Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Progressivism: Motion as Substitute For Structure

The history of the American frontier reflects the mercantilist perspective that new markets and expansion are necessary to economic growth. Progressivism carried forward the mercantilist view in a number of ways: the corporatist view of the state; the view of planning as essential to economic growth; the attack on freedom of enterprise; and the view of the feudalistic arrangement of society whereby elites represented by Theodore Roosevelt would occupy the upper stratum and the peasant cum manufacturing masses represented by Samuel Gompers would be committed to reciprocally responsible relations. Progressivism substituted the expansion of government programs for the expansion of the frontier. But the expansion of government destroys rather than creates wealth, so that Progressive mercantilism is ultimately self destructive.

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