Thursday, October 25, 2007

Liberals Should Be Called "Suppressives" Rather Than "Progressives"

I have recently blogged about Peter Levine's book New Progressive Era and note that although Levine claims that public deliberation ought to replace free markets, public deliberation is impossible because progressives dislike speech that disagrees with their own and because progressives' choices, which are mostly erroneous, become institutionalized. Upon institutionalization, discussion about them is foreclosed. Some examples are the rat-infested New York City subway system; the near-bankrupt social security system; and the income-inequality and poverty-generating Federal Reserve Bank.

As well, a key problem with progressivism is the willingness of progressives to distort facts, to lie, in order to secure programs or institutions that are bound to fail. The public finds it difficult to debate when, for instance, the Fed claims it is managing the "federal funds rate" rather than increasing the money supply (or more to the point, counterfeiting). Likewise, the public finds it difficult to debate about "social security" when its proponents claim that it is a fair insurance program rather than primarily a welfare or transfer program.

Perhaps the worst lies of all concern the names that the "progressives" call themselves. When I was growing up in New York,the high crime rates were attributable to "limousine liberals". Liberals became associated with the ACLU, welfare, corruption and incompetence. Rather than divulge the truth, today's liberals call themselves "progressives". It would be much more conducive to intelligent dialogue for all of us, and much fairer, to call liberals "suppressives".

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