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Progressive? What does that mean?

Jeanie

still nobody's bitch
V.I.P.
I'm not going to do that, because you're going to break down every paragraph sentence by sentence and either point out what's wrong with it, or tell me that's what conservatives believe, or why I'm wrong to believe that.

In fact I'm willing to bet that you're tempted to take this reply and say "typical liberal response, to avoid talking about the issues"
 

SmilinSilhouette

Registered Member
I'm not going to do that, because you're going to break down every paragraph sentence by sentence and either point out what's wrong with it, or tell me that's what conservatives believe, or why I'm wrong to believe that.

In fact I'm willing to bet that you're tempted to take this reply and say "typical liberal response, to avoid talking about the issues"
Not a chance and you would lose that bet. What I'm looking for is along the lines of what I wrote in the thread "is conservatism extreme". I think I was pretty specific about the underlying principles of conservatism and was hoping to hear from progressives what they feel are their unifying principles and beliefs. My intent is not to debate progressive but to hear from those that call themselves progressive exactly what they mean by that label. If you don't believe me ask Gavik, I told him in chat a while back of my intent to start this conversation and I hope he will join in!
 

Jeanie

still nobody's bitch
V.I.P.
OK, then, here are a few.

Worker's rights, meaning among other things a living wage (an hourly wage that is sufficient to provide shelter, food, and other basic necessities based on a 40 hour work week), the right to organize and collective bargaining, safe working conditions.

I support gay marriage and a woman's right to choose what happens to her body.

I believe that access to health care should be available to all people, regardless of their ability to pay for it.

I believe that it's morally wrong that the average salary of CEOs is more than 500 times of those of an average worker.

I believe that global climate change is a real threat that needs to be addressed aggressively.

Most of all, I believe that we're all in this together, that we should do whatever we can to help one another, and that the every man, woman, and child for his/herself mentality will get us absolutely nowhere.

Some notable progressives with whom I identify are Bernie Sanders, Paul Wellstone, Rachel Maddow, Ed Schultz, and Dennis Kucinich. I read Salon.com and Mother Jones magazine.

Does that give you a better idea of where I'm coming from and what it means to me to identify as a Progressive?
 

Merc

Problematic Shitlord
V.I.P.
I believe that it's morally wrong that the average salary of CEOs is more than 500 times of those of an average worker.
I'm going to have to very strongly disagree with this not because I hate the middle or lower class, not because I'm a greedy corporate fatcat or any other reasons you'll read about on Salon.com but because this is not an issue of equality. It's about worth and effort. Sure there are people that deserve better or less, but that's a difficult road to go down. The point is, some guy with no college education who only has a high school diploma doesn't deserve the same pay as a guy with a Master's in business management who is currently running the company. More often than people would like to admit, some people have just earned the right to better pay through more work and higher education. Of course there are going to be a scant few examples of people who don't meet these criteria yet get these positions anyways, but they are just that: scant.

It's about a livable wage, not about forcing equality onto people that aren't equal.

Most of all, I believe that we're all in this together, that we should do whatever we can to help one another, and that the every man, woman, and child for his/herself mentality will get us absolutely nowhere.
Of course we're all in this together, but this also isn't a Disney musical. People aren't going to put their weapons and prejudices down through happy songs and good words. We'd love to believe that's how it could happen but people just aren't equal outside of the fact that we're all the same animal. People with different levels of education should be given the better opportunities than those with a GED or no education, people with higher athletic abilities should be given a better contract or more playing time on the field, people with more experience in their field should be given more opportunities, etc.
 

Bananas

Endangered Species
I have my own ideas, of course! But I am wondering what does that mean to those that would call themselves "progressive"? What are your beliefs and how do they manifest themselves in your political views?
Progressive is to have dynamic vicissitude and the dexterity to adapt in light of traditional concepts.
 

SmilinSilhouette

Registered Member
@ Cons: I'm hoping to keep this thread as an opportunity to learn and ask questions to better define the political ideology of progressives. Can we limit the debate regarding agreement/disagreement with those ideas? As much as I like to debate the merits can we start other threads for that purpose? Thanks!

@ Jeanie: What is the progressive view of the constitution? For example, my view is that it limits the power of the federal government to enumerated powers only.

Also, what do you feel is the appropriate role of the federal government in implementing the ideas that you have listed? For example, I feel the government has no business regulating relationships, straight or gay.

@ Bananas: how does that "adaptability" manifest itself politically?
 

Jeanie

still nobody's bitch
V.I.P.
I don't have an answer for that, Dan. My (admittedly ignorant, as I am not a constitutional scholar) view of the constitution is that it provides a framework for our system of government and our lawmaking processes; that it's neither a static nor a sacred document. Which is not to say that it is not valuable, or that it's acceptable to violate it in most circumstances. (when I say "in most circumstances, I'm thinking most notably of something like prohibition and the 18th Amendment)
 
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Merc

Problematic Shitlord
V.I.P.
Fair enough SS.

I think the label itself (because it is a label, don't get any other ideas) is just proof that we let the newsmedia shape our views far too often and easily. Because a lot of "progressive" ideas are very good such as a few Jeanie mentioned like gay marriage and allowing a woman to have control over her own body. However, you then get people who use it as a blanket term to paint all progressives as evil or bad just because they disagree with only a sliver of it.
 

Bananas

Endangered Species
@ Bananas: how does that "adaptability" manifest itself politically?
The ability to adapt is to endeavour to be as effective as possible in the task at hand. It is the human initiative.
 

Sim

Registered Member
I have my own ideas, of course! But I am wondering what does that mean to those that would call themselves "progressive"? What are your beliefs and how do they manifest themselves in your political views?
I am not sure how much of a "progressive" person I am (I certainly have conservative -- little "c" -- streaks), but as I understand the term, and as far as I embrace it, I would say that I support change and reform of the status quo in favor of emancipation of the individual:

In many cases, the status quo still allows discrimination and dependency of the individual -- be it racism, sexism, homophobia or the need for prostitution of the individual because of financial logic of the capitalist system.

"Progressive" thus means changing the status quo in a manner that contributes to the liberation of the individual, for that people have to endure less discrimination and coercion -- and to get closer to the ideals of freedom and equality.

It's "progressive" to stand up against racism, against sexism and against homophobia. Racial minorities, women, homosexuals and other kinds of queer people will not be fully liberated and free, before they have the exact same rights as the currently still dominant majority groups, and until their percentage in leading positions reflects this equality (blacks i.e. may have the same rights as whites, yet in the current status quo, they are still vastly underrepresented in universities and leading positions, thus there has to be more progress, until this lack of equality has been corrected).

Being "progressive" means that you don't just strife for legal equality, but you want to chance society in a manner that these legal possibilities can actually be used -- it's not enough when blacks have the same rights on the paper as whites, yet cannot fully take advantage of it, because society, common people, still discriminate them (short: Not just the end of legal discrimination, but also the end of discrimination in general!).

The same goes for those who are disadvantaged by the capitalist system and the according inequality: The ideal is that every person has the same value, the same right to life. But for the capitalist system, you are only worth as much as you can sell on the market -- your workforce or your ideas. People who cost more than they can sell (handicapped, old or ill people, for example, who have to pay more for their treatment than they are able to earn), fall off the wagon -- just like the Nazis murdered those who cost more than they bring in in fascism, in capitalism, the invisible hand of the market pushes those people down in the gutter or in the grave, who cannot sell more than they need to make a living (or at least they depend on the mercy of others, much like the concentration camp prisoners depended on the mercy of the guards). That is deeply inhumane and a status quo that must be reformed. Striving for measures that allow ill, handicapped and other "costy" people a life in dignity, without the tyranny of capitalism that tells them they have no worth as human being whatsoever, are "progressive" too.

When people have to give up their dignity, prostitute themselves in any way to survive, no matter if that's because others take their dignity by legally or socially discriminating them, or if they themselves have to give it up due to material needs, they are not really free and emancipated -- and changing not just law, but society in a manner that emancipates them, is "progressive".

It's not just law that keeps people in submission to others (although law is a very important part if it), but we all do it: With certain patterns of thought, attitudes and often unconscious prejudices and stereotypes. Changing those is an important part of being progressive.

My two cents.
 
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