Rand Paul

More Anti-Libertarian Nonsense from the Left-Wing Center for American Progress

Liberal group tries to whitewash Progressive movement's ugly record on eugenics.

|

In 2010 the left-wing Center for American Progress published a monograph titled "The Progressive Intellectual Tradition in America." Its purpose was to shine an admiring spotlight on the Progressive activists of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, men and women who used government power to "promote true economic and social opportunity for all people." The problem with that monograph, as I noted at the time, was that it failed to mention the Progressive movement's widespread support for racist Jim Crow laws, sexist labor laws, and eugenics laws. It was, I concluded, "a fairy tale version of history, one that highlights what the authors see as the accomplishments of progressivism while totally ignoring anything that might detract from their lopsided narrative."

Public Domain

Fast forward to the present day and the Center for American Progress has produced yet another work of lopsided historical nonsense. The objective this time around is to undermine the presidential campaign of Rand Paul by attacking the libertarian influences that may have shaped Paul's thinking. "Though Paul now presents his anti-government philosophy as the antidote to a society which dooms far too many poor people of color to a life behind bars, that philosophy has far more insidious roots," asserts ThinkProgress, an arm of the Center for American Progress. What are those insidious roots? They are the classical liberal ideas of the polymath British social theorist Herbert Spencer (1820-1903), a figure whose heyday coincided with the rise of Progressivism in the United States.

According to ThinkProgress, "Spencer's own philosophy can safely be described as genocidal libertarianism" because Spencer "literally argued that the impoverished and the unfortunate should be left to die in order to purify the human race."

Did Spencer literally argue that? Of course not. It's another left-wing fairy tale. Here's why.

The idea of smearing Herbert Spencer as a proto-eugenicist is not original to ThinkProgress. It originated in Richard Hofstadter's 1944 book Social Darwinism in American Thought, in which Hofstadter falsely characterized Spencer as a sort of founding father of the eugenics movement. Forced sterilization and other collectivist eugenics measures, Hoftstadter asserted, have "proved to be the most enduring aspect" of Spencer's "tooth and claw natural selection."

As evidence for this assertion, Hofstadter pointed to the following passage (also cited by ThinkProgress) in Spencer's 1851 book Social Statics: "If they are sufficiently complete to live, they do live, and it is well they should live. If they are not sufficiently complete to live, they die, and it is best they should die."

Here is something I previously wrote about that allegedly offensive Spencer passage:

[It] certainly sounds rough, but as it turns out, Hofstadter failed to mention the first sentence of Spencer's next paragraph, which reads, "Of course, in so far as the severity of this process is mitigated by the spontaneous sympathy of men for each other, it is proper that it should be mitigated." As philosophy professor Roderick Long has remarked, "The upshot of the entire section, then, is that while the operation of natural selection is beneficial, its mitigation by human benevolence is even more beneficial." This is a far cry from Hofstadter's summary of the text, which has Spencer advocating that the "unfit…should be eliminated."

Similarly, Hofstadter repeatedly points to Spencer's famous phrase, "survival of the fittest," a line that Charles Darwin added to the fifth edition of Origin of Species. But by fit, Spencer meant something very different from brute force. In his view, human society had evolved from a "militant" state, which was characterized by violence and force, to an "industrial" one, characterized by trade and voluntary cooperation. Thus Spencer the "extreme conservative" supported labor unions (so long as they were voluntary) as a way to mitigate and reform the "harsh and cruel conduct" of employers.

Along similar lines, Spencer devoted 10 chapters in his two-volume Principles of Ethics to spelling out the importance of "Positive Beneficience," otherwise known as charity towards the impoverished and the unfortunate. In other words, if you bother to read what Herbert Spencer actually wrote, you will quickly discover that he never advocated anything remotely like letting the poor die in the streets.

Spencer's Progressive-minded contemporaries, on the other hand, frequently did embrace eugenics and frequently did throw their explicit support behind eugenicist measures aimed restricting or eliminating "unfit" groups from American society. The influential Progressive economist John R. Commons, for example, who served as an adviser to Progressive hero (and notorious racist) Woodrow Wilson, favored anti-immigration restrictions precisely because Commons thought those restrictions would help preserve the racial health of the white working class. Economic competition from immigrants, Commons complained, "has no respect for the superior races."

Herbert Croly, the leading Progressive journalist who founded Progressivism's flagship magazine, The New Republic, openly championed the cause of eugenics. Writing in an unsigned New Republic editorial on March 18, 1916, for example, Croly argued that, "Imbecility breeds imbecility as certainly as white hens breed white chickens; and under laissez-faire imbecility is given full chance to breed, and does so in fact at a rate fair superior to that of able stocks." The proper solution, he wrote in the magazine's editorial voice, was for Progressive-minded government officials to take eugenicist action:

We may suggest that a socialized policy of population cannot be built upon a laissez faire economic policy. So long as the state neglects its good blood, it will let its bad blood alone. There is no certain way of distinguishing between defectiveness in the strain and defectiveness produced by malnutrition, neglected lesions originally curable, or overwork in childhood. When the state assumes the duty of giving a fair opportunity for development to every child, it will find unanimous support for a policy of extinction of stocks incapable of profiting from their privileges.

And then there is Progressive icon Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. As I note in my new book, Overruled: The Long War for Control of the U.S. Supreme Court, Justice Holmes delivered his most famous majority opinion in the 1927 case of Buck v. Bell, in which he allowed the state of Virginia to forcibly sterilize a 17-year-old girl who had been raped and impregnated by the nephew of her foster mother and then committed to a state institution for the "socially inadequate." Carrie Buck, Justice Holmes ruled, was a "feeble minded white woman" whose future freedom to procreate would "sap the strength of the State." In its 2010 memorandum on "The Progressive Intellectual Tradition in America," the Center for American Progress hailed Justice Holmes as a Progressive thought leader who correctly interpreted "the Constitution as a 'living' document." Buck v. Bell was not discussed.

Here's an idea: Perhaps the Center for American Progress should spend less time lobbing false charges at libertarians and spend more time confronting its own dishonorable roots in what can safely be described as genocidal progressivism.

Related: Another Bout of Anti-Libertarian Nonsense from the Left-Wing Center for American Progress

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

584 responses to “More Anti-Libertarian Nonsense from the Left-Wing Center for American Progress

  1. “The problem with that monograph, as I noted at the time, was that it failed to mention the Progressive movement’s widespread support for racist Jim Crow laws, sexist labor laws, and eugenics laws.”

    It also forced thousands of immigrants out of ‘unhealthy’ housing into the oh-so-healthy streets; almost as helpful as rent-control laws!

    1. I’ve made $64,000 so far this year working online and I’m a full time student. I’m using an online business opportunity I heard about and I’ve made such great money. It’s really user friendly and I’m just so happy that I found out about it. Heres what I’ve been doing
      http://www.work-mill.com

    2. what is amazing to me is the sheer number of liberal anti libertarian articles published on this website and that the editors actually allow it to continue. It seems every few days there is a new article that liberals try to co-opt libertarians by trying to sound libertarian but are putting forth liberal (socialist) talking points.

      1. Liberals, whether classical or modern, are not leftists and are not socialists. Modern liberalism, at least since the New Deal and World War 2, has followed the same strategy as Otto von Bismarck, who thought that the way to protect the elite was to use both the carrot and the stick on the lower orders. That strategy — keeping the workers and the poor quiesced with payoffs — would free up the elites to start wars and build empires, It should sound familiar.

      2. what articles are you talking about Jeff? I read this website regularly and havent seen much in the way of liberal acticism here.

    3. +1 Pruitt Igoe

  2. I enjoy these corrections, and I’m sure the Center for American Progress appreciates the information.

    1. hahaha. I’m sure they will issue a retraction shortly.

      1. What difference, at this point, does it make?

      2. Yep. Any day now . . .

  3. Progressives tend to know they aren’t very good at arguing against libertarian theory. They’re great, however, at creating strawmen out of what they say is libertarian theory, and then arguing against that.

    1. I think they really believe their strawman version. I think they have some sort of mental block that will not allow them to understand the libertarian philosophy and so their view of it is distorted. To us it appears that they are intentionally misrepresenting our views, but they simply can’t see things from our perspective. Nah, who am I kidding? They’re disingenuous twats.

      1. They have an emotional commitment to believing they are on some messianic crusade of good vs. evil. They’re good, so obviously the other side must be evil.

        1. Can an ideology have a borderline personality disorder? If so, that would explain a lot.

        2. It’s much more basic and insidious. The progressivists will simply repeat the straw man, even after they are confronted and corrected with the truth. It is a personality defect that pervades progressivism. It is not important to be correct or truthful. It is only important to put forth your version, no matter the truth. All that counts is progressivism and winning, and all means that lead to that end are justified.

          We see this when confronted with the truth, after they’ve won their point. Obama said it was necessary to lie to the public in order to get Obamacare passed. Harry Reid said with a smile that he had no regret lying about Romney paying his taxes because Romney lost and that in his mind justified his lie.

          If libertarianism stands in the way of progressivism, then misrepresenting it is a valid price to pay. We must begin to understand this about progressivism. It is a pathway to victory where nothing is out of bounds other than being caught and publicly shamed, something they can count on the media by and large to cover for them.

          They understand that the low info voter doesn’t remember, mostly doesn’t care or has come to expect the lie, and the progressivist beleives that credibility and honor are meaningless if he loses. To the progressivist, it is better to be a victorious charlatan than to lose. It is only with this understanding and foundation that progressivism can be beaten back into submission and its holders excoriated.

          1. ^ This, emphatically and with knobs on.

            Due to their temperment and conditioning, they believe certain things, hammer and tongs, and will not consider anything outside their conditioning. The sphincter of their minds in locked and loaded.

            They are good; therefore everyone else must be evil. Winning against evil is important and therefore any trick they need to play in order to get their way is “for the good” as they mistakenly understand it. Hence the frequent postings of the pathetic progs who drop by to “fight the good fight” without a clue how ridiculous they keep coming off.

      2. Well, c’mon, all of their politics are fantasy, of course they think everyone else is the same.

      3. The word is ‘cognitive dissonance’ and the progressives cling to it for dear life whenever someone disagrees with the vagueries of leftism.

      4. “they have some sort of mental block that will not allow them to understand the libertarian philosophy”

        I believe they have a general disdain for others. They don’t believe other have the ability to govern themselves so an overarching authority is required for order and progress. Anything that threatens their view and goals must be attacked and people who believe in unfettered liberty are intellectually inferior and probably evil.

    2. When it comes to the left arguing anything, this approach of creating strawmen to argue for their narrative, is not limited to libertarian theory. It’s always about emotion and selling narrative, so the strawman will be created and then burned. Facts, logic, and the truth be damned.

      1. Well, they were permitted to set the narrative without much response for the last 100 years or so.

        It’s not surprising they now are moving to erase parts of their history they don’t like. Which is interesting because it’s filled with false premises and support of ugly movements.

        1. Yeah, and we let them breed, so what else ya expect?

      2. Yes, that’s the essence of “critical theory”, which much of the social agenda of Democrats and progressives is rooted in. Truth isn’t as important as criticizing systems of oppression and telling stories.

  4. It should also be pointed out that CAP used to be run (is still run? I know he went to work for Obama) by John Podesta, who has been called literally insane by people he has worked with. Podesta has written forewords for books about UFOs being covered up by the government and said his great regret upon leaving the Obama White House was that he hadn’t gotten UFO documentation released.

    That nutcase has actually run CAP in the recent past. Given that their leader is completely insane, should they really be declaring an entire political ideology beyond the pale based on the views of one proto-libertarian 120 years ago? Does CAP really want to get into the guilt by association game when they’re helmed by Podesta?

    1. I can’t think of any libertarian today that would site Spencer as their main influence. It’s a ridiculous guilt by association attempt on its face.

      1. I came to libertarianism on my own. I had to take a political test that told me I was a libertarian. I had no idea it was a thing. Not until I discovered reason did I learn about libertarian thinkers.

        1. That’s true for a lot of people. It makes the ‘oh, you believe in a philosophy that is similar to one espoused by this guy you’ve probably never thought of and who said bad things’ all the more ridiculous (in fairness, this cuts both ways, no liberal today is so mainly because of John R. Commons).

          1. Yet a good number are thanks to Margeret Sanger…

        2. This. I thought I was a really weird Republican until someone in college offered me a quiz. And then I didn’t believe the results for a few years.

          1. I was ready to leave the plantation. I too was a republican but it never quite fit.

            1. leave the plantation

              I told you those Republicans would try to put ya’ll back in chains!

              /Uncle Joe

              1. +2 rounds of buckshot near a school

            2. I identified as a Republican for some time. Then I figured out I didn’t like the Republicans, per se – I just hated Democrats.

              I haven’t voted for either party since I voted for (shudder) Bob Dole in 1996.

              1. One of the creators of Sout Park said it best.

                “I don’t like conservatives, but I hate liberals.”

          2. I thought I was alone in my beliefs.

            And now, I really don’t care whether I am alone or not.

            Just – everybody, keep your hands of my stuff.

            1. +1 Francis

              1. LoL! Stripes!

        3. When i first looked up libertarianism, i thought it was ridiculous. It wasn’t until Obamacare happened and i started studying economics which lead to more general moral theory, that i realized that libertarians are right, and democrats or republicans are chalk full of contradictions.

          1. I initially was exposed to libertarianism by reading denigrations of it from detractors who typically take the most extreme view and then misrepresent it.

      2. Some people eventually get to Spencer, but they have to first go through the process of having all the mythology about Spencer’s “social darwinism” debunked.

        It’s amazing to me the extent to which second-hand information dominates established thinking on a lot of subjects. Doesn’t anyone ever read source material anymore?

        1. In fairness, have you ever read Spencer? It’s not exactly fun reading.

          1. No, which is why I’m not commenting on what Spencer supposedly thought.
            Just criticizing other people citing second-hand sources as an authority on Spencer.

          2. Sounds like someone who hasn’t read Man Versus The State.

          3. You think so? I just finished his “Principles of Ethics, Vol. 1”, and I enjoyed it. I have “Man Versus the State” laying around. I leafed through it one time, and the random pages I landed on looked like some pretty good points for consideration.

            He writes in typical Victorian-era prose: lofty and unnecessarily complicated by today’s standards. But it’s not too bad once you get used to it. I’ve read a fair amount of Dickens too, so I’m fairly accustomed to it.

            It’s kind of strange, because Spencer wrote “The Philosophy of Style”, which is a guide for writers that basically says that everything should be written with as few words as possible and arranged in the simplest possible format so that you aren’t wasting your readers’ mental energy. I guess he may have been writing in the simplest way that he knew (in accordance with linguistic norms at the time)

        2. No people do not read source material – especially out-of-print or pre-Internet source material that may only be available via inter-library loan. Students read textbooks – or commentaries on textbooks. No one else actually reads anything much – and if they do it is assuredly some current article that attempts to interpret some old article/essay/work.

          Personally, for historical stuff, I really love reading the 1911 and 1976 Encyclopedia Brittanica articles on a subject first. Just to see how the interpretations themselves change over time. But I’m abnormal.

          1. Just to give one good example of people not reading source material. Adam Smith was pretty insightful re cartels (today – trade associations or K-street or many other groups like that). Don’t know many free market folks today who really care much about that. They either deny their existence for ideological reasons – or minimize their impact. Real hard to do that if you’ve actually read Smith (admittedly boring).

            1. I don’t know many people who would deny the existence of state created cartels/monopolies or the havoc they cause. But it’s virtually impossible to prove a non-state sanctioned monopoly has ever existed AND also negatively impacted anyone. Check out ‘The Case Against Antitrust’. Free from Mises I think. Fantastic look at the history of antitrust and “monopolies”.

              1. It’s not impossible. Here’s an example. Major League Baseball. Which has remained a cartel precisely BECAUSE it is exempt from anti-trust law.

                and like it or not, Smith was NOT talking about state-created cartels (which he was well aware of since he wrote Wealth of Nations specifically to counter the mercantilism that created the East India company monopoly) when he wrote:

                People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices. It is impossible indeed to prevent such meetings, by any law which either could be executed, or would be consistent with liberty and justice. But though the law cannot hinder people of the same trade from sometimes assembling together, it ought to do nothing to facilitate such assemblies; much less to render them necessary….An incorporation not only renders them necessary, but makes the act of the majority binding upon the whole.

                That last sentence is directly applicable to trade associations which in fact is usually the mechanism by which companies ‘capture the regulator’ and force the state to do their bidding. The state is not some alien taking orders from planet FYTW. You tell me who the last libertarian was who opposed trade association protection under the 1st Amendment – to, you know, freely associate in order to ‘petition government (from K Street) for a redress of their grievances’?

                1. JFree; Didn’t the Supreme Court (The Gov’t) uphold their exemption? That, in my opinion, would make it “state-sponsored.”
                  Am I wrong?

                  1. The baseball cartel wasn’t created by govt in any way. It is allowed to do the same things that everyone would be allowed to do if the anti-trust laws were repealed – ie its already in the libertarian paradise. Except that with those laws in existence, people who are harmed actually can gain standing in court to try to recover damages. Except that they can’t recover those damages from baseball because baseball is exempt from those laws. It has also persisted – which doesn’t fit the libertarian narrative. If you are arguing that even courts to adjudicate disputes are ‘the state’ – well good luck with anarchism.

                    Baseball is a serious problem for free market advocates. eg the current ‘minor leaguers aren’t being paid minimum wage’ lawsuit. I oppose minimum wage laws since in theory they are only needed when an employer has a monopoly. Well crap – baseball. The broader issue of anti-trust or anti-monopoly law is a big difference between classical liberals and modern libertarians. Classical liberals perceived that cartels could form spontaneously, could persist, and by definition caused harm to others.

                    1. The baseball cartel wasn’t created by govt in any way. It is allowed to do the same things that everyone would be allowed to do if the anti-trust laws were repealed – ie its already in the libertarian paradise.

                      There is also a monopoly on Apple iPhones; they are only made by Apple. Who cares?

                      Baseball is a serious problem for free market advocates.

                      No, it’s not. There are dozens of sports you can watch, all competing for your time, money, and interest.

                      In addition, the various businesses around baseball derive their existence almost entirely from government-granted monopolies, namely copyrights and trademarks; they misuse those mechanisms for purposes that they were never intended for. That’s in addition to massive government subsidies of these “businesses”.

                      Classical liberals perceived that cartels could form spontaneously, could persist, and by definition caused harm to others.

                      Classical liberals, like libertarians, and mainstream economists, perceive that cartels can form spontaneously, but they understand (like Adam Smith did) that they are not stable without government support. Economists also understand that the notion of “cartel” or “monopoly” depends strongly on your definition of the particular market it is supposed to exist in, and that most complaints about cartels and monopolies are bogus from the start, like yours, for example.

                    2. I’m listening to the radio call of my favorite NHL team (Islanders) while watching my favorite baseball club (Mets.) Unfortunately, the cable feed of the hockey game is blacked out where I am staying. The Mets only exist because Bill Shea and Branch Rickey threatened to start a “Continental League” to compete with the NL and AL. Baseball’s “National Agreement” is a voluntary cartel, but it doesn’t have any government clout enforcing it. That’s why there are minor leagues, called “independent,” who don’t belong to it.

                      The Isles were cooked up to keep the then new Nassau Coliseum from hosting a World Hockey Association franchise. WHA might have had an antitrust beef, there.

                      The real problem with sports isn’t the “cartel” arrangements we call leagues, it is the corporate welfare of building stadiums with tax money.

                      Isles just scored an empty netter late in the third: 4-1 w/1:19 left.

                      Cartels, bereft of statist enforcement, break down. Members cheat, or outside competition (OPEC v Fracking) keep the cartel from exercising pricing power.

                      Kevin R

                2. You read the “source material” but obviously didn’t understand it. Smith argues that people will attempt to get together to conspire against the public, but that conspiracies are ineffective unless they are maintained by the government.

                  You tell me who the last libertarian was who opposed trade association protection under the 1st Amendment – to, you know, freely associate in order to ‘petition government (from K Street) for a redress of their grievances’?

                  You’re making the standard mistake of progressives of placing the blame with the wrong people. There is nothing wrong with people petitioning the government to grant them a monopoly, or petitioning the government to give them a billion dollars. Of course, that falls under Constitutional protections; are you saying that you want to throw people in jail for making unreasonable petitions?

                  The only thing that’s wrong is when government actually grants monopolies.

              2. DeBeers diamond cartel

            2. I would suggest boning up on Gary Becker, George Stigler, Gordon Tullock or pretty much any other prominent public choice economist if you don’t think “free market folks” who have addressed such issues.

              1. DeBeers is, currently, a bad example. They’ve lost their grip on the market. Note that the US Federal anti-trust settlement was agreed to after the cartel started to succumb to competition.

                Kitco Commentary

                Kevin R

          2. When I was in college, we read source material. Generally photocopied excerpts, not the original entire book, but still the actual words of the original author.

            If you’re going to teach a class at the college level, it ought to be ethically mandatory that students read the original source, even if they also read commentary on the original source. We read chapters of the Origin of Species in one class, not a commentary on the Origin of Species by a modern author.

            1. I remember some debates about this when I was in college – esp with the morons in the Depts of Education but not just them. From my recollection the arguments were:

              Original source material can have ‘offensive’ ideas – ranging from ‘How can you assign the New Testament as source material for a course on Western literature/philosophy cuz religion’ to ‘Are you seriously gonna have students read Mein Kampf to try to understand Hitler/WW2’

              Original source material can be damn hard to understand cuz language really does change over time. Original source material is not even in English so how can you rely on the translator’s intent. Original source material is verbal – the academic discipline is now heavily mathematical (this was big in economics).

              Much easier to feed the babies pap that has already been digested by an adult who can be ‘trusted’ to be ‘reliable’.

            2. Actually re Origin of Species. This is one area where the whole ‘teaching evolution’ thing really gets off track. Reality is that Darwin structured his book specifically to counter Christian ‘big history’. He didn’t actually understand the mechanism of evolution – even though Mendel had discovered genes earlier. Evolution wasn’t tied to genetics until the 1930’s and 1940’s. So ‘evolution’ textbooks that were taught before that is an atrocious mishmash of crap (scientific justifications for racism, eugenics, enlightenment era notions that evolution is simply part of the ‘progress of man’ and there is no room for ‘fallen man’ ethics) .

              A great example is the actual textbook at issue in the Scopes monkey trial
              http://www-personal.umd.umich……esText.htm

              Personally I bet people will be able to point to a similar mishmash of crap in today’s science textbooks. Which will be erased and forgotten whenever it is obsolete because science quite deliberately has no memory of its past.

              1. Personally I bet people will be able to point to a similar mishmash of crap in today’s science textbooks. Which will be erased and forgotten whenever it is obsolete because science quite deliberately has no memory of its past.

                AGW

                1. Well, there is History of Science, which incidentally is where I read the Origin of Species.

                  And actually I would be very much on the ‘Yes, you should have your students read Mein Kampf’ end of that spectrum.

                  Serious students should ALWAYS read original source material. There it literally no other way to know the truth. And anyway, that’s how you do new research. if you don’t know the language, get a recommended translation. But ideally even clacissists learn the original Greek and don’t rely on translation. That’s how real scholarship works.

                  1. I agree with you Hazel. But the two of us have lost academia already.

            3. Several professors I knew never employed a textbook unless it was unavoidable for some reason, in which case he usually wrote his own. Literature was made up of digital copies from the original authors or, sometimes for a price, physical copies. There was once a class that required a specific edition of the English translation of Descartes’s MEDITATIONS ON FIRST PHILOSOPHIES, or whatever in hell it was called. The professor said it was needful so that we were all readiing exactly the same thing. Turned out to be an unbelievably horrible translation in which all sorts of nuance and precision was totally trashed. Many of the professor’s arguments regarding the text could not have been made otherwise. Even then, he contorted it further by treating Descartes’s use of discrete terms as a stylistic synonymy, so that what were three or four different ideas in the text become one idea in the professor’s discourse. I had another one who liked to design classes in the form of a sheet of questions. Students were expected to find their own source material to support their answers. He eventually had to make a rule specificly exqualifying Wikip?dia as an original source.

          3. No people do not read source material – especially out-of-print or pre-Internet source material that may only be available via inter-library loan.

            “Inter-library loan”? Are you kidding? Pretty much all major fiction and non-fiction works published before around 1920 are available on Google Books for free, and most of them are also available for free on Kindle.

            Here’s a link to Spencer’s works: http://tinyurl.com/msesegk

            But I’m abnormal.

            You’re more like utterly backwards, uneducated, and technologically illiterate. Geez, you get your information from EB, a source barely suitable for lower grades of high school even during its heyday?

            1. 80-90% of books (and a higher proportion of newspapers, magazine articles, and scholarly journal articles) have never and will never be digitized. Wouldn’t expect you to know that since you are apparently completely content believing that the Internet contains everything. What will your little pea-brain do if you ever have to do research on your own rather than simply follow in the footsteps of googlebooks – led there by some pied piper playing their hyperlinks?

        3. Marxism is the prime example: very few Marxists have read Marx.

          1. Or understand what marxism in practice looks like, despite the easily accessible mountain of evidence. Over 100 million killed, and billions of lives made to live in misery, and yet, there are still people that feel the probllem is that the right people have not been put in charge of the marxist revolution yet.

            1. It’s been 150 years. The Revolution is starting to look like the Second Coming at this point.

              1. Communists did kill old religion because it interfered with worship of the state, so one has to wonder if this isn’t exactly what is at the heart of the “the messiah that will show up to lead us into communist utopia has not yet come” belief.

                1. And like most Marxists haven’t read Marx, most Christians haven’t read the bible. Lots of similarities to Marxism and religion

                  1. most Christians haven’t read the bible.

                    Many haven’t. Many have, or at least significant chunks. I would be willing to bet that more Christians have read more of the Bible than Marxists have read Das Kapital.

              2. Communists are still waiting for the “tendency of the rate of profit to fall” to kill capitalism.

                They were just unlucky that communism killed communism first.

            2. No. Not over 100 million killed. Over 100 million murdered by their own governments. War dead are on top of that number.

          2. I’ve read Marx?. which is why I’m a libertarian.

            😀

        4. I love how the scare phrase with Spencer is always “Social Darwinism”. It really highlights how they are Social Creationists.

          1. I doubt they’d shy away from that appellation. Humanity the species arose in a barbaric state of nature, but mankind the civilized creature was invented by Harvard-educated lawyers and sociologists. (Humanity’s barbarism didn’t end until the fourteenth amendment passed.)

          2. “Social Creationists.”

            I’m totally stealing that.

            Also, great band name.

          3. Now, now, that’s hardly fair to actual religious Creationists, who are a good deal less murderous than these Socialist asshats.

            1. I’m sure the Social Traducianists already use that term.

      3. “I can’t think of any libertarian today that would site Spencer as their main influence. It’s a ridiculous guilt by association attempt on its face.”

        Spencer had a major impact on other, more mainstream libertarians. I was reading Constitution of Liberty and Hayek cites him on multiple occasions.

        You therefore could at least say ‘oh, Spencer had an impact on the next generation of libertarian thinkers, so modern libertarians are getting Spencer second hand.’

        Either way it’s dumb since any eugenic views Spencer may have had (and I haven’t read him so I don’t want to make assumptions about that) are not an aspect of modern libertarianism. It would be like blaming Democrats for slavery (which, admittedly, some people are still stupid enough to do).

        1. Sure, you’re right, but I submit the problem with ‘X influenced Y, and then you were influenced by Y, so you have to own X’ is that you Y likely ‘filtered out’ a fair amount of what X said, so you might have got very little X, or a modified version, or at the least never got the parts about X that are supposed to be problematic.

        2. It would be like blaming Democrats for slavery (which, admittedly, some people are still stupid enough to do).

          One does nor blame Democrats for slavery, one simply never lets it be forgot that Democrats fought for slavery, founded the KKK, fought against lynching laws, passed Jim Crow, supported eugenics etcetera etcetera etcetera.

          One blames human compassion for slavery.

      4. Spencer is unfortunately one of the reasons that ‘classical liberalism’ declined. He was a classical liberal at core but he personally did not ‘age well’ and was too smart/lucid for that to be ascribed to mere human crankiness.

        But get real. Murray Rothbard called Spencer’s Social Statics ‘the greatest work of libertarian philosophy’. How do I know that? Well wikipedia – but wiki itself sources Brian Doherty’s (of Reason) book – Radicals for Capitalism – as the source of that quote. Maybe that’s just a bunch of typical wikipedia crap. But maybe someone who has read Doherty’s book can confirm the quote.

      5. Libertarianism (like liberalism, conservatism, authoritarianism, etc.) is a political orientation, not an ideology.

        1. Progressivism, on the other hand, is an rabid and intolerant religion.

          1. Without an ideology.

      6. I blame Heinlein for my libertarianism.

      7. Just out of curiosity, why should anyone be ashamed of having Herbert Spencer as an influence?

        Are you saying that Spencer’s ideas are so bad that nobody living in the year 2015 would associate themselves with him?

        Or are you saying that he’s too easy of a target for the proggies and that nobody should open themselves up to that kind of an attack?

        (I’m not trying to start shit; it’s just that I legitimately can’t tell what you mean. These nuances don’t always come across on the Interwebs.)

    2. And James Hansen advises Obama on fossil fuels.

      Lunatics running the asylum is the rule and not the exception now.

    3. So while we’re on the subject of “books about UFOs …”:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lW2pxd1ueG4

  5. It’s a bit more complicated than that. Spencer’s intellectual successor in America was William Graham Sumner. Sumner’s legacy has been similarly misrepresented, but he did say things that could make a reasonable person assume he was against basic human charity and less concerned with human suffering. For example

    “If we do not like the survival of the fittest, we have only one alternative and that is the survival of the unfittest. If A, the unfittest to survive, is about to perish and somebody interferes to make B, the fittest, carry and preserve A, it is plain that the unfittest is made to survive and that he is maintained at the expense of B, who is curtailed and restrained by just so much. This process, therefore, is a lowering of social development and is working backwards, not forwards.”

    Also, it’s not like eugenics was somehow exclusively or even primarily a project of the Progressives, nearly everyone thought it was the ‘consensus’ of the day. Calvin Coolidge bought into it, as did three of the famous ‘Four Horsemen’ on the SCOTUS. It’s hard to call them ‘progressives.’ And, some of the major opponents of eugenics were major progressive figures, like William Jennings Bryan.

    The progressive fairy tale that ignores their fingers in some rather ugly pies is a bad one, but we shouldn’t substitute it with fairy tales of our own.

    1. What a load of solipsistic claptrap. There is only one way to distinguish the fit from the unfit. Those who survive are fit and those that do not were not. There is no alternative to survival of the fittest. If a habit of behavior is adopted which is less fit, then those practicing it will die out and be instead survived by them that did not. Natural selection permits no alternative. Nobody has to worry about whether the fittest will survive: It is inevitable. Unless one takes the view that man somehow stands outside of and superior to Nature, able to defy the laws which govern all other creatures, something which one could infer from Darwin’s special treatment of “artificial selection”.

      1. Why do we have chihuahuas? Natural selection isn’t the only story.

        1. Chihuahuas are fit because they possess traits that encourage humans to propagate their genes. That is natural selection unless like Limpee says you think ” that man somehow stands outside of and superior to Nature.”

          Its no different than cows or any other domesticated animal or plant. Or any other species that has a biological interactive relationship with another species.

          1. It strikes me as artificial selection. And my overall point is that it’s not just those who via natural selection survive, we as humans and human society can have a conscious impact on who survives.

            1. It strikes me as artificial selection. And my overall point is that it’s not just those who via natural selection survive, we as humans and human society can have a conscious impact on who survives.

              Human societies are composed of individuals whom quite intentionally do not interact with each other under the terms of a state of nature. Humans interacting with one another with ethical (and from there lawful) concerns in mind, even if it is merely recognizing the acceptable norms of others, is natural human interaction.

              1. This seems to define natural selection in an unfalsifiable way.

                1. This seems to define natural selection in an unfalsifiable way.

                  How? Humans are part of nature, our interactions with other species are part of nature. There is nothing special about us from an evolutionary perspective.

                  Are drug resistant bacteria somehow not an example of natural selection because humans are involved?

                  1. OK, so then what would possibly fall outside of natural selection, even in theory?

                    1. OK, so then what would possibly fall outside of natural selection, even in theory?

                      A meteor strike killing the dinosaurs.

                    2. Meteors are a natural part of the universe, though.

                    3. Meteors are a natural part of the universe, though.

                      Agreed, but it wasn’t really a natural part of biology. Especially not the way biology works on Earth, which is the only sample we have from the entire universe.

                      If a “better” predator had come along and wiped out the dinosaurs, then I’d agree that it was natural selection. The addition of an extraterrestrial event makes it, in my view, artificial.

                      But it’s entirely possible I’m drawing a distinction as arbitrary as Bo’s. My larger point is that the involvement of an intelligent species doesn’t make the selection artificial. If you’d like to broaden the category even further, feel free.

                    4. Not when Auric or Pro L’ are flinging them.

                    5. There are other factors in evolution like what Statutory Ape pointed out. That is an extreme example of genetic drift where the random occurrence wiped out a lot. But it can happen on a smaller scale. If a population is split in half for some reason because the variation of genes within the population is random each half will have a different population of genes to selected upon in isolation from the other group. There are other factors as well such as straight up mutation that occurs naturally and randomly.

                    6. OK, so then what would possibly fall outside of natural selection, even in theory?

                      My relationship to the woodpecker in the tree next to my house is necessarily and fundamentally different than my relationship to my human neighbor. What is ‘natural’ within the context of human interaction is not the same as what’s considered ‘natural’ within the context of human-bird interaction.

                    7. A population which either did not pass on its traits with reliable heredity or whose individuals did not exhibit any variations.

                2. Why the need to be falsifiable?

                3. Why the need to be falsifiable?

                4. Why the need to be falsifiable?

                  1. Something that is not falsifiable is not scientific. The way science works is not by proving one thing true, but by proving its alternatives false. At least, that’s the way I was taught.

                    For instance, God is not a question of science, because to prove His existence you’d have to go outside of time. The only way (I know of) to do that is to die. Good luck coming back to us with your observations.

                  2. Three falses don’t make a true.

              2. If humans are selecting chihuahua A to breed with chihuahua B because they think it will improve/replicate some trait, then that is artificial selection.

                If human A is trying to breed with chihuahua B, then that is natural selection. Very confused and sick and probably illegal – but still natural selection.

          2. Just as beavers apply their own version of fitness to the trees in their vicinity, as do deer rubbing their itchy antlers against them, or how birds and bees apply fitness to plants, and of course the selection works both ways; some trees are not so handy for beavers and deer, and so affect them.

          3. As a P.S., chihuahuas select humans just as much as humans select chihuahuas.

            1. If a chihuahua tried to select me, I would select it to be food for some more worthy creature…

              1. And there we have a three species selection matrix!

              2. Footage, I expect your experiment with Chihuahuas as feed stock would leave with fewer fingers than you might like.

                Just sayin’.

        2. Chihuahuas are cute. Cuteness is a positive attribute that helps them survive. Kind of like being a hot chick. A hot chick isn’t stronger or faster, but can get horny mean to protect her and give her things.

          1. Is “Horny Mean” the same as a Dominatrix?

        3. Because Mexico doesn’t want them?

      2. Those who survive [and reproduce] are fit and those that do not were not.

        /fixed

        1. Out of curiosity – and I really am curious – doesn’t that kind of lend itself to a circular definition, or at least begging the question?

          “If you survived, you were fit to survive, and you were fit to survive because you survived.”

          No word on whether or not dumb luck or some other form of intervention saved you…

          1. Well, the issue is that “survival of the fittest” is best applied to large groups over long time periods. As you say, the survival of any individual can well be dumb luck.

      3. You can distinguish between natural and artificial selection, or you could count humans as just another part of the environment exerting pressure on species. Depends on what point you’re trying to make.

        1. If humans are artificial selection, so are chihuashuas and beavers and every other critter, down to amoebas. Only a man who loves strawmen could think there is any debate or artificial distinction.

          1. There can be a distinction made between natural and artificial selection. If one starts with a pre-determined goal in the selection – ie more milk from cows, smaller, hairless dogs, corn that resists pests – and actively select for the preferred trait, then that would be considered artificial selection. In natural selection the environment that is doing the selecting has not been programmed or designed intentionally.

            A technique called ‘directed evolution’ is being used to develop all sorts of things from molecules to microbes. It is usually not considered natural selection.

        2. “You can distinguish between natural and artificial selection,”

          But to consider human interaction to be artificial, you first must presume that man sits above or beyond nature. At that point, you’ve adopted a religious philosophy.

          1. What good is a term under which everything has to fall under it? It’s like the idea of ‘rational’ where everyone always is acting rational if you just dig deep enough.

            It strikes me that a much better way to think about this is that natural selection is distinguished from artificial selection by consciousness or purposiveness guiding or pushing the selection. That’s key to this discussion, because its about whether we should just throw our hands up and say ‘well, whatever is going to happen is going to happen, whoever is going to survive is going to and whoever is not is not’ or whether we should try to guide that process.

          2. I think it is funny when nature shows talk about how it is good elephants tear down trees, making way for grasslands, then have a commercial asking for donations to fight deforestation.

      4. The problem is that “fit” and “unfit” are entirely contextual terms. Fit or unfit for what? A marathon? A weightlifting competition? Programming a supercomputer?

        Trying to talk about either absent a context is a fool’s errand.

        What I can say is that a society that incentivizes particular social traits will find those social traits predominate. If those social traits are not consistent with the environment that society exists within, that society will fail.

        1. Fit, in evolutionary terms, mean well suited to it’s environment.

          1. I think “fit” in evolutionary terms, is determined by number of offspring produced, or perhaps number of offspring that survive to breeding age.

          2. Yes. And well-suited to its environment only has any meaning in the context of its particular environment.

        2. The problem is that “fit” and “unfit” are entirely contextual terms.

          Exactly. The eugenicists used the term “fit” to refer to WASP people and “unfit” to refer to Southern/Eastern Europeans, Africans, Americans, Asians, etc. They believed a libertarian society would result in the “fit” having fewer children and the “unfit” having lots of children, resulting in a society of all “unfit” children (think Idiocracy). To fix this “problem”, they want governments to pay welfare to encourage WASPs (particularly middle class and well-to-do) to have more children than non-WASPs. Some even went as far as advocating sterilization or execution of the “unfit”.

          Now, the progressive have compassion on those who their intellectual ancestors considered “unfit” and want to pay out welfare, etc., to them.

    2. “Spencer’s own philosophy can safely be described as genocidal libertarianism” because Spencer “literally argued that the impoverished and the unfortunate should be left to die in order to purify the human race.”

      No, it’s not more complicated than that. ThinkProgress is simply wrong. They did not allow for any nuance, so there is no nuance or “complications” in rebutting it.

    3. Calvin Coolidge bought into it, as did three of the famous ‘Four Horsemen’ on the SCOTUS. It’s hard to call them ‘progressives.’

      It’s quite easy to call Coolidge a progressive. He was for years and years, certainly during his pre-presidential political career. Progressivism of the day was both Republican and Democrat. It wasn’t confined to a single party.

      1. If Calvin Coolidge and the Four Horsemen of the SCOTUS were progressives then pretty much everyone was.

  6. Who cares if it’s not accurate? It fits the narrative, and that’s all that really matters.

  7. You know who else tried to whitewash their ugly record on eugenics…

    1. Tony in the next comment?

    2. Nazis?

    3. Khan Noonien Singh?

    4. The Union of Allied Planets? (It’s the pax.)

    5. Bill and Melinda Gates

  8. Or perhaps you should stop trying to discredit 21st century liberals for ideas expressed 100 years ago by Progressives–and in the 21st century by conservatives. I don’t think any single issue animates modern, living, breathing conservatives as much as stopping Mexicans from polluting the gene pool.

    1. Tony, if Progressives are going to try to bolster their current day efforts by bringing up what they see as the great accomplishments of their forerunners 100 years ago then I think it’s worth pointing out those forerunners faults.

      1. As you say above, the attitudes were hardly unique to Progressives. This is really Glenn Beck-level smearing (actually I think he originated or at least popularized the Wilson-Progressive obsession on the Right). As if modern liberals have to answer for the 19th and early 20th-century people, who lived in a time when literally everyone would be considered a vile racist by today’s standards.

        I say we focus on the vile racists who are with us today.

        1. I say we focus on the vile racists who are with us today.

          You mean the guys who want to keep black people in jail and fine and tax them into poverty?

          I think that’s a capital idea, Tonykins.

          1. Don’t even get started on those evil people who say all races should be treated equally. Everyone knows that blacks and others require a helping white hand to get ahead in life. Anyone who denies this is racist.

            1. Hell, you’re racist for even pointing that out.

              1. Are you trying to Whitewash it?

        2. I do think it’s silly to tar today’s Progressives with the ideas of Progressives 100 years ago, especially if one ignores that progressivism went through some major changes in that time and that it was quite broad on certain matters at any given time. Having said that, if you are going to bring up, to bolster today’s Progressives, ‘accomplishments’ of past Progressives it seems to me only fair for people to point out that the story was not so simple and that early day Progressives could turn their love of expert control over society to some ugly areas.

          1. It’s a bit more relevant to progressivism, since their philosophy hinges on the idea of ever improving… I’m not sure what, perhaps “society” or something equally nebulous and void. But the point is that it’s a rather important question whether or not progressive views have in fact aimed conditions toward something better over the decades. If, however, it turns out that alignment between progressive thought and actual improved conditions for anyone has been more random, or, worser, that there is no consistent substance to progressive philosophy (something alleged even by some early critics), there’s a fair chance it would more or less vitiate the acceptability of progressivism.

            1. Well in the theme of the crazy ass Maryland CPS articles on here:

              70 years ago we had 15 year old boys lying about their age to go fight the Germans and Japanese. We even had a 15 year old boy win the Medal of Honor on Iwo Jima.

              Present time: DON’T FUCKING GO OUTSIDE, YOU WILL ALL DIIIIIIIIEEEEEE!

              Progress, fuck yea!

              1. Depends on whether you define progress as “increasing manly foolhardiness” or “fewer people dying.”

                1. Banning cars would result in fewer people dying. Would that be progress?

                  1. No, because Tony likes cars. You see, you only ban the things that you don’t like.

                    You say things like, “Well nobody really needs X, so we must ban it.” or you could say, “we just want to make things safer for the children.”

                    Progressive rules only apply to everyone else, never them.

                    1. I hate cares actually and would be more than happy if we found a way to dispose of them while maintaining easy mobility.

                2. fewer people dying because they are sniveling little cowards is hardly a good thing.

                  Then again since you’re a complete waste of oxygen, I guess you would think it is.

                  1. I’d also say that if large numbers of people hadn’t gone to fight the Germans and Japanese in World War 2, I’m not entirely sure the end result would have been ‘fewer people dying’.

                3. Well, if the kids grow up to be incompetent adults, they aren’t going to be great heart surgeons. Being a heart surgeon probably requires a certain amount of “manly foolhardiness”. Or, you know, willingness to take some risks and some responsibilities.

                  I suspect that kids who have a lot of independence tend to be more likely to be future innovators. Would suck if we turned them all into obedient law-abiding rules-followers.

                  1. “Would suck if we turned them all into obedient law-abiding rules-followers.”

                    You say bug, I say feature. /statist

                4. Everyone dies tony. Not sure what you are getting it

                  1. Valar Morgulous.

                5. It’s also more people living unenriched lives. If the goal is quantity, your approach proves victorious; if it’s quality, well, not so much.

                6. Depends on whether you define progress as “increasing manly foolhardiness” or “fewer people dying.”

                  Herein lies one of the many difficulties with “progressivism.” We’re supposed to ever feed the nanny state, yet to actually serve the country is “manly foolhardiness.”

                  Which is it, Proggy?

                7. The problem is that progressives constantly cast their pet policies as the key to “fewer people dying” (or whatever perceived ill motivates them at the time), while in reality they have no proof that it’ll actually work.

                  As a result, progressive policies become labs for experimenting with the life and death of very real people.

          2. Fine, then Spencer’s anarchism can be held partly responsible for the decades of worker suffering that resulted in the Lochner era, and modern libertarians certainly get to be blamed for the fact that they want to bring such policies back. Libertarians really love the idea that because they want laissez-faire, it should mean they get out of all responsibility for the consequences, as if laissez-faire weren’t a positive policy choice.

            1. for the decades of worker suffering that resulted in the Lochner era,

              You mean improving wages and greater opportunities: a change from lives where the only options were slaving away on family farms for a pittance?

            2. as if laissez-faire weren’t a positive policy choice.

              Are you claiming that the enforcement of regulations on businesses is some kind of inevitable force of nature?

              1. In Tony’s world, refraining from mugging somebody is equivalent to mugging them.

              2. No. I’m saying no economic system for a modern country is a “natural” thing–any system, hands-off or centrally planned, is a positive policy choice with consequences. You don’t get off the hook for the consequences of yours.

                1. No. I’m saying no economic system for a modern country is a “natural” thing–any system, hands-off or centrally planned, is a positive policy choice with consequences.

                  Economic interaction is natural to humans. It is without any possible counter argument at all, an intractable feature of human nature.

                  Subverting freely contracted interaction with third party aggression is an example of positive law (positive implies action) versus opposition to that third party interference which would be a negative policy preference (negative implies inaction). You are categorically wrong, as usual.

                  1. You can’t really commit inaction. It’s like hearing soundlessness. Standing idle while something happens, when you are perfectly capable of preventing or altering that event, is to make a choice; it is to act. Sure, in a state of nature people trade. But in a state of nature people also enforce. And we do not live in a state of nature but a technologically modern civilization, in which any economic regime is going to be a positive police choice among alternatives. This is all in addition to the fact that you’re attaching a quality of virtue to inaction, with no justification.

                    If you want laissez-faire, just say so and defend it on its merits. The constant libertarian need to declare it beyond criticism because of some quality it has only demonstrates its frailty as policy.

                    1. You can’t really commit inaction.

                      That’s not a rebuttal to me, that’s a rebuttal to yourself. You literally just claimed that inaction is action when you said that “any system whether hands off or centrally planned” are positive preferences with consequences.

                      And we do not live in a state of nature but a technologically modern civilization

                      Not because of third parties extorting freely contracting actors.

                      in which any economic regime is going to be a positive police choice among alternatives.

                      A non-regime is by definition not a regime.

                      This is all in addition to the fact that you’re attaching a quality of virtue to inaction, with no justification.

                      I attach value to freedom, which necessarily requires inaction on the part of would-be extortion racketeers.

                      If you want laissez-faire, just say so and defend it on its merits.

                      I do, regularly. And you just deflect and project, regularly. Make a coherent argument against freedom that’s worth bringing up the merits of such action, and I’ll give you the merits. Make an incoherent argument based on misappropriated language and I’ll explain why you’re incoherent.

                      The constant libertarian need to declare it beyond criticism because of some quality it has only demonstrates its frailty as policy.

                      Non-policy is not policy, by definition.

                    2. There is no such thing as non-policy. Again, you’re both attaching an unjustified claim of virtue to “nothingness” and them claiming your very specific and radical way of ordering society is not really any action at all.

                    3. There is no such thing as non-policy.

                      Literally everything that doesn’t qualify as an abstract concept called a “policy”, is not a policy.

                      claiming your very specific and radical way of ordering society is not really any action at all.

                      Non-action is not action, by definition.

                      Words are hard aren’t they,Tony?

                    4. Oh, I finally see why you just don’t plain get it. Ain’t no libertarian “ordering society”.

                      You can’t get past the act that you must ORDER in ORDER to create ORDER.

                    5. There is no such thing as non-policy.

                      Why am I quite confident you have been among those claiming that merely repealing ObamaCare isn’t a policy, and that to be taken seriously the Republicans have to replace one bureaucratic monstrosity with another?

                      Because if its not calling for an expansion of the state, its not policy?

                    6. Free Society,
                      I love you.
                      /no homo

                    7. Holy fuck. Don’t ever change, ‘Tony’.

          3. I do think it’s silly to tar today’s Progressives with the ideas of Progressives 100 years ago,…

            Not really. Both operate under the same fundamental conceits, the perfectibility of man and the ability of the progressive to define perfection. Both ideologies treat the individual as the raw clay to mold “a better humanity” or “a better society”.

            If the means have evolved from the eugenics to social pressure or conformity, the fundamental vision hasn’t.

            1. I think there’s a consistency to their main conceit, which is ‘rule by experts,’ but the goals and biases of experts change a lot over time. So if you want to say ‘here’s what happened 100 years ago when you proposed we do what experts said’ in order to demonstrate the pitfalls of giving expert consensus coercive means, sure. But if you’re trying to tarnish today’s experts and their supporters based on some specific bias held by past ones, say trying to say that because old progressives were racist modern ones must be too, that’s silly.

              1. I think there’s a consistency to their main conceit, which is ‘rule by experts,’ but the goals and biases of experts change a lot over time.

                But, you’re assuming their main premise at the outset – the right of some people – whatever the biases of any given set of experts – to rule. And that is simply a corollary of the two premises I outline above – the perfectibility of man and the ability of the progressive to define perfection. If the drive to rule others weren’t a fundamental tenet of progressivism, it wouldn’t be progressivism.

              2. I think there’s a consistency to their main conceit, which is ‘rule by experts,’

                Which is also a feature of Fascism/Corporatism.

                From “The Top 10 Facts about Oswald Mosley”:

                2. Oswald Mosley said we should have a Parliament of experts elected by experts to solve our political problems.

                Under the present system we have a geographical franchise whereby we elect MPs based on where we live. Under this system people are supposed to be experts in everything to make the right choice in a General Election which clearly isn’t the case. But there is one thing we are all experts in: the job we do for a living. So Mosley advocated an occupational or vocational franchise where healthcare workers vote for a choice of healthcare candidates, people in retailing for retail candidates, teachers for educational candidates, transport workers for transport candidates etc Thus we would create a government of experts elected by experts ? which would be far better qualified to successfully carry out the will of the people.

            2. That’s sort of true. Progressivism is about improving the well-being of humans through rational processes of social change. The definition of human well-being isn’t necessarily obvious, but it’s not as difficult as you might think either.

              There is fruitful debate to be had over the merits of the achievements of progressives (modern civilization includes both things like the eradication of diseases and increasingly powerful weapons).

              1. “That’s sort of true. Progressivism is about improving the well-being of humans through rational processes of social change.”

                Not by what I’ve read about progressivism in history. Just look at the crap they believe today. Are you gonna try and tell me they’re being rational when it comes to GMO, fossil fuels and gun control?

                And you want to be my latex salesman? I don’t think so.

              2. Progressivism is about improving the well-being of humans through rational processes of social change.

                And you presume you can know the well being of every single human? What an egotistical asshole you really are, Choaney.

                Or wait, is it you think yourself competent to do the calculus of one life for another. One person’s pain for another’s advantage.

                It is precisely that sort of thinking that leveled the worst horrors of the 20th century on mankind.

              3. That’s sort of true. Progressivism is about improving the well-being of humans through rational processes of social change.

                Rational processes of social change? Since when do the whims of elected politicians and unelected bureaucrats count as a “rational process of social change”?

                There is fruitful debate to be had over the merits of the achievements of progressives

                Yes if only Ugg the Caveman had a progressive soothsayer in his tribe to tell him that all he had to do to eradicate a disease was to make a dictates and steal some shit from the rest of the tribe. That’s not what you’re suggesting is it? Certainly you give some credit to the explosion of wealth created outside of government economic controls that allowed non-subsistence professions to even exist. (Just kidding, of course you don’t)

              4. ” . . . improving the well-being of humans through rational processes of social change . . . ”

                But you can’t get to your social change without government force and coercion – can you?

                And even then, you get change – but not necessarily ” rational change”. I would hardly call social security taxes “rational”, as there is overwhelming evidence that simply investing in the market over 40 years would yield better investment returns.

                And certainly, absolutely not an improvement. 50 years of Great Society bears that out.

                But keep on keeping on. I enjoy watching you squirm. I believe we all do, but I, unlike you, recognize that I speak for no one but myself. And I, unlike you, recognize that I don’t WANT to speak for a collective “we”.

                1. You can’t get to your social change without government force either, or do you just expect 300 million people to accept a laissez-faire economy with no safety net willingly?

                  1. …or do you just expect 300 million people to accept a laissez-faire economy with no safety net willingly?

                    I don;’t htink any libertarians object to people voluntarily forming mutual aid societies. Or insurance societies.

                  2. I don’t need government force to convince them, son. Don’t worry – I got this one covered.

                    I am from Wyoming. I know how to shoot a gun. I have been shooting varmants and vermin for a long, long, long time.

                    So, don’t worry about me, cowboy.

                  3. Why not? You still expect 300 million to accept ObamaCare?

                  4. Tony

                    Mao and Stalin used the state to nudge social change.

              5. Progressivism is about improving the well-being of humans through rational processes of social change.

                No, progressivism is about forcing everyone else to go along with the “change” progressives think is good. And anyone who resists or disagrees is an evil troglodyte who must be crushed by the iron boot of the state.

              6. There is no merit. That is what you fail to comprehend.

              7. There is no merit. That is what you fail to comprehend.

              8. Progressivism is about improving the well-being of humans through rational processes of social change.

                That sounds like? Social Intelligent Design.

              9. You can’t take credit for scientific and technological development because these are products of the free market–not progressivism.

          4. In progressive mythology, all racists in the country became republicans shortly after the civil rights movement. Therefore, by not becoming republicans themselves, they have reverse disinherited the racism of their predecessors.

            Just drink a 12 pack, and it all makes sense.

        3. Since your side picked this fight, expect the shit storm of rebuttals headed your way.

          Too late for you to back out now. In the words of Pottery Barn – you broke it. You own it.

        4. This is really Glenn Beck-level smearing (actually I think he originated or at least popularized the Wilson-Progressive obsession on the Right)

          Right, Glenn Beck got into a time machine and single-handedly whipped up opposition to Wilson while he was still in office, who up to the point of Glenn Beck’s arrival had enjoyed the unanimous approval of all of society.

          1. Pretty sure he means that Beck started this idea that someone refutes modern day progressives by yelling about Wilson.

            1. Well he didn’t, as evidenced by the fact that people have been yelling about Wilson since Wilson was alive and swinging his dick around.

              1. +1 normalcy

        5. It’s not Glenn Beck’s fault. It’s those funky Mormon garments he’s mandated to wear in order to get into Mormon Heaven.

          Geez – give the guy a break! Where’s your compassion?

      2. Because I sure as hell see a lot of fingers-in-the-ears when it comes to the people libertarians want to claim as their forerunners and who owned slaves.

        1. Saying that owning slaves negates a person’s ideas on liberty is a textbook ad hominem.

          1. So, wouldn’t saying that today’s Progressive ideas are in some way negated or diminished by bringing up Woodrow Wilson or Herbert Croly’s sins be the same?

            1. I’m not making that argument.

            2. Yes, it would. But libertarians don’t ignore slavery, and their ideas stand apart from the people who developed them. Is the same true of progressives?

              1. Which living progressive advocates eugenics? There are people advocating eugenics (in all but name), but they aren’t of the left.

                1. There are people advocating eugenics (in all but name), but they aren’t of the left.

                  Such as? If I recall correctly, you are in favor of mandatory birth control, which puts you a lot closer to that line than anyone else I’ve seen.

                  1. Mandatory birth control?

                    1. Alas, I can’t find your comment anymore. But you have definitely said you are in favor of mandatory birth control on this site before.

                    2. SOCIAL CONTRACT!

                      There. I said it so you won’t have to.

                2. Who is calling for Mexicans to be killed or for their offspring to be killed.

                  I was unaware that Planned Parenthood was a right-wing organization.

                  1. “Who is calling for Mexicans to be killed or for their offspring to be killed.”

                    Just rounded up and put in camps instead.

                    1. Well, I’m sure some would not care if that happened but you’re doing quite a bit of grandstanding if you think that is an official policy of anyone. (Obama is doing this exact thing right now, ironically).

                      I’m not a fan of open borders but I have different reasons for my opinions.

                    2. Just rounded up and put in camps instead.

                      I know, right? Just like the Jews in Nazi Germany. Laptops and computer access for all.

                    3. Bo really out-Bo’d himself with that one.

                    4. Sorry, there is one group that wants thousands of people rounded up and put and camps today, and that’s the anti-immigration people. It’s exactly how that sentiment works itself out.

                    5. People that are or aren’t US citizens? People that are here legally or illegally?

                    6. Sorry, there is one group that wants thousands of people rounded up and put and camps today, and that’s the anti-immigration people. It’s exactly how that sentiment works itself out.

                      The Wrong to end all wrongs.

                    7. Obama is anti-immigration? Who knew?

                3. If you are a believer in the teachings of the AGW cult, while you might or might not know it, your end goal is inderect eugenics. You must be totally dense not to see that the logical progression of the argument that if it is man that is causing the problem, then you need to not just control his every action, but get rid of some of them do it.

                  1. Oh come on, there’s some room between ‘there should be some population control’ and ‘and that should happen via getting rid of living persons!’

                    1. Based on other such arguments by the left and the claim that there is some room between what they want and where things eventually do end, I say that it is a safe bet to assume that “room” will evapporate in a flash once they see they can implement their final solutions.

                    2. Maybe I’m overly charitable, but I’m going to give them the benefit of the doubt that they’ll stop short of genocide…

                    3. Mao, Pol Pot, and Stalin appreciate your charity.

                    4. Tony has admitted as much that he has no compunction of committing that particular atrocity.

                  2. I was just thinking along the lines of what Alex presented. Let’s expand.

                    Is state assisted suicide is a variant of eugenics?

                    Is arguing for depopulation for the sake of the environment a branch of eugenics?

                    Abortion?

                    What about lives lost because of idiotic global warming fears?

                    It’s all social engineering of some kind seems to me. Progs argue in such a way that when you follow their ideas to its logical end it usually ends up in: Death.

                4. You misunderstand my point. How many progressives argue on the merit of their ideas rather than the people who advocate them? That’s an honest question.

                5. Ruth Bader Ginsburg

                6. Doesn’t abortion disproportionately affect minorities in the US? Can that count as support for eugenics?

        2. As if modern liberals [or Libertarians] have to answer for the 19th and early 20th-century people, who lived in a time when literally everyone would be considered a vile racist by today’s standards.

        3. Do libertarians put their fingers in their ears? Or do they fully acknowledge the hypocrisy in people like Jefferson for espousing liberty-loving ideals while driving slaves in their fields?

          1. There’s some finger plugging from what I’ve seen…

            1. Are we seriously going to sit here and bicker about Jefferson owning slaves. More than likely if any of us here were wealthy back then we would have owned slaves as well.

              The U.S. is hardly unique in allowing slavery. Black people are hardly unique in having been slaves. Nothing about U.S. history is unique in regards to any of these matters.

              1. See?

                1. Are you replying to me?

                  1. I’m pointing to your reply as an example of the finger plugging I cited.

                2. If you are, I am hardly “finger plugging” about Jefferson. I don’t know the man and he isn’t anything to me, so I don’t give a damn one way or the other.

                  Just like every other man in history, he has good and bad things about him.

                  So what? This is a stale discussion.

                  1. Would you say the same of Stalin? I think anyone who could say nothing more about Stalin than that ‘Just like every other man in history, he has good and bad things about him.’

                    I’d say he was a murderous monster.

                    And about Jefferson I’d say he engaged willingly in one of the worst evils known to man.

                    1. Holy loaded questions Batman!

                    2. Yes, I would say that every single person in history has good and bad in them.

                      You can take those good and bad qualities, weigh them, and then make your judgement.

                      What is hard about this, that you can’t understand it?

                    3. Hitler was a great speaker (good quality) that used his speaking gifts for bad purposes (bad quality).

                      Really simple

                    4. I’m not going to fall into your signalling game. I don’t need to sit here and say all of these bad things about Stalin or Jefferson so that I earn some sort of street cred with you.

                      The discussion is on the progs revising their own history and using that revised history to attack their opponents. Then you come in and start accusing everyone of the same thing because they don’t send enough signals to please you.

                    5. “I’m not going to fall into your signalling game.”

                      He says, after three posts doing that…

                      Again, I think a person can say much more about historical figures who engaged in behavior that’s awful than ‘well, everyone is good and bad!’ That’s an awful relativism to fall into.

                    6. The discussion is not on Jefferson you fucking idiot. You’ve had your clever little rebuttal, now can we get back to the discussion on the actual topic.

                    7. Where did I signal in any of my posts. You want me to use words like:

                      Monster, slaver, murderer, evil, etc.

                      I refused and you thought you had me in some little trap.

                    8. Seeing being invited to call a mass murderer and a lifelong slave owner as bad people is a trap to you. Sheesh.

                      And if you haven’t noticed, Jefferson and how he is judged by libertarians is kind of the subject of this subthread.

                    9. For all Jefferson’s faults, he made some very positive contributions to history and to the cause of liberty.

                      I can’t point to a single thing that was positive about Stalin – except maybe for highlighting the dangers of an all powerful state.

                    10. I agree Jefferson did many positive things. People think I hate Jefferson, but in one sense he’s a hero of mine for laying the very foundation for a meaningful separation of church and state in this country. He also promoted higher education and free speech at critical times in our history.

                      But he was also an incredible moral monster. He engaged in and supported the worst moral atrocity in US history. I’m sorry, but in the end I can’t say ‘here’s a guy who did some good and some bad.’ He was a bad person ultimately, who failed the very sentiments that he himself helped popularize. Given that there are so many of his contemporaries who also did admirable things without having that moral failing I won’t hold him up as great.

                    11. That’s your prerogative and I won’t argue against it. He did participate in an immoral activity.

                      However, if not for Jefferson and other slave-holding Founders, including Washington and Madison, the United States (with all its imperfections) as it exists today would not exist. I won’t say that it is ok that these individuals owned slaves, because it is not, but I believe their accomplishments and contributions outweigh their immoral participation in chattel slavery, if only just.

                    12. I actually like Washington’s example.

                      Washington owned slaves. He even had them chased down when they tried to escape. But he seemed to recognize that what was acceptable to a large number of contemporaries and in his background was opposed by another large number of his contemporaries and seemed incongruent with the words and principles he fought for. He was in a financial bind and also had his wife and family to worry about, so he worked to have his slaves manumitted in a way that still protected his family. Could he have done better? Probably. But no one should be asking for perfection. He moved consistently towards the good, and given his times and society, that speaks well of him.

                      Jefferson frankly failed there. I still value his contributions, but I can’t see him as anything other than ultimately a bad person, and certainly not someone we should hold up as a spokesperson for liberty.

                    13. As I said, your prerogative, I just think it is throwing the baby out with the bath water.

                      How about Madison? He’s probably worse than Jefferson, right?

                      You can probably argue that all the Framers were culpable as well since those that opposed slavery didn’t fight all that hard to abolish it and went along with a compromise that allowed slavery to endure.

                    14. Madison is pretty bad too.

                      I would have hoped that my views on Washington would have demonstrated that I’m not demanding supererogatory acts here, just that at some point someone has done something awful enough to warrant not holding them up.

                      I think it was awful of FDR to refuse Jews fleeing Hitler entry into the US, but that doesn’t put him in Hitler’s class, as an example.

                    15. You seem to prefer to downplay their accomplishments owing to their immorality when it comes to slavery. That is of course your prerogative.

                      Some would argue that it was these accomplishments, in the late 18th century when almost no one lived free and when authoritarian, aristocratic government was the norm, that eventually helped allow more people to be more free and more prosperous than at any time in history. For all their faults the legacy they left behind was probably better for the world than if they had left no legacy at all.

                    16. But he was also an incredible moral monster. He engaged in and supported the worst moral atrocity in US history.

                      Slavery was a facet of world history.

                      Given that there are so many of his contemporaries who also did admirable things without having that moral failing I won’t hold him up as great.

                      Almost all of the founding fathers owned slaves. Because it was the economic norm at the time. To participate in agriculture, you were hard pressed to compete against slave labor without any of your own. They laid the ground floor for a system of governance that would allow enough wealth to be created that slavery as an institution for producing wealth, would be obsolete.

                      I suppose you also think the only reason child labor was abolished is because of some law that got passed.

              2. cfskyrim, which is why, as I’ve stated here in the past, Americans are insufferable when it comes to slavery. Literally, it’s the most narcissistic feature of modern American political and social discourse. You can’t go two paragraphs without the left invoking fucking slavery into everything.

                In the context of history, American slavery is a piss in the bucket and for it to continuously harp on it entices me to say, ‘get over it.’

                It’s at the point blacks who have ZERO connection to the negative impact slavery may have had demanding fucking reparations. Wouldn’t surprise me if even wealthy blacks with power and high degrees of success would line up to get their ‘rep money’. Like, say, Spike Lee. Because slavery.

                1. The Left’s constant harping on slavery is nothing more than a naked and cynical attempt to use it to gain more power for itself. It has nothing to do with righting wrongs, etc.

                2. Rufus, yes American slavery is not somehow unique or particularly terrible in world history. But leftists judge it based on our own standards, not others. You had a nation which was ostensibly based, in its exceptionalism, on equality and yet our White House was build by slaves. That’s such a glaring contradiction that it explains the attention it gets imo. It’s like the the heat the Catholic Church gets for the molestation scandals. That kind of thing is actually worse in other institutions, but the Catholic Church holds itself out to a pretty high standard. When it falls short is it that unfair to focus on it?

                  1. Suddenly Bo cares about freedom of association.

                  2. Focus is fine.

                    It’s a national obsession and inserting it anywhere and everywhere weakens meaningful discourse on the subject the problem.

          2. I have never encountered a libertarian who didn’t think it was a terrible thing.

            Of course, Jefferson holding slaves is irrelevant to the question of whether or not freedom is a good thing.

            One could argue that Jefferson was a terrible monster in light of his awareness of how immoral his actions were.

            One could promulgate the apologetics that Jefferson’s hands were tied by his debts (the slaves were collateral to a bunch of mortgages and thus the banks had liens on them), and that he couldn’t under the laws of the time, legally emancipate them.

            And of course there is his relationship with Sally Hemmings, which is portrayed as either forcible rape by his enemies or a forbidden love by his apologists.

            But none of these things is relevant to the ideal that men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator by certain inalienable rights.

            The focus on Jefferson is part of a vicious smear campaign to imply as Tony does explicitly that under a libertarian political order, there will be a return to slavery and bondage.

            It’s bullshit. They know it’s bullshit. We know it’s bullshit. They know we know it’s bullshit. They don’t care.

            Because we aren’t the audience. Much of prog thought and editorializing is an attempt to keep their followers from deserting. It’s not intended to win new converts.

            1. We could help dodge that smear campaign by not holding Jefferson up as a champion of liberty.

              He had some great things to say about liberty. But he lived his life contrary to them on a fundamental level. There were lots of other Founders who said great things about liberty and lived lives more congruent with those words. Let’s hold them up instead.

              1. Yes, I could point at George Mason for one.

                1. Or George Wythe, who taught Jefferson. Jefferson had many acquantinces and iirc a close neighbor that manumitted their slaves. Jefferson can’t say he didn’t know better.

              2. Never debase yourself or those whose opinion you hold dear(i know you don’t like Jefferson, but what he helped create has a lot of merit) because it would put a better light on your beliefs. Your beliefs are truth, use the truth. Or just be a progtard and lie about everything and see how long that lasts.

            2. But none of these things is relevant to the ideal that men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator by certain inalienable rights.

              They are quite relevant in that they directly contradict the sentiment.

              Stark proof that it all depends on what you mean by “rights” and what you mean by “men.”

              1. Stark proof that it all depends on what you mean by “rights” and what you mean by “men.”

                So what?

                Every ethical system depends on human judgement.

                1. I’m glad we agree that merely espousing a natural rights philosophy doesn’t mean ipso facto that you are right about everything.

              2. They are quite relevant in that they directly contradict the sentiment.

                It does nothing of the sort. The ideas stand independent of the people who came up with them.

                Stark proof that it all depends on what you mean by “rights” and what you mean by “men.”

                Which is why libertarians go to great lengths to define “men” as all human beings, and have a very consistent definition of rights.

                1. “The ideas stand independent of the people who came up with them.”

                  Isn’t that true only in a very narrow, technical sense? Yes, you can’t refute a deductive argument by pointing out a failing of the person making it. But we don’t live in a world of pure deduction. If a person says X but then continually lives contrary to X, it discredits them both to some degree in most people’s eyes. That’s pretty normal.

                  If Barack Obama started to talk with a lot of libertarian rhetoric while engaging in exactly the same policies he does now and has engaged in, I think most libertarians would find it necessary to say to the world something about how that man shouldn’t be associated with the words and ideas he’s putting forward.

                  1. Except that’s not what happened.

          3. As an independent nation, the United States had slavery for less than a hundred years.

            The US endlessly whips itself to atone for a crime that they inherited from peoples whose perstistence at that same crime lasted millenia.

        4. One should bear in mind that slave-ownership really was one of the greatest expressions of beneficence possible for a landowner toward the less fortunate.

            1. Let me mansplaing.

              Limpee’s comment is the sad product when faux-anarcho-primitivists attempt to engage in sarcasm.

            2. I think he’s making a “benevolent hand of the government” dig at modern progs, who think noble brown people are nevertheless savages who only have phones and homeownership and wear pants because of white liberals.

        5. Where is my sandwich?

        6. And yet, you conveniently forget all of the libertarian abolitionists – don’t you?

        7. As opposed to your progressive idea – that the state makes us 60% slave? 70% slave? When my labors aren’t mine anymore – what else can you call it but slavery?

          Gee – Tony. Thanks for leaving me half an arm and a leg. Big brother is so kind . . .

    2. Interesting comment, given that we are, after all, talking about a piece that argues against libertarianism based on things that someone supposedly said in the 1850s.

      1. Particularly since Progressivism is not sinless. Case in Point – Eric Hobsbawm.

        But what’s 35 million murdered by the State – it was for a noble cause!

    3. I don’t think any single issue animates modern, living, breathing conservatives as much as stopping Mexicans from polluting the gene pool.

      Link??

      1. I admit it is difficult to tell which minority they truly despise the most.

        1. I admit it is difficult to tell which minority they truly despise the most.

          But do you have a link or source to back up your above claim?

          1. Of course not, ‘Tony’ just makes shit up.

        2. Or maybe they don’t despise any minorities and you’re making shit up. Again.

      2. Who cares? Nothing Tony said has anything to do with this column. He’s throwing out a red herring.

      3. What Tony means is that conservatives dislike illegal immigration. Therefore, even though conservatives never show any real personal animus to Mexicans who immigrate here legally and two Republicans running for president are Cuban, Tony feels justified in declaring all his political opponents to be unregenerate racists.

        Because Tony is retarded.

        1. Oh no anti-immigrant people aren’t thinking about race at all. That’s why they want to build a dang fence on the Canadian border.

          1. Like I said – you’re retarded.

            They want to build a fence on the border people are actually illegally coming across. They also don’t worry much about stopping illegal immigration from Africa because there isn’t that much of that.

            You have a difficult time with ‘facts’ and ‘logic’ don’t you Tonester? After all, the fact that they want to build a fence on the border people are actually illegally crossing is evidence of my point that they’re worried about illegal immigration, but you are dumb and have a difficult time realizing you provided evidence for my argument.

            1. You don’t think there is a significant racist or xenophobic element to the groups that currently oppose immigration?

              1. I think there are probably some racists in the same way there are some anti-semites who hate Israel.

                I don’t think it’s the guiding factor since those same people have no problem at all voting for Mia Love (daughter of Haitian immigrants), Marco Rubio (Cuban), or Ted Cruz (Cuban).

                So by this logic, apparently these same voters are totally cool with black Haitians and Cuban Hispanics but inexplicably hate Mexicans. Or maybe there’s some other factor at play here…

            2. So enlighten me further; what exactly is the complaint? That laws are being broken; they have a great respect for law and order? Because the ones they talk about the most are all completely false. Illegal immigrants only help the economy (and government coffers). Do they simply need to be corrected on their facts, and then they’ll start welcoming Latin American immigrants with open arms? Or perhaps they really are respectful of law to a fault (on this issue at least).

              1. “Illegal immigrants only help the economy (and government coffers).”

                Citation needed. Many people are helped, but there is significant evidence immigrants put downward pressure on wages. The evidence is very mixed and your assertion to the contrary doesn’t change that.

                Besides, let’s say they’re wrong about the facts. Being wrong about the facts, last I checked, doesn’t make you a racist. There are plenty of Democratic run cities where black people live in abject poverty, so do you think the fact that Democrats have screwed up those cities is evidence that they hate black people or evidence that they’re just wrong about their economic policies? Or are only Republicans racist when they’re wrong about the facts?

                “That laws are being broken; they have a great respect for law and order?”

                They like national sovereignty and believe rules of immigration should be followed.

                1. They’re racist because they’re obviously racist. We don’t have immigration reform, not because nobody has come up with any ideas, but because people who vote in Republican primaries are scared their little granddaughters might marry someone named Pablo. They are so frightened by the prospect, in fact, that they will allow no reform that isn’t the mass relocation of immigrants back to Latin America. You are either pretending not to see this or are lying.

                  1. I suggest you do your homework and get off your moral high horse, cowboy. It wasn’t Republicans who issued an EO and sent American children of Japanese descent to Japan in exchange for white American POWs.

                    That was ol’ what’s his name – President Lame Ass Son of a Bitch

                  2. “Tony|4.14.15 @ 1:14PM|#

                    They’re racist because they’re obviously racist…..blah blah blah.

                    Shorter Tony: They are racists because I say so and it is important for me to get what I want.

                  3. They’re racist because they’re obviously racist.

                    Shorter Tony: “Because I said so!!!11!!!”

                  4. How many white conservative men are members of La Raza?

          2. A fence on the Canadian border? Is that for true?

            Man. What am I gonna do to get my Bourbon mustard?

    4. That you think that is entirely unsurprising.

    5. ABSOLVE US!

    6. Tony, progressives are just awful. Of course you don’t have to answer for what your forerunners did decades ago. You should focus on all the blood your kind has on it’s hands today.

      1. Like the green policies that have led to deaths in Germany and England?

        Boy. By the time they acknowledge that!

    7. Polluting the gene pool? Tony. It’s,” Dey took ur jobz!” not, “Day took ur womynz!”

  9. The problem with that monograph, as I noted at the time, was that it failed to mention the Progressive movement’s widespread support for racist Jim Crow laws, sexist labor laws, and eugenics laws.

    Oh, piffle. They meant well.

    And that is all that matters.

    1. They were just following their Darwin. And Darwin it was – straight from the source.

      What is most telling is that they now call people who disagree with Darwin “anti-science” meanwhile they have abandoned everything they ever took from Darwin.

      1. They were just following their Darwin. And Darwin it was – straight from the source.

        If someone gets defenestrated, is it Newton’s fault?

        1. Your question is woefully inapt.

          Had Darwin, like Newton, limited himself to describing and mathematically modeling observable facts, you might have a point.

          But Darwin did not do that, neither in Origin nor in Descent, where he compounded his problems by going well and truly off the deep.

          And it was from that cannon that the Darwinians took their sociologic and political cues. So those very much were Darwin’s (and his believers’) fault.

  10. Years ago in an anthropology class at UC Berkeley the lefty prof spent some time eviscertating ole’ Herbert for his supposed eugenics support. I asked if she was going to talk about Margaret Sanger’s eugenics advocacy. She said it was a very minor part of what Sanger stood for and moved on.

    1. I just read Peter Bagge’s graphic novel on Sanger and he said the same thing. According to him Sanger was primarily focused on cutting the tie between having sex and getting pregnant (her mother had an insane amount of children and she watched her suffer through that). She was willing to talk with or work with anyone who might be receptive to that, and that did include some unsavory groups at times.

      1. Sanger in her words:
        “More children from the fit, less from the unfit — that is the chief aim of birth control.” Birth Control Review, May 1919, p. 12

        “The most merciful thing that a large family does to one of its infant members is to kill it.” Margaret Sanger, Women and the New Race (Eugenics Publ. Co., 1920, 1923)

        There are many more quotes like this in her work. Do you have anything comparable in Spencer’s ?

        1. As you can see from Root’s article above one sentence lifted from a writing can look pretty bad outside of context, but within that context might not be.

          1. “It is a vicious cycle; ignorance breeds poverty and poverty breeds ignorance. There is only one cure for both, and that is to stop breeding these things. Stop bringing to birth children whose inheritance cannot be one of health or intelligence. Stop bringing into the world children whose parents cannot provide for them. Herein lies the key of civilization. For upon the foundation of an enlightened and voluntary motherhood shall a future civilization emerge.”

            1. “Stop bringing into the world children whose parents cannot provide for them.”

              I’m not sure this is even eugenics. Seems like common sense to me.

              1. It’s eugenics when it’s done by force.

              2. Common sense? Isn’t this why it takes a village?

                One of the major problems with the progressives is that their own inherent contradictions go unexamined.

              3. I like how you accuse people of defending Jefferson above for his slave ownership and than whitewash Sanger’s opinions on race and eugenics. One might consider that a sign of a hypocrite.

                1. Idle, maybe you can appreciate the differences between saying that out of context quotes are one thing (again, see the main article above for an illustration) and a long life lived doing something (Jefferson owning slaves) might be another.

                  1. Maybe you can grow a brain and see the shit for what it really is.

                    Admit it, you were wrong.

                    1. Sorry, I like to read quotes in their context before assuming things. For the third time, as Root so ably demonstrates above.

            2. “In our own country, a program for the prevention of such unnecessary tragedies is long overdue. It can be achieved not only by the action of the individual and the institution, but by the active support of the government. Sterilization is a health measure, a preventive health measure which can avert many of the tragedies of our families. Few people would deliberately encourage the reproduction of such unfortunates as now fill our hospitals and institutions. Yet it is as bad to permit their reproduction by our indifference or neglect of positive preventive measures.”

              1. This one certainly seems to come close to, if not pass, my personal line.

                1. Maybe she meant a gentle suggestion kind of government program where they softly and meekly state all the ways your life would improve if you were sterilized.

                  1. ‘Active support of the government’ could mean something like subsidization was what I was thinking.

                    1. Then you’re a fool.

                    2. Really, it’s impossible that ‘active support of the government’ can mean something like ‘subsidization’ rather than ‘through forcible sterilization?’

                      So if I say ‘vaccinations are important, and I’d like to see more people get vaccinate by active support of the government’ the only non-foolish way to interpret that is ‘I want the government to round people up and make them get vaccinated?’

                    3. Because in the context of the person we are discussing, you will know that she probably didn’t mean a nice little subsidization program.

                    4. Also when your subsidies fail, what do you think the progs will go to next?

                      I’m willing to lay down a bet on force (my opinion).

            3. That sentiment is expressed by both the liberal-leaning and conservative-leaning posters here.

        2. What an evil person.

          Ergo, hero to the left.

  11. Context is for suckers.

  12. Most “progressives” seem to get their ideas about what libertarian thought is from the back of a cereal box.

    1. Like a box of Admiral Crunch? Maybe Archduke Chocula.

    2. They get it from an eight second Matt Damon gush by Anderson Cooper and whatever Bill Maher wants libertarianism to be that broadcast.

  13. Excellent rebuttal by Damon Root. But what I find most offensive about the ThinkProgress hit piece is that it is quite clear that if given a choice between mass incarceration, police brutality, and the drug war on one hand and the welfare state on the other, progressives would choose to preserve the welfare state rather than eliminate the former.

    That the writer of that piece seems to genuinely think Rand Paul has genocidal ambitions for black and poor people just proves that the left is run by some truly insane people.

    1. Or just cynical and dishonest.

      1. I thinkg it is all of the above.

    2. Assume all expressions of benevolence are a lie.

      Absent that illusion progressivism is pure will to power.

  14. Ever noticed how often progessives write articles whose major theme is “Those other people are EVIL!” ?
    Like instead of writing articles about why such and such policy is stupid or wrong.
    I don’t remember libertarians writing so many “the other side is just EVIL!!!” type articles. Not in the volume that progressives do or without any apparent motivation, like responding to a progressive attack on libertarianism.

    They just seem ot be so much more motivated by thinking that they are opposing some sort of fundamental evil.

    1. It’s all about intentions. Progressives have good intentions, so all their policies are good. Anyone who disagrees must have bad intentions, which makes all their policies bad.

      1. Actually some of that was certainly motivated by bad intentions (labor laws designed to keep blacks out of the workplace and such).

        1. No. Those were good intentions. They were helping white workers. Helping whites is good.

          1. Which is historically accurate, but also an overt expression of the racism (based upon Darwinian ‘science’ no less) at the heart of progressivism from it’s very inception.

            Can we also mention how Progressivism and Fascism also sprung from the same well of racialist thought?

            1. Where do you place someone like William Jennings Bryan? Pretty notable Progressive, but just as notable for opposing Darwin and eugenics.

      2. How can one have good intentions when they aren’t based on any sort of consistent ethical philosophy?

        1. Good intentions is their ethical philosophy. Well, that and Might Makes Right. Combine the two and you pave the road to hell.

          1. I think the one essential facet of progressivism, and this has been consistent in its history, is this: experts know best, and government should act to implement what experts say. Committees of experts should run society. Whatever biases the experts of the day have are, of course, going to be implemented as well.

            1. But experts don’t have biases. That’s what makes them experts.
              Experts know the scientific truth, and of course are 100% rational and unbiased.

              1. Yes, that’s the conceit they buy. It’s pretty incredible.

                1. Experts are the modern clergy.

                  1. Which also helps explain the current process of identifying and driving out all opposition to gheymerge – all part of the new Inquisition.

                  2. Especially when you get to define who is an expert, and thus credible, and who isn’t….

              2. problem is, science doesn’t concern itself with ethics. Only understanding how the world works. So people who bow down to the experts tend to be consequentialists, and do not concern themselves with the ethics of means.

                Take the compulsory vaccination debate as an example. Would the world be better if everyone were vaccinated? Yes. But they take that to mean that the government is obligated to force people to get vaccinated against their will, and ignore the individual rights to self ownership. They don’t care that they are violating people’s civil rights by forcing them to vaccinate. The means justify the ends. Even though the means are the action and so the means are the only thing that can really be judged as moral or immoral.

            2. Yeah, well, the proof is in the pudding when it comes to such progressive enterprises as science. Progressivism, broadly speaking, is the philosophical attitude that delivered modern civilization to us. You’d think it’d get more respect.

              1. You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

                1. I know for a fact you don’t know what it means.

                  1. I know for a fact you don’t know what it means.

                    I know for a fact that you would have unequivocally endorsed eugenics, even to the logical conclusion that that Austrian dude took it to. Why? Because it was the scientific consensus of the day.

              2. progressive enterprises as science

                HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA!

                HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA!

                HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA!

                HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA!

              3. Wow, that was major derp, Tony.

                Progressives don’t own science. And the best scientists recognize they don’t have all the answers.

                Progressives are just the know-it-all idiots who think they do. They are second or third-rate minds who grasp onto the work of others and use it to flatter themsleves that they are superior and capable of dictating to others how they ought to live.

                1. Mark Ruffalo MAD!

              4. Really, so are humans still subject to the process of natural selection?

                If not, why not? And how did we ‘free’ ourselves from that circumstance? Was the process evolutionary?

                How can evolution cause a species to become free of evolution?

                1. How can evolution cause a species to become free of evolution?

                  The advent of the Aryan Superman, of course. It’s their version of messianism, it just expresses itself in a different way in the modern progressive as their fucked up version of Kipling’s White Men’s Burden that is so often pointed out here.

                2. Really, so are humans still subject to the process of natural selection?

                  Um…yes.

                  1. Um?

                    Um… LOL.

                    But thanks for playing. If only to fully demonstrate that nothing defines a modern Darwinist quite like his abject ignorance of what Darwin actually wrote and said.

                    Because, how can natural selection be said to operate on a species that does not -always and everywhere – reproduce itself to the limits of it’s environment?

                    And do not take my word for it, that is exactly what Darwin himself noted (and noted far too many times in his own writings to even bother citing) – that humans are the obvious exception to the process of natural selection, what with our hospitals, charities, and other institutions developed for the express purpose of expending valuable resources in the care and upkeep of those less than ideally fit for survival.

                    Where the Hell do you think the whole notion of social Darwinism came from if not from those very observations? Observations made by Darwin himself.

                    But don’t feel too bad. Just understand that, while you think you have been educated, what you actually have been is indoctrinated.

              5. Tony, the problem is that experts are prone to biases and mistakes as anyone else. Read some of Stephen J. Gould’s work on how much scientific experts exported their biases into their work.

                This doesn’t mean science is bad, but it should give us pause before making scientific consensuses be enforced by government coercion.

                1. We should pause longer before we take the truism that scientists are human and flawed and turn that into an excuse to believe in nonsense. Science is the process of correcting for bias. It’s not perfect, but it has a lot to show for itself.

                  1. Yes, Tony. We know you would have supported genocidal eugenics because it was the scientific consensus of the day. Because consensus is science. That silly scientific method is so quaint. Like the Constitution. Only crazy people believe in it.

                  2. Science is the process of correcting for bias

                    No it’s not.

                    Actually, I should give you kudos for recognizing that it is process, but science has nothign whatsofuckingever to do with bias.

                    The scientific method is a process for rejecting hypotheses that fail to describe reality.

                    Period.

                    A biased individual can be right. The process of doing science will in no way cure him of his bias.

                    In fact most scientists are biased. The ones who revolutionize our understanding of the universe tend to be ones who happen to be biased in the “right” way, and who do a good job of convincing others that their hypotheses are doing a better job representing reality than the hypotheses they are dethroning.

                    Hence the joke that science advances one death at a time.

                    1. The scientific method is a process for rejecting hypotheses that fail to describe reality.

                      Nope. Science is consensus. If a bunch of experts say something is true, then it is true. The scientific method is just crazy nonsense put forth by birthers and the like. True scientists take a vote to decide science.

                      Right Tony?

                    2. I dunno, sounds like a variation on “Galileo, therefore I’m right!” My initial point was that progressivism is the philosophical attitude that valued science and other rational approaches to the world in the first place, in some historical instances in direct opposition to laissez-faire and other magical-thinking-based ideologies.

                    3. Laissez-faire recognizes, accepts, and capitalizes on human nature.

                      Progressivism is a magical belief that human nature can be molded like clay by men who use violence without consequence.

                    4. Oh and what is human nature?

                    5. Oh and what is human nature?

                      To look after one’s self and family first, and everyone else second.

                      In free markets this unintuitively works out as being beneficial for society, because when the only way to get ahead is to profit from others voluntarily purchasing your goods, services, or labor, then by looking out for yourself you actually help others. Everyone prospers. There is actually an incentive to do the most for others as you can because that’s how you make a profit.

                      Collectivism (and all of its ugly children like Communism, Socialism and Progressivism) seeks to force people to help others, even at their own expense, because we’re all one big family (except that we’re not, so this goes against human nature). Profit is looked upon as a sin. As a result, without a personal benefit from helping others (other than not being tossed into a labor camp), there is little incentive to do so. Society ceases to prosper.

                      Collectivism is magical thinking. Laissez-faire simply accepts reality.

                    6. To look after one’s self and family first, and everyone else second.

                      Even if human nature were actually a thing, and this would be a pretty good approximation, this is precisely how liberals would suggest society work too.

                      But human nature isn’t a thing. We do not live in the type of environment we spent most of our time as a species in, so we cannot expect the same social order to deliver the best results. Once we invented agriculture, everything changed about “human nature,” as our natural environment radically changed. It became a good idea to do things collectively on a large scale. In fact, only recently have things changed to make room for individual rights and liberties (and that’s a good thing). But if we’re appealing to nature I could just as plausibly claim that we’re by nature meant to submit to the despotic whims of a chieftain. How about we put aside this human nature nonsense and apply reason to see what actually works for people?

                    7. No, Tony. Human nature has not changed. It is exactly the same as it was when we were living in caves. The only difference is that we have more toys.

                      And I did apply logic and reason. If the only way to make a profit in a free market is to provide goods, services and labor to voluntary customers, then the only way to raise your personal standard of living is to make others richer. Steve Jobs got rich by enriching the lives of others with his products. In a free market, every accumulation of wealth is accompanied by an equal amount of dispersed wealth. Steve Jobs’ wealth was accompanied by millions of people made richer with his products. When you discourage the accumulation of wealth, you also discourage that dispersed wealth. Society is poorer as a result.

                      It’s not equal, but that’s because life isn’t fair. If you want to make things fair and equal, then you’ll have to make everyone poorer as well.

                      Collectivism is a race to the lowest common denominator.

                      But at least poverty is romantic, right?

                    8. If the only way to make a profit in a free market is to provide goods…

                      sarc, I might frame that post. Brought a tear to my eye. I hereby declare you today’s winner of the intertubez.

                    9. Too bad Tony will not get it.

                    10. Tony can’t get it. He’s at least smart enough to recognize the implications if he ever does ‘get it.’ The entire artifice comes crashing down.

                      The point at which a budding progressive recognizes this marks the moment of their religious conversion.

                      Everyone else is an apostate.

                    11. If the only way to make a profit in a free market is to provide goods, services and labor to voluntary customers, then the only way to raise your personal standard of living is to make others richer.

                      Your “if” is not true, so your “then” is irrelevant. You can make profit in lots of ways. Voluntary hippie-dippie free trade is not the norm in human history, I’d say, no matter how far back you go. Plunder is “human nature” if anything is (hence, so is being victimized by plunder). You’re offering warmed-over trickledown horseshit–proven wrong by the actual real world–and claiming it’s God’s own economic system. It’s so pathetic I can’t believe I’m even addressing it.

                      A welfare state is not anymore natural than trickledown horseshit, but that’s what my point initially was. There is no such thing as a natural economic system for a modern nation-state. When you say there is, all you’re saying is that nobody is allowed to disagree with you because you have nature (God) on your side. Why don’t you idiots ever just defend the merits of your program instead of constantly claiming that God is on your side and that’s why you’re right? Is it because there ARE NO FUCKING MERITS?

                    12. You’re offering warmed-over trickledown horseshit–proven wrong by the actual real world

                      When rational argument fails…simply lie.

                    13. When rational argument fails…simply lie.

                      I think Tony probably feels that it is true. I mean, real wages have stagnated since the early 70s, while inequality has increased.

                      So the average person today with their smart phone, flat screen television, internet-hooked computer, DVD player, video games, cheap appliances, more efficient vehicles, and such, is poorer than someone who lived back in the early 70s.

                      Because wage stagnation and inequality.

                      Because emotion.

                      He feels it’s true so it must be.

                    14. DVD player

                      Luddite.

                    15. Is Blu-Ray the new VHS?

                    16. Your “if” is not true, so your “then” is irrelevant. You can make profit in lots of ways.

                      Not in a free market. The only possible way to profit in a free market is with voluntary transactions. That’s it. You can’t force people to buy your products. So they must be purchased voluntarily. They must want them because they make their lives better.

                      Voluntary hippie-dippie free trade is not the norm in human history, I’d say, no matter how far back you go. Plunder is “human nature” if anything is (hence, so is being victimized by plunder).

                      Yes. I know. There always have been, and always will be, people like you who support plunder out of emotions like envy, jealousy, and a childish sense of fairness.

                      You’re offering warmed-over trickledown horseshit–proven wrong by the actual real world–and claiming it’s God’s own economic system.

                      Really? I gave you a real life example of how it is true.

                      When you say there is, all you’re saying is that nobody is allowed to disagree with you because you have nature (God) on your side.

                      I have logic and reason on my side. All you have is emotion.

                    17. There is no such thing as a natural economic system for a modern nation-state.

                      It’s the same natural economic system for individual: free exchange.

                      When I buy something from someone in China, it’s just an exchange between individuals. It’s not the US doing business with China. It’s me buying a widget from someone across the ocean.

                      You are implying that there is something magical about drawing lines on a map and enforcing them with armed men. There isn’t.

                      All trade is between individuals.

                    18. If the government had just held a gun to Job’s head and forced him to dream up the iPhone then society would have been better off because the iPhones would have been cheaper because ‘no evil profit” for Job’s.

                      /Tony derp

                    19. We do not live in the type of environment we spent most of our time as a species in, so we cannot expect the same social order to deliver the best results.

                      Yes, and progressives have the hubris of believing that they can “scientifically” determine what IS the best social order.

                    20. But human nature isn’t a thing.

                      Yes humans are quite apart from all other living things ever known to exist in that they don’t have a nature of their own.

                      Once we invented agriculture, everything changed about “human nature,” as our natural environment radically changed.

                      Humans were always social creatures. From the first person who could be said to be human, onward. Just because we refine our social systems and physical technology doesn’t change human nature.

                      fact, only recently have things changed to make room for individual rights and liberties (and that’s a good thing).

                      I love that you have to put that caveat in there because everyone knows you really hate individual rights and liberties.

                      But if we’re appealing to nature I could just as plausibly claim that we’re by nature meant to submit to the despotic whims of a chieftain.

                      The despotic whims theory of human nature was thoroughly debunked at least 400 years ago. Please do try to keep up.

                    21. The flip side of human nature is that we want to take the easy way. Plunder is much easier than producing wealth.

                      Collectivism appeals to this because it is a system based upon plundering producers. Thing is, this destroys the incentive to produce. Why bother to try to better yourself when the fruits of your labors and ideas will be stolen from you and distributed without you seeing any reward other than being saved from a trip to the labor camps? The other thing about plunder is that eventually you run out of people to steal from. You use up all the wealth while not producing any. Like the Iron Lady said, the problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other peoples’ money.

                    22. Collectivism is magical thinking because it assumes that producers will continue to produce, even when all incentive is taken away from them. They want the distributed wealth that comes from wealth accumulation by producing goods in a free market, but they want to take that accumulated wealth as well.

                      They believe they can have their cake and eat it too.

                    23. Plunder is much easier than producing wealth.

                      There are diminishing returns associated with plunder (as you note later in your paragraph). Plunder is less advantageous to individual survival and propagation than cooperation. Otherwise all human societies everywhere would have wiped themselves out 10,000 years ago.

                    24. I’m increasingly convinced that society runs in a cycle where free people produce wealth, only to be plundered by governments, until the host can’t produce enough to keep the parasite alive. Then it starts over.

                      “Government is the great fiction through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else.”
                      -Bastiat

                      Unfortunately I see no way it can be avoided, since people always figure out that organized violence gives them the power to plunder those who produce. Those who rob Peter to pay Paul always have the support of Paul.

                    25. Perhaps society should avoid instituting a monopoly of legalized aggression which has always been the fatal parasite you’re talking about. Cut the damn thing off and institute a system of law that is truly universal in applicability.

                      That may not make humanity immune to statism for all eternity, but it’ll be a tremendous innovation in governance and interaction. “Inevitable doom” is hardly a valid excuse to say the state system as we know it is the best humanity can do.

                    26. Perhaps society should avoid instituting a monopoly of legalized aggression which has always been the fatal parasite you’re talking about.

                      Society doesn’t institute it. It institutes itself. Just as the kings of old established their rule through violence and then claimed the Divine Right of the King, today’s governments establish themselves through violence and claim The Will of the People. It’s no different. And you can’t stop it except with organized violence. And then you’ve simply replaced it.

                    27. Society doesn’t institute it. It institutes itself…

                      That’s two interwebz winners today. Try and pace yourself.

                      Perhaps take some time to reexamine your position on gay marriage. 😉

                    28. My position is the same as it was before: With my 120lb wife on top.

                    29. Society doesn’t institute it. It institutes itself.

                      Government did not spring into existence spontaneously. People created this institution with ll the powers and characteristics we know it for.

                      Put abolition of the state to a vote and it will never be abolished because most people view it as either a good thing, a necessary evil, or like you; something that is unavoidable and therefore all theoretical alternatives should be shunned.

                      The state can only do what it does because a critical mass of the people support those actions, since the state is of course not skynet with agency of it’s own…yet.

                      Just as the kings of old established their rule through violence and then claimed the Divine Right of the King, today’s governments establish themselves through violence and claim The Will of the People. It’s no different.

                      Why bother creating an ideology to provide moral cover for your institution if that institution didn’t need some part of the population to support it’s continued existence?

                      And you can’t stop it except with organized violence.

                      Organized violence need not be financed by taxation. Nor does anarcho-capitalist theory assume that all people will suddenly be in self-sufficient isolation without the state to compel their interaction.

                    30. People created this institution with ll the powers and characteristics we know it for.

                      Yes. The people who engage in violence while hiding behind The Will of the People created this insitution.

                      Here’s the thing. There is no people. There are only individuals. So this Will of the People thing doesn’t exist.

                      You’re falling into the trap by referring to the People as if it is an entity. It isn’t. There are only individuals who are just getting along day to day. They don’t institute government. Men with guns do. Men with guns who use their power of organized violence to plunder under the guise of taxation. They use the idea of The Will of the People to convince individuals that everyone else consents. That’s how it works.

                    31. The state can only do what it does because a critical mass of the people support those actions, since the state is of course not skynet with agency of it’s own…yet.

                      Their power comes from the simple fact that no individual will stop them because the person believes the myth of The Will of the People, or that individual recognizes that the government agent has organized violence on their side.

                      Why bother creating an ideology to provide moral cover for your institution if that institution didn’t need some part of the population to support it’s continued existence?

                      Because the ideology is how they get their support.

                      Organized violence need not be financed by taxation.

                      No. But once a group of men have the last word in violence, the next thing they do is tax people. Because no one can stop them.

                      It sucks, but government is inevitable. It’s human nature.

                    32. Plunder is much easier than producing wealth.

                      Here is the joke…it isn’t…it only seems that way.

                      Plundering and stealing takes a shit-ton of preparation/planning/equipping/and processes to deal with the fact that others want to punish you for your actions. If those who plunder took these aspects of the trade into consideration, they’d find they could be extremely well off applying the same amount of energy towards legitimate pursuits.

                    33. My initial point was that progressivism is the philosophical attitude that valued science and other rational approaches to the world in the first place

                      I guess the Enlightenment didn’t happen.

                    34. I am talking about the Enlightenment.

                    35. in some historical instances in direct opposition to laissez-faire and other magical-thinking-based ideologies

                      I’d honestly like to see some examples of this.

                    36. My initial point was that progressivism is the philosophical attitude that valued science and other rational approaches to the world in the first place

                      Progressivism is more defined by overconfidence that the current state of scientific knowledge is true and correct and complete. To the extent that it is worth canonizing and converting into law.

                      Lots of people value science and reason, including libertarians. We’re just not out there screaming :”Our way is the one true way, because science!”

                    37. Our way is the one true way

                      One of the things I find most appealing about libertarianism is that it is the philosophy of minimal imposition. It leaves people free to find their own one true way. There is nothing inherently contradictory about a libertarian who personally holds progressives views on issues like income equality, and who works to promote those values in their community voluntarily. Alas, there seems to be some emotional contradiction, because so many progressives can’t help but try to force their views on others (and the same is true of conservatives in many cases, just in case anyone insists on keeping score). And it is progressive’s loss.

                    38. “My initial point was that progressivism is the philosophical attitude that valued science and other rational approaches to the world in the first place,”

                      In their emotions.

                    39. Yeah, it valued the science of eugenics.

                      That’s a surefire winner there.

                  3. Science is the process of correcting for bias. It’s not perfect, but it has a lot to show for itself.

                    Nobody here is against science. We’re talking about taking any current fallible set of ideas and using them to justify forcing people to behave a specific way. We’re talking about over-confidence that any group of experts really knows the “truth”, to an extent that is worth creating laws and imposing one’s will upon others. Science should not be used a bludgeon to force people into line with one set of beliefs. Progressives are just too ready to instantly believe that some expert opinion ought to be followed and encoded into law and imposed upon everyone, just because it is based on some current consensus scientific view.

                    1. Progressives are just too ready to instantly believe that some expert opinion ought to be followed and encoded into law and imposed upon everyone, just because it is based on some current consensus scientific view.

                      Only when it conforms to their prior beliefs. See GMOs. Or imagine what the reaction would be to a consensus view based on the latest in neo-natal development that abortion after, say, brain activity should be outlawed.

                2. Read some of Stephen J. Gould’s work to see how much scientific experts exported their biases into their work.

                  FTFY

              6. I was unaware that Progs had all rights to science?

                Hey haven’t some of the best scientists been those Christian people that you hate so much?

              7. Progressivism, broadly speaking, is the philosophical attitude that delivered modern civilization to us.

                What? No it isn’t. Progressivism is a schizophrenic mishmash of 19th Century Protestant/Catholic moralism, anarchic populism, and Marxist economic theory. It’s hardly the successor to 18th century Enlightenment principles that modern civilization is actually based on.

                1. Someone should guide Tony to one of those left-wing websites where they talk about how ‘western science’ is nothing but white propaganda designed to thwart purer, nobler, more emotional indigenous science.

                  Or we could just link to the study showing that 50% of Democrats believe in astrology.

                  In fairness, it is possible Democrats are just illiterate and don’t know the difference between ‘astronomy’ and ‘astrology,’ but that doesn’t say much about their intelligence either.

                2. “… a schizophrenic mishmash of 19th Century Protestant/Catholic moralism…”

                  It is important to note that it was an attempt to re-create much of Christian moralism, without the whole God thing – just like Marxism.

                  Which is a lot like building doors and windows without any walls…

              8. Yeah, well, the proof is in the pudding when it comes to such progressive enterprises as science.

                There is so much wrong with this statement.

                1) Science isn’t a progressive enterprise, at least not in the sociopolitical sense. Calling your ideas progressive doesn’t mean that they actually advocate for or result in progress.

                2) You are right that science is one of the biggest reasons we enjoy the prosperity that we do (I’d add freedom, but that’s a different discussion). But that doesn’t mean a committee of experts has access to all the information needed to order society, and it certainly doesn’t make it moral. Ask a physicist (even a classical, deterministic one) if they can predict in detail the evolution of the Universe. We can’t, not even in the classical paradigm, because we don’t have enough information. Which is one of the same reasons why government committees fail so poorly in trying to organize society.

              9. Tony|4.14.15 @ 11:17AM|#

                Yeah, well, the proof is in the pudding when it comes to such progressive enterprises as science. Progressivism, broadly speaking, is the philosophical attitude that delivered modern civilization to us. You’d think it’d get more respect

                Like the evil corporations and profits, high income inequality, mass burning of fossil fuels destroying the planet and all these deaths by guns??

                Lol

              10. Progressivism started three millennia ago? Who’d a known?

    2. “Small minds discuss people, average minds discuss events, great minds discuss ideas.”

      Any surprise that progs spend a lot of time discussing people?

    3. Hazel, they project. C’man. You know this.

  15. The thing is, the Progressives absolutely cannot afford to tell the truth, compare actualy historical records, or in any way deal with the facts. They are the supporters of the USSR and the PRC. They are the Gulag fans and the Logai deniers. They are the pillocks who appointed Mitchell Palmer as AG, a man whose persecutions of the innocent make McCarthy look like a boy scout. Their record is one of failure, misery, and death.

    1. They demand the truth from everyone else though.

      1. The hell they do. They demand slavish adherence to the narrative they push. If you bring up any truth that conflicts with that they will attack you as if your were Satan himself. Their dishonesty is so all encompassing that they must insist on it in others.

  16. Don’t forget they also love to ignore the the most famous Progressive of the 29th century, Woodrow Wilson was also a hard core racist. He publicly declared his hatred of blacks and other people of color while running for President. They have to hide the truth which is exactly why Progressives always talk about viewing history in the “context of the times”. Only when that context deals with the GOP and Libertarian or conservative ideas does the time when the things they are criticizing were said or happen become irrelevant.

    1. Wilson had a time machine?

      1. NOOOOOOOOOOOO

  17. Root’s discussion of Herbert Croly and The New Republic reminded me of the left’s current love affair with birth control. The initial action the Administration took with regard to contraception and Obamacare was to force insurance companies to provide coverage for contraception for every covered person.

    This article makes me wonder if the real goal of modern progressives is to mandate birth control. As technology advances progressives might want to force people to use a permanent type of contraception and then the government will determine if and when a women (and men may get off birth control in order to have their own children. Basically, are progressives seeking a brave new world of reproduction by looking to implement eugenics by other means?

    1. I don’t think mandating birth control among the populace can be inferred from wanting to make it more ‘accessible’ any more than mandating gun ownership can be inferred from wanting to make gun ownership more accessible.

      1. Yes it can. It is just soft tyranny of the Cass Sunstein variety. Sure we won’t force people to take it. But we will make it really available and cheap and do everything to encourage people to take it so that we can manage society better. The entire point of abortion is eugenics. What is the desire to end unwanted pregnancies and the children they produce other than eugenics? What you call unwanted, the old school eugenicists called inferior. The principle is the same just with a different name.

        1. “What is the desire to end unwanted pregnancies and the children they produce other than eugenics? ”

          You really, really, really like your false dilemmas, don’t you.

          How about this for an answer: for some people ending an early pregnancy doesn’t have any real moral downside at all, because the early embryo or fetus is not seen as a person who is being harmed, while on the other hand having the child could be an incredible burden on someone who is not in a good position for that.

          If you can’t see how that is something quite different than what eugenics advocated then think about this: eugenics didn’t just advocate that some people not have children, it advocated that some people SHOULD have children (and/or more of them). So, by your logic, since eugenics proponents advocated that people who didn’t want to have children should have them, then pro-life people such as yourself are the real eugenics supporters! (of course that’s daft, but so is your logic the other way).

          1. They both operate under the assumption that some children are better off not being born and we can figure out just who those children are. They just call them “unwanted” now rather than “inferior”. It is the same thing in both cases. Just because the current generation isn’t bold enough to demand force doesn’t mean they are not engaged in the same kind of thinking that some people are more equal and entitled to life than others and society can be improved by eliminating the right people from it.

            1. “Just because the current generation isn’t bold enough to demand force doesn’t mean they are not engaged in the same kind of thinking”

              Yeah, allowing someone to do something they choose and forcing someone to do something are kind of big distinctions among libertarians John…

              “the same kind of thinking that some people are more equal and entitled to life than others and society can be improved by eliminating the right people from it.”

              You just totally ignored what I said and repeated yourself. Wow.

        2. I do agree that it begins with soft tyranny. But what about those that don’t engage in activities that will bring about a desired outcome? Eventually it turns into hard tyranny of force. Just look at the insurance mandate in Obamacare for an example of progressives using hard tyranny.

    2. I was just thinking about this the other day. Wonder how long until Progressive advocate mandatory vasectomy of boys at age 13, which can be reversed once you are married, as a measure to do away with teen pregnancy while empowering young women to explore their sexuality without having to worry about getting pregnant.

  18. I go away for a while, and I come back to find this site MASSIVELY fucked up.

    I blame Woodrow Wilson.

    And FDR.

    1. I blame Bush.

    2. I blame FDR. I frankly, I’m embarrassed since I am related to the lame-ass son of a bitch. I suppose it’s my karma – to make amends for the evil imposed upon us by that LAME-ASS SON OF A BITCH.

      1. Eugenics failed you.

  19. I saw the Center for American Progress’s Grand Dragonness on MSNBC this weekend. She wants everyone to know that LIBERTARIANS ARE JUST TRYING TO SCARE PEOPLE.

    (Particularly Veronique, the big meanie)

  20. Remember folks, the fact that Jefferson owned slaves totally discredits the Declaration of Independence and the entire cause of limited government. And the fact that the US had slavery totally discredits the entire American experiment even thought America fought a horrible war to end slavery and spent the last 150 years working to overcome the problems it created.

    Meanwhile, the fact that Communism killed hundreds of millions of people in the 20th Century says nothing at all about the morality of communist and socialist ideas. The fact that early 20th Century socialists embraced eugenics and wrote the blue print for what later became Nazi race theory is totally irrelevant in any discussion of socialism and its more sibling twin Communism.

    1. Communists had good intentions. Slave owners did not. Nothing else matters.

      1. The funny thing is that they did have good intentions. Slave owners were great at talking about how the Africans were not capable of living or making it on their own and were better off under the care of benevolent white people. They believed that society was hopelessly stacked against the black man such that black people could never make it on their own without the help of the white man.

        Gee, that sounds vaguely familiar and similar to what a lot of people still believe today.

        1. Vaguely?

        2. Anyway, you’re wrong. Slave owners were after profits. That right there means they had bad intentions.

          1. No. They were out to take care of their charges. There was a whole lot of “white man’s burden” going on in slavery.

            1. I was being sarcastic.

              1. When John has his determined beanie on he can’t detect sarcasm. He’s full on smash mode.

                /winks.

            2. No, there isn’t. “White man’s burden” was about raising brown people to civilization. Racist, but not as damaging as “well they can’t very well look after themselves, poor dears, so we have to do it for them, forever”.

              What the slaveowners claimed to feel for the slave is at the core of what the Progressives profess openly to believe about everyone but their wonderful selves.

              *spit*

      2. So we missed by +/- 50 million murders. Tsk, tsk.

        We’re still perfecting the process!

    2. I think one very stark difference between progressives and the libertarians is in how they engage with historical policies.

      Libertarians don’t want to bring back slavery.*

      The policies libertarians promote are designed to increase personal agency and freedom.

      The progressives still cling to policies that were originally intended to harm minorities, and continue to defend them to the present day.

      Their pundits are fucking Orwellian in how they rewrite history. I doubt Tony has any idea that the original purpose of the Davis Bacon act was intended to keep blacks from moving north to flee Jim Crow. And that he views anyone arguing for its repeal as trying to put more money in the pockets of plutocrats.

      1. Ooops I forgot my little disclaimer footnote! 🙂

        *I’m sure with a little googling, one could find some person with a timecube level of insanity who proclaims themselves a libertarian *and* supports chattel slavery.

        OR it might be a mary stack sock. I can’t tell anymore.

      2. Put another way, libertarians keep their hands clean by advocating impossible-to-implement ideologies and blaming some other guy whenever a halfway attempt at laissez-faire goes disastrously wrong. I needed to make this point–I don’t give much of a fuck about history. Everyone was an asshole 100 years ago, and 100 years from now we’ll all be assholes. Progressivism isn’t actually in competition with anything today. Everyone thinks they have the ideas that will improve human well being on this planet. Libertarians are saying exactly that when they prescribe “personal agency and freedom.” Maybe a law that was racist in intent has a positive nonracist effect now. Maybe the 14th amendment didn’t apply to gays then, but should now. History is for hobbyists–all I care about is what works and what doesn’t. Libertarians, being averse to empirical approaches, only care that their ideas are said to work, whether they do or not in reality.

        1. ‘Libertarians, being averse to empirical approaches,’

          See, that’s precisely the opposite of the truth. Libertarians are a minority BECAUSE THEY INSIST ON EMPIRICISM.

          Who needs empirical evidence when there’s a NARRATIVE to push forward because ‘time’ is of the essence? Evidence and data takes TIME to collect and we, the progressive left, don’t have that kind of time because if we don’t act, do something, and do anything, earth will explode. Just trust us. We know.

          1. Austrian school economics and its cousins are unabashedly and overtly unempirical. Might be why they fail to work. And that’s not even talking about the seeming overwhelming majority of you who outright reject scientific facts you don’t like. Sorry if I’m the first to break this to you, but libertarianism is dogma through-and-through.

            1. They are a priori which unlike Keynesians and others, don’t have physics envy which makes them attempt to convert subjective “happiness” into utilitarian data points that fit neatly on a chart. Economics is a study of human interaction, which cannot be measured as though you were counting pebbles on a beach.

              1. But there is no study in the Austrian school, just simplistic (and incorrect) assumptions its adherents adamantly refuse to reject even in the face of overwhelming evidence.

                1. I see you’ve read very little of Austrian anything beyond secondhand admonitions of it.

                2. in the face of overwhelming evidence.

                  If you weren’t an immoral, mendacious cunt, you would know that such an assertion actually requires proof. Please provide.

            2. And yet, you fail to see the irrationality of your own dogma.

              Never, in the history of the world, has government made men angels. Not even through force.

            3. Economics is the worst discipline to apply empiricism to.

              Ha. Which scientific ‘facts’ might those be? The ones pimped by modern day charlatans like Erlich, Hansen, Gore and McKibben? That ‘science’? The one where their predictions repeatedly have been proven spectacularly wrong?

              My definition of evil is when you posit a theory knowing its premise is probably false but you insist on it. And when it keeps proving to be wrong, you keep selling it and adding more fear to the equation. Rather than have the dignity to just admit being wrong (I mean, it’s a good thing England isn’t under water, right?) and maintaining some integrity and dignity, you choose to keep lying. Ergo EVIL.

              And….Libertarianism just is…like jazz…

              1. It is helpful to remember that economics is nothing more than a form of population psychology. So every time somebody says economics think psychology and your level of skepticism will be appropriate.

        2. Once again ‘Tony’ stands up for forcing people to do what he wants. Fuck off, slaver.

        3. Data, since when have progs cared about data or evidence. All you do is rail and howl like fucking wild beasts. You scream about obesity and blame it on fast food and processed food. You scream about how cheap these things are and how they are to blame for obesity. Yet you ignore that vegetables are the cheapest food in the whole store and that if a family of four feeds themselves nothing but fast food, they spend $60(conservatively) a day on food (if they can spend $60 a day on food, they are not poor). Never does it cross your mind that people may just be lazy and want the quick way out. No, hell no, you blame it on the evil food industry for providing a service that people want.

          1. You ignore that your side went after women and told them that if they didn’t have careers, they were worthless. So you destroyed the traditional family and now sit and wonder why people choose processed and fast food. Now you seek to destroy that as well.

            You ignore all the data about guns. You ignore data about crime falling and spread panic that we are in some sort of violence epidemic and all the children will die unless we do something, right now. You conveniently use suicide to plump up the death toll and then in the same breath call suicide, “Death with dignity”.

            You steal principles such as freedom of association and say that it means people being able to shop wherever they want and participate in their communities, or else face the business end of a service weapon.

            You defend the Enlightenment but it’s your side attacking it now saying that Western thought and science is an afront to other cultures and is “Eurocentric” yet in the same breath you fucking claim that your cause is all that’s great and good about the Enlightenment.

            You rail against aforementioned Eurocentrism and then praise the shit out of everything Europe does (that you like) and say we all need to be more like Europe.

            1. You attack people’s ways of life and you get angry when they push back and you call them racists, bigots, backwards, anything that makes them sound nasty and bad and call your movement “progress” so that anyone who argues against you automatically looks bad.

              You are luck that your opponents are not quite the savages you think they are, less you get good ole wild hog treatment.

              1. Wow…

                *stands up and begins sheepish applause*

            2. I would have added to the part about freedom of association, that progressives freedom of association requires involuntary servitude.

        4. Libertarians don’t want to implement policies. That’s a straw man.

        5. Mmmmm, taste the projection.

    3. “Remember folks, the fact that Jefferson owned slaves totally discredits the Declaration of Independence and the entire cause of limited government.”

      It’s good no one here is saying that.

      “And the fact that the US had slavery totally discredits the entire American experiment”

      Or that.

      Or the rest of what you’re writing.

      Are you capable of thinking in terms of anything other than simple binaries?

      1. No one except Howard Zinn. I know you are a troll and all, but why do you insist on pretending no one on this board ever reads?

        1. Howard Zinn is commenting here? What’s his handle?

          1. That doesn’t even make any sense.

            1. Why would you rant against Howard Zinn here? No one is making his points.

          2. Even if Howard Zinn isn’t commenting here, lots of progressives have read his books and are influenced by his ideas.

  21. Whitewash? There is no need. Democrats have always proudly been the White Party.

    1. The entire progressive movement was based on race theory and the duty of white people to manage society and take care of and eventually through eugenics eliminate the inferior races. Yet, somehow, it is the American right that has to answer for “America’s racist history” not the intellectual children of those Progressives.

      1. I’d argue that both Republicrats and Democans in their modern day incarnations are heavily informed by and heirs to Progressive ideas, though not always to the same extent. Look at the triumph of Wilsonian foreign policy over both branches of the Party, for instance.

        1. Sure. But that is besides the point. The point is not that modern liberals are the only ones influenced by the old progressives. The point is that they are the most influenced by them and thus have no standing whatsoever to accuse the modern right of being the intellectual decedents of racists or are somehow more answerable for whatever racial crimes America has been guilty of than liberals themselves are.

        2. That’s a clumsy misunderstanding of “Wilsonian”

          Which is a common problem here stemming from the “intervention/non-intervention” false-dichotomy. because it presumes everything not “Non” is all basically the same, or at least papers over enormous differences in the underlying view of ‘why’ people ‘meddle’ abroad.

          1. I would say “Wilsonian” is generally speaking the commitment to the US playing a major if not the major role in enforcing an international order. And Xeones is absolutely correct in pointing out that there are people on both parties who can fairly be described as Wilsonian. The Iraq war was in my opinion the most Wilsonian war the country has ever fought outside of maybe Korea. The only difference is that the Left thinks Wilsonian policies are great only when their side is doing it.

            1. lol

              If you “generally speaking” wave distinctions away, then yes, its all the same.

              to be fair, both parties often employ wilsonian rhetoric in selling all sorts of various policies which in the end have little to do with any particularly idealistic notion of spreading democratic institutions. See = the middle east.

              1. Iraq was not about spreading Democracy as much as it was about affirming the authority of the UN. We didn’t invade Iraq because we wanted to put a Democracy there. That was a side benefit, sure. The immediate reason was to show the world that UNSC resolutions meant something and would be enforced.

                1. Did i say, “Iraq”?

                  regardless…. Your version of history is “convenient” to say the least.

                  My point was acknowledging that both parties have employed the same Wilsonian language to serve very different underlying philosophical views about Foreign Policy.

                  1. It is the truth. Sorry but Iraq was not some giant plot by Paul Wolfowitz to create a new Democracy. Beyond that, even if it were, the idea that Democracy and local self determination is the key to world stability is totally Wilsonian. Both parties are Wilsonian. I can’t honestly think of anyone other than Ron Paul in American politics today who is not to some degree Wilsonian.

                    I suppose you could say the current left isn’t very Wilsonian to the extent that it is utterly insane and incoherent on these issues.

                    1. Do you even read the stuff you think you’re arguing with?

                    2. “…the idea that Democracy and local self determination is the key to world stability is totally Wilsonian.”

                      It is a fetish that prioritizes ‘democracy’ over the rule of law. Mainly because one man, one vote, one time has worked so well for the totalitarians.

                2. Yeah, I remember the supporters only talking about the importance of the UN as an institution and the integrity of its resolutions, and very little about mushroom clouds, removing terrorist threats pre-emptively and remaking the Middle East….

                  1. Marketing campaigns for war and reasons for war are seldom one and the same.

      2. John, in the 1960’s blacks bravely stood up to some pretty messed up laws and situations based on racial nonsense. At the time, the Democrat Party fractured over the issue, and most people that tie themselves to the Left hitched their wagon to that movement. Unfortunately, a fair number of conservatives and libertarians, who up until that time had little to be ashamed of in terms of racism, reacted by opposing the movement. Some of this was understandable, the civil rights movement turned to some measures which threatened values like freedom of association, and many tried to make a principled distinction between opposing the goals of the civil rights movement in general and its incursions into these values. But there was a lot of getting caught up in the uglier elements of opposition to that movement. Parties and regions realigned and we’re still living in the aftermath to some degree.

        Bottom line, modern day white progressives often have some patronizing views about blacks, or ideas that just ultimately won’t help them, but they’re a quite different creature than the Bull Connor type of racism. Conflating the two as some type of rhetorical judo against liberals who accuse conservatives of being racist is just silly.

    2. That is AWESOME.

  22. This is the kind of bullshit that gets me fired up. Spencer was an incredibly interesting man who wrote with great precision. If he was a eugenicist, it would be really clear. You wouldn’t need to quote one line from his first book to nail him. He wrote thousands of pages concerning liberal/libertarian ethics and government policy. He was not afraid to start fights or take unpopular/controversial positions.

    But he didn’t write about the need for eugenics, or for racial discrimination, or tough crime laws or anything like that. He didn’t write about killing the poor or letting them perish in the streets. Because it’s not what he believed. He did write a lot about how modern civilized persons should treat one another, what a consistent morality would demand of us, and how we might become a more peaceful and prosperous society. His writing gives us a lot to think about, and some partisans out there have no problem shitting all over it to make some lame attack piece. Ignorant assholes.

    1. This is especially true when you consider that Eugenics was one of the great social questions of the last quarter of the 19th Century. Accusing Spencer of supporting Eugenics is like accusing a political thinker today of being anti-abortion even though they never wrote on the topic. Eugenics was a huge issue in Spencer’s day and if he had supported it, he would have come out and said so. It is not like it was an unpopular or unfashionable position. Support for eugenics was in fact both popular and fashionable in Spencer’s time.

      1. I don’t know how popular it was in the last decades of the 19th century, but Spencer was in the science community as well as the liberal political community, and it wouldn’t surprise me if eugenics was relatively uncontroversial in his natural science circles. And even if his liberal/individualist friends were against eugenics, he had no problem renouncing his Georgist position and fighting with them over the land tax.

        1. It was very popular among intellectuals. Darwin published in the 1860s and Eugenics came about shortly thereafter and was quickly all of the rage among all educated and right thinking people.

      2. Hell, we have at least one President–Theodore Roosevelt–who went on record promoting eugenics as the bee’s knees. Nobody at the time thought it was in any way unusual, nor was TR excoriated for it until decades later. It was only after Hitler took the policy to its logical conclusion that Western societies in general began the process of rejecting it as conventional wisdom.

        The “science” that Tony alludes to was the idea that mankind could engineer his way to perfection, and its no surprise that the intellectual leaders of Progressivism at the time were promoting eugenics, hand-in-hand with other policies such as prohibition, as simply another means to that end.

        1. AND Spencer was part of this broader idea. He did believe man was ‘evolving’ to a more perfect state. If he thought eugenics could help us get there, it would be a major part of his argument.

          Instead, his program was about adopting more liberal practices and encouraging commerce, as industrial man displaces militant man. If he thought it was practical or morally necessary to forcibly remove the militant or stupid or anti-industrial for the sake of advancement, he would say so.

        2. In that way Jefferson and his slave-owning contemporaries were way worse than the Progressive eugenicists. Slavery is extremely anti-human by definition. Eugenics seemed like a good idea until Hitler got a hold of it.

          1. Both involved controlling other people.

          2. Damn Hitler! He stole your ideas!

            1. Well, either ‘stole’ or ‘advanced them to their logical conclusion’.

          3. THAT’S THE POINT TONY.

            Your side espoused a theory that lent itself to death.

            Always about death with the left.

            ‘It was a great idea until Mao came along!’

            Fuck off.

            1. Thought experiment: describe a scenario in which libertarians, having implemented their worldview in society, would be blameworthy for some bad outcome.

              Or when the economy inevitably returns to large boom-and-bust cycles with accompanying uncertainty and misery, are you just gonna blame the nearest Democrat as usual?

              1. Or when the economy inevitably returns to large boom-and-bust cycles with accompanying uncertainty and misery

                Returns? Boom-bust cycles have been far more severe since the Fed was created.

              2. “Or when the economy inevitably returns to large boom-and-bust cycles with accompanying uncertainty and misery, are you just gonna blame the nearest Democrat as usual?”

                The boom and bust cycle is a natural phenomena. Any attempt to suppress it merely creates a greater boom/bust cycle, usually ending in collapse (the ultimate bust). Cycles are the way of the cosmos or do you not know your science? Cycles exist everywhere even down to the building blocks of all human physiology. If we are constructed from things that pulse in cycles how can we then say our behavior is not effected and influenced by them? All through human economic history there are cycles, be the economy mercantile, fascist, communist, capitalist or barter. Cycles cannot be avoided, the attempts to do so fly in the face of FACTS and SCIENCE. This idea of ending the boom/bust economic cycle and creating the linear economy is just further evidence of how “the scientific ideology” picks and chooses that “science” which fits it’s biases.

          4. In that way Jefferson and his slave-owning contemporaries were way worse than the Progressive eugenicists. Slavery is extremely anti-human by definition. Eugenics seemed like a good idea until Hitler got a hold of it.

            This is just relativism. At least it didn’t take a world-wide conflict that killed over 61 million people for the Founding Fathers and their successors to see the inherent problems in maintaining slavery as an institution. If the goal is here is a post hoc rationalization of why Progressivism is an inherently good philosophy, it speaks less for the movement’s intellectual heft and more for its fetish for fashion that it took a world-wide genocidal conflict for them to see that eugenics might not be something to hang their hat on.

            1. It’s not even eugenics per se that was a bad idea, just gassing millions of people in its pursuit. We all practice eugenics by mate selection, and in the future you can be sure we will be practicing it quite overtly by genetic manipulation. You know what it takes to prevent this practice from becoming outright barbarism? A liberal attitude about how everyone is entitled to a certain amount of dignity just for being human, no matter what. You know what leads to unchecked social darwinism?

              1. It’s not even eugenics per se that was a bad idea, just gassing millions of people in its pursuit.

                Nice passive-voiced statement. Like I said, Hitler took this philosophy to its logical conclusion. It wasn’t until after he came along and started murdering people in its name that Progressives backed off from it. Progressivism is nothing if not the philosophy of principal over principle.

                We all practice eugenics by mate selection, and in the future you can be sure we will be practicing it quite overtly by genetic manipulation.

                This is pathetic equivalence, even for you. The eugenics of the late 19th/early 20th century was clearly driven by a desire to achieve a “master race.” To equate that with millennia-old biological impulses is simple sophistry, and if you haven’t seen the ethical debates being conducted over genetic manipulation and its potential to be used for harmful/sadistic purposes you must have been in a coma recently. There’s a reason the latter in particular evokes such concern.

                1. You know what it takes to prevent this practice from becoming outright barbarism? A liberal attitude about how everyone is entitled to a certain amount of dignity just for being human, no matter what.

                  a liberal attitude, yes, but hardly a progressive one. Your point here is belied by the arguments of progressives that full abortion all the way to the day before birth should be kept legal in order to provide women with the choice of whether or not to abort a fetus/baby that might have genetic issues.

                  You know what leads to unchecked social darwinism?

                  This is just meaningless blather with no substance.

              2. “A liberal attitude about how everyone is entitled to a certain amount of dignity just for being human, no matter what.”

                And do you know the best way to destroy a human’s dignity? Dictate every facet of their lives, rather than let them make choices for themselves.

                “You know what leads to unchecked social darwinism?”

                Yes, yes I do: having the State determine who lives and who dies, based on ideas of what’s best to advance the cause of mankind. Whether it be attempting to create the Master Race, or the Perfect Society, it doesn’t matter, the end is the same: people will be sent to camps and killed systematically.

            2. I would rather be a 19th century slave than a dead 20th century Kulak.

              1. Me too Lord. And frankly, I would rather have grown up black and under Jim Crow than to be black and living in the ghetto today. No matter how bad Jim Crow was, and it was really bad, at least I was likely to have a mother and a father and a family to care about me. And that is something almost no one has in the ghetto today.

                1. Cliven Bundy, is that you?

              2. From a PBS site:

                Enslaved African Americans could never forget their status as property, no matter how well their owners treated them. But it would be too simplistic to say that all masters and slaves hated each other. Human beings who live and work together are bound to form relationships of some kind, and some masters and slaves genuinely cared for each other. But the caring was tempered and limited by the power imbalance under which it grew. Within the narrow confines of slavery, human relationships ran the gamut from compassionate to contemptuous. But the masters and slaves never approached equality.

                It seems to me that most slave-owners would treat their property such that it retained its value, just as with other property. Treating slaves much as we treat our pets today – horses or dogs – would seem to be the behavior most in line with the ‘scientific’ thinking of the day that black people were an inferior race; act with firm discipline, but in a way that retains value.

                Today, those who support affirmative action and broad welfare programs are treating the affected people as if they were pets. Their condescension towards the affected people may be more subtle, but not really different than the slave-owners’.

    2. Worse still, the entire point of eugenics was as a tool for managing and improving society through central planning. We get a better society by letting the top men selectively breed out the inferiors. How the hell can these mendacious twats assume that someone who embraced personal autonomy and liberty must have support that?

      1. Because that assumption fits the Narrative, and the Narrative is driven by Good Intentions.

        That’s all there is to it.

      2. Progressives cannot comprehend the concepts of personal autonomy and liberty. All they understand is force. So they try to frame liberty as force. Liberty means using force to stop those who would initiate force. So liberty is force. That makes liberty tyranny.

        1. And ‘Tony’ illustrates this point beautifully.

          1. I am waiting with baited breath for his excuse of the magic, mystical “social contract” . . .isn’t that the typical Progressive fallback position?

            “Damn you libertarians! Don’t you know there is a social contract? Damn it, I don’t CARE if you haven’t seen the social contract . .. I haven’t seen it either! But it exists, I know it does. Quit being a smart ass – it’s not ‘just like Santa Claus’ And you libertarians have signed it, whether you’ve seen it or not . . .”

        2. They do comprehend it. It’s just that in order to accept it you need to accept people’s choices and decisions; their vice and virtues; morals and habits.

          But since human nature offers too many variances challenging their zero-sum nefarious schemes to perfect man, they choose to instead to come up with coercive policies and theories ‘for our own good’.

          Come to think of it, eugenics *could* have been useful in purging these anti-humanist rascals.

          /drifts off gazing outside…

          1. I still haven’t forgiven you for your April Fools joke. Suck it, Canadian.

            1. I cannot believe I fell for it – but I did.

              1. The trick is to…bah. I guess I scarred you guys.

        3. The problem is that they can’t grasp society as a collection of autonomous equals. They feel that in order for society to be a “real” community, everyone has to be involved in a common goal. there has to be some sort of common mission that everyone participates in, and people who don’t participate are, like, anti-social assholes.

          Of course, historically the “common mission” usually involves killing a bunch of other people from a different tribe or religion or social class or race. Or it involves some horrible disasterous social experiment that causes untold misery to everyone involved. But I guess that’s just the price you pay for all those warm fuzzy togetherness feelings.

          How could anyone not want to live in a place where everyone was sharing a common world historical mission? Those libertarians are wrecking the communal vibe by not going along and resisting. If only everyone would stop resisting, the glorious socialist future would be just over the horizon, I know it!

  23. CAP: We have always been at war with eugenics.

    1. Remember of course that these are the same people who would say that preventing the birth of handicapped children is one of the most important reasons why abortion should be legal. These are the same people who reacted in horror when Sarah Palin didn’t do the proper thing and kill her child when she learned it had Down’s. These are the same people who worry about over population in developing nations and who think that the social problems associated with more “unwanted children” being born makes legalized abortion a must.

      But it is the evil right wing Libertarians who are the real Eugenicists.

  24. I believe that the full text of Social Statics is included in the 14th ammendment (it’s in-between the forms, next to the privileges & immunities clause)

  25. Here’s an idea: Perhaps the Center for American Progress should spend less time lobbing false charges at libertarians and spend more time confronting its own dishonorable roots in what can safely be described as genocidal progressivism.

    BURN!

  26. Progressivism is wracked with the putrid arrogance of exceptionalism.

    At this juncture on the historical spectrum I don’t think a single thought construct operating in open society exists (aside from the Christian Scientists) that can compete with the modern social-progressive’s stratospheric level of smugness and disdain for all that lies on the periphery of its acerbic group think.

    Progressives are the self-proclaimed priests of five-star truth for the new millennium. Heralding their chosen and hyper-collectivized morality they march as Social Supremacists in lock-step vanquishing through any means all alternatives and deviations on their revelatory conquest to establish justice and equality.

    I state this as one who views religion as the ultimate destroyer of freedom, but history is winding its way in an unnerving fashion and the mantle has been passed to another. This doesn’t mean the Baptists or Evangelicals or Mormons are any less interested in beating the snot out of freedom- these groups are simply losing their momentum to another less merciful and more strident foe of individualism and liberty- the contemporary progressive.

    1. Try getting better ideas. Or is the concept of ideas in competition yet more evidence of progressive hegemony?

      1. Is pure Progressivism the consummate ideal for the modern age?

        1. I’m not too interested in labels. Words are imprecise, and getting too attached to them leads to dogma. I just want to see fewer people starving, more people educated, less destruction of our planetary habitat, etc.

          1. Agile, welcome to Tony’s Surreal Sloppy Sophistry Misery-Fun Ride.

            /punches ticket.

          2. Tony|4.14.15 @ 12:55PM|#
            “[…]Words are imprecise, and getting too attached to them leads to dogma.[…]”

            “When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.”

          3. ” I just want to see fewer people starving, more people educated, less destruction of our planetary habitat, etc.”

            …never mind the policies you endorse have entirely the opposite effect = its your *intentions* that matter.

          4. Then you support hunting organizations like DU, Rocky Mountain Elk Federation, Delta Waterfowl, etc. right?

            You also fight against all the “animal rights” organizations as useless and of no value since they do absolutely nothing for habitat conservation and restoration?

          5. Tony, who are all these people starving in America?

            Aren’t liberals the ones complaining about how fat Americans are all the time?

          6. I’m glad the Libertarian candidate can count on your vote Tony. You know, since the Democrats haven’t done anything about alleviating those problems. At all.

      2. Cyborg is an advanced artificial intelligence program designed to replicate a college sophomore on 3 hits of LSD.

      3. Says the dipshit without ideas who parrots talking points endlessly. Tony, you wouldn’t know an idea if it jumped up and bit you in the ass.

    2. It is nothing but the old Protestant evangelical fervor stripped of God and the humility that goes with the belief in God. The old evangelicals were often unrestrained in their quest to create heaven on earth. When they were restrained it was on the rare occasion that their imperfect and insignificance in comparison to God finally dawned on them. This would usually bring them back from their worst excesses. The Progressives were nothing and to this day are nothing but that same impulse without God. There is no God for them to compare themselves too and feel inadequate in comparison. Therefore, there is no limit to their hubris in their pursuit of a better world. They don’t thank God for their good fortunes. They think they got their good fortune because they really are better than everyone else. And they don’t ever look on in horror at how their plans have gone astray and their hubris and arrogance have lead to disaster. They blame other people for any harm their ideas cause and conclude next time it will work if only they try harder.

      1. Exactly right. It’s not a coincidence that the old Puritan regions are the most “progressive”.

        1. The heart of most of our problems is when we forget the individual in our pursuit of the collective good. And both sides do it. The left does it more but both sides do it. Ultimately, the individual is an end in himself. He doesn’t owe society any efforts to make it better. The right forgets this when it comes to drugs and lifestyle. Maybe sitting around drinking 40s on the couch on my front porch is the best I can do. As long as I work enough to pay my bills, what business is it of yours? The right often can’t take that answer. The left takes that attitude and turns the knob to 11. They think everyone exists as a means to the end of creating what Progs view as a “better world”.

          1. Again, well said. Society doesn’t exist, and I’m convinced that when people forget that, it’s the foundation of all evil.

          2. So you should get all the civilization that taxpayers have paid for over decades and centuries for free? If you think we shouldn’t have roads and bridges and schools and a thousand other things that make modern life possible, fine, but at least you should agree that you should pay for the parts you have used.

            1. You really are dense and incapable of nuanced or abstract thinking.

              1. Rufus J. Firefly|4.14.15 @ 4:24PM|#
                “You really are dense and incapable of nuanced or abstract thinking.”
                I don’t doubt that, but it’s a near-run thing as to whether a particular Tony post is a result of that or his despicable mendacity.

  27. From what I’ve heard about Eugenics, this guy Eugene sounds like a real A-hole.

  28. BUUUURRRRRNNNN.

  29. this guy Eugene sounds like a real A-hole.

    Have you read his stuff in the Washington Post?

    He’s as fruity as a nutcake.

  30. Well this thread went well. It’s one thing to stubbornly continue to talk to Bo, but come on, we should all recognize Limpee’s voice by now.

  31. Do Liberals Lie?

    Liberals Do.

    1. Better question – do liberals tell the truth? Because, I haven’t seen any evidence.

  32. My last pay check was $9500 working 12 hours a week online. My neighbors sister has been averaging 15k for months now and she works about 20 hours a week. I can’t believe how easy it was once I tried it out.
    =============================
    try this site ????? http://www.jobsfish.com
    =============================

  33. Tony|4.14.15 @ 12:57PM|#
    “Or when the economy inevitably returns to large boom-and-bust cycles with accompanying uncertainty and misery, are you just gonna blame the nearest Democrat as usual?”

    “[R]eturns” to boom and bust?
    Did you just wake up from some long sleep? In case you haven’t noticed, the economy has *always* experienced boom and bust cycles and the Ds (and some Rs) have simply made it worse by first adding to the boom by distorting the market and then working worse havoc by trying to ‘fix’ what would be a self-correcting process.

    1. The worst depressions in American history were in 1836, 1873 and 1893. All three were worse than the famous one of 1929. The one in 1929 only got called “great” because it lasted so much longer than the others. Gee, back before the federal government tried to rescue us through the miracle of Keynesian economics the economy recovered on its own and quickly. Must just have been Roosevelt’s bad luck or something.

  34. Progressive A person who follows the philosophy that human beings should be treated like feral cat’s, and stray dogs.

  35. From the Tolstoy article I linked to in the am links

    Most intellectuals resemble Stiva, who first decides which camp to join and then makes sure to learn only the arguments on that side:

    Stepan Arkadyievich took and read a liberal newspaper?.And even though neither science nor art nor politics held any particular interest for him, he firmly maintained the same views on all these subjects that were maintained by the majority and by his newspaper, and he changed them only when the majority changed them, or, better put, he did not change them at all; they changed in him imperceptibly, of their own accord.

    His views seemed to change by themselves because Stiva never really thinks: He just arranges to believe what a liberal is supposed to believe. When liberal positions shift over the years, so do his, but without any of the agonized confrontation with disconfirming evidence that marks an authentic thinker such as Levin.

    That pegs the current American liberal perfectly.

  36. Jesus Christ. Nearly 400 comments. And it all looks like one giant response to Bo/Tony troll posts.

  37. I’m making $86 an hour working from home. I was shocked when my neighbour told me she was averaging $95 but I see how it works now.I feel so much freedom now that I’m my own boss.go to this site home tab for more detail…. http://www.navjob.com

  38. Although it’s difficult for anyone who values his life and liberty–not to mention (small r) reason–to respect “liberals” (and by “liberals” I mean of course “tax-happy, coercion-addicted, power-tripping State-fellators”), one could respect them a smidgen more if they were at least honest. That is, if instead of all the obfuscating rhetoric they would just say, “I like using the Mailed Fist to force other people to do what I want.”

  39. […] certainly sounds rough, but as it turns out, Hofstadter failed to mention the first sentence of Spencer’s next paragraph, which reads, “Of course, in so far as the severity of this process is mitigated by the spontaneous sympathy of men for each other, it is proper that it should be mitigated.”

    I have a heuristic that’s worked pretty well.

    If someone’s argument depends on not reading the next sentence/paragraph in the thing they quoted (or the previous), they’re simply being dishonest.

  40. Progs possess the unique bizarre ability to develop instant amnesia concerning their own evil behavior of as little as a few minutes in the past.

  41. I think there is something that Libertarians fail to understand about Progressives. They have no honor, are not interested in the truth, and value only winning and changing society. They worship at the altar of collectivism and authoritarianism and Libertarian thinking is as welcome to them as a policeman is to a mugger.

    They need to be ridiculed and harassed at every opportunity as they have no intellectual integrity and will use anything available and attempt to win by any means necessary.
    Progressivism is not just another idea. As an ideology it is as evils as Islamofascism or Communism.

    To treat Progressives as though they have a right to a place at the table, to treat Progressivism as though it were simply a choice among competing ideas is to be as delusional as Obama when he says Islam is a religion of peace.

  42. But if we kill off all the untermenschen, who will polish our monocles and pull our rickshaws? Silly leftists.

  43. You left out the first great “progressive” project: the attempted genocide of the Plains Indians.

    -jcr

  44. The people that read ThinkProgress are clearly looking for comfort, not knowledge. Anyone that reads and believes that pulp will never become a libertarian voter, there’s way too much intellectual work between their current position and a more enlightened one. But I think we should take heart from one simple fact. Year after year, liberals are increasingly threatened by Libertarians, and it’s rather fun to ‘steal their young’ college-aged and 20 somethings. Their smear campaign belies their fear. It’s good that they grow afraid of our increasingly important influence.

  45. Progress, Progressivism and “Whig history” are synonymous, never truly “liberal.” Liberalism had no truck with penology. Bentham was no liberal. Spencer was never a Social Darwinist, nor I’m afraid a sentimentalist. In the passage cited, Spencer simply says proper, not beneficial. Certainly not benevolent. Those ten chaps are on beneficence, which, like love in the New Testament, suffers from confusion: to do good vs resulting in good. Spencer means the latter. He joined many clergymen in the belief that this was the best of all possible worlds, and that the workings of Nature and Nature’s God must be accepted, whether descended from apes or not, stemming from Stoicism, not Christianity. In simple terms Spencer believed in market discipline, and free trade. In the Golden Rule. He opposed both unreasonable egoism and altruism. Hofstadter has proved to be as prejudiced an historian as any in the American historical tradition.

  46. “Spencer’s own philosophy can safely be described as genocidal libertarianism” because Spencer “literally argued that the impoverished and the unfortunate should be left to die in order to purify the human race.”

    I am SO fucking sick of how “progressives” appear to operate from this premise that “poor = minorities” because certain statistics show that most poor people are black or Hispanic.

    Therefore, if something costs money, it should be offered for free so that minorities can afford it, or else the whole instutition is racist.

    If they propose a program that they say will help the poor, and you oppose it, you’re a racist because most poor people are minorities, and it’s really the minorities that you’re after.

  47. My emergence as a libertarian was based on a little ditty I started saying when I was drunk/stoned. “I want republicans to stay out of my bedroom, and democrats to stay out of my wallet.” That, and a little diamond test/quiz I took.

  48. Long and short is that we are humans, ultimately frail of wit and sagacity. I wish to be left to my own frailties and diminish the stock in my own way. Not a joiner, I can live with my Mensa sized brain, procreate and wait for the next asteroid. But please let me be free of the “Commons” thinking. I demand it.

  49. I get paid over $87 per hour working from home with 2 kids at home. I never thought I’d be able to do it but my best friend earns over 10k a month doing this and she convinced me to try. The potential with this is endless. Heres what I’ve been doing,

    ————- http://www.work-cash.com

  50. We need to fight poverty. We need to promote the general welfare so we can compete with the communist Chinese who are kicking our butts. Of course, it doesn’t help they peg the yuan to the dollar at 6:1. That will destroy any countries ability to produce goods.

  51. Google pay 97$ per hour my last pay check was $8500 working 1o hours a week online. My younger brother friend has been averaging 12k for months now and he works about 22 hours a week. I cant believe how easy it was once I tried it out.
    This is wha- I do…… ?????? http://www.netjob80.com

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.