The Progressive Movement In Amerika

Discussion in 'Education' started by slackjawed, Apr 11, 2009.

  1. slackjawed
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    slackjawed Self deported

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    Yesterday Glenn Beck discussed the American Progressive Movement on His show and laid the blame for our problems today on the actions of the Progressive presidents then. He was pretty hard on Both Roosevelts and Woodrow wilson and said that Their Progressive policies were to blame for the financial problems we have today. I believe that is the position of the Libertarian party in this country, and Beck has stated that is his party.
    In addition, he showed Hillary during the primary debate, stating she was a modern Progressive.
    Here is a link to part of the show, you will be able to find the rest of the show from there as well, although it isn't really required to discuss this issue, it doesn't have anything to do with Beck really.
    Breaking News | Latest News | Current News - FOXNews.com

    Now, he went as far as to say that Progressive thinking leads to Fascism, and that we as Americans should be worried.
    I am interested in your opinions on this subject. I am not interested in your opinions on Beck in this thread, there are at least two other threads for that.
     
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  2. Garinold
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    Garinold Rookie

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    I have seen discussions of this nature before. You can drag Roosevelt's dead body, along with Wilson's, and beat the worms out of it but in all honesty the situation is more complex. Firstly, if you look at history you will find that it was actually the Supreme Court that opened the flood gates to massive Gov't intervention in the economy. The responsibility doesn't fall completely on the Presidents and the sessions of Congress at the time. Back prior the 1937 there was the doctrine of Economic Substantive Due-Process & the fundamental right of free contract that protected the private sector from all sorts of Gov't intervention (even minimum wage laws were struck down in this era as unconstitutional, which today we'd take for granted and pale in comparison to the extend of Gov't intervention).

    Secondly, I believe the libertarians speak in excess when they say Americans should be worried about fascism. Should Americans be worried about a massive Administrative, Regulatory, Social-Welfare Nany state? Yes. Should Americans be worried that American businesses, small and large won't be able to compete with businesses from abroad that operate in more competitive labor and regulatory markets? Yes. Should Americans be worried about the continued exportation of jobs abroad to more competitive labor and regulatory markets? Yes. Should Americans be worried about hyperinflation? A very unfortunate yes.....Should Americans be worried about fascism...No.

    The reason why I would argue that Americans need not be worried about fascism, at least in the sense of one party rule in the complete and total absence of accountability, oversight, and the democratic process of elections, is that every successful major political movement is build on three pillars.

    Pillar one consists of a leadership structure. Every major political movement to bring about change needs strong, educated, relatively charismatic, and protected leadership. Pillar two consists of a practical factor. There must be a practical factor that influences the need for the political change the movement is advocating. More times than not this practical factor in history has been economic problems. Economic hardship and inequity was the practical factor that contributed to rise of many political movements in Germany, and eventually the ascension of the Nazi party (I can rattle off other examples, but I won't bloviate). The third pillar is usually harder to pin down, and consists of an abstract factor. The abstract factor in major political movements functions to give the movement a sort of legitimacy with the majority of the people outside of the immediately practical realm, and has usually manifest itself throughout history as political ideals or sometimes religious or social ideals. The importance of the abstract factor can't be overstated. It is imperative for a major political movement to have some measure of political, social, or religious legitimacy in order to succeed. The reasoning behind this is that economic hardship isn't always enough to get people to take up weapons and get themselves killed in the streets overthrowing the current political order.

    Case example: Iranian Revolution

    Pillar one - Leadership: Ruhollah Khomeini, Ali Shariati, Mortaza Motahhari, Mohammad Beheshti, Mostafa Chamran (to name just a few)

    Pillar two - Practical factor: Severe economic inequity & hardship, no foreseeable attempts or plans by the current political system to remedy the problems of the country

    Pillar three - Abstract factor: Political Islam (a return to a more conservative Muslim ideal - use the five pillars of Islam as the foundation of a new & just society etc) & the drive to throw off western influence in its political, social, and cultural forms - these were all abstract influences that added a level of legitimacy to the revolution/movement that garnered the massive support it needed from the people

    The fact of the matter is if you accept the validity of this paradigm in predicting successful major political movements, it is very difficult to envision the possibility of fascism ascending in America. There maybe a psycho fascist secret society willing to take up the reigns of leading a political movement in the future. There may be political instability & economic hardship in the future providing for an immediate practical justification for massive fundamental change. There will never be an abstract factor supporting fascism in this country. I can't imagine, giving the history & diversity that exists in this country, there ever being a unifying social, cultural, religious, or political factor establishing the legitimacy of fascist governance that a majority of Americans will support with violence. It is simply unthinkable.
     
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  3. JBeukema
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    JBeukema BANNED

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    You mean like washington and lincoln?


    she may have co-opted the word, but it does not fit her

    yep, freein' them slaves, civil rights, women's suffrage, workers' rights, OSHA, getting lead out of the paint, cleaning up the meat industry, motor vehical slavery.. progssive policies sure have brought lotsa suffering...
     
  4. mightypeon
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    mightypeon Active Member

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    Concerning the topic of fascism in America, well, I am German and propably more sensitive regarding this than Americans are (one could even say that Germans in general may be the least nationalistic people) but several key identifiers of situations which could faciliate a fascist rise seemed to be there:
    -Labelling dissenters as harmfull to national security (To quote Göring: "It is easy to lead a nation to war, no matter if they are fascist, democratic, monarchist or communist. Make the people belief they are under attack, instigate strong national feelings and label anyone who dissents as harmfull to national security")
    -Scapegoating immigrant minority groups
    -Scapegoating religious minority groups (both are in the eyes of the observer, one may add scapegoating France to that list :D )
    -Creating gouverment agencies with dictator like powers (Homeland security, FEMA)
    -Creating precedents in which vital civil rights are terminated

    Under Obama, we now have a fairly direct federal grab for control of economic power via the Stimulus package.

    I am not neccessarly against states having a degree of control over the economy, in most nations, you have an "economic power" usually made up by big buisness and an "administrative" or "military" power made up by the state, which, under ideal circumstances prevent each other from overly exploiting the common population.
    Prior to the financial crisis, it would appear that the economic power dominated the administrative one. Now there seems to be a backlash.
     
  5. editec
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    editec Mr. Forgot-it-All

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    Fascism is just another variant of totalitarianism.

    There is nothing inherently unique about the German/Italian/Spanish Fascist version of totalitarianism.

    Those states employed every trick of population control that had been used by representational governments and monachies long before those states found themselves wearing brownshirts and jackboots.

    And to some extent the same population control games are played (only not writ so large) right here in the USA even today.

    Population control by propaganda and fear and greed is just the game that governments play, and to some extent our government MUST play those games to maintain order, too.

    At what point government moves from simply having enough control to keep society humming, to becoming a totalitarian nation really depends on how much order one thinks a society needs.

    The opposite of absolute totalitarianism is complete anarchy.

    We on this board are all, I think, willing to lose some freedom for some order.

    The more freedom we are willing to give up, the more we lean toward totalitarianism.

    The less freedom we are willing to give up, the more we lean toward being anarchists.
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2009
  6. Iriemon
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    Iriemon VIP Member

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    I personally don't think the Obama administration is trying to take economic power because they think its fun, but to avoid an economic catastrophe.

    My guess is Obama would rather be spending the money on things like fixing health care than saving banks. Just my .02.
     
  7. editec
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    editec Mr. Forgot-it-All

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    I sincerely hope you're right.

    But the niggling concern that keeps me wondering is the way that this crises keeps rolling over small banks and giving the insider banks greater and greater market share of that industry.

    Given that many of these insider banks were insolvent, except that we've bailed them out, I have my suspicions about this whole plan.

    If one really wanted to save the economy, there might have been ways that didn't reward the incompetents which caused this mess to begin with.

    We didn't do those....why not?
     
  8. Iriemon
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    Iriemon VIP Member

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    I'm not sure specifically what you are referring to. Do you mean why didn't the Govt demand the resignation of management as quid pro quo for the bailout?
     
  9. Kevin_Kennedy
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    Kevin_Kennedy Defend Liberty

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    Just to clear up a few points in this thread. Glenn Beck hasn't claimed to be a member of the Libertarian Party, he's incorrectly claimed to be a Libertarian.

    George Washington, who believed in limited-constitutional government, was not a progressive, Lincoln may have been.

    As to the actual topic, I would say the Progressive philosophy of big government is certainly to blame for our economic conditions. It was under a "progressive" President that we got the 16th amendment, the Federal Reserve, and thrown into World War 1.
     
  10. Garinold
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    Garinold Rookie

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    It is perfectly fine to discuss the "Progressive" political movement in the first half of the 20th century and blame it for the expansion of Gov't. However, as I stated in my original post which I hope at least some of you will read before you continue to jump on this fascism is to come bandwagon, you can't talk about the expansion of Gov't without talking about the history of the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court is what opened the flood gates, and to simply beat the hell out of Wilson & Roosevelt without recognizing the role the Supreme Court played is nothing short of blanketed stupidity.
     

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