Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Hayward on the roll back

Steve is being a little too modest in his post just below. It is significant that the Soros people are attacking him, because he hits the nail
on the head. The few paragraphs--the ones that "hit the mark"--by Steve that especially irritated the Soros minion are worth quoting at length:

Liberalism as a programmatic ideology derives much of its energy and legitimacy with the public by assuming to be the prime force of human progress. In practical terms ‘progress’ means the continual – and in principle unlimited – expansion of government. This is why more and more spheres of economic and social life end up being politicized despite our best efforts, and is also why today’s liberals slide naturally into calling themselves ‘progressives’ to avoid the unpopularity associated with the liberal label. Public opinion remains vulnerable to liberal/progressive appeals, which is why narrow cost/benefit analysis and similar approaches are not sufficient to turn back liberalism. Right now the conservative movement does not explicitly contest the left over how the terms of human progress are understood.

As a historical matter, it was during the Progressive Era 100 years ago that both the intellectual foundations of modern liberalism, and the corruption of American constitutionalism, were set in place. The ideas spawned during the Progressive Era established the foundations of both the welfare state and the regulatory state. Progressive liberalism began as a broad-based intellectual movement, comprising economists, lawyers, political scientists, historians, journalists and practical politicians. In the space of a generation this movement reshaped our understanding of our political system. It requires an equally broad-based intellectual movement to reverse this.

In other words, we should seek to roll back the Progressive Era. This is less daunting and far-fetched than it may seem on the surface. Liberals today are largely unreflective about their own premises. Therefore, what is necessary is a sustained program to force liberalism to engage in arguments they avoid, or to examine its unstated premises.

Discussions - 2 Comments

IMHO, the Right needs to find out how many conservatives have survived in modern academia...particularly at the major research universities. There should be networking. From my experience, there’s no support for conservative professors on major college campuses, and they are generally ignored by the Right’s "alternative" system of small colleges and think-tanks.

Dear Lonely Academic:

Send me an e-mail and let me know where you are. There is a lot of ferment taking place on this subject right now among conservative grant makers and organizers.

I know one conservative professor, now tenured at a top university, who concealed his political views throughout the entirety of graduate school, and until he was tenured. A long time. Then, he discovered a friend in his department was just as conservative, but also concealed his views, so they never knew that the other was a conservative. It is this bad in the academy, and should be a scandal.

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