Wednesday, June 22, 2016
PROGRESSIVISM, SOCIALISM AND COMMUNISM: Is There A Difference?
Terms like “Republican” and “Democrat” are party labels, not ideologies. From its beginning early in the 19th century the Democratic party was largely the party of slavery and Jim Crow in the south until the 1960's, and was founded as, and as a whole largely still is, the party of corrupt political machines fueled by cynical patronage. Progressivism began infiltrating the northern wing of the Democrat Party perhaps around 1900. I had trouble sorting through the varying definitions of “progressive”,“socialist”, and “communist”, especially since real world end results often seem so similar. It confused me even more when I found that Attorney General Mitchel Palmer of the progressive Democrat Woodrow Wilson administration commenced a national communist purge in 1919 that makes Republican Senator Joe McCarthy's early 1950's communist witch hunt look like the Hokey Pokey. However, since I also found that the Congressional Progressive Caucus originated with the organization Democratic Socialists of America (DSA)(affiliated with Socialist International) and was created by the efforts of openly socialist Congressman Bernie Sanders, it is easy to take the early 20th century definition that the only difference between the labels "socialist" and "progressive" is that socialists tend to be lower economic scale and progressives tend to be wealthy. The further difference between progressive-socialists and communists is that Leninist/Stalinist/Maoist elite tend to execute and imprison those they differ with and seek immediate political results while progressive-socialists usually resort to slander, ostracism, and attacking the economic means of opponents, although trumped up charges leading to incarceration might be utilized, and progressive-socialists look to the political long term. Both seek control of the media.
Some would say that the progressive elite are power grabbers of the Leninist mold restrained only by the cultural necessity of Gramsci gradualism, that the American character wouldn't tolerate a Bolshevik style putsch.
However, the bewildering number of modern American socialist and communist groups appear to work together under the umbrella of progressivism within the Democratic Party. As well, perhaps just as many people who think socialism is the way to go yet can't explain what is or what it does (beyond "free" college and "free" health care) can't explain progressivism and the diverse groups behind it either.
The DSA's “Progressive Challenge” is listed as “dignified work, environmental justice, economic redistribution, democratic participation, community empowerment, global non-violence, and social justice”. A significant percentage of Congressional Democrats are members of the DSA. So, the Democratic party is now heavily represented by a hard core “progressive” ideology, which expresses itself with faux collectivism and has strangely taken ownership of the term “liberal”, which originally had a classical context of “individualism” and rejection of monarchism. This leads to a further oddity since American progressivism seems to have sought a return to the monarchy with the nature of President Obama's executive orders and his attempts to rule the country by fiat through his executive departments rather than governing in conjunction with Congress.
Progressivism vociferously supports free speech unless there is disagreement with its agenda, then free speech is spun to be discriminatory, offensive and a crime to be suppressed; the inviolability of the literally constructed Constitution until it obstructs far left goals, then the Constitution becomes a “living document” to be loosely interpreted and even gutted; the monolithic primacy of the federal government and strictly enforced rule of law until it stands in the way of progressive agenda – then progressivism is all about States' rights, “community control” and “prosecutorial discretion”. And, even minor offenders of progressive agenda can be vilified, ostracized, deprived of livelihood if possible, and the Constitution is rendered meaningless because the ideological end justifies the means. The progressive elitist end goal is totalitarian power through oligarchic one party rule because the elite believes the electorate is too stupid to make consequential decisions about much of anything.
It's getting easier to see a link between progressive suppression of business through excessive regulation, high taxes and resultant Democrat voter registration. Progressive policies tend towards forcing businesses not to hire, to lay off or even close or move elsewhere; progressives then blame “greedy” employers for unemployment and charge Republicans with hardheartedness; displaced and otherwise unemployed people flooding the labor market are cajoled by progressive politicians and compelled by circumstances into using social services such as welfare, food stamps, and extended unemployment insurance (all spun as “stimulus”); and Democratic registration swells as a result. Likewise for ultimately buying votes with massive immigration – a time worn strategy of political machines - from third world countries because "the path to citizenship" leads directly to Democrat voter registration without having to know much, if anything at all, about American representative republicanism, American history, America itself, or even the English language.
An antebellum southerner once justified slavery by comparing it to socialism this way: both systems are essentially the same because the working class's existence is rendered easier by relieving workers of the necessity of thinking – those in charge make all of life's decisions for them.
-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary