Skip to comments.In progressivism, the definition of "democracy" is "government"
Posted on 06/02/2021 7:37:55 AM PDT by ProgressingAmerica
No matter what you may think, your definition of the word "democracy" is wrong as it pertains to what progressives are saying.
In progressivism, "democracy" = "the state". That's their definition of it. It's an unwritten and hidden definition, yet its the most commonly used. In The Promise of American Life, (p. 418) Herbert Croly wrote the following:
Any substantial progress towards the attainment of complete individual disinterestedness is far beyond the reach of contemporary collective effort, but such disinterestedness should be clearly recognized as the economic condition both of the highest fulfillment which democracy can bestow upon the individual and of a thoroughly wholesome democratic organization. Says Mr. John Jay Chapman in the chapter on "Democracy," in his "Causes and Consequences": "It is thought that the peculiar merit of democracy lies in this: that it gives every man a chance to pursue his own ends. The reverse is true. The merit lies in the assumption imposed upon every man that he shall serve his fellow-men.... The concentration of every man on his own interests has been the danger and not the safety of democracy, for democracy contemplates that every man shall think first of the state and next of himself.... Democracy assumes perfection in human nature." But men will always continue chiefly to pursue their own private ends as long as those ends are recognized by the official national ideal as worthy of perpetuation and encouragement. If it be true that democracy is based upon the assumption that every man shall serve his fellow-men, the organization of democracy should be gradually adapted to that assumption. The majority of men cannot be made disinterested for life by exhortation, by religious services, by any expenditure of subsidized words, or even by a grave and manifest public need. They can be made permanently unselfish only by being helped to become disinterested in their individual purposes, and how can they be disinterested except in a few little spots as long as their daily occupation consists of money seeking and spending in conformity with a few written and unwritten rules? In the complete democracy a man must in some way be made to serve the nation in the very act of contributing to his own individual fulfillment. Not until his personal action is dictated by disinterested motives can there be any such harmony between private and public interests. To ask an individual citizen continually to sacrifice his recognized private interest to the welfare of his countrymen is to make an impossible demand, and yet just such a continual sacrifice is apparently required of an individual in a democratic state. The only entirely satisfactory solution of the difficulty is offered by the systematic authoritative transformation of the private interest of the individual into a disinterested devotion to a special object.
American public opinion has not as yet begun to understand the relation between the process of national education by means of a patient attempt to realize the national purpose and the corresponding process of individual emancipation and growth. It still believes that democracy is a happy device for evading collective responsibilities by passing them on to the individual; and as long as this belief continues to prevail, the first necessity of American educational advance is the arousing of the American intellectual conscience. Behind the tradition of national irresponsibility is the still deeper tradition of intellectual insincerity in political matters. Americans are almost as much afraid of consistent and radical political thinking as are the English, and with nothing like as much justification. Jefferson offered them a seductive example of triumphant intellectual dishonesty, and of the sacrifice of theory to practice, whenever such a sacrifice was convenient.
And this screed it goes on from there. Attacks on Jefferson and the Founding(which happen in other parts of the book as well) But to stay on point, this is from Croly's chapter on "Conditions of Individual Emancipation" and yes, he does mean that in the most vile way. How can we emancipate individuals from individualism and promote them into collectivism? He uses all of these words interchangeably, but when he says that "a man must" "be made to serve the nation", he means the state. He means we should all serve government.
Even his quoting of Chapman is quite out of context. Chapman is lauding the greatness of the Founding in that section of his book (see here: [source on p. 121]) and it is not a slavish devotion to the purity of statism. Reading a few pages prior makes this clear, go ahead, you'll see it. Chapman isn't going in the direction Croly is.
Note the several periods in Croly's so-called quoting of Chapman. He's taking Chapman out of context! Even in the early 1900s, progressives have only taken what they have needed and discarded the rest like trash.
But as much as I dislike all of this that Croly has done, I also recognize the value it has. Progressives won't come to you and say "I have polluted the language." "I have perverted the word 'democracy' so that it has a new meaning. That new definition is the state or government." But that is in fact where we are at. The next time you hear a progressive speak and they start going into the use of the word "democracy", just strike that word "democracy" out in your mind as you are listening and insert the word "state" or phrase "the state", and you'll see it. It's an accurate capturing of progressivism ideology as it spills out of their dishonest mouths.
If more conservatives read Croly's book, we would all be better off for it and the result it would have on our dealings with these horrible people. Conservatives MUST read this book. To understand progressivism, this is the book. The Promise of American Life.
Some progressives wear R jerseys to fool people.
Herbert Croly was a registered Republican, and this was one of Theodore Roosevelt’s favorite books.
Servitude is freedom, liberty is irresponsible, self-interest or aspiration are selfishness, trust government and put all your cares upon it?
That sound like a summation?
Progressivism produces vile, loathsome people.
Yes, you read that about right. This was published in 1909 and they’ve been doing this for over 100 years.
TR was a progressive. Those are people who were against everything this country was founded to be long before the FDR slimed his way across the national stage.
Though not the actual year we would attribute progressivism’s actual rise there should be a book titled “1884” ... not 1984 ... it took generations of careful lying and double speak to sell Americans on even early so-called “progressivism”. Before there could ever be a ministry of truth there had to be a coalitions of liars.
No matter, whether Abrahamic faith or Pagan, we ALL, in our individual freedoms, as WE interpret them, have a vile, mallingering distaste and hatred for the following statement:
“The State is god.”
Some people worship the state as God, including those progressives such as Croly who were ardent anti-socialists.
Some Christians do too, thinking that ‘their’ 1st Amendment rights come before the rest of us unwashed Americans.
They depend on The State to keep it that way.
Just like they think their ‘privileged tax status’ allows them more State Wiggle Room. Obviously, they skipped over those pertinent chapters in Soviet history.
This quote, near the end of your message, gives an accurate description of what progressives do.
“Note the several periods in Croly’s so-called quoting of Chapman. He’s taking Chapman out of context! Even in the early 1900s, progressives have only taken what they have needed and discarded the rest like trash.”
They are truly, “The People of the Lie.”
They hide their intentions.
They cover their tracks.
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