Eight affirmations for the twenty-first century progressive

progressive manifestoProgressivism has historically come in many forms. At present, progressives and moderates alike are confronted with complex and dynamic economic and political systems which, when taken together, often act to obscure the truth.

The state of modern capitalism is changing. Over the years democratic institutions have slowly asserted controls on capital which, in essence, represent the will of the working classes. This trend is continual and has been in existence since the birth of the industrial revolution, but has slipped in recent years.

Due to the inequality inherent in industrial capitalism, the modern political dialectic is highly polarized between the right, which represents the controlling, corporate oligarchy, and the left which, metaphorically, represents the working classes. Progressives will have to overcome this treacherous social environment in order to implement real and lasting change in society.

With the rise of industrial capitalism came a fundamental change in the structure of European economies. This change consisted in a displacement of a portion of the labor force. These individuals were driven into the wage slavery system, being forced into employment for the owners of capital.

Previously the production of goods required little capital. Industrial capitalism changed this by revolutionizing the efficiency of production through technology. The rise of social democracy came as a buffer between the upper classes and the proletariat, asserting through the alteration of law, the will of the working classes.

One side of the spectrum features a corporate oligarchy which participates in a constant struggle to draw things into its sphere of influence. This sphere affirms the values of the conservative right, however the capitalist system is, by its very nature, nihilistic, and to that end one can see how a disconnect emerges when attempting to mesh the values of the Christian worldview and those of the capitalist.

At the same time there is a continual reaction by the working classes. This reaction pushes back, pulling the electorate toward the political left. This reaction also comes in many forms, incorporating “corporate” structures like labor unions.

Progressives must seek to moderate this conflict. The capitalist structure is more easily directed than dismantled. In moderation, progressives can seek to affirm the up-building of the working classes through participation in democratic institutions.

It is clear that the way forward consists in maintaining the system while at the same time seeking to uplift the working classes. This is to be seen as especially significant in light of the present pace of technological advance in the industrialized world.

Eight affirmations for the twenty-first century progressive

1) Affirming individual opportunity.

2) Affirming and enforcing egalitarianism across institutions.

3) Affirming the uplifting of the state of the working classes.

4) Affirming a progression towards a voluntary society.

5) Affirming a progression towards a peaceful society.

6) Affirming the implementation of reasonable passive and active resistance to abuses of power.

7) Affirming the intolerance of corruption across institutions.

8) Affirming and acknowledging systemic interdependence.

In their struggle to affirm these values, progressives will no doubt encounter many challenges. It is important to remember, however, that ideology works at all levels of society. In other words, trends which begin and continue at the individual and group levels can leave a lasting impact on the structure of societies.

To that end it is necessary for the progressive struggle to embrace a guiding philosophy of up-building and enriching. Those social and political structures which are formed in the present may, indeed, grow to fundamentally alter entire cultures.

The way up is obscured, at present, by a politically polarized social system. The successful navigation of this system is delegated to the progressive. There is much change that can be implemented, and it is up to progressives to see us through it.

“Contemporary society is composed of three classes: the big bourgeoisie, the proletariat and the ‘middle classes’, or the petty bourgeoisie. The relations among these three classes determine in the final analysis the political situation in the country […] In accordance with its economic situation, the petty bourgeoisie can have no policy of its own. It always oscillates between the capitalists and the workers. Its own upper stratum pushes it to the right; its lower strata, oppressed and exploited, are capable in certain conditions of turning sharply to the left.”-Leon Trotsky, 1934.

8 COMMENTS

  1. “Due to the inequality inherent in industrial capitalism, the modern political dialectic is highly polarized between the right, which represents the controlling, corporate oligarchy, and the left which metaphorically, represents the working classes. Progressives will have to overcome this treacherous social environment in order to implement real and lasting change in society.”

    This bald-faced lie would be positively laughable if it did not represent the con-man’s argument for a totalitarian society in which the commissar’s and party apparatchiks exercise total plenary control and power over the workers under the claim of “representing” the working classes.

    Not one of those eight so-called “affirmations” results from implementation of the progressive’s (read “Marxist’s) Manifesto. Never has and it never will. And Marxists will always claim the examples of this fact throughout the world and throughout history are because “well, that is not TRUE Marxism!” And they are right, because TRUE Marxism devolves in to abject totalitarianism before it even finishes executing its final take-over.

    The simple fact is that socialism/Marxism, whether conducted under the lie of “Progessivism” or not, has never existed or subsisted anywhere in the world without Capitalism feeding it money in exchange for slave labor, and the more complete the socialist/Marxist infrastructure, the more the Capitalism feeding it does so from outside the borders of the socialist/Marxist State.

    In capitalism — assuming a monetary system of intrinsic value such as our nation had for the first 126 years of its existence — anyone willing to work is able to prosper. The lowly ditchdigger can earn enough to send his kids to school to become clerks and service personnel. Clerks and service personnel can earn enough to send their kids to college to become skilled technicians maintaining technology. Technicians earn enough to send their kids to university to become professionals, doctors, lawyers, captains of industry. AND — as reported in the book “1900,” published at the turn of the last century — the first one hundred years of the United States saw the average working man, woman, and child, improve their standard of living, their health, their lifespan, their financial reserves, everything, more than had been improved in the previous 25 centuries.

    We don’t need “Progressivism” to improve the lot of “the working class.” We need a monetary system of intrinsic value as established by our Constitution, and we need a government that obeys our Constitution and gets out of the way of our economy, and prohibits national banking control of the economy.

    There is a reason why Progressives adamantly oppose the right of “the working class,.” the people, to keep and bear arms:

    “You cannot arm slaves and expect them to remain slaves. Nor can you disarm a free people and expect them to remain free.”

    Progressives oppose the right to keep and bear arms because their ideology brooks no dissent.

        • Not all progressives are Marxists. Furthermore I contend that the inequality inherent in industrial capitalism can be resolved almost entirely through the creation and efficient management of technology. To that end accomplishing this will require organized effort on the part of human societies, especially in containing (and abolishing) the power of the state. Democratic institutions do not have any more validity than the economies that power them. Technology will fundamentally change the ways in which we look at economics and the ways in which we, as a society, go about addressing systemic inequality. Your criticism makes about as much sense as my absurd reply, however it seems as if even that lowly quip has cleared the top of your head with little trouble.

          • The ones that aren’t are the “useful idiots” described by V. I. Lenin, who are among the first to be rounded up and lined up before a mass grave and shot in the back of the head when the “Socialist Revolution” (aka Marxist Revolution; October Revolution; Bolshevik Revolution) goes hot. You see, Sean, the only difference between “socialism” and “Marxism” is the socialists think they can achieve their utopian paradise by political reform; whereas Marxist regard socialism as merely a staging point in preparation for the violent revolution. And the only difference between a Progressive and a Socialist is either ignorance, if he doesn’t know the above, or the label “apparatchik” (and liar) if he does.

            And I agree that current evidence indicates “technology” in Progressive/Socialist/Marxist hands is on the road to being the absolute complete and utter death of all individual liberty. It spears George Orwell is beginning to look pretty dim in his vision of the future.

          • You seem to have latched on to a Teabagger, Sean.
            And one who seems to believe that the Constitution establishes a monetary system.
            Don’t tell him about Alexander Hamilton….

            • “The Congress shall have Power to coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures.” Article I Section 8 Clause 5, U.S. Constitution.

              “No State shall … coin Money; emit Bills of Credit; make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in payment of Debts; …” Article I Section 10 Clause 1, in pertinent part.

              Sean, don’t tell your sycophant about the U.S. Constitution; he’s apparently unaware it remains the only binding source of the lawful and limited authority of the U.S. government and you might cause him to throw a little temper tantrum, since Alexander Hamilton was opposed in his statist philosophy by both Thomas Jefferson and the principal author of the Constitution, James Madison, and was ultimately … shall we say? … overruled by Aaron Burr.

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