In politics, we often refer to today’s Democrats as “liberals”, and the terms, “liberal” and “progressive” are used interchangeably.
But Classical Liberalism and Progressivism are really complete opposite concepts, and should be treated as such.
Just like the Founders, Classical Liberals believed in the Constitution, the rule of law, due process, and limited government.
Limited government meant the government was limited to three essential functions: protection against foreign invaders, protection from wrongs committed by other citizens, and public works and institution projects that could not be provided by the private sector due to a lack of profit.
Recognizing that humans are motivated by their own self-interest, Classical Liberalism places the highest importance on maintaining the sovereignty of the individual, and recognizes property rights as essential to individual liberty.
Individual liberty also grants us freedom of religion; freedom of speech; freedom of association; freedom of the press; the right to assemble; and a system of free markets.
The Founders believed that these freedoms are part of a natural law: a natural moral order of rules that promote man’s well-being, and dictates the way man views the world politically, and in his dealings with others.
Classical Liberals, unlike liberals of today, opposed any form of wealth or income redistribution.
Today’s liberals should strictly be referred to as Progressives.
During the latter part of the 19th century, intellectuals embraced the theory of evolution. Rejecting the belief in an Almighty Creator, these intellectuals developed the philosophy , or lack of philosophy , of pragmatism.
John Dewey, the founder of the progressive education movement, wrote that freedom is not “something individuals have as a ready-made possession”, but “something to be achieved.”
He is quoted as saying that “Natural rights and natural liberties exist only in the kingdom of mythological and social zoology.”
Not only do Progressives reject the idea of individual liberty, they hold that everything in the world is continually changing, growing, altering, and becoming.
There is no belief in an enduring order, human nature, or natural law.
With no absolutes and no enduring order, everything can be remade according to the wisdom of the pragmatist.
Under the Founding Fathers, the government was grounded in the laws of nature and the laws of God. Run by humans, government must be limited, so as to not become all-powerful.
Progressives view the state as the highest authority and, therefore, do not see private property as something to be protected by government, but rather, as being in the realm of selfishness and oppression, therefore, in need of regulation by the government as to its use and distribution.
Progressive government views its role as insuring equal outcomes rather than insuring equal rights.
Under Progressivism, the poor are seen as victims of capitalism, and it is the government’s role to protect them through redistribution of resources, such as welfare and other entitlement programs.
To insure equal outcomes, which is an impossibility, progressive government must control private property by regulation and taxation, anti-trust laws, price controls, and over-regulation of manufacturing, production, farming, and banking.
Since the Progressive government does not acknowledge the Christian belief in an Almighty God, it must involve itself in the spiritual development of its citizens.
Promotion of the arts, multiculturalism, and the belief that the earth is about to self-implode at any time if every citizen does not embrace the theory of man-made global warming or climate change, is the Progressive view of spiritual development.
During the formation of the Progressive movement, Charles Ellwood wrote that the schools should be used as “the conscious instrument of social reconstruction.”
John Dewey strove to radically alter both the content and purpose of schooling so that it could be used to reconstruct society into the mold of socialism.
Progressives can never allow for school choice, because it goes against their belief that government should control education. Their loyalty is to the teachers’ unions.
Today’s liberals are not liberal in their thinking at all. Their ideas are totalitarian, intolerant and unsound.
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