New 'Progressivism' is Statist Cancer Eating America's Soul

First nationalize the banks, next take over the industrial sector, and follow that with health care and energy…

Words matter. The way we describe ideas are more important still.

Take "Progressivism", for example. Progressivism is a form of "Corporatism". Some people call it "Statism". It is destroying our fundamental values of individual freedom and liberty. And like the family members who witness child abuse but deny it, we are still saying "it can’t happen here". Psychiatrists are now warning about the similarities.

Progressives love tight top-down controls over all aspects of the society. There is government ownership, in conjunction with big-business – of the banking, insurance, financial, heavy-industry, and media sectors, but minus the heavy-handed suppression of popular dissent.

Progressivism was extremely popular with big-government proponents from both parties throughout the early 20th century. Many prominent Americans supported Progressivism after the Crash of ’29 and throughout the Great Depression.

During the on-going financial crisis of the 20’s and 30’s, many people came to believe that the only way to recover from the collapse was to adopt massive doses of Keynesian economics and heavy-hand government control. It was a fool’s errand.

Under President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Jr., the Congress became dominated by one party, the Supreme Court was notoriously stacked by the same party, and the president was re-elected for a total of 4 terms — an event which had never before happened in the history of this country. The system of checks-and-balances had been suspended.

After FDR’s death, the states enacted the XXII Amendment to the Constitution, prohibiting all future presidents from serving for more than two terms. On January 6, 2009, a bill was submitted in Congress to repeal the XXII Amendment. We may yet see a "President-for-life" if the new Progressives have their way.

Corporatism is a practice, "whereby a state, through the process of licensing and regulating officially-incorporated social, religious, economic, or popular organizations, effectively co-opts their leadership or circumscribes their ability to challenge state authority by establishing the state as the source of their legitimacy, as well as sometimes running them, either directly or indirectly through corporations."

Under Progressivism, which Teddy Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson both praised, the duty of the government was to toss out the old dead Constitution from a previous era and introduce a new modern "living constitution", to re-mold America and reshape the morals and economy of the time.

Sound familiar?

In the dying days of the George W. Bush administration, Mr. Bush said, about our 230-year old capitalist country: “I’ve abandoned free-market principles to save the free market system”. And so he had. He promptly bailed out the giant banks, insurance companies and car companies with initial down payments of taxpayer money. They were "too big to fail".

But common sense and Austrian economics say that this will ultimately fail. You must let the creative destruction of mismanaged and bloated companies by the market take place. Even if the cause of this crisis in the first place was decades-old government manipulation of the financial markets and union contract company regulation.

In the current administration, Progressivism has reached new heights. You can just hear ‘ol Teddy Roosevelt (a Republican, by the way), saying "you get ’em!" "We need more government, bigger government, more control, less dissent, to fix our problems!"

And there always is a new problem to fix. It’s even better if it’s an emergency. Or as the White House’s chief-enforcer and Chief-of-Staff Rahm Emanuel has said: "never let a serious crisis go to waste." Amen, brother. It’s OK to pull out the stops in the housing crisis, the financial crisis, the unemployment crisis, and the auto manufacturing crisis.

Next will come the health care crisis, the energy crisis (goodbye ‘big oil’), the media crisis (the government will issue ‘licenses’ to newspapers eligible for new bailout funds to prevent them from failing too. The fact that no one is reading what they’re writing because it’s more Progressive storytelling, makes it even more important to save their bacon).

Then, radio stations will be told to accept "local action committees", such as those formed by ACORN, to regulate the conservative talk radio commentators – off the air. Finally, the Internet will be licensed and controlled by the government. Filter technology such as that which American companies have installed in China will remove Inappropriate and dissenting views from reaching the Americans’ eyeballs.

The "bi-partisan" bill which suppressed the first amendment rights of certain people to advertise their views just before an election was jointly written by Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Russell Feingold (D-WI). It was duly upheld by the Supreme Court.

Wage controls, like those tried and failed by Richard Nixon, under the new "pay czar" will be expanded to apply to all people. Price controls on critical goods like milk and bread and gasoline will be expanded to all goods and services.

Look for more and more czars to run all aspects of your life. The so-called "czars" are simply "Special Assistants to the President" – but they are not subject to advice and consent by the Senate and are arguably protected by "Executive Privilege" of the White House. Nice work if you can get it.

The net result of all this silliness, of course, is to distort the free marketplace to the extent that shortages will again appear everywhere, as they did at our service stations when Jimmy Carter issued his executive order to fix gas prices. And so will long lines to queue up for the pump – or the hospital.

Of course, those older people who are deemed to old to be "cured" will be denied life-saving procedures available to younger more desirable people such as kidney dialysis. This is not uncommon in other progressive socialist countries worldwide. After all, someone has to draw the line on these run-away costs. So, you can say goodbye to grandpa…

Meanwhile, the rest of the world will have likely advanced smartly ahead, not being cursed with this disease. China and India will continue to expand their GDP at furious rates, Russia will continue to sell ever more oil and natural gas to Western Europe – as it’s principal supplier. And the world of "Chaostan" will continue to spin out crazies and fanatics who are against the free market values of toleration, individual liberty and respect for freedom that the United States was founded upon.

A free market must be just that. Free. Especially free of government control and manipulation. The government’s job as an independent enforcer of the law is to do just that. It should not have a dog in that fight. When the government takes sides in the free market, it overwhelmingly sides with the producers against the consumers. Consumers crying out for government protection and revenge forget this fact.

Economics 101 teaches that each buyer and seller must be free of coercion when they trade in the marketplace. If they can’t they’re not free economically. And if you’re not free economically, you can’t be free politically. The market will just work – if it works at all.

But all of us will be poorer – both monetarily and spiritually. De Tocqueville warned us about how we could lose our "American Exceptionalism", as he called it in his book, Democracy in America. If you haven’t flipped through it since high school, it’s worth a re-read.

Bottom line. The U.S. is broke. We’re paying our bills with IOU’s. When that doesn’t work, we just print up the money. In the meanwhile, every Progressive idea is being turned into law. More czars and bailouts — and taxes — are coming. You can count on a new hidden national sales tax of 15% or more to help "balance the budget". More regulations and controls mean less economic freedom.

It’s all seems so obvious – unless you are a Progressive.