In thinking about the post regarding Wilkinson and Lindsey and their attempt to build a liberaltarian bridge to Progressives so as to make their political project more viable and also to liberate themselves from the Right, I was reminded of Pelosi's floor speech made before the vote approving Obamacare. Pelosi's comments were infuriating given her bastardized appropriation of the Declaration of Independence in the service of the healthcare reform bill. She stated that our Founding begins with the individual's pursuit of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. With hc reform each individual would now be liberated from the most pressing of concerns, i.e., securing healthcare, and consequently would be better able to pursue the Declaration's triad of objectives. This is, of course, a deeply flawed reading of the text and its history. However, upon reflection Pelosi acutely reveals the mind of Progressivism and the manner in which it takes up the dreams of liberalism proper into its overall project. Pelosi's real argument was that the autonomous individual rather than finding their freedom in emancipation from the state would actually find it in the state's common provisioning of healthcare. There would be one less thing to worry about, and that's a good thing, Pelosi implies. Thus the pursuit of autonomistic liberty's goals could be better made.
In a basic sense, this is also the project of Wilkinson and Lindsey, both men deeply in communion with the individual emancipated from seemingly everything but self-interest and contracts freely entered into and freely broken. The rub, I think, and where Pelosi's position gathers steam is the absolute foundation and final purpose of the unencumbered individual to liberal and free government that she actually shares with these two gentlemen. If this is the summum bonum of existence, then why not cross over to modern liberalism and embrace certain statist objectives that will better achieve this end. After all, it seems, if autonomistic emancipation is your goal, why not bring the services of government in pursuit of that objective. What matters is the will and the pleasing of its needs. I think this concept is what unites the Wilkinson, Lindsey position with Progressivism in a far more enduring way than any momentary alliance that might be formed with conservatives on a specific policy. Ultimately, their desire is to live in a manner wholly unconducive to the givenness of the human person, and his attachments and relationships that are necessary to his flourishing. That welfare states devalue family and local attachments are none of his concern. He left these relationships, philosophically speaking, a long time ago. Big government, of course, becomes logical and needed once these contexts for liberty begin to dissolve.