Where oh where have those liberals gone wrong? Where oh where have they erred? The answers to these sing-song questions are nicely summarized by Fred Siegel in his article Progressives Against Progress. Siegel delivers a clever compendium of progressive hysteria and hyperbole, tracking this quasi-religious movement’s momentum from the child-like Earth First dilettantes to today’s hardcore anti-democratic Gaia Gestapo.
Crankery, in short, became respectable. In 1972, Sir John Maddox, editor of the British journal Nature, noted that though it had once been usual to see maniacs wearing sandwich boards that proclaimed the imminent end of the Earth, they had been replaced by a growing number of frenzied activists and politicized scientists making precisely the same claim….In each case, liberals have argued that the threat of catastrophe can be averted only through drastic actions in which the ordinary political mechanisms of democracy are suspended and power is turned over to a body of experts and supermen….American liberalism has remarkably come to resemble nineteenth-century British Tory Radicalism, an aristocratic sensibility that combined strong support for centralized monarchical power with a paternalistic concern for the poor. Its enemies were the middle classes and the aesthetic ugliness it associated with an industrial economy powered by bourgeois energies.
Chicken Little would be proud of the progressive penchant for seeing doom at every new dawn. Isn’t it curious though that the people who make our world go, whose efforts and ingenuity literally feed the masses and provide economic, social, and intellectual opportunities unimaginable even 50 years ago, are the focus of so much progressive spite and venom. Empowering people is NOT the progressive game plan. Dominating them IS.