America in the Age of Post-Progressivism

November 27, 2013 at 12:38 pm Leave a comment


by Jason Bradley

In the early 1900’s, America found herself in the beginning stages of a trend that would last for over 100 years. That trend is called progressivism. It was a school of thought that places the government as the arbiter of all human affairs. It makes government a benevolent leader that must have its hands in everything we do. It brought us income taxes, prohibition, “affordable” healthcare, and other such programs. Whether in steps bold or small, we have implemented progressive policies in the name of the common good.

Rarely, however, have these policies been good for everybody. They have taken from those who have, to pass around like party favors at a five-year-old’s birthday party. Whether set up well or not, these programs are so monolithic, that they have become impossible to remove or replace.

Lately, however, I see hope on the horizon. I see a younger generation that values true liberty. It all started in the music industry. Music was handled by large record companies that acted as gatekeepers allowing you to hear the music that they wanted you to hear. With the invention of Napster, everything changed. Gone are the days of being told what to listen to. You can find thousands of acts, signed or unsigned, on platforms like Spotify, Pandora, iTunes, or some other upstart company. You can find anything at all with the click of a button. The same thing is happening not only in music, but in news, movies, and books. Platforms like Kickstarter give access to regular people to make a high quality product. The limits have been removed. No one person or small subset of companies will be able to control output ever again.

What does this mean? There is a lot you can take from this. Young people want choice. They don’t want to be shoved into some one-size-fits-all program. They understand that freedom is choice, and that’s where we see the world of technology heading. This is the new post-progressive America. Of course government will be the last to respond. Why, because it is antithetical to the current trend to decentralize power. The Progressive era is coming to a close, and will fall under the weight of its own gluttony. We can’t continue to fund these programs. At some point they will all run out of money. What will take its place? Only the best ideas will stay alive. The things that are customizable, efficient, and portable will go on. Whatever is closed, limited, and restrictive will come to an end.

These two forces, liberty versus tyranny, have been battling back and forth since the beginning of time. We saw it in stories of ancient civilizations that started out as free associations of people, but gave themselves up to live under the rule of a king (as in the examples of the Israelites or Greeks) or an absolute dictator (like the Romans or Germany after World War I). Because of the oppression under kings in England, many fled across the ocean to start over here with complete freedom. Yet, those same people allowed England to have control of this new land until we could no longer stand it and fought a war for our independence. We struggled with slavery, and eventually freed millions of people that had not known freedom. We have since allowed ourselves to become enslaved again under the auspices of progressivism.

Big government Republicans and Democrats have progressively put together the pieces of a framework that would give the government control over every aspect of our lives. Look at any city in America. Their long range comprehensive plans are to build more high-density housing close to transit hubs, limit low-density housing, and encourage hiking, biking, and mass transit. Now, you may be asking what’s wrong with those things. There is no problem with walking, biking, or living in a condo or apartment… if that’s what you choose. The issue comes in when the government takes billions upon billions in our money and uses it to force these concepts upon us as the wave of the future. Walking, biking, and driving are all choices we have. The fading progressive model would tell us that we have to steer people toward the results they want by creating the conditions to make it so. In a post-progressive world, we would build biking paths, high rise rentals, and light rail lines because there was enough of a demand to make these solutions viable on their own.

How do I know that? Look at the new tech companies, the leader in this movement. When something is no longer in demand, what happens? It goes away. Where are MySpace, CDs, manual cameras, pay phones, encyclopedias, pagers, newspapers, typewriters, answering machines, dial-up internet… you know exactly what I’m talking about. Technology is multiplying at an astronomical rate, making more things obsolete every day. Heck, Facebook is already starting to lose its hold on younger users. How old is that? Technology is starting to invade every aspect of our lives, so how can we not see everything in our lives fall into this new mindset? We are starting live in the future that we only dreamed about in science fiction movies: video phone calls, cars that drive themselves, touch screens with the ability to swipe between pages or applications, personalized advertising… and only the best ideas will survive.

So why is government trying to lock us down into some 1980’s Chinese model of civilization? Because it’s what they have been working toward for 100 years. Government is always the last to catch up. China just beat us to it, because they can force people to do as they please. We must be led. Government has to be in control. It is force and violence. The progressive dream is dying on the vine. They know it, and are trying to finish what they started at a record pace. The writing is on the wall, however, and their time is limited. We are in the beginning throes of a new industrial revolution that can show the world what we are capable of. It is one that will propel man forward, provide unlimited choice, and allow us to live free. That is what the next generation and anyone in touch with them desires. As these people begin to come into leadership in business and government, we will see changes to these spheres that will emulate what is happening now in technology. Funny thing is, the conditions for this kind of economy to thrive were written on a piece of parchment over 230 years ago. They said that government shall do this much… and no more.  The authors of our constitution saw this simple precept: make man free, and you will see the doors of his (her) mind unlocked, and amazing things will happen.

If you are interested in having choice at your fingertips without being shamed or forced into doing something else, want to see the limits of the human mind use technology to improve and change our world, and take the government controls off of these pursuits, you’re in luck. Personal space travel, virtual reality, and things we have never even dreamed of before are all on the table. That’s what you can expect in the new Post-Progressive era.

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Entry filed under: City Government, Community, Met Council. Tags: , , , , , .

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