Different people have a wide range of notions as to what makes a progressive. Especially people warped by right-wing media often have an upside-down misconception which sees progressives as liberals and liberals as neoliberals, in other words: the very opposite of progressives. Even progressive-minded people are sometimes so confused, they don’t know they are progressives and perceive the term as a red flag.
One could argue that everybody is entitled to their own definition; but that wouldn’t make sense, because we cannot have meaningful conversations as long as we use labels for which we entertain vastly diverging meanings. We must be clear on the words we use.
Since that is a lot to ask for after some hundred years of brainwashing and confusion of the public by our rich ruling class, I strive to avoid our much abused political labels, but – quite frankly – this is difficult to do; and it’s a pity and shame that I even have to do this so as not to be seen in a completely wrong light. Still, how about we try to lift the veil of darkness that the robber billionaires have blinded us with for so long?
So, what then is the objective meaning of progressive? The word actually explains itself:
Progressive, in a political sense, can obviously only mean moving forward from the status quo (say, from healthcare access for only a portion of our population to healthcare for all). Maintaining the status quo, or even rewinding the clock, as neoliberals and neocons strain to do for the handsome pay they receive from our ruling rich, is the exact opposite. So, “Democrats” may be seen as “liberals” – more accurately neoliberals if you are referring to those who control that party – but to call them progressive, or to lump progressives in with those types, is both an abysmal insult to progressives and a complete misunderstanding of reality. Neoliberals are best defined as a special kind of neocons who are nice to gays and queers. And both neocons and neoliberals are best described as human predators, or at least their enablers.
For more insight on this issue, I can recommend last week’s entry in the great weekly blog Our Revolution Continues: “Regressive Progressives”
Here are some salient quotes:
“Obama recently received $3.2 million for a one hour speech in Milan, Italy. This, of course, was a couple of weeks after he accepted $400,000 for a speech given on Wall Street. Do these sound like the actions of a “progressive” individual who understands what it’s like to be a struggling, working American? Or does it sound like a retired corporate politician who is cashing in on his lobbyist friends’ promises of more money to come?”
“Simply put, if you want to keep the status-quo of only two factions in power and you’re okay with the Citizen United ruling, stating “money is speech,” and you can’t wait for your next Big Pharma or Big Oil lobbyist paycheck, then you’re not a progressive. To progress means to go forward – not to go backward to the 19th century. The International Monetary Fund has said neoliberal policies (policies sponsored by both the Democratic and Republican Parties) since the Reagan era have made our economy into one where today there is worse income inequality than in Victorian times.”
Ouch! Enjoy continued reading of that article.
Oh, and if you appreciate such articles, share them, comment on them, or even help their writers out financially, since doing this for free on nights and weekends, we may eventually burn out. Our Revolution Continues has a Patreon Account for donations, and so – as of recently – does this here blog. I have begun to regularly remind everybody, not because I hope for significant money, but because I worry about all our independent voices to die out. It’s OK if I burn out and retire from this hard, unpaid work, telling myself I did my stint and can now finally get some rest after work. I would find it much less OK when everybody else also disappears, and we are left with nothing but the lying and manipulative mainstream media (where you will rarely if ever hear a progressive voice (as defined above), even for just a few seconds, unless it is out of context, way to short, and only there to then be smeared or ridiculed — you know, when you (yes you) suffer, it’s laughable, only you are to blame, and no help can possibly exist or rightly should — that’s the corporate mainstream media taking care of you and your situation — so support them instead of us citizen journalists — the human predators will thank you — just saying…).