Progressive vs Liberal

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Shoul I call myself a Progressive or a Liberal is it the samething or not ? Is it true that Liberal and Libertarian used to mean the samething ?

liberalprogressivedemocrat's picture
liberalprogress...
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Apr. 20, 2010 7:28 pm

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"Liberal-progressive" sounds good to me.

The uber-conservatives have successfully stigmatized the word liberal, mostly because we easily-manipulated-liberals allowed it. I say bring it back and stand up for it. It's a perfectly good word, which means, according to my dictionary, "Favorable to progress or reform...free from prejudice or bigotry; tolerant...open-minded..."

However, the word progressive is perhaps stronger right now, for liberals to use, given the stigma against liberal.

As for liberal/libertarian, right now there's a world of difference, which one can pick up from Thom after listening long enough. I'm sure he'd have plenty to say on the subject. As for the history of the two, I don't know a whole lot about that...time to search an answer, maybe go to Wikipedia for starters?

Zenzoe
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

You should get rid of labels,and deal with the "issues". Issues aren`t left or right,they`re problems that need solutions. Do you care if a solution is left or right?

tayl44's picture
tayl44
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Bingo! What works should be the primary focus. The problem is, people want "what works" to fit their ideology. If it doesn't, the solution to a problem is off the table....and more of what doesn't work is applied.. Sort of like the Health Care Bill.

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

polycarp2
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Poly,you`re giving into double-speak."What Works" sound like a disease ideology? The Health Bill isn`t the solution,but anybody has to be crazy to want to go back? To normal people,the solution is never off the table.

tayl44's picture
tayl44
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

I'm a bit tired of reading "Ideology is a disease," P.

Language is important. Language is not "disease." When uber-conservatives stigmatized the word liberal, they damaged the language; they corrupted it. Without nouns that identify groups by world-view, where meaning is commonly held, we can barely communicate.

Ideologies, myths, beliefs, doctrines, social movements—these are not diseases; they are frames that represent ideas, and as language, they assist understanding, so that we may more easily get to the issues.

"Retired Monk" is a label and represents a world view, though one would not want to guess which monkish world view it might be.

Zenzoe
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

I like "progressive" - it implies moving forward, and enlightenment. It's much more self congratulatory than the simple old "liberal".

PeeWee Returns's picture
PeeWee Returns
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

"Once you label me you negate me" Soren Kierkegaard

"Ideology is a disease" works and I have borrowed it myself on other blogs. Speaking for myself I take it to mean that people are so wrapped up in defending preconceived notions of this or that that they fail to see the forest for the trees. What works becomes less important than blind adherence to a belief system.

Poo tee weet's picture
Poo tee weet
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May. 7, 2010 5:17 pm
Quote Poo tee weet:

"Once you label me you negate me" Soren Kierkegaard

Good thing George Lakoff wasn’t constricted by such poppycock.

Quote George Lakoff:

Progressive values: "Caring and responsibility, carried out with strength...Protection, fulfillment in life, fairness...freedom, opportunity, prosperity...community, service, cooperation...
trust, honesty, open communication...

Progressive principles: Equity...equality...democracy...government for a better future...ethical business...values-based foreign policy...”

Don’t Think of an Elephant, Know Your Values and Frame the Debate

The Progressive values Lakoff has enumerated are not indicative of “disease.” Other Progressive values—open-mindedness, anti-bigotry, pro-democracy, pro-labor, pro-economic democracy, etc.—are not "blind adherence to a belief system;" such are descriptions, and they simply enable us to know ourselves well enough to be distinguished from the forces that would undo freedom and democracy.

The kind of “ideology” that one might reasonably describe as disease would be authoritarian ideologies, such as certain religious dogmas that value authoritarian hierarchy. Unless you distinguish between authoritarian and non-authoritarian, you cannot make such blanket claims about “disease.”

Zenzoe
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Is this acceptable "Ideology Can be a Disease"? (Not everybody understand a play on words)

tayl44's picture
tayl44
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
Quote Poo tee weet:

"Once you label me you negate me" Soren Kierkegaard

"Ideology is a disease" works and I have borrowed it myself on other blogs. Speaking for myself I take it to mean that people are so wrapped up in defending preconceived notions of this or that that they fail to see the forest for the trees. What works becomes less important than blind adherence to a belief system.

Bingo!. What we have are symptoms of the "disease"....all around us. Pain, suffering, war, malnutrition, bulging prisons....and of course, the economic meltdown that's on-going..

"ideological thinking becomes independent of all experience from which it can learn nothing new, even if it something that has just come to pass" - Hannah Arendt

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

polycarp2
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
Quote Zenzoe:

"Liberal-progressive" sounds good to me.

The uber-conservatives have successfully stigmatized the word liberal, mostly because we easily-manipulated-liberals allowed it. I say bring it back and stand up for it. It's a perfectly good word, which means, according to my dictionary, "Favorable to progress or reform...free from prejudice or bigotry; tolerant...open-minded..."

However, the word progressive is perhaps stronger right now, for liberals to use, given the stigma against liberal.

As for liberal/libertarian, right now there's a world of difference, which one can pick up from Thom after listening long enough. I'm sure he'd have plenty to say on the subject. As for the history of the two, I don't know a whole lot about that...time to search an answer, maybe go to Wikipedia for starters?

Being an early Baby Boomer, I was around for the social upheavals of the 1960s. So, although both terms, "liberal" and "conservative," are much older than the '60s, I believe the semantic watershed in my own lifetime came when Barry Goldwater's Conscience of a Conservative was published and met with widespread success.

By implication, if you didn't agree with Goldwater's assessments or solutions, you were a liberal and therefore a wimp or somebody who was easy on the Commies. It was Goldwater who said that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. This coincided closely with the attitude that if you weren't with Goldwater and his followers, you were therefore against liberty. That wrongheaded notion was, in turn, corollary to the umbrella fallacy that "If you ain't with us, yore agin us!"

This was the era in which the bumper sticker that said "America: Love It Or Leave It" was popular, and there was a high positive correlation between being a Goldwater conservative and having that bumper sticker on your car. Like most conservative rhetoric, which is always black and white and never cognizant that life is mostly a series of grays, Goldwater and his followers never understood that you can love your country and oppose the policies of its government, as we did in the '60s. In their simplistic and simpleminded world view, you had to support everything the government (preferably a conservative one) did, or you were unpatriotic and GASP! a liberal.

As to liberals, Lyndon Johnson did, in fact, wage an awesome war on poverty at home, under his "Guns and Butter" policy, while he simultaneously waged the Viet Nam War. The war was Johnson's undoing, but the tragedy of his anti-poverty programs was not that they weren't succeeding, but that they were never carried to full fruition. How does this relate to the liberal/conservative topic?

Here's how. During the era of Johnson's anti-poverty programs, conservatives who didn't like them and would say (as they do now) anything to discredit those programs, said Dems and liberals were hypocrites. They claimed that liberals were elitist because, according to the reactionaries, upper middle class and wealthy liberals, whom they called "limousine liberals" and/or "white wine liberals" didn't really identify with the lower classes and disenfranchised groups they claimed to represent, on grounds that they didn't live with or among those groups or on the same standard of living as those groups. The argument was fallacious, of course, because the Democratic ideal has always been to lift those groups up to a level wherein ALL would be affluent, well-educated, and enfranchised, or at least to a level whereon they'd have enough. The GOP ideal has always been merely to protect the entrenched vested interests who keep them in office, NOT, as the Republicans claim, to represent average, working Americans. The "average working Americans" targetted by GOP demagoguery have always, basically, been the Bunkers.

I never heard liberals bashed as "liberals" until the reactionaries began using the terms "limousine liberals" and "white wine liberals" in the middle or late '60s. "Progressives" is probably a better term now because if those on our side of the aisle are ever to win the public debate, we have to use the same tactics as the Right, including rhetoric that won't precurse even tangentially or historically negative connotations in the minds of the low-information electorate -- the Bunkers.

Ulysses's picture
Ulysses
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
Quote PeeWee Returns:

I like "progressive" - it implies moving forward, and enlightenment. It's much more self congratulatory than the simple old "liberal".

So if you label yourself as a "Progressive" does that mean you are automatically "enlightened?"

Kenny Kamel's picture
Kenny Kamel
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Aug. 9, 2010 5:54 pm

It's probably a step up from the Dark Ages....an age the far right is trying very hard to bring about with such things as failures to address global warming and the new economic model..

Capitalism has morphed from using the bulk of capital to maintain/expand production...into using the bulk of capital to increase capital accumulation by producing nothing in financial markets. The less it produces, and the more capital it plunges into finance...the greater/quicker the capital accumlation.

Matured economies are evolving into economies based on producing nothing. It will plunge the majority into destitution. It's the crises stage of our form of capitalism. What has worked for 500 years has become a caricature of itself. Produce nothing...increase capital. .. It's the enevitable outcome of our structures..

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

polycarp2
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Ideologies make reality adjust to their precepts. Philosophies adapt to what reality teaches us. Poly's diagnosis is correct, and if you want to have a political philosophy, let the air of reality into the room. What was well outlined in the description of Goldwater-LBJ, was a demonstration of the pathology of conservativism as a reaction against "Liberalism." Making "freedom" a free-standing value instead of part of an interactive culture where "for all" must be included allowed the "us against them" crowd to start the heresy trials against the Left. Well, let's remember the anti-Communist predecessors too. Defending "America" against the latest threat to cultural purity is an old meme.

At the same time, the Liberal version of the American Century does not qualify as good philosophical analysis of experience. Our myth crashes and burns in Vietnam while Civil Rights leads to violence and martyrs. The shadow of the Deathstar of Empire looms while the Right claims it is the vehicle for Morning in America and the PNAC dreams of glory.

We did not know working class Americans even if we wanted to improve their lives. Frank Lloyd Wright designed working class homes with large entertainment areas including space for the grand piano. In his vision, workers deserved a fine cultured life and homes that worked. The idea of Archie Bunker holding salons after dinner is funny, but touching. There was a paternalism in the elite architect, but not a disdain for the worker. He did not know them at all, but he did not want to turn them into virtual slaves or "workers."

I think we need to revive much of the War on Poverty, but we also need to include the new appreciation for "indigenous" development models and how large systems can be supportive of locally based efforts. Liberals and Progressives were labeled according to anti-Communism for awhile. Cold War Liberals are like Blue Dogs today. And if Progressive is self-congratulatory, how about "conservative," particularly when "fiscal" is added? Given the record of purported fiscal conservativism, I think that sets the record for hubris.

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DRC
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