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Monday, September 22, 2014

Proud to be Progressive


             Where do progressives get their name from?  Progressive has come to mean many things, but the reformers from the Progressive movement of 1890 to 1915 brought the world into our modern era.  Work site safety, decent wages and a more reasonable number of hours worked was an intense focus.
           The immigrant wave of Europe (1870-1890), had provided corporate factory owners with cheap labor in those industrializing decades. The Progressives created child labor laws and improved school systems because the children who were working in Christian (read that Protestant) owned factories, began going to school during the Progressive Era, and the second American Revolution began. Many more people began reading books other than the Bible, and thusly the Dark Ages ended once and for all.   Protestant factory owners hated the laws passed in favor of workers, following union strikes. The man who could break the back of these unions would be a great hero someday.
              Progressives encouraged invention and innovation and science, while bible thumpers kept insisting that indoctrinating people with Adam and Eve as truth and Hell for atheists is an absolute truth, was important to teach.  They still think that today, as they attempt to change history schoolbooks.
              There was a resurgence of classical music--- boy scouts and girl scouts were founded; and there were many forward thinking reformers. It was a great cultural era in the improvement of human societies.

 The Progressive Era grew a healthy canopy of honesty over the moral high ground hypocrisy of the Victorian Age.   Today, Republicans are the heirs to the moral high ground hypocrites of that age. Nefarious characters such as Newt Gingrich (divorcing wife while she was in the hospital) and Mark Sanford (Hiking the Appalachian trail-the new part that goes to Argentina) and Strom Thurmond ( encouraging segregation, but having a black child nonetheless); are prominent examples within a long list of others.

         The meat packing industry was shamed in 1906 with a famous book that revealed horrid conditions and the disgusting nature of the Meat Industry.  Standards of cleanliness were enforced  in many industries after that.

            Left to their own devices, big business will pay as little as possible for safe working conditions and sustainability of raw material, and make safety a priority, only when forced by legislation. This is repeating itself today. Are you seeing the pattern of greed and hypocrisy and the traitorous lies”? Hypocritical grandstanding idiots like glennbeck, will diss and discuss Progressivism like it was some horrible movement that has hampered mankind ever since its beginning. I'm offering another view of what Progressivism is.
           Progressives are under attack, prompted by the apologists of greed and authoritarian excess with the likes of Fox News and Rush Limbaugh. Progressive to many means commie socialist Marxist moochers.  Republicans muddy the waters so no one can see  how shallow they are.

            Theodore Roosevelt was perhaps the most prominent progressive and spent a career busting up the Rockefellers and other corporate monopolies that paid little wages, but accumulated wealth beyond any before them. T.R. started the National estuary program at Pelican Island here in Sebastian, Florida, because the slaughter of birds for the Victorian Age fashion of the day-hats with feathers- was a disgusting and violent disgrace.
                   The passenger pigeon went extinct because they were shot out of the sky after the civil war, as neo-pioneers shot for fun instead of food.  Indoctrinating youth towards loving war, and killing animals makes them violent adults,  in many cases. It certainly did after the civil war, as it does today with todays veterans hating terrorists and 500 million other Muslims.
Canada wins the gold
                  Progressives halted the killing of buffalo and we only have buffaloes today because the last 1,000 were able to expand their numbers. How many millions of Buffalo were killed by lunatic gun enthusiasts? Progressives want to end the blood sports encouraged by the warrior elite, shooting everything in sight these last 200 years. Progressivism is about sustainability, peace and personal liberty.

                  Womens right to vote in 1920 rode one of the last waves of progressive era reforms. WE THE PEOPLE was important to Progressives then, and they proved their commitment by their actions. The Progressive Era was not a violent revolution, but the most thorough evisceration of corruption and cruelty in modern times. Activism AND action to bring about change. This can happen in every country that has corrupt business and politics. It appears that after 100 years the oligarchy is poised for a poisoning of the earth and an enslavement of peoples minds.

            Anti progressivism and half truths will not stop the real American patriots from prevailing. Jingoists waving the flag and Dominionists thumping that bible are still shocking to us, but the new progressive era will marginalize these people --so much -- and reveal them to be the moral high ground hypocrites that they are.     
          Freedom and Compassion got married and their firstborn was named Liberty.  The good people of America need to stop hoping the other guy does something and support reforms and change.  You are the other guy now, so take another look at  The Progressive Era. It was about small business, farmers and various tradespeople having a  bigger say in what went on in this country.  
         Pre Progressive Populists   were agrarian utopians, and they tried to create an equitable bi-metallic economic system.  Gold and Silver, with silver being the working mans coin. Populists hated the bankers as modern Progressives do today.  
        Progressives of 1890-1915, were middle class business people, writers and reformers and those who were being marginalized by wealthy industrialist oligarchs in many small towns across the country.
         Wall Street has always tried to control Main Street and the Reagan Era of Greed has accomplished what oligarchs in the 19th century only dreamed about. The hero had arrived to kill the unions and all workers representation. The black hole of oligarchy had swallowed the mom and pop system of family farms and small markets, and now seeks a future of profit and control. These are freaks of human nature we are fighting, super villians if you will.

     Modern Progressives will work towards the liberty and compassion, justice and freedom that every human on earth should expect. Progressives are not GO USA but GO  WORLD!  

       The Republicans inability to balance a federal budget since Eisenhower is not mentioned enough. Republicans are good at breaking things and bloating budgets, but have not balanced the federal budget within the lifetime of many alive today.  They try to take credit for the Clinton Prosperity, but they had nothing to do with it. It was a cheeky optimism and lowering barriers and borders. The global economy is a step too far however.
       The Illusion of Prosperity will be the cause of many higher prices in the future. The blame will go to Progressives who are trying to correct these obvious flaws in our markets. Savor these low inflation rates because our reality, in the future,   will be shortages and price spikes.  To state that there has been low  inflation is a joke. House insurance is up 30% in Florida. Medical procedures go up 20% a year and costs of many items increase dramatically while the government tells us there is low inflation.  
       The Consumer Price Index (CPI) is our guide to inflation and it is simply no longer accurate.  Neither is the GDP that was created shortly after the Great Depression. Nobody can tell me there is low inflation. Veterinarian services are up 20%, car repair is rapidly getting more expensive. Plumber’s rates have increased 50% in the last 5 years. 

     Some of it is caused by the over reach and over regulation of the government increasing costs everywhere and Progressives have that smaller government mentality. Regulate only where it's needed. Government passes out favors to those who can manipulate the system. Rich or poor with the middle class holding the bag.
     Briefly, regarding the word Progressive, Republicans are trying to associate what was once a good word, into something that means hippies, blue collar dinosaurs, unions, conservation, and all those other code words and dog whistles that tell the Rush Republicans that progressive means anti-profit, anti-private property. NO! Blue collar Progressives take their cue from the Progressive era, duh. 1890 to 1915.  The Progressives set out to reform the obscene profits and inhumane working condition of the Robber Barons and Industrial Tyrants.  
            Upton Sinclair’s, “The Jungle”, in 1906 was very popular and boosted the importance of muckrakers who were finding  avaricious and hexcretous wealth  in the lives of the greedy and gluttonous. The grandiose and grotesquely rich  who saw nothing wrong with rat meat in the commoners sausage, or who were responsible for making my grandmother, and millions of others,  work 12 hours without a break, when she was 12 years old.  They tried, and the result was 12 year old girls peeing their bloomers. Or people adjusted as they always do and didn't drink anything all day to please their bosses by not using the bathroom and suffer from problems related to dehydration. This is why I often say that most wealth is illegitimate.
            Child labor laws were passed and small business was going strong and the Federal Tax System had yet to arrive during the Progressive Era. Good hearted people fought back with results. It began in 1890 with the big Carpenters strike. It ended in 1920 as women were finally allowed to vote and then Prohibition and the Roaring 20's emerged.  The federal tax system got its foot in the door and is now the elephant in the room controlling our economy with its endless loopholes for corrupt business. The White Collar criminal class has taken over and Progressives intend to get it back.
  Thomas Jefferson promoted the idea of the citizen legislator, where a broad spectrum of workers and crafts are represented in the federal government; Carpenter, blacksmith, nurse, teacher, fireman, lunch lady. The idea was to always have a representative sample of the population, not what we have today; where 45% of Congress are lawyers, an army of law making psychopaths with more personality than brains, in lockstep with their oligarchs agenda.
          Richard Hofstadter was a Pulitzer Prize winning author back in the fifties and I find his more traditional conservative viewpoint, open minded and somewhat radical in retrospect. Hofstadter had this to say, “frequent and sensational rises in land values bred a boom psychology in the American farmer, 1800 to 1899. This caused him to rely for his margin of profit more on the process of appreciation than on the sale of crops. It took a strong person to resist the temptation to ride skywards on lands that could easily triple or quadruple their value in one decade and double again the next. “He continues, “It seemed ultraconservative to improve existing possessions if one could put savings or borrowings into new land. What developed, along with the relentless march of commercial agriculture, was an agricultural society where real attachment was not to land but to land values.” 
             Murica. Not to mention the deforestation and prairie destruction involved with the farming of America. Hofstadter would be puzzled today by corporate apologists and moral high ground hypocrites like Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity or Bill O’Reilly calling themselves conservative.    
             They will have retrospect in the future I’m sure. Their intellectuals will discuss the myopic wisdom of 20th century economists, who were unable to see  the rapacious plundering of the earth that will have a negative impact on future prosperity and resource sustainability.  Environmentalists are despised by right wingers, but the Greens are trying to save a nice piece of Earth for all future generations. 
                Humans are the large square peg pounding our way into the small round hole in the fabric of living creatures.   Becoming more sensitive, individually, yet still quite hostile,   to all the planets REMAINING lives BY FEELING THERE IS NOTHING WE CAN DO TO CHANGE THINGS, even enthusiastically supporting a system that looks the other way to the homeless and hungry workers of the world: the people making the goods that give us an Illusion of Prosperity.

         I'm proud to stand with Progressives because the First Progressive Era brought Americans into a modern age of invention, convenience, recreation and freedom of assembly (unions). People like glennbeck  think the mass of people should be working 16 hours a day at 5 dollars an hour. The Progressive idea of Liberty is something completely different.

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