Political Progressivism

Progressivism, in the common parlance, has three main pillars:

(1) Socially-liberal cultural values, e.g. accept of homosexuality and transgender, minorities, pornography, atheism and New-Age belief.

(2) Economic redistribution from richer to poorer and the state doling out in many instances, e.g. extra check for single moms, extra money if you cannot afford the rent, social housing, government partly sponsoring the wages of the people who are hard to employ in the workplace, large foreign aid grants, etc..

(3) Environmentalism, e.g. no GMO, hostility to pollution, but also opposed to nuclear, mainly favorable to wind and solar, which is presented as “sustainable” often without taking the manufacturing costs of windmills and solar cells into consideration.

(2) and (3) jointly lead to government intervention in the economy, i.e. the government “picking the winners,” i.e. the state gives select tax breaks or select tax investments to the corporations that it likes (i.e. windmill corporations over nuclear corporations; electrical car makers over traditional car makers).

As such, though it may describe itself as a “third way,” progressivism belongs squarely on the left (i.e. big government, mass regulations, massive redistribution).

This is the main meaning of progressivism. However, the use of the word is highly contentious on both the left and the right. This is mainly because it implies that the people who are progressives are somehow “better” people than the people who are not. Or that the people who disagree don’t disagree from a position of equal knowledge and outlook, but that they disagree because they are not as enlightened as the self-styled progressives.