The Return of Progressivism Around the World...

All over the Western world right now, neoliberalism - or Reaganism - is failing.

Decades of rising inequality combined with austerity and manufacturing decline have reached a breaking point.

People everywhere are fed up with the status quo - and they want change.

In some cases, this demand for change has taken on the form of right-wing demagogues like Donald Trump and France's Marine Le Pen.

But the real rebellion against neoliberalism isn't coming from the right - it's coming from the left - and it's not as radical as you might think.

It's not just Bernie Sanders - left-wing populists like the UK's Jeremy Corbyn are on the rise all over the world.

The media calls them radicals - but are they actually just old-school FDR progressives?


giraffe's picture
giraffe 26 weeks 5 days ago

As someone who grew up while FDR was president, and from what I've read about that era, I see Bernie Sanders et al as proponents of the FDR agenda brought up-to-date.

Legend 26 weeks 5 days ago

Taiwan has a Progressive President Tsai Ing-wen. South Korea just elected a Progressive President Moon Jae-in. Canada Has Trudeau. Austrailia has Malcolm Turnbull. We have Trump???

Ou812's picture
Ou812 26 weeks 5 days ago

1. Moving forward; advancing.
2. Proceeding in steps; continuing steadily by increments: progressive change.
3. Open to or favoring new ideas, policies, or methods: a progressive politician; progressive business leadership.
4. Progressive Of or relating to a Progressive Party: the Progressive platform of 1924.
5. Of or relating to progressive education: a progressive school.
6. Increasing in rate as the taxable amount increases: a progressive income tax.
7. Tending to become more severe or wider in scope: progressive paralysis.
8. Grammar Designating a verb form that expresses an action or condition in progress.
9. Music Of or being a style that emphasizes virtuoso technique, rhythmic and melodic complexity, and unconventional forms and instrumentation: progressive rock; progressive jazz.
1. A person who is open to or favors new ideas, policies, or methods, especially in politics.
2. Progressive A member or supporter of a Progressive Party.
3. Grammar A progressive verb form.

pro·gres′sive·ly adv.
pro·gres′sive·ness n.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Above is the definition of Progressive, from the American Heritage Dictionary. Notice the definition talks about advancing, moving forward, favoring new ideas. Theodore Roosevelt was a progressive, so was his cousin Franklin. Both of these gentleman looked at issues (problems) and applied forward thinking solutions, in an attempt to solve them. Those who look back to the past for ideas to solve modern issues, are not progressives, they are washed up lefties.

Modern problems can not be solved with ideas that were progressive in the 1930’s. So what’s it going to be washed up lefties looking to the past for solutions, or true progressives who look forward and use modern problem solving and solutions to solve problems. The whole idea is to solve problems, not create them.

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 26 weeks 5 days ago

"The radical of one century is the conservative of the next. The radical invents the views. When he has worn them out, the conservative adopts them." Mark Twain

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 26 weeks 5 days ago

Bernie is what I call a center populist. He's by far the most popular politician in the nation right now. His platform isn't extreme at all. He simply represents the will of the vast is that extreme?????

The billionaires demonize anybody and everything that might cut into their out of control thirst for endless wealth and power.

We need to embrace the words Liberal and Socialism..... and demonize the words Conservative and Capitalism.

Willie W's picture
Willie W 26 weeks 5 days ago

The rich are the real progressives of modern times. They have certainly moved forward quite a bit. Real conservatism would start with them tempering their insane wants and settling for a little less, same as they expect us to. The past rocked!

wmleidy's picture
wmleidy 26 weeks 5 days ago

the key to progressivism was lost nearly four decades ago when ronald reagan took office. and it is forty years of republican tax cuts that have created wealth inequality, economic instability and the steady undermining of america's working classes. the democrats need to educate the public and they need to restore the pre reagan tax code. frankly, this is a thankless task and i don't believe the dems have it in them. america needs revolution and a new progressive party that carries the nation's interest to heart.

Edward J. Dodson's picture
Edward J. Dodson 26 weeks 5 days ago

The challenge for those who are troubled by existing socio-political arrangements and institutions is to look deeply into what constitutes just law. The fundamental right of human beings has for most of the history of large societies been institutionally denied. This is our equal birthright to nature.

When people began to settle in one place they needed to agree on rules that governed access to what nature provided. Initially, tribal groups established these rules based on common needs. Over time, however, all societies succumbed to hierarchy, with those who produced the goods needed by all pushed to the bottom, living under the rule of a privileged elite (usually in league with those who proclaimed an ability to communicate with the gods). Privileged elites have continued to exist under state-socialism, under all the strains of social democracy or democratic-socialism, and under the liberalism that characterized "the American System" from the New Deal era until the upsurge of Reagan's New Federalism.

To get the dominos falling in the direction toward real justice, what is needed is a fundamental change in our systems of property law and taxation. Ideally, no one should be permitted to claim owneship of nature. Unfortunately, since the signing of Magna Carta land that was once the commons began to be bought and sold rather than allocated subject to the payment of rents, rents collected to pay for public goods and services. Today, when land is needed for public purposes, governments must tax citizens to pay the "owners" in order to acquire land that was once in the public domain before being given away to political favorites or speculators.

The best solution to landed privilege turns out to be taxation. The imposition of an annual tax on land that comes close to the potential annual rental value of land held would not only raise need revenue for infrastructure and public services but remove from an economy the destructive influence of land speculation. Owners of land would have a real financial incentive to bring the land they hold to its highest, best use (as permitted by the community) or sell to someone who would. At the same time, taxes on private property (e.g., houses and other property improvements) should be greatly reduced or eliminated. A long list of thoughtful analysts have embraced these proposals going back even to Adam Smith and Thomas Paine (in "Agrarian Justice"). The American Henry George built a global political movement in competition with laissez-faire captialism and socialism at the end of the 19th century. Had he succeeded we would be having a very different discussion about the state of the planet and humanity.

Edward J. Dodson, M.L.A.


School of Cooperative Individualism.

elinor roosevelt 26 weeks 5 days ago

It angers me when the news calls people like Bernie Sanders and Al Franken radicals - these people to me are the real "patriots" of our country. They speak the truth of what is going on in Washington about the lies, taking away our social programs that protect the poor and middle class. The Trump administration taking away money and strength from the EPA and their widening the fossil fuel hunt in a time when the planet is in crisis with global warming. I am a liberal and am proud of this fact and have learned over the many years I have lived in this country that we are the people who truly care about our Constitution and the Bill of Rights and we want a President who works for the people not corporations like Trump. He is indecent and a pitiful human being and should never have been given this Presidency !

elinor roosevelt 26 weeks 5 days ago

You took the words out of my mouth ! Thank you !

DHBranski's picture
DHBranski 26 weeks 5 days ago

For years, the liberal discussion has centered on solidarity with the middle class (quite recently revised to "working class"). Twenty-some years into our war on the poor, there has been virtually no liberal interest in our poverty crisis, apparently no cognizance of those who are far worse off than minimum wage workers. While countless poor families have been torn apart, and the overall life expectancy of the US poor has fallen below that of every developed nation, when was the last time you heard anyone call for restoring basic poverty relief?

Sen Sanders used to speak out powerfully about US poverty and the need for legitimate poverty relief. To my knowledge, he dropped the issue with his campaign.

It appears that today's liberals are true believers in the success of our deregulated corporate state, believing that everyone can work and there are jobs for all (therefore no need for poverty relief). That's actually a right wing ideology -- regressive, not progressive.

DHBranski's picture
DHBranski 26 weeks 5 days ago

It's more complicated. What came to be called AFDC (the main welfare aid program) was actually first included in FDR's Social Security Act.The Great Society was built squarely on the foundation of the New Deal. This agenda played a critical role in taking the US to its height of wealth and productivity (no, not utopia, but...) from FDR to Reagan. In the 1980s, we decided to begin reversing course, doing just the opposite. The Clinton administration took an ax to the Great Society, and took the first steps to similarly "reform" Social Security (targeted the disabled).

Add in the "free trade" agenda (significant loss of family-supporting jobs) and our war agenda, years of massive corporate tax cuts/handouts, and look at the results. When Reagan was first elected, the overall quality of life in the US was rated at #1. By the time Obama was elected, the US had already fallen to #48.

Through all of this, those who are not on the right wing were successfully divided, pitted against each other by class and race.

Hephaestus's picture
Hephaestus 26 weeks 5 days ago


Define everything as you see it in extreme verbosity

An american trait... you might be a lawyer because that's what they do in order to minimise a view point into meaningless

Do you feel like a human?

What's your point?

I fail to understand why we need to change what works!?!?!

Hephaestus's picture
Hephaestus 26 weeks 5 days ago

Edward J Dodson

You are right on!

There is NO government on this planet that has the bottle to challenge the landowner

What does that tell you?

Likewise bankers (ters)

What does that tell you?

Fractional reserve banking is at best deception

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 26 weeks 5 days ago

This thread started talking about what to call things. I am glad it returned to talking about policies.

Speaking of the poor, one should mention that welfare generates the greatest velocity. In other words, welfare is the best investment the government can make.

Radical's picture
Radical 26 weeks 4 days ago

I am tired of hearing the corporate media and right-wing Trump apologists say that the American people elected Trump. That is an absolute boldfaced lie. The Democratic Party leadership led by Wasserman- Schultz and Donna Brazille blatantly stole the democratic Nomination from Bernie Sanders. and gave the nomination to Hillary Clinton. She was a terrible candidate and everone knew it. Due to the fact that so many people hated and didn't trust Hillary Clinton that made an election that should have been a rout into a close race. In other words it was close enough so the Republicans could steal it. That is exactly what they did using interstate cross check run by Kris kobach. Greg palast the best investigative reporter in America has the proof he even has the lists of the Millions of voters that the Republicans illegally took off of the voting rolls. The corporate media refuses to have Greg Palast on their network. The only ones that do are RT and Demacracy NOW. The Republicans stole the Presidency and the senate in 2016. The Democratic Party should be saying it constantly but they are saying nothing. Those who are reading this and are good at spreading information get this to go viral. People have to know that the Republicans are traitors and criminals. say it over and over and over.

Republicans Admit to Accepting Bribes, Why Aren't They In Jail?

The whole Roy Moore thing in a way really highlights in my mind how committed the Republicans are to sucking up to the very, very wealthy base. I've been referring to them for a long time as the owners of the Republican Party, but they're also the ones that keep the Republican Party in power. They're also the supporters of the Republican Party.

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