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July 24, 2011

What is a Conservative? What is a Progressive?

A conservative is a person who is satisfied with the system and is trying to work within the system to achieve her or his own ends.

A progressive is a person who does not like the system, tends to think there is something about it which is unfair or wrong, and wants it changed.

In a democracy, the progressives must enlist the support of conservatives in order to bring about change. After all, for a system to exist and be stable, there must be and have been more conservatives in the present than progressives. The progressives have two basic tools they can use to enlist the support of conservatives: education and agitation. They can be thought of as two ends of a long spectrum.

Let's start with education. There are many ways that progressives educate. At the far end of the spectrum, they do it by getting their views to dominate at the public schools and the universities. Their positions are taught to the youth, with only token and easily handled counter argument, and these students eventually leave school and grow into society while older conservatives reach old age and die, thus changing the balance of progressives to conservatives on the issue.

Another way is for progressives to get invited onto news programs where they can present their case for change and have it viewed by even a wider cross section of society. Here the process is more difficult because news programs tend to try to balance the argument. However, if progressives can begin to dominate the news media, they can limit some of that difficulty.

Still other ways are through door knocking campaigns, handing out literature, asking for donations, and getting petitions signed. With the advent of the Internet, there are weblogs, Facebook groups, etc.

But education is rarely enough. People who like society the way it is always vastly outnumber those who want any particular change, even with the greatest degree of educational tactics. This is where agitation plays its part. The point of agitation is to get conservatives - that is, people who really don't care about the cause - to go along with the progressives' goals just to get the progressives to stop annoying them.

Some examples of agitation are: picketing, protesting in the streets, going on strike, shouting down opposition, shouting their cause during non-related activities, sit ins, destruction of private property, violence, and other "direct action" techniques. The 1992 Los Angeles Riots following the Rodney King verdict was an example of the more extreme end of the spectrum. Such agitation basically says, "If you don't go along with our progressive goals, we're going to make your life very difficult."

Terrorism is the very far end of the agitation spectrum used by progressives in their quest for change. Terrorism is the use of civilians as primary targets (as opposed to collateral damage) of violence in order to achieve a political goal. The point is for the progressives to achieve their political ends by striking fear into a population.

The Founding Fathers were progressive. Jesus was progressive. Martin Luther King, Jr. was progressive. Osama bin Laden was progressive. Barack Hussein Obama is (very) progressive.

Notice that I've been using the terms "conservative" and "progressive", not "conservative" and "liberal". The reason why is because progressive is the opposite of conservative, while liberal is the opposite of authoritarian. The reason the terms get mixed up is because they are originally used properly, as adjectives, to describe elements of the population. But once the progressive (adjective) people achieve their goals, they become the new conservatives; with their goals firmly in place, they now like things the way they are. However, people - the news media in particular - have been associating certain political issues with "the progressives" (noun) for quite some time and they have been using the word, "progressive", as a noun. Because of this, when "the progressives" (noun) are no longer progressive (adjective), it becomes difficult to rename them and associate with them a different noun.

This is what happened with the word "liberal" and we've come to a point in which the most authoritarian people in America (Democrats) are routinely referred to as "liberals". But America is, originally and by definition, liberal society. We are a country in which individual freedoms are intended to be protected from the authority of government. Our government was designed to be limited, there are certain barriers it cannot cross (The Bill of Rights) and is allowed no authority. Today it is the Tea Party which champions The Bill of Rights and limited government, while the so-called "liberals" are attempting to expand government into neary every area of our lives.

Posted by Jeff at 02:46 PM | Comments (0)

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