1. Modern Liberalism, as distinct from the Classical Liberalism of the Founders, was far from a terrible idea. They endorsed two political themes: a) democratic reforms, and b) apolitical managerial expertise. a. From the former, progressives supported measures designed to promote more direct democratic input, such as direct election of Senators, state ballot initiatives and referenda on the recall of stated officials. b. The latter involved scientific management of government, putting political decision making in the hands of ostensibly apolitical bureaucrats, nonpartisan commissions, and regulatory agencies remote from democratic accountability. And these designed to check monopolies and trusts, and regulate railroads and utilities, and favor social welfare legislation. c. But it didn't end there. 2. For over a century the natural rights concept of the Founders, and of Abraham Lincoln, had served as the philosophical foundation for America. But, during the late 19th -early 20th centuries, what we know as progressives repudiated the idea. A leading progressive, John Dewey: Natural rights and natural liberties exist only in the kingdom of mythology and social zoology. Dewey, Liberalism and Social Action, p. 17. a. Charles Merriam: The individualistic ideas of the natural rights school of political theory, endorsed in the Revolution, are discredited and repudiated. Merriam, A History of American Political Theories, p. 307. 3. Lets be clear: the central doctrine of progressives is that government can withdraw any right at any time, as opposed to the view that there are permanent rights founded in nature and natures God. Perhaps you recall it this way: that humans are endowed by their Creator with unalienable rights. a. "Unalienable: incapable of being alienated, that is, sold and transferred." Black's Law Dictionary, Sixth Edition, page 1523: You can not surrender, sell or transfer unalienable rights, they are a gift from the creator to the individual and can not under any circumstances be surrendered or taken. All individual's have unalienable rights. b. In a 1996 paper, "Private Speech, Public Purpose: The Role of Governmental Motive in First Amendment Doctrine," Obama's Supreme Court Justice Kagan argued it may be proper to suppress speech because it is offensive to society or to the government. : "Whether a given category of speech enjoys First Amendment protection depends upon a categorical balancing of the value of the speech against its societal costs." WyBlog -- Elena Kagan's America: some speech can be "disappeared" 4. Progressives believed that rights are relative (Dewey spoke of historical relativity) and that not just society changes, but human nature itself does; i.e., it is malleable. Compare this to the view of the Founders. The Constitution commemorates our revolution, and, as Madison states in the Federalist, is the greatest of all reflections on human nature human beings are not angels. a. Humans are not perfectible, but are capable of self government. The republican form of government presupposes this idea of humans. Our government is not a controlling government, but must itself be controlled: by the Constitution. b. Where else do we see the progressives view? Communist Revolution is based on the idea of transforming human nature. The New Soviet man or New Soviet person (Russian: новый советский человек, as postulated by the ideologists of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, was an archetype of a person with certain qualities that were said to be emerging as dominant among all citizens of the Soviet Union, irrespective of the country's long-standing cultural, ethnic, and linguistic diversity, creating a single Soviet people, Soviet nation. New Soviet man - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia c. The view is consistent today: In 1969, Hillary Rodham gave the student commencement address at Wellesley in which she said that for too long our leaders have used politics as the art of making what appears to be impossible, possible .Were not interested in social reconstruction; its human reconstruction. http://www.wellesley.edu/PublicAffairs/Commencement/1969/053169hillary.html_____ 5. Until the 1930s, the Constitution served to check progressives enthusiasm. But the Imperial President, FDR, wielded enough power to make the enumerated powers merely a suggestion. New Deal Liberals sought to regulate modern industrial organization, not by returning influence to the individual farmer, worker, or businessman, but by building a parallel capacity in the national government to regulate and direct it. James Piereson,Camelot and the Cultural Revolution: How the Assassination of John F. Kennedy Shattered American Liberalism, p. 6. 6. To review the modern liberals excesses include a) the removal of natural rights, b) the attempt to change human nature, c) denial of the efficacy of the free market with the substitute view that good-natured bureaucrats will know how to assign economic value. d)Further .that there is no limitation to the power of government. I don't see any way back from this ineluctable march of totalitarianism.