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What's wrong with Progressivism?


Airbrush
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Posted (edited)

It struck me what Attorney General Bill Barr said in interviews about his new book.  Barr declared that Trump was "unfit for office."  Barr investigated all of Trump's plausible fictions about "voter fraud" in the 2020 election.  He found NOTHING.  When asked if he would vote for Trump in 2024, Barr replied that he doesn't want Trump to be the GOP nomination.  He will vote for someone else in the GOP primary.  But if Trump wins the primary, Barr will vote for Trump.  He said that Trump is preferrable over the "progressive agenda."  What exactly does he mean?

Here is what Wikipedia says about Progressivism:

"Progressivism is a political philosophy in support of social reform.[1] Based on the idea of progress in which advancements in science, technology, economic development and social organization are vital to the improvement of the human condition, progressivism became highly significant during the Age of Enlightenment in Europe, out of the belief that Europe was demonstrating that societies could progress in civility from uncivilized conditions to civilization through strengthening the basis of empirical knowledge as the foundation of society.[2] Figures of the Enlightenment believed that progress had universal application to all societies and that these ideas would spread around the world from Europe."

Progressivism - Wikipedia

That makes sense to me.  So, what's wrong with Progressivism?  It all sounds positive to me.

This is what Right Wing News says:

"Despite voluminous amounts of saccharine coated “progressive” rhetoric to the contrary, today’s “progressives” do not care about “the little guy”, women, children, or minorities of any shape, color, creed, form or substance.  Their method is to surreptitiously use cultural Marxism, critical theory and political correctness in combination with gradual inevitability to create divided, hyphenated special interest victim groups. Once those groups have been created, the next step is to inflame those groups with hate-filled red herring and straw-man hyperbole in hopes that the under-educated, under-informed and/or fully indoctrinated members of those hyphenated special interest victim groups will vote against Conservative Americans who have been targeted for character assassination."

The “progressive” Agenda for America | John Hawkins' Right Wing News

My initial reaction to this critique of progressivism in the USA is the GOP is projecting.  What do you think?

Edited by Airbrush
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Posted (edited)

This is all part of the modern phenomenon of re-defining words to suit an agenda.

Republicans are trying to re-define 'progressivism' as something bad; as simply change for the sake of change, or change to a worse outcome. Most people ( who don't watch Fox News ) know that is politically driven, and it actually refers to the improvement of the human condition..

I would also suggest the term 'populism', has been re-defined by a liberal agenda, to mean something just short of fascism, while in effect it means a government serving the needs, and representing all the people, including commoners; not simply the elite affluent/intelligentsia, who don't necessarily believe the 'commoners' deserve representation.

Edited by MigL
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What's wrong with progressivism? Absolutely nothing!! In fact it is a desired aspect ofr any and all progressive societies. We have elections in Australia this Saturday and we have the present tired old conservative government now playing politics and claiming now is not the time for change, against the Labor party, the party that gave us probably the best universal health scheme in the world, compulsory employer and employee contributing superannuation, general wage growth instead of stagnation, and a party for the people, leaving no one behind. 

The party I have been presently handing out leaflets for and have been a member of.

But progressivnism like political correctnness can reach a stage of going mad and silly and shooting themselves in the foot in the progress.

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5 hours ago, Airbrush said:

He said that Trump is preferrable over the "progressive agenda."  What exactly does he mean?

It means that even the devil he knows (intimately) is preferable to people who might change the unbalance of power. 

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The progressive element is essential in any society that pursues betterment of the human condition. Progressivism, as a tenet, is a good theoretical starting point.

Problem is: Self-declared progressive parties vie for power and control of the budget, like everybody else. If under pressure, they will act in ways that contradict their 'theoretical principles,' provided working politicians really have some of those. Whatever their tenets are, and out of this pressure to out-elbow everybody else, they will not hesitate to re-define their concepts. As MigL said,

6 hours ago, MigL said:

This is all part of the modern phenomenon of re-defining words to suit an agenda.

 

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10 hours ago, MigL said:

This is all part of the modern phenomenon of re-defining words to suit an agenda.

Yes. See also “socialism” and “woke” and “Critical Race Theory” among others

10 hours ago, MigL said:


Republicans are trying to re-define 'progressivism' as something bad; as simply change for the sake of change, or change to a worse outcome. Most people ( who don't watch Fox News ) know that is politically driven, and it actually refers to the improvement of the human condition..

I would also suggest the term 'populism', has been re-defined by a liberal agenda, to mean something just short of fascism, while in effect it means a government serving the needs, and representing all the people, including commoners; not simply the elite affluent/intelligentsia, who don't necessarily believe the 'commoners' deserve representation.

I don’t think the left is describing/re-defining populism; what I see is calling out the right’s use of the term for an agenda that is not populist. 

14 hours ago, Airbrush said:

He said that Trump is preferrable over the "progressive agenda."  What exactly does he mean?

It’s a dog-whistle. A “progressive agenda” would secure rights for women and minorities, and reduce the ability for rich white men to exploit those groups.

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11 hours ago, swansont said:

 A “progressive agenda” would secure rights for women and minorities, and reduce the ability for rich white men to exploit those groups.

An agenda seeking real progress would strive to give everyone the same rights and opportunities, and reduce the ability for the rich to exploit the poor, regardless of the colour of their skin and regardless of their gender.

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1 hour ago, J.C.MacSwell said:

An agenda seeking real progress would strive to give everyone the same rights and opportunities, and reduce the ability for the rich to exploit the poor, regardless of the colour of their skin and regardless of their gender.

I'll drink to that!!!!

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Posted (edited)
22 hours ago, Peterkin said:

It means that even the devil he knows (intimately) is preferable to people who might change the unbalance of power. 

Yes, and even though Barr thinks Trump is "unfit for office" he thinks change is probably worse than the devil he knows.

Edited by Airbrush
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11 hours ago, J.C.MacSwell said:

An agenda seeking real progress would strive to give everyone the same rights and opportunities, and reduce the ability for the rich to exploit the poor, regardless of the colour of their skin and regardless of their gender.

Yes. That’s equivalent to what I said. Giving everyone the same rights means securing them for the people who are systematically disadvantaged under the current system. But the GOP likes the current system, because they are the ones who have the full rights and the power to exploit others. And they don’y shy away from the fiction that equal rights for all is a loss of rights for some.

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On 5/19/2022 at 6:20 AM, swansont said:

Yes. See also “socialism” and “woke” and “Critical Race Theory” among others

The GOP has dressed all these concepts up as scarecrows, stuffing them with straw and misrepresenting the stances behind each in a fallacious endeavor to knock them all down. Progressivism is also mischaracterized, as we've seen quite recently with FOX News and Tucker Carlson promoting the Great Replacement theory, helping indoctrinate white supremacists across the country and, imo, directly leading to the recent mass shooting in Buffalo. 

The GOP, FOX, and Carlson all have a LOT of blood on their hands, imo.

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Posted (edited)

Peterkin, JC, and other lurking Canadians may be able to relate ...

One of the contenders for the leadership of the Conservative party of Canada, Pierre Poilivievre, who I don't particularly like, recently used the term 'Anglo-Saxon' to describe the type of direct language he uses to communicate.
He was immediately accused by what would be called the Canadian 'left' of being a white supremacist; simply because the term is normally used by white supremacist ( and millions of others ).

LILLEY UNLEASHED Calling Poilievre a white supremacist over use of 'Anglo Saxon' disgusting (msn.com)

I cannot keep up with this 're-purposing' of language to support political ideology ( or idiocy )

Edited by MigL
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Posted (edited)
36 minutes ago, MigL said:

I cannot keep up with this 're-purposing' of language to support political ideology

I cannot help but wonder:

How often do you hear someone use the term Anglo-Saxon when referring to the English language?

On now many of those occasions is someone referring to the English they themselves use?

How many of the people referring to their own language as Anglo-Saxon rather than English are conservatives running for office in a climate of extreme political division?

How many of the occasions on which a conservative candidate running for office in climate of extreme division call the English they use 'Anglo-Saxon'  on a televised interview with a high-profile spokesman for the far right, whose audience is guaranteed to be predominantly far right? 

Just asking.

Edited by Peterkin
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5 hours ago, MigL said:

Peterkin, JC, and other lurking Canadians may be able to relate ...

One of the contenders for the leadership of the Conservative party of Canada, Pierre Poilivievre, who I don't particularly like, recently used the term 'Anglo-Saxon' to describe the type of direct language he uses to communicate.
He was immediately accused by what would be called the Canadian 'left' of being a white supremacist; simply because the term is normally used by white supremacist ( and millions of others ).

LILLEY UNLEASHED Calling Poilievre a white supremacist over use of 'Anglo Saxon' disgusting (msn.com)

I cannot keep up with this 're-purposing' of language to support political ideology ( or idiocy )

This seems similar to folks who've posted here claiming NOT to be a creationist, yet they use terms like "Darwinian evolution". Riiiiiiight, you're not a creationist.

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, Peterkin said:

I cannot help but wonder:

How often do you hear someone use the term Anglo-Saxon when referring to the English language?

On now many of those occasions is someone referring to the English they themselves use?

How many of the people referring to their own language as Anglo-Saxon rather than English are conservatives running for office in a climate of extreme political division?

How many of the occasions on which a conservative candidate running for office in climate of extreme division call the English they use 'Anglo-Saxon'  on a televised interview with a high-profile spokesman for the far right, whose audience is guaranteed to be predominantly far right? 

Just asking.

Politically, using 'Anglo-Saxon' connotes with labels like 'Aryan', and all that it implies. Funny really because Anglo-Saxon is French! They are saying 'We are English because our roots lie in France'.

Edited by StringJunky
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1 minute ago, StringJunky said:

Politically, using 'Anglo-Saxon' connotes with labels like 'Aryan', and all that it implies.

And would you say that choosing such words might be intended to appeal - possibly even send a signal - to a specific audience?

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Just now, Peterkin said:

And would you say that choosing such words might be intended to appeal - possibly even send a signal - to a specific audience?

It's a means of separating a group from others in an elitist/racist fashion.

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On 5/19/2022 at 6:48 PM, J.C.MacSwell said:

An agenda seeking real progress would strive to give everyone the same rights and opportunities, and reduce the ability for the rich to exploit the poor, regardless of the colour of their skin and regardless of their gender.

Which also means that inequalities that specifically target folks because of their skin colour or gender have to be identified and addressed. Many attempts to develop systems that create fairness but do not adequately incorporate existing inequalities and inequities can, despite being race or gender blind, exacerbate said inequalities.

Medical algorithms are such an example. They are widely used for diagnosis, assign care and things like prioritizing patients for certain treatments. One of the assumed benefits is that it could remove biases from said assignments (something minorities were often victim of and still suffer disproportionate effects from). 

But the issue is that at some point folks realized that the algorithm was systematically biased against black patients in a range of issues. For example they would assign black individuals to a lower need of care than white patients (for an example see https://www.science.org/doi/full/10.1126/science.aax2342) or put them lower (or not at all) on organ recipient list. This is not necessarily caused by racial bias in the design of the algorithms (though sometimes they are) but also by simple facts that at given sickness less money is spent on black folks (even adjusted for income) which makes the algorithm think they need less money to maintain health. Conversely outcome in black organ recipients are often worse, because they cannot afford the best aftercare (even adjusted for income), so they are automatically put at a lower priority on the list, even if they physically are equivalent to their white counterpart.

Race and gender blind measures have therefore a history of not working out well, if the existing biases are not considered.

 

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2 hours ago, CharonY said:

Which also means that inequalities that specifically target folks because of their skin colour or gender have to be identified and addressed. Many attempts to develop systems that create fairness but do not adequately incorporate existing inequalities and inequities can, despite being race or gender blind, exacerbate said inequalities.

Medical algorithms are such an example. They are widely used for diagnosis, assign care and things like prioritizing patients for certain treatments. One of the assumed benefits is that it could remove biases from said assignments (something minorities were often victim of and still suffer disproportionate effects from). 

But the issue is that at some point folks realized that the algorithm was systematically biased against black patients in a range of issues. For example they would assign black individuals to a lower need of care than white patients (for an example see https://www.science.org/doi/full/10.1126/science.aax2342) or put them lower (or not at all) on organ recipient list. This is not necessarily caused by racial bias in the design of the algorithms (though sometimes they are) but also by simple facts that at given sickness less money is spent on black folks (even adjusted for income) which makes the algorithm think they need less money to maintain health. Conversely outcome in black organ recipients are often worse, because they cannot afford the best aftercare (even adjusted for income), so they are automatically put at a lower priority on the list, even if they physically are equivalent to their white counterpart.

Race and gender blind measures have therefore a history of not working out well, if the existing biases are not considered.

 

Two questions. 1. When adjusted for wealth or just income? 2. Which problem is foremost, the discrepancy due to wealth with race factored out or the discrepancy due to race with wealth factored out?

If wealth is the leading factor, why is racism so often assumed to be the driving factor? 

In countries with more universal health care systems, how do the root causes of the discrepancies differ? How much of what is considered  systemic racism would disappear with a more universal health care system in place?

How much systemic wealthism would be reduced with more restrictions on political spending and lobbying, and how much systemic racism would disappear with it?

Easy to blame the GOP here, rightfully so,but are the Dems not implicated in much of this also? Especially when they are so quick to pick up and wield the racism club, and all the while protect the Clintons and the Bidens.

How much more progress could be made if the "progressives" were more intent on real progress, and less on identity politics and power?

19 hours ago, swansont said:

Yes. That’s equivalent to what I said. Giving everyone the same rights means securing them for the people who are systematically disadvantaged under the current system. But the GOP likes the current system, because they are the ones who have the full rights and the power to exploit others. And they don’y shy away from the fiction that equal rights for all is a loss of rights for some.

There's a difference.

And the GOP aren't the only ones taking advantage of the current system and exploiting others.

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In fact (read IMO), your median GOP voter, and your median Dem voter, probably are not that different and most would like to see real progress in many areas and deserve a good moderate party (which if in power too long will no doubt become corrupt and need replaced...hopefully having left some permanent improvements)

6 hours ago, CharonY said:

 

Race and gender blind measures have therefore a history of not working out well, if the existing biases are not considered.

 

"Considered" is different from getting out the racism club, and swinging it at everything one does not like. 

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4 hours ago, J.C.MacSwell said:

How much more progress could be made if the "progressives" were more intent on real progress, and less on identity politics and power?

Very little, and likely zero, since the US system has been broken in numerous ways that favor power over majority support. Majority of Americans support progressive policies. They get blocked by those in the minority.

There are certainly issues with playing identity politics and gaming the system for power, but you seem to be leveling your charge and blame at the primary victims of that process.

44 minutes ago, J.C.MacSwell said:

In fact (read IMO), your median GOP voter, and your median Dem voter, probably are not that different

This may have been true decades ago. Today, however, the median GOP voter feels Biden isn’t the true president and that “the left” are bigger enemies than autocrats. 

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Posted (edited)
20 minutes ago, iNow said:

Very little, and likely zero, since the US system has been broken in numerous ways that favor power over majority support. Majority of Americans support progressive policies. They get blocked by those in the minority.

There are certainly issues with playing identity politics and gaming the system for power, but you seem to be leveling your charge and blame at the primary victims of that process.

This may have been true decades ago. Today, however, the median GOP voter feels Biden isn’t the true president and that “the left” are bigger enemies than autocrats. 

I didn't realize rich white (and other) Democrats and their choir were the primary victims. I thought the primary victims were the ones they were claiming they wanted to help.

Edited by J.C.MacSwell
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