The “current year” argument

new-year-clip-artSome people invoke the current year as a sufficient argument.  As in, “I can’t believe that it’s 2017 and we are still debating abortion.”  Or, “It’s 2017!  How can you believe the Bible?”

Nicholas Pell points out that merely giving the date does not prove anything.  It does express the progressive worldview, that things are getting better and better, so that an idea from the present is assumed to be better than an idea from the past.

Pell observes that many people are conservatives, who tend to believe that the past in some ways at least is better than the present.

The blithe way progressives use the current year argument demonstrates that they assume everyone shares their worldview, that they are unaware of conservatives and are unfamiliar with their ideas. [Read more…]

The inevitable march of History

The “progressive” worldview assumes that society is getting better and better.  That is to say, history is on an inexorable march towards “progress.” Thus, those on the left are fond of saying some one they oppose is “on the wrong side of history.”

This leads to the assumption that progressive gains may never be reversed, that progressive change is inevitable, and that progressives are justified by a power higher than themselves (not God, but History).  Furthermore, we must be open to change as we evolve to a higher and higher level.

For example, the nation state is thought to be rapidly becoming obsolete.  “History” dictates first the rise of globalism, in economics and in free immigration, and then the rise of global government.

Never mind that history is not so linear at all and is full of twists, reversals, and surprises.  But the assumption of inevitable progress–which derives from Hegel, Darwin, and Marx–continues to animate the rhetoric of the left. Rich Lowry discusses this after the jump. [Read more…]

Similarities & differences between libertarians and conservatives

In the course of an essay on the history and negative consequences of progressivism, Bradley J. Birzer discusses its two main opponents, conservatism and libertarianism.  He gives both what they agree on and what they disagree on.  See what he says after the jump.

Is libertarianism really a major opponent of progressivism, or is it rather, with its dismissal of traditional authorities, a particular manifestation of it?  If conservatism has a communal dimension, as opposed to libertarian individualism, does that put it closer to the corporate emphasis of progressivism?

But here is the big question, highly relevant to the current election:  Given the differences between these three ideologies, does it make sense for a conservative to vote libertarian against a progressive presidential candidate?  Or is the gulf between conservative and libertarian too wide for that?   [Read more…]

The four tenets of Progressivism

George Will has discerned four core tenets of progressivism.  See them after the jump.  Where do you see these ideas being manifested in, for example, the Democratic presidential campaigns and in academic speech codes?  Those of you who are progressives, do you agree that this is what you believe?

[Read more…]

Unappeasable

In a column about whether the president should replace Antonin Scalia (worth reading on that topic alone), Peggy Noonan digresses on how the left today is unappeasable–pushing and pushing, allowing no compromise or dissenters, demanding everything.  And how the current political climate shows that the general public is starting to push back. [Read more…]

Are Liberals Losing the Culture Wars?

It seems as if cultural conservatives are losing battle after battle, with the American public embracing gay marriage, sexual permissiveness, drug legalization, and on and on.  But an article in the usually liberal Atlantic, looking at last week’s election results and other indicators, argues that liberals may be overplaying their hands and that Americans are not as culturally progressive as has been assumed. [Read more…]