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Friday, October 16, 2015

Crash Course: Craig Benzine- Political Ideology: Crash Course Government & Politics- What is a Progressive

Source: Crash Course-
Source: Crash Course: Craig Benzine- Political Ideology: Crash Course Government and Politics- What is a Progressive

If someone were to ask me what is progressivism or what is a Progressive, I would answer someone who believes in progress. Moving the ball forward in a positive direction and how that relates to politics. Making the country better than it currently is for the future and if thats the case, then I would argue most Americans except for the Far-Right and Libertarians, are progressive. But since we are so big, vast and diverse even politically as well as divided politically, we all have our own philosophy's on how to achieve progress in America. Which I believe is great in a liberal democracy, freedom of thought and everything that comes with that but it does make it more difficult to govern.

But thats how our Founding Fathers (our Founding Liberals) wanted it so we are stuck with that. And to back up my definition on what progressivism is, there are a couple of think tanks in Washington both progressive democratic think tanks like the Progressive Policy Institute and Center for American Progress. Which I believe they are pretty professional and sort of a sidekick of that. A political website called Think Progress that I would describe as further left of CAP and are basically a partisan political site and hack for the Democratic Party. There in business for the most part to dig up dirt against Conservatives and the Republican Party. They are the left's version of the Heritage Foundation for the right but at least Heritage also acts as a think tank as well with research and policy papers. I almost never agree with them on anything, except for the War on Poverty and education reform. But at least it acts as a think tank and does research which is what think tanks are supposed to do.

Todays popular definition and perhaps historic definition of Progressive and progressivism, are people who believe in making society better through government and in a lot of cases the Federal Government. Well, thats exactly the definition of what a Democratic Socialist is like Bernie Sanders or Dennis Kucinich, Paul Krugman, Ralph Nader, etc. Democratic Socialists don't believe in nationalizing all private industry, the men I just named are pretty good examples of this. But definitely health insurance, perhaps even health care, drug and medical research, maybe banking, maybe even education.

Socialists complain about private education all the time and say its only for special few and powerful. But certainly not the auto industry or professional sports ,and entertainment, media, when it comes nationalization of private industries. I mean, they do also have liberal leanings as well. People who are definitely progressive but tend to be skeptical about capitalism, private enterprise, profit motive. And people who have a lot of faith in government, especially the Federal Government. And that it should have a much large role in providing services in the economy. Perhaps even as large of a role if not larger than the private sector like in Sweden.

Socialists tend to believe that Americans generally speaking are under taxed. To know what the word progressive means, just look at the word, the first eight letters in progressive is progress. People who believe in progress. Progress is a goal not an ideology, to move the ball forward in a positive direction. And when it comes to politics, to make the country better for everyone. And under that definition most Americans are progressive, except for Libertarians and people on the Far-Right. We all just have different views on how to achieve progress in America.

The Empire Files: Abby Martin- America's Unofficial Religion: The War on an Idea

Source: The Empire Files-
Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat 

Again, it depends on are you talking about democratic socialism, which is a very mainstream political philosophy in most of the developed world and gaining strength in America, or are you talking about Marxism. Which is complete state-control of the economy and society as general. Where the central state tells people what they can and can't do. Where they can work, where they can live and so-forth. What the right-wing in America has been successful at really since the 1930s is point most Socialists as Marxists, even most Socialists tend to be democratic and even Democratic. Where the Democratic Party has had a long history going back to the 1930s, or longer of having at least an unofficial wing of Democratic Socialists in the party who prefer to be called Progressives.

Democratic socialism, is not anti-capitalist and anti-private enterprise. A Democratic Socialist State if anything will use capitalism and private enterprise to fund their welfare state. To see that everyone has social insurance that they can turn to when they need it, but also to provide the basic services that Democratic Socialists don't trust the private sector to provide. Education, health care, health insurance, retirement, childcare, to use as examples. While the private sector would be left with most of the rest of the economy, short of national security, foreign policy, law enforcement, the judiciary, etc. In a social democracy, you tend to have big centralized government's, if not a unitarian state, with most of the governmental power being left with the national capital. But where the people would be free to live their own lives with basic individual rights. Including not having to live in poverty.

When I think of socialism, I think of Europe, especially Scandinavia and Britain and to a certain extent Canada. These are all countries that are all energy independent by the way. At least Canada, Britain and Scandinavia, so they can afford to be very socialist with their government's and economies. And when I think of highly statist and authoritarian third-world countries, I think of Marxists and Marxism. North Korea and Syria, great examples of that. And then you have highly developing and growing countries that use to be completely Marxist states both politically and economically that now have hybrid systems. Where they have private enterprise economies, but Marxist political systems. China, obviously, the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, Cuba would be another one. But there now two socialist factions in the world. The democratic faction being the largest and most successful.
The Empire Files: Abby Martin- America's Unofficial Religion: The War On An Idea