Sunday, May 4, 2014
Progressivism and Unnatural Selection
It is ironic that Progressives identify their cause with the green movement and claim that their goal is a balance with nature, a logical and progressive change from the evils of capitalism to a pure and wonderful future that they won’t really define -- except to say it will be fairer.
Let’s examine the facts.
First, let’s examine the underlying foundation of Progressivism; that it is natural. Natural evolution, the constant evolution of life, is a process in which there is constant improvement. Species evolve in ways that make them stronger, smarter and better adapted to the environment. In other works, the more successful individuals and more successful species naturally tend to proliferate.
Progressives believe in the opposite. They genuinely believe that in human life, the more successful people or societies do so at the expense of others. They point to colonialism as an example. They believe successful countries get that way at the expense of weaker countries and then keep them down.
Let’s look further. Consider Asia in the last 70 years.
After the Second World War, Asia was in turmoil. Since then, successful societies have flourished for very similar reasons, by providing an environment more compatible with individual success, otherwise known as free enterprise. Societies that provided a more controlled, centrally planned environment have not succeeded as well. As in all things, these are relative, not absolute.
Consider Singapore, a tiny country. After WW2, Singapore was run by a government that learned to be strict in some ways, but allowed a great deal more individual freedom than her neighbors with regard to business. They put significant effort into education, infrastructure and . It wasn’t perfect, but it was better than any country around it.
Singapore’s neighbors were all larger. They all have better natural resources. Singapore was not a military power and could not benefit from pushing around smaller countries -- it saw no “colonial” benefit.
Yet Singapore’s economy blew past Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia and Indonesia. This success was not “at the expense” of anyone.
Also consider Japan. After WW2, it was a pariah in the region. Its troops had left a trail of death, destruction and downright evil. But under a new government, one structured to allow for more individual freedom and free enterprise, it saw as much success in the next 50 years as any country has ever seen relative to its size, only limited by its size and excessive government control.
A review of all of the other countries in Asia shows that the more powerful the central government and the less it allowed free enterprise, the slower the growth. Some say that China is the exception, but once again consider size. China may have seen an enormous change since the government allowed more freedom, but the individual has not seen much of this success, even today. The average citizen in Singapore, Japan and South Korea enjoys a better life than the average citizen of China.
Let’s return to the subject. I ask you, is Progressivism more natural? What is Progressivism, at its core?
Progressives don’t paint a clear picture of life under their philosophy; they prefer to simply vilify “capitalism.” What is capitalism? A simple definition of capitalism is a society based on the control of money. But such a society has never existed, it is a figment of the imagination of Karl Marx and to a greater extent his devoted follower Frederick Engels, the greatest user of the word “capitalism.” They claimed a proper form of government, a communist government, would do away with this and create a better and fairer balance.
But every communist country that ever existed used currency. The difference is that they controlled production and freedom centrally -- and were inherently stagnant. Indeed, all communist countries failed. They failed simply because central control of a country by a select few people is inherently going to go bad.
Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.
In all groups of people, what “the future should be” varies widely. Few, if any, believe in a massive and uncontrolled free-for-all. Progressives believe in very powerful central governments, or even one massive world government. This is not terribly different from communism, at the core.
Normal everyday people, world-wide, want three things: peace, prosperity and a better future for their children. It really is as simple as that -- and having visited over 50 countries in my life I can confirm this to be true.
Some merely believe that huge corporations have too much power and should be limited. They believe in free enterprise, but with limits to protect individuals and the environment from excesses.
Others believe in varying degrees and flavors of strong central government. This may be religious or secular government. But all people desire fairness and opportunity.
Very few people, even those who identify with strong central government, seek a dictatorial and therefore unfair government. But history has shown that a government that does not allow individual success will suffocate. Why work harder than your neighbor for the same return? Where has progress ever come from other than inspired individual effort?
This is the core problem with Progressivism; it believes in contradictory and incompatible concepts: limited individual freedom, relative fairness, controlled opportunity and powerful central government.
None of these is has ever worked, none of these is evolutionary and none is the result of natural progress.
What we need is true progress. Progress towards a clean environment, a stable political world and constant improvement in all things are reasonable goals. It is against human nature for any of these things to occur with strong central government. History has shown the fallacy of this, people are not ants, for better or worse.
Progressives make the mistake of thinking humans, who can’t be trusted with the responsibility of controlling their own lives properly, can be trusted to operate a strong central government over others.
The chaos of democracy is the best bad form of government we have yet devised.