Such is the sting of truth: ‘Progressivism’

Such is the sting of truth: ‘Progressivism’

The new year commenced as the old year ended – with continued calls for greater controls by “The State.” And we experienced at every level of government rank socialism masquerading as government “beneficence.”

Think particularly of those who unabashedly say they will govern as “progressives.”

But as the late, great Austrian economist Ludwig von Mises reminded:

“The champions of socialism call themselves progressives, but they recommend a system which is characterized by rigid observance of routine and by a resistance to every kind of improvement.

“They call themselves liberals, but they are intent upon abolishing liberty.

“They call themselves democrats, but they yearn for dictatorship.

“They call themselves revolutionaries, but they want to make the government omnipotent.

“They promise the blessings of the Garden of Eden, but they plan to transform the world into a gigantic post office. Every man but one a subordinate clerk in a bureau.”

Some will call such an assessment “harsh” or worse. One can even surmise that the “progressive truth police” of the likes of Facebook and other social media platforms would delete such a factual assessment and ban its poster for a time. But such is the sting of truth.

For as von Mises also astutely observed:

“The Marxians love of democratic institutions was a stratagem only, a pious fraud for the deception of the masses. Within a socialist community there is no room left for freedom.”

Which leads us to some other von Mises words of wisdom for collectivists who mock individualism, which they fail to understand to be the footer and foundation of a truly free and voluntarily cooperative society.

How about this:

“All rational action is in the first place individual action.

“Only the individual thinks.

“Only the individual reasons.

“Only the individual acts.”

Then there’s this:

“The worship of the state is the worship of force. There is no more dangerous menace to civilization than a government of incompetent, corrupt, or vile men,” von Mises reminded. “The worst evils which mankind ever had to endure were inflicted by bad governments.

“The state can be and has often been in the course of history the main source of mischief and disaster.”

Starkly, von Mises wrote that “Socialism is an alternative to capitalism as potassium cyanide is an alternative to water.”

Or how about these truths:

“It is vain to fight totalitarianism by adopting totalitarian methods. Freedom can only be won by men unconditionally committed to the principles of freedom. The first requisite for a better social order is the return to unrestricted freedom of thought and speech.

“Freedom is indivisible. As soon as one starts to restrict it, one enters upon a decline on which it is difficult to stop.”

And finally, but no less insightful:

“All people, however fanatical they may be in their zeal to disparage and to fight capitalism, implicitly pay homage to it by passionately clamoring for the products it turns out.”

Remember these precepts as “progressive” leaders here, there and anywhere continue to insist that their attempts to command and control more and more aspects of the liberty necessary to maintain free society, free markets and robust economy are for “society’s benefit” when, in fact, their actions only lead to society’s mutually assured destruction.

Colin McNickle is communications and marketing director at the Allegheny Institute for Public Policy (cmcnickle@alleghenyinstitute.org).