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THE AMERICAN JINGOIST

http://www.theamericanjingoist@blogspot.com

Volume 01 Issue 04
Date June 13, 2009
American Progressivism

Friends,

Last week I mentioned the American Progressive Party and how that movement has
been leading us to what we see today, people including our president thinking that
this is a democracy and not the republic as our country was founded. I also
showed how the argument about a democracy verses a republic goes back to Aristotle
and Plato in Greece and how the corruption of our officials have come to pass as
described in the writings between Aristotle and Plato. All of this has been taking
place since the formation of The American Progressive Party.

Today I will with the help from Glenn Beck’s guest, R.J. Pestritto, we will view
American progressivism, as this is the label that Hillary Clinton took upon
herself during the race for the standard bear of the Democratic Party. This does
not mean that this does not exist in the Republican Party because it does and is
only a matter of speed towards the end goal of socialism. We have all been like
the proverbial frog in the pot of water, as long as the heat is brought up slowly
the frog is content to stay put until it can no longer escape.

So we have been all these years, people in the pot, and now the great dictator is
speeding it up so that he can get it done before anyone is the wiser. The
following is about our march to socialism at the hands of the American Progressive
Party.

When Glenn Beck did this on his show couldn’t leave my seat for fear of missing
something.

American Progressivism

April 16, 2009 - 10:17 ET

I. Who were the Progressives, and why are they important?

II. The Progressives and their Attack on America’s Founding

III. How the Progressives Originated the Modern Presidency

IV. Progressivism and Socialism

V. Progressivism and the Current Crisis


I. Who were the Progressives and why are they important?

R.J. Pestritto

Shipley Professor of the American Constitution at Hillsdale College

Glenn has asked me to expand a bit on our discussion of America’s Progressives


from Friday’s television show, which I’ll do in this and four subsequent pieces
for the newsletter. In today’s piece, I’ll explain who the Progressives were and
why they were important.

Many on the left today call themselves “progressive,” and they do so not just
because it’s a nicer way of saying “liberal,” but also because they very much
intend to revive the political principles of America’s original Progressives, from
the Progressive Era of the 1880s through World War I. Why would leftist
politicians, like Mrs. Clinton, purposely identify themselves with this
Progressive movement?

The reason is that America’s original Progressives were also its original, big-
government liberals. Most people point to the New Deal era as the source of big
government and the welfare state that we have today. While this is perfectly
accurate, it is important to understand that the principles of the New Deal did
not originate in the New Deal; rather, they came from the Progressives, who had
dominated American politics and intellectual cultural a generation prior to the
New Deal.

We have no less an authority on this connection than Franklin Roosevelt himself.


When FDR campaigned in 1932, he pointed to the Progressives – and in particular to
Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson – as the source of his ideas about
government.

In terms of the personalities who made up the Progressive movement, some are
familiar to us and others are less so. The movement was comprised of well known
politicians like Woodrow Wilson and Theodore Roosevelt; but it was also comprised
of intellectuals and writers who are less well known but who have been very
influential in America. There were folks like John Dewey, who was America’s
public philosopher for much of the early 20th century. Even less well known was
Herbert Croly, but Croly was highly influential, since he founded and was the
first editor of The New Republic – which became the main organ of Progressive
opinion in the United States, and is still one of the most important journals on
the Left today. I should add here that Woodrow Wilson actually fell into both of
these categories – he was both a well known politician and president, but also
was, for decades prior to his entry into politics, a prominent intellectual (a
college professor and president of Princeton) who wrote many books and influential
articles.

As I’ll explain in my next piece, these Progressives wanted a thorough


transformation in America’s principles of government, from a government
permanently dedicated to securing individual liberty to one whose ends and scope
would change to take on any and all social and economic ills. Here’s the order of
the points we’ll consider in the pieces to follow:

1) What did Progressives think about the American founding, and why did they want
to eradicate its principles?

2) How did we get today’s excessively powerful presidency from the Progressives?
3) What was the connection between Progressivism and Socialism? Were the
Progressives actually Socialists?

4) What are some of the critical connections between Progressivism and what’s
going on in our country today?

For more on the Progressives, two of my books may be of interest:

1) American Progressivism, which I co-edited with American historian William Atto,


contains a basic introduction to progressive ideas written by Professor Atto and
me, and then several selections from the actual writings of Progressives like
Wilson, TR, Dewey, Croly, and others.

2) Woodrow Wilson and the Roots of Modern Liberalism, which is a much more in-
depth look at Woodrow Wilson and how he was central to originating the liberalism
that dominates America today. This is for those who are really interested in
history and political theory.

II. The Progressives and their Attack on America’s Founding

As I mentioned in my last piece, America’s Progressives aimed for a thorough


transformation in America’s principles of government. While our founders
understood that our national government must have the capacity to be strong and
vigorous (this is why the Articles of Confederation were failing), they also were
very clear that this strength must always be confined to very limited ends or
areas of responsibility; government, in other words, while not weak or tiny, was
to be strictly limited.

The Progressive conception of government, on the other hand, was quite the
opposite; Progressives had an “evolving” or a “living” notion of government (yes,
we get the term “living constitution” from the Progressives), and thus wanted
government to take on whatever role and scope the times demanded. The
Progressives reasoned that people of the founding era may have wanted a limited
government, given their particular experience with George III, but they argued
that people of their own time wanted a much more activist government, and that we
should adjust accordingly.

Quite simply, the Progressives detested the bedrock principles of American


government. They detested the Declaration of Independence, which enshrines the
protection of individual natural rights (like property) as the unchangeable
purpose of government; and they detested the Constitution, which places permanent
limits on the scope of government and is structured in a way that makes the
extension of national power beyond its original purpose very difficult.
“Progressivism” was, for them, all about progressing, or moving beyond, the
principles of our founders.

This is why the Progressives were the first generation of Americans to denounce
openly our founding documents. Woodrow Wilson, for example, once warned that “if
you want to understand the real Declaration of Independence, do not repeat the
preface” – i.e. that part of the Declaration which talks about securing individual
natural rights as the only legitimate purpose of government. And Theodore
Roosevelt, when using the federal government to take over private businesses
during the 1902 coal strike, is reported to have remarked, “To hell with the
Constitution when people want coal!” This remark may be apocryphal, but it is a
fair representation of how TR viewed these matters.

In the next piece, we’ll consider how the presidency was transformed under men
like Wilson and TR.

For more on the Progressives, two of my books may be of interest:

1) American Progressivism, which I co-edited with American historian William Atto,


contains a basic introduction to progressive ideas written by Professor Atto and
me, and then several selections from the actual writings of Progressives like
Wilson, TR, Dewey, Croly, and others.

2) Woodrow Wilson and the Roots of Modern Liberalism, which is a much more in-
depth look at Woodrow Wilson and how he was central to originating the liberalism
that dominates America today. This is for those who are really interested in
history and political theory.

III. How the Progressives Originated the Modern Presidency

As I explained in my last piece, the Progressives wanted to disregard the


Constitution in order to enlarge vastly the scope of government. As a practical
matter, how was this to be done? It happened in a variety of ways, but principal
among them was a fundamental change in the American presidency.

Under the system of our founders, government was to have sufficient strength and
energy to accomplish its ends, but those ends were strictly limited by the
Constitution. The principal way in which the Constitution keeps the government
within its boundaries is through the separation of powers. As readers of The
Federalist and of Thomas Jefferson know, the point of separation of powers is to
keep any one set of hands from wielding all of the power in national government.

The Progressives, especially Woodrow Wilson, hated the separation of powers for
precisely this reason: it made government inefficient, and made it difficult, if
not impossible, to expand the power of government so that it could take on all of
the new tasks that Progressives had in mind. So they looked to the presidency as
a way of getting around this obstacle.

Under the original system, the president was merely leader of a single branch, or
part, of the government, and thus could not provide leadership of the government
as a whole. In his book Constitutional Government, Wilson urged that “leadership
and control must be lodged somewhere.” The president, Wilson pointed out, was the
only politician who could claim to speak for the people as a whole, and thus he
called upon the president to rise above the separation of powers – to consider
himself not merely as chief of a single branch of government, but as the popular
leader of the whole of national politics. Wilson even contrasted the
“constitutional aspect” of the presidency – its constitutionally defined role as
chief of one of the three co-equal branches of government – to the “political”
function of the president, where he could use his connection to public opinion as
a tool for moving all of the branches of government in the direction called for by
the people.

It was in this way that Wilson believed the original intention of the separation
of powers system could be circumvented, and the enhanced presidency could be a
means energizing the kind of active national government that the progressive
agenda required.

In the next piece, we’ll consider whether the principles of the Progressives made
them socialists.

For more on the Progressives, two of my books may be of interest:

1) American Progressivism, which I co-edited with American historian William Atto,


contains a basic introduction to progressive ideas written by Professor Atto and
me, and then several selections from the actual writings of Progressives like
Wilson, TR, Dewey, Croly, and others.

2) Woodrow Wilson and the Roots of Modern Liberalism, which is a much more in-
depth look at Woodrow Wilson and how he was central to originating the liberalism
that dominates America today. This is for those who are really interested in
history and political theory.

IV. Progressivism and Socialism

Since the Progressives had such a limitless view of state power, and since they
wanted to downplay the founders’ emphasis on individual rights, it is only natural
to ask if they subscribed to socialism. There are several things to consider in
answering this question.

First, when considering the relationship of progressivism to socialism, we must be


clear that we are talking about the similarity in the philosophy of government; we
are not suggesting that America’s progressives were the kind of moral monsters
that we see in the history of some socialist or fascist regimes (although it is
the case that their racial views – particularly those of Woodrow Wilson – were
indeed morally reprehensible).

Second, we must also bear in mind that there was an actual socialist movement
during the Progressive Era, and prominent progressives such as Wilson and Theodore
Roosevelt were critics of it. In fact, Wilson and Roosevelt both ran against a
socialist candidate in the 1912 election (Eugene Debs). The progressives were
ambivalent about the socialist movement of their day not so much because they
disagreed with it in principle, but because the American socialist movement was a
movement of the lower classes. The progressives were elitists; they looked down
their noses at the socialists, considering them a kind of rabble.

Keeping these points in mind, it is, nonetheless, the case that the progressive
conception of government closely coincided with the socialist conception. Both
progressivism and socialism champion the prerogatives of the state over the
prerogatives of the individual. Wilson himself made this connection very plain in
a revealing essay he wrote in 1887 called “Socialism and Democracy.” Wilson’s
begins this essay by defining socialism, explaining that it stands for unfettered
state power, which trumps any notion of individual rights. It “proposes that all
idea of a limitation of public authority by individual rights be put out of view,”
Wilson wrote, and “that no line can be drawn between private and public affairs
which the State may not cross at will.” After laying out this definition of
socialism, Wilson explains that he finds nothing wrong with it in principle, since
it was merely the logical extension of genuine democratic theory. It gives all
power to the people, in their collective capacity, to carry out their will through
the exercise of governmental power, unlimited by any undemocratic idea like
individual rights. He elaborated:
“In fundamental theory socialism and democracy are almost if not quite one and the
same. They both rest at bottom upon the absolute right of the community to
determine its own destiny and that of its members. Limits of wisdom and
convenience to the public control there may be: limits of principle there are,
upon strict analysis, none.”

Roosevelt, too, argued for a new conception of government, where individual


natural rights would no longer serve as a principled boundary that the state was
prohibited from crossing. He called in his New Nationalism program for the state
to take an active role in effecting economic equality by way of superintending the
use of private property. Private property rights, which had been serving as a
brake on the more aggressive progressive policy proposals, were to be respected,
Roosevelt argued, only insofar as the government approved of the property’s social
usefulness. He wrote:

“We grudge no man a fortune in civil life if it is honorably obtained and well
used. It is not even enough that it should have been gained without doing damage
to the community. We should permit it to be gained only so long as the gaining
represents benefit to the community. This, I know, implies a policy of a far more
active governmental interference with social and economic conditions in this
country than we have yet had, but I think we have got to face the fact that such
an increase in governmental control is now necessary.”

In the next and final piece, we will consider the some of the most important
connections between the original progressives and the resurgence of progressivism
today.

For more on the Progressives, two of my books may be of interest:

1) American Progressivism, which I co-edited with American historian William Atto,


contains a basic introduction to progressive ideas written by Professor Atto and
me, and then several selections from the actual writings of Progressives like
Wilson, TR, Dewey, Croly, and others.

2) Woodrow Wilson and the Roots of Modern Liberalism, which is a much more in-
depth look at Woodrow Wilson and how he was central to originating the liberalism
that dominates America today. This is for those who are really interested in
history and political theory.

V. Progressivism and the Current Crisis

There are important connections between America’s original Progressive Era and the
crisis we are facing today, and it is useful to consider these connections on two
levels.

The first connection is at a general level, and concerns our abandonment of the
Constitution. The present crisis did not appear out of nowhere, and didn’t simply
begin with the election of Barack Obama. Politicians of both parties spent the
better part of the 20th century disregarding the Constitution, as they looked to
have government step up to solve every conceivable human problem. Thus it ought
to be no surprise that the Constitution’s limits on government aren’t even part of
the conversation today as our politicians debate the new interventions in our
economy and society that seem to come daily.
Such a state of things would have greatly pleased America’s original progressives.
As I’ve endeavored to explain in these pieces for the newsletter, progressives
believed that the role of government should be determined not by our Constitution,
but by whatever the needs of the day happened to be. This is why they sought to
eradicate talk of the Constitution from our political discourse; today, that goal
seems to have been realized.

The second connection between the original Progressive Era and our situation today
has to do with policy. The progressives knew that our original system of
government was not capable of handling all of the new tasks that they had in mind
for it. So they envisioned creating a vast set of bureaucratic agencies. They
argued that Congress should enact very broad and vague laws for supervising more
and more facets of the American economy and society, and then delegate to the
bureaucratic agencies the power and discretion to enact specific policies. Both
Woodrow Wilson and Theodore Roosevelt conceived of government in this way.

The New Deal certainly went a long way toward implementing this progressive
vision, and what we have seen in our own situation with TARP and the various other
interventions is simply greater steps toward the progressive plan. Our Congress
has simply said to the Treasury agencies: here’s a trillion dollars, here’s all
the legal authority you need, now go out, determine what is in the public
interest, and spend and regulate accordingly. That is the progressive vision of
government, in a nutshell.

For more on the Progressives, two of my books may be of interest:

1) American Progressivism, which I co-edited with American historian William Atto,


contains a basic introduction to progressive ideas written by Professor Atto and
me, and then several selections from the actual writings of Progressives like
Wilson, TR, Dewey, Croly, and others.

2) Woodrow Wilson and the Roots of Modern Liberalism, which is a much more in-
depth look at Woodrow Wilson and how he was central to originating the liberalism
that dominates America today. This is for those who are really interested in
history and political theory.

How About a Trade? Al Gore for the Two American Hostages

By William Kevin Stoos Tuesday, June 9, 2009

God bless the captives--Laura Ling and Euna Lee--the two young women journalists
who were arrested, railroaded, and convicted by the highest court in North Korea
for unspecified hostile acts [sic] against the government of North Korea. The
idea of spending twelve years in some hell hole at the mercy of the crazy, missile
toting screwball who runs that country, should cause us all to say our prayers for
these two young ladies that they return to us soon and in good health. They are
going to need all the help they can get.

However, the news that Obama may be sending an envoy to meet with the North
Koreans, presents a golden opportunity to at once solve this potential
international crisis, obtain the immediate release of these brave women, allow a
pompous, self important windbag to demonstrate his courage and compassion and do
perfect justice.

It seems that Obama is considering sending either Bill Richardson or Al Gore to


North Korea to plead for the release of the hostages. This is not even a close
call. The obvious choice is Al Gore. But not as an envoy; rather as a trade! After
all, these two brave young women worked for Current TV--owned by none other than
Al Gore. Were he the kind, compassionate, all-caring liberal and protector of all
life on the planet as he presumes to be, then his path is obvious: he must take
one for the team, travel to North Korea, offer himself up as a hostage and allow
the journalists to be released. After all, were they not, in effect, his
employees? Did they not undertake this dangerous assignment for the benefit of his
business enterprise? What sort of boss--seeing his underlings in such a perilous
position--would not bravely surrender himself to the government of North Korea and
allow himself to be kept as a hostage in their place? Not so long ago, Captain
Richard Phillips bravely traded himself to the Somalia pirates to insure the
safety of his crew. It is time for Al Gore to show that same Maersk Alabama
courage we witnessed in Captain Phillips not so long ago.

So, come on Al--take one for the team. Offer yourself up. You might be a bigger
fish than these two young ladies and the North Korean government might have more
leverage with you in custody than your employees. You could regale them with
stories of how you invented the internet and were almost President; you could warn
them of the evils of coal fired energy plants. We might enjoy that brief respite
as well. We need all the brave, young female journalists that we can get. We have
enough windbag politicians.

Pulling the wool over the eyes of non-Muslims

By

KAFIR

The Unbeliever

The most misguided and deceptive idea floating around the MSM is that there are
just a few “Muslim extremists” and that for the most part Islam is a “moderate’
religion of peace. This gives rise to the suggestion that the efforts of the so-
called reformers of Islam should be welcomed as convincing evidence that all Islam
needs is a “few good men” who will bring all those peace loving Muzzies to the
Maypole so they can sing “cumbya” in harmony with their non-Muslim Woodstock
bothers. This could not be a more dangerous hypothesis for it legitimizes a very
evil and dangerous ideology.

It has been said you cannot change the strips on a Zebra, by sugarcoating the real
Islam you deliberately hide the “nature of the beast”! Just as one could not have
reformed “Nazism”, one cannot not reform the un-reformable…Islam is a tainted and
unhygienic ideology of hatred, violence and depraved degeneracy. The whole idea of
reform is misguided and ridiculous.

What is the point of reforming a religious ideology founded by a mentally deranged


man who perpetuated so much evil on Earth? A man who lied, deceived, raped,
tortured, raided, looted and massacred thousands of innocent people. Why even
attempt to understand 1.2 billion deranged loons who honor the memory of this
murderer? What this man, Muhammad deserves is not adoration but scorn!

Reforming Islam is a subterfuge and impossible. Islam is built on two tenets, war
and deception. Implementation of these doctrines is called “Jihad” and every, and
I mean every Muslim is required to participate if he is not to suffer the wrath of
his pagan god, Allah. No one should be fooled by soothing promises from Muslim
reformers and apologists.

MODERATE ISLAM DOES NOT EXIST…IT IS A MYTH!

Debunking Hussein’s Cairo lies!

By

KAFIR

The Unbeliever

During his speech at Al- Azhar University in Cairo, president (small p intended)
Hussein referred to the plight of women in Islam as something the Muslim world is
addressing and alluded to the fact that we in America are in the same quandary.
What balderdash! To imply that ‘sexual harassment’ in the work place and breaking
through the ‘glass ceiling’ is something remotely related to the plight of women
in Islam is nothing more than to reach the height of audacity! His speech was a
witch’s brew of lies and obfuscation. I could almost hear the chant, as this
Marxist/Muslim messiah stirred the pot…”double, double toil and trouble, fire burn
and Calderon bubble!”

Below I have listed ten extracts from the Quran and Sunnah which outline the
position of women in Islam. Perhaps Hussein would like to explain why a culture
which has brutally subjugated women for 1500 years has any relevance or right to a
seat at the table of civilized nations?

1. Mature men are allowed to marry prepubescent girls.

The Quran in Sura 65:1, 4 says:

O Prophet, when you [and the believers] divorce women, divorce them for their
prescribed waiting—period and count the waiting—period accurately . . . And if you
are in doubt about those of your women who have despaired of menstruation, (you
should know that) their waiting period is three months, and the same applies to
those who have not menstruated as yet. As for pregnant women, their period ends
when they have delivered their burden. (Maududi, vol. 5, pp. 599 and 617, emphasis
added)

2. Husbands may hit their wives even if the husbands merely fear highhandedness in
their wives (quite apart from whether they actually are highhanded).

The Quran in Sura 4:34 says:

4:34 . . . If you fear highhandedness from your wives, remind them [of the
teaching of God], then ignore them when you go to bed, then hit them. If they obey
you, you have no right to act against them. God is most high and great. (Haleem,
emphasis added)

3. Wives and daughters are punished for murders committed by their husbands or
fathers.

The Quran in Sura 2:178 says:

Retaliation is prescribed for you in the matter of the murdered; the freeman for
the freeman, and the slave for the slave, and the female for the female.

4. A man may be polygamous with up to four wives.

The Quran in Sura 4:3 says:

And if you be apprehensive that you will not be able to do justice to the orphans,
you may marry two or three or four women whom you choose. But if you apprehend
that you might not be able to do justice to them, then marry only one wife, or
marry those who have fallen in your possession. (Maududi, vol. 1, p. 305
5. Slave-girls are sexual property for their male owners.

The Quran in Sura 4:24 says:

And forbidden to you are wedded wives of other people except those who have fallen
in your hands [as prisoners of war] . . . (Maududi, vol. 1, p. 319).

6. A wife may remarry her ex-husband if and only if she marries another man and
then this second man divorces her.

The Quran in Sura 2:230 says:

And if the husband divorces his wife (for the third time), she shall not remain
his lawful wife after this (absolute) divorce, unless she marries another husband
and the second husband divorces her. [In that case] there is no harm if they [the
first couple] remarry . . . . (Maududi, vol. 1, p. 165)

7. A woman’s testimony counts half of a man’s testimony.

The Quran in Sura 2:282 says:

And let two men from among you bear witness to all such documents [contracts of
loans without interest]. But if two men be not available, there should be one man
and two women to bear witness so that if one of the women forgets (anything), the
other may remind her. (Maududi, vol. 1, p. 205)

8. A male gets a double share of the inheritance over that of a female.

The Quran in Sura 4:11 says:

The share of the male shall be twice that of a female . . . . (Maududi, vol. 1, p.
311)

9. Husbands are a degree above their wives.

The Quran in Sura 2:228 says:

. . . Wives have the same rights as the husbands have on them in accordance with
the generally known principles. Of course, men are a degree above them in status .
. . (Sayyid Abul A’La Maududi, The Meaning of the Qur’an, vol. 1, p. 165)

10. A husband has sex with his wife, as a plow goes into a field.

The Quran in Sura (Chapter) 2:223 says:


Your women are your fields, so go into your fields whichever way you like . . . .
(MAS Abdel Haleem, The Qur’an, Oxford UP, 2004)