Why Progressivism is a Fraud

Progressivismby Tim Jones6/8/16
Progressivism is an Imposter that Fabricated a Secular Religion. It is an Ideology that Has Usurped Christian values and morality.  •  Today’s self-help books are nothing but cheap facsimiles of the Bible, the original “self-help” book in that it prescribed how to live in order to gain redemption, salvation and eventual entry into heaven. Self-help books strip out the transcendent meaning of the Bible and instead instruct readers on how to find the redemption and salvation in the here and now through self-improvement in one area or another or in finding personal happiness. This is analogous to what Progressivism has done with biblical faith and morality.

The ideas of progress and Progressivism are nothing but a rip-off of Christian precepts, its teleology (a doctrine of purpose) and eschatology (the ultimate destiny of humanity). The notion of history as the ongoing development of civilization moving in a positive direction began with such notable and influential philosophers as Hegel, Marx, Comte and Max Weber, among many others in the 18th and 19th centuries.  And this notion of “Progress” that evolved over time gained widespread acceptance of history moving in only one direction of constant growth, innovation and improvement in every area of society – be it economic, educational, cultural, etc. – and was destined to lead to an end-point of perfect individual happiness, equality and justice.

It became co-opted by the ideology of Progressivism into a secular version of Christianity where divine providence, revelation and intervention has been discarded and became a closed system without consideration of what might exist outside of the material world. Man replaced God by becoming gods and in turn the measure of all things. A new worldview overthrew an old one that created a new secular religion rooted in materialism, scientism and egocentrism. In the process Christian morality was inverted into man-made morality.

Rousseau lived in the mid-eighteenth century and was one of the few who were astute enough to observe what was happening with the emergence of modernity and the transition from a long era of spiritual faith to a new one dominated by progressive faith born out of reason.

“Jean-Jacques Rousseau was the first to recognize that, within modern society, what we call political ideology performs a function comparable to that served in early times by religious doctrine and that – as ideologues – scientists, men of letters, and artist now occupy a status once reserved for none but high priests.” (Soft Despotism, Democracy’s Drift: Montesquieu, Rousseau, Tocqueville and the Modern Prospect)

The following quote puts the emphasis on capitalism for impeding economic, cultural and personal development and the similarities between the old totalitarian Soviet Union and today’s populist socialists, both God-less in nature. Remove capitalism and in turn God, then everyone will realize improvement in all areas of their lives. Stalin and Occupy Wall Street Have the same view of “Self-Improvement”:

“For Stalin, a change in the ‘manner of life,’ namely, a change in the economic and political institutions, would greatly improve the human condition.

Other utopian schemes rely upon the removal of the repressive or capitalistic elements. The Occupy Wall Street movement seemed to suggest that if we could simply remove the capitalist oppressors—the top one percent—we could have a better world. Such thinking is predicated on the idea that if the bad guys are removed, the good guys will naturally thrive and create a benign society.

Why? Because the great majority of people are naturally compassionate and other-centered, but they have been oppressed by those who are selfish. By this line of thinking, all the masses need to do is grow in awareness and self-trust.”

If the arrow of time in an historical context is always pointing in a positive direction with every era being ‘better’ than the previous one, why do today’s problems always appear to be getting worse. Clearly the scientific and industrial revolutions brought on unprecedented levels of security and comfort with leisure, pleasure and acquisition becoming the preeminent values of modernity.  But one only needs to be paying attention to the news on a daily basis to see that instead of problems receding with time, they only seem to be getting worse (e.g., drug addiction, crime and poverty) with a myriad of negative unintended consequences as well (e.g., behavioral problems and psychic distress). These negative indicators are always trending down while the positive indicators of “progress” (e.g, technology) always seem to be trending up, a paradox that makes the media look ridiculous in their schizophrenic reporting.

From The True and Only Heaven, Progress and its Critics:

“The attraction of progressive ideology, at least in its liberal version, thus turns out to be its greatest weakness: its rejection of a heroic conception of life. The concept of progress can be defended against intelligent criticism only by postulating an indefinite expansion of desires, a steady rise in the general standard of comfort, and the incorporation of the masses in the culture of abundance … The idea of progress, according to a widely accepted interpretation, represents a secularized version of Christian belief in providence … Progress has become the working faith of our civilization.”

And from The Idea of Progress, An inquiry into its origin and growth:

“In order to advance to the city of the future we must have a force and a lever. Man is the force, and the lever is the idea of Progress. It is supplied by the study of history which displays the improvement of our faculties, the increase of our power over nature, the possibility of organizing society more efficaciously.”

When moral philosophy turned away from transcendent standards and values, and substituted them with man-made ones, it began mimicking the morality of a biblical worldview by replacing the language of religiosity with the language of secularism that discounts the fallen nature of man, evil in the world and the immutability of human nature.

Progressivism, to use a popular colloquialism, is nothing but navel gazing that’s stripped life of any mystery and suffused it with the pretensions and arrogance of its certainty of the ways things are and are becoming. Just because man has learned to manipulate and master material and visible reality, doesn’t make him the ruler of the kingdom. The faith of secular man with its idea of progress completely dismisses who created the material world, man and the laws of nature in the first place – the real Ruler of the Kingdom who remains invisible, hidden behind the curtain to believers – and replaced Christianity with its own cheap imitation. • (787 views)

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5 Responses to Why Progressivism is a Fraud

  1. Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

    Rousseau lived in the mid-nineteenth century

    Had that been the case, he would not have had the influence which he did.

    Rousseau lived from 1712 to 1778. He was a great contributor to the mess which we now have.

  2. Timothy Lane says:

    I believe it was the science fiction writer Avram Davidson who observed that leftists believe that the world would be perfect if we just got rid of some X. For some it might be white people, for others men (perhaps they take John Wyndham’s “Consider Her Ways”, which was made into an Alfred Hitchcock TV episode, too seriously), and there are various alternatives. He put libertarians in there, with the X being government (the old anarchists would have added religion). I think it would be more precise to say that this describes utopians, but there’s a huge overlap between leftists and utopians.

  3. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Self-help books strip out the transcendent meaning of the Bible and instead instruct readers on how to find the redemption and salvation in the here and now through self-improvement in one area or another or in finding personal happiness.

    I think that’s well said, Tim. I went through a spell in my late 20’s/early 30’s where I read many self-help books. And I’m sure some of these have helped people. But they never did much for me. I came away with the conclusion that self-help books were a very inexact and muddled attempt (honest though they may be) to try to describe some alchemic, inexact, and likely unknown combination of things that, in retrospect, seemed to help the author of one of these books.

    So “self-help” books should probably be called “helped-him” or “helped-her” books. It can certainly be inspirational reading someone’s story of personal improvement. But I doubt that most of these people understand the process that improved them. And I doubt that it can exactly apply to other people, even if they are able to describe what worked for them.

    I think the true path to self-improvement is first recognizing our own bullshit. There’s a lot of Kumbaya “I’m okay/you’re okay” Oprah-ized content in this genre. What many people need to hear is “Don’t do this. Don’t do that. You’re not okay if you’re killing kittens and pulling wings off of butterflies.”

    And I do think you capture a core difference in purpose of today’s culture…which is “happiness.” I completely disagree with this vapid goal of life…including Dennis Prager’s take on the importance of “happiness.” (This is where Pat comes in and tells me how wrong I am.) 🙂

    Other than Cosmic issues such as redemption, the Christian outlook on life was to have good purpose, to live a meaningful life. Suffering would come and go. Happiness would come and go. And it was natural to try to minimize suffering and maximize happiness, but it was recognized that, due to the nature of this world, only a fool makes “happiness” his goal in life.

    Much like the phenomenon of The Princess and the Pea, the more that people seek “fulfillment” in the materialist sense, the less fulfilled they actually are. Each “thing” one does not have or enjoy is amplified until the idea of stopping and smelling the roses is foreign and impossible. You need a warehouse of roses to get some pampered and overly-expectant noses to even catch a scent.

    “Jean-Jacques Rousseau was the first to recognize that, within modern society, what we call political ideology performs a function comparable to that served in early times by religious doctrine and that – as ideologues – scientists, men of letters, and artist now occupy a status once reserved for none but high priests.”

    That’s a fantastic quote from that book, Tim. That really does sum-up one of the major differences between BL and AL (before libtardism and after libtardism). This is a great quote from The True and Only Heaven as well:

    The attraction of progressive ideology, at least in its liberal version, thus turns out to be its greatest weakness: its rejection of a heroic conception of life. The concept of progress can be defended against intelligent criticism only by postulating an indefinite expansion of desires, a steady rise in the general standard of comfort, and the incorporation of the masses in the culture of abundance

    Good God, I like that turn of phrase: “A heroic conception of life.” Is taking part in some “walk for transgender rights” a “heroic conception of life”? Where I do quite decidedly side with Dennis Prager is when he talks about those on the right who take on the big evils (abortion, Islam, collectivism, crime) while the Left takes on the small ones (cigarette smoking, recycling, saving snail darters).

    And only a fool or someone living in a cave could seriously disagree that we now, as the author said, have a concept of progress that is “an indefinite expansion of desires, a steady rise in the general standard of comfort, and the incorporation of the masses in the culture of abundance.”

    There’s nothing at all wrong with a general standard of comfort and increased abundance. There’s nothing wrong with progress. America was built largely on the idea of being free enough to better our lot in life and to choose our own path.

    It’s the one-dimensionality of materialistic libtard culture that is the problem. The idea of man having both a material and spiritual life (and an artistic one, and many other facets) has been reduced to Fulfillment Man where the purpose of all outer things is to be personally therapeutic…not instructive, redemptive, or anything esle. We’ve become the gliding fat men as seen in the otherwise horrible movie, Wall-E. Man’s greatest hope today is to live the life of the passive, plugged-in, and pampered prince (or princess) in their gliding-chair world of non-stop consumption and fulfillment.

    Michelle Obama, our problem isn’t a mere intake of calories. It’s an excessive intake of your Progressivism.

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