To understand the progressive movement in the United States you have to study the rules for being a progressive. The original progressives were racists and they were more interested in consolidating power than in promoting minorities or alternative lifestyles. Progressivism was originally nothing like Anarchism but tended to adopt socialist ideology verses liaise faire capitalism. The progressive movement is all about redefining who the bosses are. The first and foremost rule of being a progressivism is the belief that capitalism is barely tolerable and that it’s success is accidental.
To be a progressive one automatically has to define capitalism as systematic immoral greed only interested in self interest and not in the general welfare of society but there is a necessary exception or FDR who served more terms as president than any other president and was born a very rich man would never have been eligible to be in that office as the progressivist candidate.
Rule number two is that there are good rich people and bad rich people. The good rich people give away other rich people’s money but not their own or at least less of their own. Party membership is what decides that status for an individual.
The Third Rule is that everything in a progressivist society is ordered according to strict guidelines based on the pecking order of chickens. Party membership in good standing decides which chickens are on top of the roost.
Lack of proper party membership in good standing might mean you have no position at all in the pecking order similar to how the communist party runs in China where now capitalism is more than just tolerated but elevated to an art form so long as it is subservient to the whims of the party organizational structure. It is all about hierarchy and social pecking order going back to Karl Marx and his seminal works on the subject of socialism. Progressivism is the original mainstream American socialist movement and is a mixture of economic and cultural socialist tendencies which one might wrongly see as a sort of mirror image of the American Libertarian political movement. The difference has to do with power politics of king making and substitution of new bosses for old bosses. A New Boss might be a union controlling labor available to industry or it maybe a City Hall Political Apparatus that you cannot fight or have any influence at all over as an ordinary citizen. Bosses might also be industrial czars or regulators or bureaucratic organization that oversee private commercial activities.
The Fourth Rule of being a progressive is you want as much regulation as possible to control every aspect of society from productive work and industry to social entertainment and culture. This goes hand in hand with the Fifth Rule which is to employ as large as possible fraction of the population in government jobs as regulators, paper pushers and general office workers and to be sure that all are over compensated for what they actually do which is because as Benjamin Franklin would have said, if he were a progressive, “A Vote Bought is A Vote Saved for The Next Election.”
The Sixth Rule is that If elections determine who gets power than the progressive movements main goal is to win elections which might mean framing the polls and always being with what ever the polls say at least prior to each election.
The Seventh Rule is That Higher Taxes are always good and beneficial. People not subject to being taxed won’t complain if they think it results in benefits to them and fosters a contempt for people who have more than they do which plays into the never ending theme of progressivism’s class war mentality. Punishment for wealthy people by forcing them to share their wealth with the community seems to have infinite appeal and it supports the hierarchy end game of the progressives at least in theory because in most progressivist eras the Rich tend to get richer and the poor poorer in spite of the higher taxes. The progressive movement gained much of it’s momentum from taxation and particularly the federal income tax and from what had been called trust busting legislation. Transfer payments of taxation are supposed to go to the community and the poor but the Eight Rule of being a progressive is to always take your cut. This is why progressives in public office tend to leave the office a lot richer than when they entered it. it is also why union bosses get obscenely rich and why sons and daughters of progressive politicians tend to get elected in their parent’s or grandparents places.
Most progressivism is simple political expediency in consolidation of power and as in most of history that took sources of funding. That simply means those seeking power and to become the new bosses somehow need to transfer wealth to their own uses or a least cut out the competition. The Ninth Rule is to be open to contributions from everyone subservient to you in the pecking order. Anyone can advance in society and especially those who have a lot of money willing to give to a good progressivism cause.
The Tenth rule is that everyone even the rich can be converted to progressivism. If you ever wondered why so many of the super rich count themselves as progressives? The reason is clear when you see how they use the political pecking order of progressivism to diminish their competition at the expense of the competition. If Political power requires political behavior than it definitely pays to be as political as necessary to achieve all of your goals. You might be surprised to learn that the United States Was Founded As A Classless Society and it even says so in the Constitution where it says that Congress may make no law conferring titles on individuals.
The Eleventh rule is to find away around that rule in the Constitution as to give important progressives permanent titles like Lords of England by inheritance. Power is too dear to lose after you have attained it. That might even be a rule from Machiavelli. What ever works.
The Twelfth rule is that the Ends always will justify the means. The Thirteenth rule is that to be sure the ends always justify the means be sure you spend money on your historians and be sure to exclude any non party historians from the historical record and if you have control of the presses only let the fair historical accounts be published and disseminated. The Fourteenth Rule is control information because that will determine the political reality. The Fifteen Rule is that since the public cannot generally tell the difference between truth and a lie that if it makes you better off it then pays to lie and that coupled with the rule that the means always justify the ends makes it a complete no brainer.
The Sixteenth Rule for being a progressive is to acknowledge that Government has never made a mistake unless it was due to your political opponents and even then you have to be very careful because you build the government up in size constantly by making it impossible to ever fire or lay off government employees or cut their benefits as they are a higher class of entitled people being part of the progressive party and therefore only leadership gets blamed for government failure.
The Seventeenth Rule is that government is never big enough , it it really needs to be cut then stand away for a while and let your opponent get elected so he or she will take the blame.
The Eighteenth Rule is that government should only react once the public experiences a crisis. Progressive government lives for the next Katrina or 911 as the perfect opportunity to expand government power. Although a crisis cannot be negated by it’s having happened it can always be blamed on nature or accident or a competing political party and their ideology. Failure of government can then always be a good thing because the progressive sells the failure to the public as an excuse for needing higher taxes and ever bigger expanding government.
The Nineteenth Rule is that once progressive socialist government starts taking over industries like mass transit and turning it into public transit or community transportation is to expand the programs in a manner that would bankrupt any private ownership while maximizing perceived free or subsidized benefits to the people. Government is supposed to be for ever broke and hungry for money according to the charms of the Progressives. If you balance a budget it will cost you money. If you dig holes and fill them properly they won’t need to be dug up and refilled as frequently. National debt and out of control spending based on that debt is more progressive than anything else.
The Twentieth Rule is to never accept criticism for failure. If you do have to stand as criticized then you spread the blame or fix it to an opponent or to greedy rich people who are not progressives. When things really really fail the reason is you never really got to try out the theory and you need a whole new chance to try it again. That is why we can repeat the same idiotic government experiments just to see them fail again in a line of succession of failures. When the criticism starts to stick like when you are blamed for Eugenics abuses then you claim you were unaware of it or never knew anything about it or you blame it on your opponents who never had anything to do with the policy or if necessary you label your opponents as uncaring or racists when the critical heat becomes too much to bare.
The Twenty First Rule is what comes around goes around so just be sure you are the first to receive what is best and the last to receive what is worst.
Being a progressive is knowing these rules well and acting on them accordingly. Progressivism is not really about all the theatrics of caring and help and protecting society or about saving and conserving. That is just about the poetry of being a progressive and not about the movement’s real interests which are alway about self centered power consolidation by any means possible. Certainly the progressives are not the only ones interested in power consolidation. The conservative movement is as likely to put the ends over the means to achieve them which is why so many so called conservatives seem to follow the progressive playbook once they get elected to office. Anyone who knows a bit of history damn well knows that progressives have not exactly prevent wars from happening but can definitely claim to have started or got the US involved in some of the biggest ugliest wars of all time. Progressives are as the rule says more interested in being the boss of a great hierarchy in society than in really helping society achieve anything because achievement is only valuable when it has ongoing propaganda value. You can see that immediately with public transit authority projects that cost more than they benefit society. Occasionally something goes wrong and the Space program helps to reinvent the technology and then the civilization but that is an aberration in the rules for basic progressivism where failure never really matters and where politicians are educated in addition but never in subtraction when it comes to formulating budgets.
You might wonder if progressives believed in the great American failures like prohibition? You can look it up and find out. Was prohibition considered to be progressive? Was the Spanish American war a progressive war?
Was Racism and Eugenics ever considered to be progressive in America? Is the present day war on drugs considered to be a progressive policy or is drug legalization considered to be more progressive in most of the History of that American policy? All you have to do is Yahoo or Goggle these topics and find out more.