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AGENDAS: Political Ideologies In America

Recently, I heard a very well known radio talk show host tell his audience not to worry about the meaning of words.  It shocked me for two reasons.  First, this host is well known for telling his audience that “Words mean things,” and then defending the meaning of the word or words in question.  But what shocked me even more was the words in question this time were those words we use to describe the various political ideologies in America today.  What’s more, this host not only told his audience not to listen to anyone who tries to explain what these terms mean and to just accept what he tells his audience they mean.  Well, this has bothered me ever since I heard it — mostly because, after saying these things, this host then proceeded to give a false meaning for many of these terms.  So I had to write to help any who might be interested understand what the terms mean and from whence they came.

First things first: I trust we can all agree that the person who invents or develops an idea is the one who defines that idea.  By this I mean, if you invent something or develop an idea, then you are the ultimate authority on what that idea is and what it means.  No one else has the authority to come along later and tell you that you are wrong, or to change your idea and then assert that they now control it.  It is your idea and you alone define it — period.  Well, the same applies to those men and women who developed the various political ideologies vying for influence in America today.

Now that we have this understanding — that the inventor defines — let us look first at the political ideologies that are all vying for control of the American people.  Keep in mind, I have given generalized definitions which, when investigated, will reveal themselves to be accurate, but not exhaustive.:

Liberalism:

In the United States, this would be our founding fathers.

This has nothing to do with the ‘Liberalism’ of today.  This is why those who know and understand political ideology often refer to it as ‘Classic Liberalism.’  In simple terms, Liberalism is about the individual and individual rights and liberties.  However, Liberalism also contains an inherent sense of personal responsibility and accountability not only to ourselves, but also to each other and to society.  In other words, Liberalism acknowledges duty and accountability to others and to society.  Hence, it is dependent upon a strong moral foundation.

Progressivism:

In the United States, developed by Teddy Roosevelt, then co-opted by Woodrow Wilson.

This is an ideology that is difficult to explain.  In short, it is based on the notion that man can use science to purposely control society and direct human evolution.  hence the use of the term ‘progress’ in the name.  However, in the United States, Woodrow Wilson clearly and forcefully explained that ‘Progressive’ was a term chosen to sell Communism to the American people.  Thus, at least in America, ‘Progressive’ is synonymous with Communism.  But, no matter where it is found, the spirit of Progressivism is the idea that man is his own god and, as such, can direct his own evolution/destiny.

Communism:

Developed by Karl Marx.

In theory, Communism is a political ideology whereby society just naturally agrees on everything and runs itself by this collective conscience of agreement.  However, this is an impossibility.  While social in nature, man is not a collective organism.  Even among collective creatures such as ants and bees, there is a queen.  Thus, in practice, Communism is a derivation of the old system of the son king, or ruler as god.  Only, in this case, government is the god.  Under this system, the government owns and controls everything. Thus leaving those who would control society to fight over control of the government.

Fascism:

Developed and named by Benito Mussolini (whose symbol is that of community organizers today: a fascine, or bundle of small sticks into a larger stick with an axe head built in).

Also called corporatism by Mussolini, this is the primary competitor of Communism.  Whereas in Communism the government owns and controls everything directly, Fascism allows for a cooperation between business and government where private ownership and operation is allowed, but only so long as it is operated in accordance with the will of those running the government.  Otherwise, there is little difference between Communism and Fascism.  Here again, the struggle is to be the one in charge of the State, and hence, the nation.

Libertarianism:

This one has many authors, but one of the most prominent would be Ayn Rand.

This terms is actually a term used to describe a wide range of ideologies which all hold one primary value in common: that of self-interest above all else.  Thus, it is easier to explain what Libertarianism is not.  Most important to understand is that Libertarianism is not Liberalism.  While the Libertarian values the individual, and individual rights and liberties, there is seldom any sense of duty or responsibility to others or to society in the Libertarian ideal.  In general, the Libertarian is all about themselves.  Ayn Rand’s “Fountainhead” is the perfect illustration of the Libertarian ideal, as is “Atlas Shrugged.”

[NOTE: Rand’s ideology is called Objectivism, and is actually a mix of Liberalism and Libertarianism.  Her ideology has influenced the Libertarian and American Conservative movement, although, the American Conservative movement has no real claim tot hat name.]

Conservative:

In the American tradition, developed by Edmund Burke.

Like Libertarianism, Conservatism is another ‘catch-all’ term.  Contrary to modern assertion, Conservatism does not stand for any unique political ideology.  Rather, it is all about holding on to what already is.  In this sense, a Progressive who seeks to hold on to what they have gained is a Conservative.  Likewise, so is a Communist who seeks to hold on to their power, and a Fascist.  A better way to look at Conservatism would be as a traditionalist, or a ‘hold-what-you-have’ type of person.  What Conservatism is not is a positive assertion of any particular political ideology or set of beliefs.

Here is where we have to be discerning.  These are solid operational definitions for each of these ideologies.  But there is a tendency to co-opt or steal the term of one ideology so as to cloak the agenda of another.  For example:

Woodrow Wilson used the term ‘Progressive’ to represent his political agenda.  He spoke in Progressive terms, talking about progress and science and the scientific administration of society.  However, he was also very public in stating that he preferred Communism for America and that he chose to hide his true agenda behind the term ‘Progressive’ because he thought it would be the best way to get America to accept Communism.  Thus, Wilson co-opted ‘Progressivism’ to hide his Communist agenda (and he said so in his own words).

Likewise, today, the American Conservative ‘claims’ to represent the ideology of America’s founding fathers.  However, upon closer examination, one will discover that it doesn’t.  It actually represents the ideology of Teddy Roosevelt’s Progressive movement, which was Fascism by another name.

So, one must be aware of the constant attempt to take the name of one ideology and hide behind it so as to sell a secret agenda to the American people.  This is done because, if the true nature of the hidden agenda were to be known, the American people would reject it.  We can guard against falling into such traps by knowing what each term really means and then looking for its characteristic tells behind whatever term if being used.  If someone starts the “America First’ Party and claims to stand for the individual, but then gets into power and starts to protect the State, or push a globalist agenda, you know you are dealing with Communism.  If they get into power and push the State and nationalism, you are probably dealing with Fascism.  And so forth.

The point is, just know what the people who developed these ideologies said they stand for and look for their tell-tale signs in whatever movement is courting your vote.  This will not guarantee you will not be fooled by a deceiver, but it will make it much more difficult for the deceiver to fool you.

28 responses to “AGENDAS: Political Ideologies In America

  1. Respectfully no. Language has meaning as it relates to the “owners” at any specific time. Otherwise there wouldn’t be different languages today or at any time. Ideas may not morph…… True Morality doesn’t.
    But the method of transmittance does…..and in many was should.

    Classical Liberalism is the term that best describes what Liberalism was…..and most importantly its ideas are STILL intact.

    “Liberalism” has been co-opted by Socialists-Communists and altered via the various mechanisms of the Progressives. One would perhaps be better served by coining the term Progressivists because their entire raison d-etre is to warp and mold and forcibly change…..they are Agendaists so to speak. As such they go BEYOND mere meaning and usage.

    As such the distinction BETWEEN Classical Liberals….and Modern “Liberalism”…..is a necessary and valuable tool. But at no point should we demand that the 18th Century definition be applied. Because that was the very INTENT of the Progressive-communists in the first place. To co-opt what Americans KNEW and felt about the Founding Liberals into their sphere over time. So for us Here and Now…….the distinction between ‘Classical Liberal” and ‘Liberalism’ should be made an active meme. Because THEN the Founders Ideas will see light and continue to live.

    • Don,

      You just embraced one of the central tenants of Progressive thinking: that language is as much a ‘living document’ as the Constitution. In fact, it is the notion of language as ‘living’ that drives the doctrine of the ‘living document.’ If they can co-opt and change the meaning of words, then they can change the law in the same way. So, when you surrender to their agenda as you seem to have done here, you surrender to the Progressive plan. All they have to do is keep changing words until they have us saying that our founders were Progressives and they are Liberals and they have won because we will never defend the Truth.

      I understand your point. But I do not see any use in doing things the way you suggest. All it does is take us yet another step away from the truth. I much prefer to educate those who will listen. In this way, not only do we instruct people as to what ‘Liberal’ REALLY means, but we can then demonstrate that the term was stolen by showing how much different a Progressive is from a TRUE Liberal. Anything short of this just confuses people which then leads to them tuning out and the Progressive wins.

      • Language is living. Otherwise there would be only one.

        The Progressives HAVE already won this one. You counter with distinction, you create an environment of understanding so that ‘organically’….those withy eyes to see and ears to hear….will see and hear of themselves.

        To use the term Liberal…..or Liberalsim and expect the last 4 generation to equate it with anything diffgerent than the Schools and media have defined is not going to work.

        One has to ‘seed’ the transformation…..distinction is the way….and Simple terms work……. as they did the 18th Century I might add.

        You see…..when some young person says… ” OK ..Classical Liberal….I see what you’re saying….. so then WHAT is Liberal everyone talks about?” THEN the distinction is working its own magic.

        • And next year, we’ll have to call it something else. When does it end? When will you hold the line?

          But never mind answering. Since language is a live, then the meaning of whatever you type will have changed by the time I read it, so I’ll never know what you meant.

          Language is logic-based. So, if it is alive, then so is logic; and if logic is alive, then man knows nothing and can NEVER know ANYTHING 🙁

          • One wonders. How do you reconcile that there is French….Italian…..Spanish…..Old English ( Now dead),…. Modern English…….and all the way from the supposed UR language which itself morphed into the Indo-European root language.

            Sumerian, Aramaic ( for the most part) ancient Ararbic and ancient Hebrew are now Dead languages. etc.

          • You are talking breed over species. It’s like telling me a dog is ‘living’ and simply pointing to all the different breeds as proof. It is a fallacy.

            Please note: when I say language is not a living thing, I do not mean that we do not change the way we use it over time. We do. But you and I can still understand the English of the 1700’s because it is — essentially — the same language. However, to the Progressive, the words I am using now can and do mean entirely different things to each and every reader. And it is ONLY the reader who can decide what they mean. So, they simply say “Farmer John’s cow had kittens” and then act as though this means the 2nd Amendment disappeared last night. When we accept this and then start trying to insert new language, we lose and they win and the 2nd Amendment is no more. What’s more, they then get to point at us and tell the world we are mentally ill and, if we try to defend our position, we will provide them with the proof of our illness because, to the world, we will look and sound crazy.

            This is why I say that the only defense is to hold to the plain and established meaning of words. This allowes us to know what each other means, and to show that the people trying to change the meaning of words are the ones who are committing a violent act (in this case, against the language as well as the collective conscience of society). The only defense to this is a firm, un-budging correction of these violent acts each and every time they are encountered. Anything less is defeat.

          • I think actually the English of the 1700s is not the same … it is similar, but not the same. And not just on superficial levels of obvious word additions, dropping of terms and spelling. But the intent and to some degree function of the language in everyday usage has indeed changed.

            The term Liberal itself coined for a constellation of ideas and ideals gathered together to form a definition of a social/political “movement” for want of a better term.

            We should focus on the ideas and Ideals….and the abiding Truths they point to rather than focus on a word.

          • Again, if you do not defend the word, then you are — in effect — admitting that 2+2=5. I mean, after all, if Liberal can mean Liberal of Progressive at the same time, then why can’t 4 be 4 and 5 at the same time?

          • Because the key is in the Ideas and Ideals……. and thus with explanation the 2+2=5 becomes the obvious conclusion about the Modern Usage and thus the attempt to co-opt.

            The term Liberal in modern context has to be de-legitimized by current users themselves. They must come to the 2+2=5 moment themselves. We grab them by saying “Liberal …… does not mean what the Liberals claim it means….. that would be more a Classical Liberalism, which has these features……if you believe in them you are a Classic Liberal which is very different than this phony term used by Progressives”.

            It is a path….a journey that once traveled even for a short distance leaves deep lessons.

          • Also, if I accept your point about the English of our founders, then I have to also accept the possibility that the Progressives are correct and the things you and I believe the founders said are wrong and the Progressives are correct. Again, if words can change meanings, then the Progressives have as much right to define them s you and I, which then leaves us with “might-makes-right,” in which case we have already lost and should flee before they start sending us to the camps.

          • Look at the second Amendment. Any phrasing is both a collection of what’s said and not said. The words come to be parsed today partly because of implied meaning which the Founders assumed but which have fallen out of usage today.

            The whole State versus the People argument. The Founders knew that the State is both the People and their organization into a State at the same time. Today…..with our usage of English differently…. The State becomes “any Centralized State”….and the People means….a collection of individuals….. But we know the distinction was not made because the intent was clear with their usage.

            Now the Progressive would say so it IS living!….. No the Constitution is “dead”, in the sense it’s meaning is NOT fluid. But such cannot be said for language usage and even meaning because of that usage.

            But a Fliud language DOES NOT mean a Fluid intent or meaning. THIS is another example of distinguishing Difference…..this is a Truth obvious to you and me ….. but not to those infused with modern “liberalism”.

  2. Here is a quote from 1973….from Chester M. Pierce MD, Professor of Education and Psychiatry at Harvard University : Showing these Progressive “Agenda-ists”

    ” Every child in America entering school at the age of 5 is mentally ill because he comes to school with certain allegiances to our Founding Fathers, toward our elected officials, toward his parents, toward a belief in a supernatural being, and toward the sovereignty of this nation as a separate entity. It’s up to you as teachers to make all these sick children well – by creating the International Child of the future.”

    quoted in Joseph R. Larson, ” Why our Schools Teach Socialism”, Education Reporter, issue 188 Sept 2001.

    • Well aware of how these people use the education system. It goes back to Dewey, who openly said he was going to use the education system to teach his new religion of man as his own god, and that the teachers would be his prophets.

      • “Mental Illness” is the catch-phrase of almost ALL the reasoning for Social Control and Legal changes. The Soviets used it extensively. Our gov’t is using it to force vaccinations and gun control now. The Europeans and American “Liberals” are using to shield muslim terrorism and Civilization Jihad.

        The Cousin to “Mental Illness”…..is phobias ( ‘isms’….bigotry….racism…homophobia etc…. ).

        A concerted campaign to discredit and de-legitamize the term “Mental Illness” would go a long way in defanging and delegitimizing the Modern Liberals.

        • I know. But look at what they are doing. They are changing the meaning of the word. Suddenly, you are not mentally ill because of a REAL psychological or physiological problem, but simply because you disagree with ‘them.’ Well, if we allow this sort of reasoning, then we will accept their new definition and try to explain to people the difference between the new mental illness and ‘Classic Mental Illness.’ Try to do that and you will look like the Progressives are correct. The only solution is to hold to the truth. It has the added benefit of revealing the Progressives are the ones who may have mental problems because they cannot accept or deal with objective reality.

          • Without historical context you have lost the Word game before you have started. Because you are framing it in a ‘he said/she said’ framework which legitimizes both positions and locates them in the modern context …..especially for the Gen x, Gen Y and millennials. So correct context in this environment can only be achieved by distinction. Classical Liberal stood for very specific ideas and can be explained…… the “ideas” of the Modern Liberal are in most ways diametrically opposed…..thus the Distinction is drawn and the obvious attempt to co-opt the term becomes obvious. But this requires distinguishing and historical guidance.

            WRT “Mental Illness”…..again historical placement could be key….. The Soviets, Cuba, and China and North Korea today …… they are obvious political uses of the terminology. When seen in historical context it is much easier for someone to come to their own observation that history is repeating itself.

            However accomplished, it is important for us to dialogue in a way that doesn’t legitimize the terms.

          • Except for one small problem: the people you want to reach have been lied to about history and do not know they have been lied to. So how do you correct the definitions of words in an historical context when you don’t even have the context you seek to use?

            Don, I know you know this, but I’ll remind you anyway. Orwell’s “1984:” we’re in that world right now. Now, remember how much luck Wilson had trying to hold on to the meaning of words and history? Well, this is what we are facing today, and we’ll probably achieve the same result 🙁

          • It is not an easy nut to crack with respect to historical illiteracy and apathy . But one has to start by distinguishing Difference. In difference there is much meaning and direction….in computers, mathematical logic and historical understanding and social interactions.

            It is the squelching of “difference” which is at the root of much of the Communist/Progressive approach. Except in “difference as Negative ” connotation. THIS of course is the Piece de la resistance of Marxist philosophy in many ways…… Class Struggle…..monopoly of resources…..ownership of the means of production….exploitation of the masses/masses etc.

            Today of course it takes the form of all genders are equal, Blacks are the permanently exploited race etc etc

            Whereas the positive aspects of difference are voided completely …. a redirection of difference back to its central place of a powerful tool of discovery and creativity is needed.

            The ideals of 18th Century Liberalism are diametrically opposed to the ideals of Marxist-progressivism…….. They can’t BOTH be Liberalism.

            You start I think by locating the ideals first then encapsulate with Classical Liberalism which locates in time……. and the ideals of Modern Liberalism are easily located within Marxist/socialist doctrine. Which shows pretty clearly that they are not Liberal in any sense of the original term at all.

  3. Unless some people smarten up, the only surviving political ideology will be Islam. I know some people who need a little help. It would be helpful if they could read your series of posts on Islam without having to hunt them down by date; the Biblical Prophecy series might help them too.
    Could you post an index of those, using the titles as the link, in date sequence so all the posts can be accessed one after another without missing any? You should probably include the one about the failed coup in Turkey as the most recent in the Islam series.
    I have copied & pasted them together and emailed them to my Kindle so I have the whole collection offline, except for a couple of ‘additional reading’ links that didn’t link to anything.
    It seems that you use Dragon software to transcribe, and I notice some Dragon droppings along the way such as the post ‘ISLAM ACCORDING TO MOHAMMAD: When it Comes to Jihad, their are no “Moderate” Muslims’. I also saw the word ‘apantesis’ on one, and finally decided it should have been ‘apotheosis’. I can step over those, but it hurts the credibility with some folks.

    • billc,

      Thank you, my friend. This comes at a time when I most needed a little encouragement (and direction). I know many dismiss such things, but I have learned to look for and expect them. So, when I saw your comment — especially in relation to what has been happening in the rest of my world the past week or so — I knew Who really wrote your words 😉

      OK, I have been in a time of waiting. I no longer write when I feel like it, but when I know I am being told to write — and then, I only address what I am told to address. That said, you are one of many who has started asking me to put things in a more organized format. I am planning to do just that, but it may take a little time. There is a matter of needing time, which I don’t have at the moment. And I’ll need to move the host for this site, and that will cost me a bit more than I can spare right now. However, I have confidence that these matters will resolve themselves — at least, if the things I am considering are the things I am supposed to do, then these problems will handle themselves. I suspect you understand what I mean 🙂

      Also, I will pay more attention to my editing. Again, your counsel is well advised (and I hear you). However, in the case of ‘apantesis,’ that is the word I meant to use. It is Greek. Here, this may help:

      http://apantesis.blogspot.com/2011/01/other-greek-words-part-1-parousia.html

    • BillC,

      I just wanted to let you know that, thanks to an anonymous benefactor (and reader of the OYL), I will soon be able to move The OYL to an independent host where I can then produce the index you requested on Islam. However, I will also be joining my other blog to this one, The Road to Concord, and will also create an index of the principles of liberty, as I have laid them out on that blog. Together, I hope The OYL will soon become a valuable resource for all of those seeking to understand what is happening in our world today — and why.

      If you are of a mind, I would ask that you please pray for the success of this new venture (and for me — that I not allow myself to get in the way of serving others).

      Thanks and God bless.

      • Excellent! I look forward to loading my Kindle from thyyis new lode of precious information, and recommending it to others. Note, tablet computers that fit I inside a 14-inch circle can be protected from EMP by storing them in a film can used for 2000-ft reels of 35mm movie film.

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