to the dems - if you're done with the term liberal, we'd like it back. lol

Another abomination that gets me is the claim that Jefferson was the first Democrat president. Sigh... where do they get this stuff. He was a democratic-republican... what's the noun there? :-) The 'big government' party back then was the Federalists (if we could be so lucky today...).

Col. Hogan said...


....And a really good explanation it was, too.

Col. Hogan said...


Yeah, I read that one, too. I'd have put it into the entry, had I remembered it.

According to the early pages of the TJ book I'm reading, he considered himself a Whig. I guess that turned into Democratic-Republican at the beginnings of party politics.

Thanks for the book, BTW.

Kent C said...


There's 'whigs' and then there's 'whigs' :-) George Smith, (I forget whether this was pointed out in the book) would call Jefferson and that group 'radical whigs' whereas later when Whig became a party - Daniel Webster, W.H. Harrison, Henry Clay and others, it was basically an anti-Andrew Jackson party, stressing more congressional control over the strong executive. It also favored more of a protectionist policy, neither concept had anything to do with the radical whigs or T.J. His 'whiggism' went right back to Locke, Sidney, et. al.
Glad you're enjoying the book. It is one of my most 'marked up' books :-) highlighted, and marginalia

MK said...

I wonder what lefties are going to do when they run out of nice terms to hide their true colors. Maybe one day they might even try to help themselves to Conservatives or something.

Col. Hogan said...


In the book, Jefferson and his contemporaries referred to themselves as, "Real Whigs," according to the book, which is as opposed to English Whigs who were for representative government for England, through Parliament, but saw nothing wrong with the notion of an America being governed by Parliament, with no American representation (if I have it right).

I'll assume that the 19th century American Whigs simply borrowed a "noble" name in much the same way that the leftists are co-opting the term "progressive" today.

Col. Hogan said...


Quite possible. Who knows what pleasant word they'll choose next, after they've turned "progressive" into a dirty word......

steveintx said...

They've already turned liberal into a dirty word. They've turned liar into an acceptable form of speech.

Col. Hogan said...


That depends on what the meaning of the word is, is.