Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Progressivism and Socialism

The deception, with tact
Just what are you trying to say?
You've got a blank face, which irritates
Communicate, pull out your party face
--The Fixx

Recently, MSNBC commentator Chris Matthews posed what might be the most lucid question of his career to various Democrats: What is the difference between a socialist and a Democrat?

Hillary Clinton predictably did not answer the question directly. Instead, she claimed that she was a 'progressive Democrat' rather than a socialist.

During a recent Democratic presidential debate, however, self-proclaimed 'democratic socialist' Bernie Sanders claimed that he was the progressive candidate while Hillary Clinton wasn't.

Part of the confusion involves the mixing of terms--something commonly done in politics. Socialism is a form of economic organizing. Property and associated decision rights are in the hands of the State. Government decides what to produce and how production is distributed.

The opposite of socialism is capitalism, where property ownership is in private hands. With capitalism, consumers tell producers what to make and how to distribute.

Progressivism is a political philosophy for achieving conditions of socialism. It is a gradualist mentality that views 'progress' as achieved by slowly involving the State in more and more actions previously done by voluntary cooperation among individuals in unhampered markets.

Stated differently, progressivism is a means for achieving a socialistic end. Ironically, progressivism does not reflect progress at all.

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