Frank Maguire
Progressivism: revising the past...
By Frank Maguire
March 5, 2013

"On every question of construction (of the Constitution) let us carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates, and instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text, or invented against it, conform to the probable one in which it was passed." Letter to William Johnson from Thomas Jefferson, June 12, 1823, The Complete Jefferson

"In his New Nationalism speech he (Theodore Roosevelt) noted how, in aiming to use state power to bring about economic equality, the government should permit a man to earn and keep his property 'only as long as the gaining represents benefit to the community.' The government itself would determine what represented a benefit to the community, and whether society would be better off if an individual's wealth was transferred to somebody else."

Theodore Roosevelt Was No Conservative; There's a reason he left the GOP to lead the Progressive Party, by Ronald Pestritto (Dec. 27, 2008) is the Shipley Professor of the American Constitution at Hillsdale College.

"American politicians have long taken their cue...from Franklin D. Roosevelt who sold his National Recovery Act...on the grounds that 'government restrictions must be accepted not to hamper individualism but to protect it.'" Economic Fascism, by Thomas DiLorenzo.

"McClure's Magazine founder Samuel McClure...described Italian fascism as 'a great step forward and the first new ideal in government since the founding of the American Republic.'" Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left from Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning, by Jonah Goldberg.

"Secretary of State John Kerry was barely off the plane in Germany before he embarrassed himself – and all of us – with what is perhaps the worst defense of religious freedom ever offered. Kerry, the unsuccessful Democratic candidate for president in 2004, said the United States protects religious freedom because: 'In America , you have a right to be stupid.' Sec. Kerry's audience of German students laughed when he said that." Senator Kerry's "Stupid" Defense of Religious Liberty, by Ken Blackwell,, Feb. 27, 2013

"NAACP co-founder W. E. B. DuBois saw National Socialism as a worthy model for economic organization. The establishment of the NAZI dictatorship in Germany, he wrote, had been 'absolutely necessary to get the state in order.' In 1937 DuBois stated: 'there is today, in some respects, more democracy in Germany than there has been in years past.

' A long-time admirer of Joseph Stalin, Du Bois wrote a gushing obituary of the dictator: 'Joseph Stalin was a great man... simple, calm and courageous'. In 1961, the 91-year-old DuBois joined the American Communist Party. In the same year, while visiting Ghana, the US refused to renew his passport. DuBois consequently renounced his American citizenship and became a citizen of Ghana...."

"Tolerance is extended to policies, conditions, and modes of behavior which should not be tolerated because they are impeding, if not destroying, the chances of creating an existence without fear and misery." Repressive Tolerance, by Herbert Marcuse, 1965

"The social worker Felix Adler said the regimentation imposed on society by the war effort was helping America create the 'perfect man...a fairer and more beautiful and more righteous type than any...that has yet existed." (Ibid.) Jonah Goldberg

Ecclesiastes 1:9 "What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun." (King Solomon)

"Any revolutionary change must be preceded by a passive, affirmative, non-challenging attitude toward change among the mass of our people." Rules for Radicals, by Saul Alinsky

Progressivism: ... Devising a Future

Most persons, if asked, will share their thoughts about the past and the future...about the birth of the universe and of the human "race," and some will mention a creator God.

The average non-specialized person who is a creative thinker and student makes use of past and present specialized-scholars, and eventually settles into a world-view that doesn't confound their experience as to what is actual.

There are some who, however, who are solipsistic. Each sees herself/himself to be the only reliable reality. They have virtually no regard for actualities, preferring to create a world-view that is some admixture of ideas subjectively desirable. (Solipsism from Latin solus, meaning "alone," and ipse, meaning "self") is the philosophical idea that only one's own mind is sure to exist. As an epistemological position, solipsism holds that knowledge of anything outside one's own mind is unsure. The external world and other minds cannot be known, and might not exist outside the mind. As a metaphysical position, solipsism goes further to the conclusion that the world and other minds do not exist. As such it is the only epistemological position that, by its own postulate, is both irrefutable and yet indefensible in the same manner.) Solipsists have nothing they can be except to be Progressives. They will only trust that which they themselves create. But, wait a sec, it's even worse. How can a progressive solipsist , given the very definition, be part of the collective "they?"

Aside from the fervently solipsistic, even the most skeptical person makes use of scientific, philosophical, theological, poetical, and political opinions of antecedents. They, then, don't deny the Past, lock, stock, and barrel, but they revise it to make use of that which what they, the Progressives, imagine is required in bringing about the political-meliorist Future; they imagine a Future that they would like to create, feeling that it will be progressive.

To the Progressive the Past provides hints – what has been successful in a revolution and what has not been – as how a passive, affirmative, and non-challenging strategy will procure disciples.

Barack Obama's Inaugural Address, January 20, 2009, was so impeccably worded, lathered in a soothing balm of refulgent rhetoric, that anyone attempting to attack his pure heart and loving intent for America, our sadly divided nation, replete with greed and violence and lacking in love and charity, would immediately fit the very category that Obama cited in his Address as the very enemy of America about whom he cautioned. Criticism, even that which could be proven accurate, would make Obama's case. In essence, the witness would be testifying against himself. Perfect Alinksy!

To wit, excerpted from President Obama's Inaugural Speech, January 20, 2009: "That we are in the midst of a crisis is now well understood. Our nation is at war against a far reaching network of violence and hatred. Our economy is badly weakened, a consequence of greed and irresponsibility on the part of some but also our collective failure to make hard choices and prepare the nation for a new age."

(See my decoding of this at the end of the article.)

Those of this mind-set I refer to as being idealistic meliorists. My purpose in this essay is to analyze Progressivism as political-meliorism (Political meliorism is the parti pris – the preconception that an administrative State under an autocratic executive is the desirable fundamental social democracy in progressive pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness.) ; those who make use of Darwinism, Hegelianism, and Marxism; those visionary synthesists who find scientific and historical determinism that appeals to them, and provides them with their Weltanschauung – their world-view.

My world-view is that Progressivism and political-meliorism are essentially flawed. The Progressive considers my biblically Christian, creator God to be anti-Progressive, a product of the superstitions of religion – an impediment to social-democratic progress.

I set-out, here, not to proselytize my own world-view but to analyze that which I believe is irrational in the Progressive, political meliorist perception of reality. I try to make the case that nothing truly progressive can result that revises the Past and devises an idealized Future that has no objective foundation.

I was prompted to write of the Past and Future by two articles I read, recently. The first article is "Jewish Self Loathing and Denial," written by Rabbi Nathan Lopes Cardozo, published in Jewish World Review (January 18, 2013), and the second article "Arbeit Macht Frei – in Detroit Packard Plant," by Yori Yanover, published in the Jewish, Feb. 6, 2013.

Yanover's article in tandem with Rabbi Cardozo's observation confirm the axiom of the American philosopher George Santayana that to deny (or revise) the Past is to devise a unforeseeably problematic Future. "Those who do not remember the Past are condemned to relive it." The Life of Reason (1905-06)

A Question! What will we very likely relive if we don't remember the past? Progressives (PROGROS) tell us that the past is not prologue; it is irrelevant, because the human-species has progressively evolved. Thus, remembering the Past impedes human progress.

What is the foundation of such "hewn stone" castle- building? When the Past is deconstructed and our faith must be in a Future synthesized from idealistic speculation, logic itself becomes irrational because we can neither induce a probable Future from the Past nor deduce Past actualities that have been deliberately dis-remembered. Our expectations, if we are capable of envisioning any, must be all fanciful guesswork.

Rabbi Cardozo's thesis statement is that one of the most common psychological defense mechanisms used by human beings is self-denial. We all repress unpleasant experiences and do not want to be confronted with reality when it is too uncomfortable.

Cardozo suggests that they (the historical Jews) did not intend to deny the Past, but, rather, the Future – not denying that it did not happen, but denying that it would happen again. In his concluding paragraph Cardozo writes, "Looking back through Jewish history and now at current events, including in Israel, we recognize the above arguments as being all too familiar."

The Rabbi, essentially a theologian, argues as does the scientist from verifiable, historical evidence. The progressive atheist, political meliorist denies such evidence and chooses to not remember it. Their future can be brought to life and can best progress without it.

But how does the Progressive deal with Yori Yanover's article "Arbeit Macht Frei – in Detroit Packard Plant?" They have to un-remember the history of the NAZI holocaust. As political meliorists they must make believe that such as the holocaust cannot happen again. Some openly assert that the holocaust never happened. Some don't exactly deny but apply the slogan of the Italian Fascists, "me ne frego." "I don't give a damn." They prefer to deny because in remembering, their faith in human progress is threatened.

An observation of my own! Why, in Detroit, where German is not the language of the population, did the creators of the sign use Arbeit Macht Frei? It is entirely reasonable that the replication of the Auschwitz gate is aimed at the Jews and at Israel. A harbinger that echoes out of the Past, calling to the people, "Remember, or deny and relive?"

Having watched how President Barack Hussein Obama has behaved for the past four years, and contrasting that with the craft of his speech-writers – excerpted below – in his 2009 Inaugural Address, I am, unlike the thrilled and enthralled Chris Matthews and other mediacolytes, chilled in the extreme – chilled by the effulgent imagery of Obama, the Progressivist Bellwether .

"Yet everything the oath (taken by 44 other presidents) is taken amidst gathering clouds and raging storms. At these moments (such as at present?) America has carried on not simply because of the skill or vision of those in office, but because We the People have remained faithful to the ideals of our forebears, and true to our founding documents."

For America's future we must ask "Who is the real Barack Obama? And what are his real intentions."

p.s. Translation of the excerpt from President Obama's Inaugural Address: Just accept that we inherited a crisis. No need for details for all you who are "Knowers" will understand.

No mention as to who the far-reaching enemy is. Only to say that it is undoubtedly those who respond negatively to the idealized direction that the administration wishes to impose.

We have to assume the passive voice – "has been" – for since the Progressives had just gained hegemony by electoral mandate they could not have been the cause of the "badly weakened economy," nor could they be the "greedy" and "irresponsible" culprits whom he blames.

Why have we "failed to make hard choices and (to) prepare the nation for a new age?" Because the reactionaries irresponsibly refuse to act collectively!

So, all who truly want progressive change for our nation, will produce a new age of unity, equality, and a true democracy that will see America return to its originally intended leadership in a world made safe for multi-cultural social-democracy .

The obvious irony in Obama's Progressivism is his revising of what Thomas Jefferson wrote in his Letter to William Johnson. "On every question of construction let us carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted...instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text, or invented against it...."

Obama, a Constitutional revisionist, orates that for America to carry on we must remain "faithful to the ideals of our forebears and true to our founding documents."

How has the Alinsky-schooled Obama co-opted Jefferson? He cleverly equates the ideals of the creators of our Constitution with the ideals of Progressivism. He calls Constitutional deconstruction Constitutional. Such is the craft of Barack Obama's speech writers who attempt to squeeze out the Constitution's original spirit, as perceived by our founders, and to "invent against it."

© Frank Maguire


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Frank Maguire

(Frank Maguire passed away on May 19, 2021. His obituary can be read here.

Frank Maguire was born in Dorchester, MA, 1938, attended schools in Massachusetts, California, and Arizona, where he completed degrees in music and English writing/Journalism. Frank has been married to Helen Isabel Maguire Estevez of Culver City, California, since 1957. They have six children, 14 grandchildren, and 17 great-grandchildren.


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