Saturday, April 09, 2016

The Dark side of Progressivism

I have read that FDR gave up using the work "progressive" in favor of "liberal."  Today there is a swing back, but many do not recognize it's dark origin.

"Believing that social progress “required the individual to be controlled, liberated and expanded by collective actions,” progressive intellectuals perceived human persons as “lumps of human dough” to be formed on the “social kneading board.”

That molding, [Thomas] Leonard points out [in the book, Illiberal Reformers: race, eugenics, and American economics in the Progressive Era], was to be done “by the best and the brightest, those who, uniquely, ignored profit and power to serve the common good – which is to say, the progressives themselves.”

These experts denied inalienable rights. Their hero, Woodrow Wilson, called them “nonsense.” The editors of the progressive journal, The New Republic, spoke for the movement when it ridiculed individual liberties as “quaint and retrograde.” The leading progressive legal scholar, Roscoe Pound (1879-1964) author of Social Control Through Law, argued the ten amendments in the Bill of Rights “were not needed in the [founders time] and they are not desired in our own.”

Believing that the State superseded even God, progressives encouraged government officials to embrace eugenics – “the social control of human breeding” to rid the nation of perceived undesirables. . .

In addition to supporting literacy tests, forcible sterilization, abortion, and government control of human heredity, Progressives also called for a legal “minimum wage.”

They believed a minimum wage would deter “immigrants and other inferiors from entering the labor force” and would idle “inferior workers already employed.” In other words, given the choice of hiring a native Protestant or immigrant Catholic at the same pay, the employer would undoubtedly hire the superior Protestant. Unemployable inferiors would be institutionalized, sterilized, or banished to work in rural “celibate colonies.”

George J. Marlin

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