Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. It Started with World Peace

 

I’ve decided to start writing in hopes to take a journey of understanding to delve into why progressives hate conservatives and, evidently, the idea of America. I don’t have all the answers yet, but I hope some on this site with take the journey with me.

When I was a kid in the ‘80s, I often heard the prayer, the hope, and the goal of “World Peace” repeated. I believe that most, if not all of the progressive efforts of the last century and a quarter are aimed at achieving this goal. If we can understand the underlying reasons for this, we can better understand what progressives hope to accomplish and why they hate us.

Why?

Its roots probably start with Pax Romana or even before, but the modern desire probably traces back to the wars of imperial expansion that marked the 18th and 19th centuries. This led Immanuel Kant to write Perpetual Peace: A Philosophical Sketch late in the 18th century. Others began to embrace the idea, such as Theodore Roosevelt, and various thought leaders in Europe got behind the idea of banding governments together to fight bad actors.

After the Great War that would end all wars, the desire increased and led to the formation of the League of Nations, discussed later. When the second world war ravaged Europe, Asia, and Africa, progressives knew that peace must be achieved and that the means were not terribly important.

How?

Globalism or One World Government is the best way progressives can imagine ushering world peace. The 20th century is an epic account of various efforts at a global government. The League of Nations made an early and failed attempt, but it led eventually to the United Nations. The European Union, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, and the rise of expansionist Communism were all efforts to address an end to war through the defeat of nation-states.

All the other “isms” that come from the left can trace their roots back to the desire for world peace. Ask yourself any question about motivation and you can track the answer back to this central desire. The main one is, what about Socialism and the injustice movement? Socialism is a means to achieve globalism by seducing the majority of the population that things will be better if the government is given control. Global government needs a lot of control. What else? Overpopulation? It’s hard to control a lot of people. Corporatism? It’s easier to govern a few big companies than millions of small ones. Immigration? If populations mix all over the world, national identity is watered down.

So, what about America? Why is it so bad? The answer is that America is the main thing that stands in the way of global government. Why do progressives hate Reagan still? His approach was pretty solidly vindicated. Saving America and keeping it great ruined the rise of Socialism across the globe. Guns? Americans will never submit to a global government if they can rise up and defend themselves. The concept of American exceptionalism is counter to the very idea of a one-world government.

One begins to understand why progressives seem to hate America while also claiming to love it. America is the main obstacle to a global government, so whatever can bring it down is deemed good.

So, how’s it working out?

You can see the issues with the European Union. If it were all about a single currency and providing for the common defense, it might have worked, but big governments can’t help but flex their muscles. They ask for more control and do their best to further the globalist goals.

Free markets keep working out better than anyone ever expects, and so state-enforced socialism never stood a chance.

Where do we go from here?

I don’t have an easy answer. As I said, I am starting a study on this subject and I’ll write about what I’m learning. However, I will say this: the goals of the peace movement are similar to many of our own. None of us wants war. We just think it is sometimes necessary. Would we like global prosperity? Yes, but it’s not something a government can mandate or legislate. I think we ought to focus on what the problems are that progressives hope to solve and agree that we see them as problems too. It may still irk them that we don’t go about solving problems the way they want (like our reduction in greenhouse gases), but we may be able to get back to disagreement and away from hatred.

Published in History
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There are 80 comments.

  1. tigerlily Member

    Nice first post Dan. Welcome Aboard!

    • #1
    • January 21, 2020, at 1:54 PM PST
    • 1 like
  2. Spin Coolidge
    Spin Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Sweet mother, you just joined today?! Welcome aboard!

    • #2
    • January 21, 2020, at 1:56 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  3. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge

    Excellent!! Welcome to Ricochet. Now time to play….

    • #3
    • January 21, 2020, at 2:01 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  4. PHenry Member

    I’m not sure I’m buying the ‘whirled peas’ explanation, but it is close. Progressives think they are superior, in thought, in morality, in everything. The world would be perfect, no hunger, no war, no unwanted pregnancies, no 40 hour work weeks, if only everyone agreed with and obeyed to the letter ‘my’ perfect plan. 

    There can be no individualism- that means opposition, that means differences. For utopia to work, ‘I’ must be king, g-d, absolute ruler, and everyone else must follow my rules exactly.

    This is why all ‘progressive’ movements start with oppression. Opposition can not be tolerated ( It leads to war!) So speech codes, safe spaces, etc. are needed.

    The one thing progressives never seem to figure out is that even among the most extreme big government liberals, there are differences. Thus, even when they get a foothold, they end up fighting amongst themselves (More war). Because it comes down to who gets to define the rules. And that is only answered by war.

    So why do liberals hate conservatives? Because conservatives destroy their fevered dreams of utopia by insisting on freedom. Liberals live in a fantasy world, and they can not abide anyone who forces them to face reality.

    And the reality is that world peace can only be realized when all men accept that each of us is an individual and has a g-d given right to be who they are. Only once we learn to accept other’s freedoms, can we truly realize our own.

    • #4
    • January 21, 2020, at 2:06 PM PST
    • 13 likes
  5. Spin Coolidge
    Spin Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Dan Wilson: All the other ‘isms that come from the left can trace their roots back to the desire for world peace.

    I would say it differently. Progressives believe that perfection is possible in human society. Peace is just one component of that. Equality (of outcome) is another. They also believe, whether they realize it or not, that some people are better than others. This is why the progressives of the early 1900s engaged in eugenics. Reference the Nazis in Germany, and Margaret Sanger in the US as two examples. Anyone who stands in the way of perfecting society must be removed or marginalized. If you view their policy goals through this lens, they all make sense.

    • #5
    • January 21, 2020, at 2:26 PM PST
    • 12 likes
  6. Saint Augustine Member

    Welcome!

    • #6
    • January 21, 2020, at 2:27 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  7. Dan Wilson Coolidge
    Dan Wilson

    @phenry & @spin, thanks for the feedback. I think Utopianism is an result of the desire for world peace, but you do have good points. The two tend to go hand in hand. I’m trying very hard to impute good intentions to what the progressive believe even though their ‘ends justifies the means’ approach can be horrifying. I believe Utopianism also has good intentions at the heart. As, @phenry said, though they want to take away our choice and we can only really make progress together is we choose individually.

    • #7
    • January 21, 2020, at 3:20 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  8. Arahant Member

    Welcome, Dan. Glad to meet ya!

    PHenry and Spin have already pointed in the right direction. As you said, we have many of the same goals as the Progressives, but have different prescriptions to achieve them. Why? Because we have fundamentally different views of human nature. I would say it comes down to two questions where we disagree with Progressives.

    Is human nature perfectible?

    Christian religious conservatives are generally of the opinion that human nature is flawed, and only through the Christ and through His coming kingdom will we find redemption and perfection. (I am not a religious scholar, so forgive any inaccuracies in the position.) This leads to maxims like “Power corrupts.” Christian conservatives do not trust human nature. They know that humans are fallible. They know that humans are flawed.

    Other conservatives, even those not believing in original sin, acknowledge that most all of us are built from crooked timber. Not that we’re necessarily bad, but that we can be tempted, and that many fall to temptation. (I prefer to dive right in, but that’s another story.) They also know that nobody can know enough to run all the parts of a government or economy or society perfectly. An individual just cannot absorb all the data, nor build systems smart enough to summarize and deliver all the data needed.

    Progressives believe that the reason things are not perfect and their utopia is because those other people are corrupt. They believe the perfect government can be formed with enlightened leaders and everything will be unicorns and rainbows, if only the right people can be put in charge. When this happens, all of humanity will become perfect. As PHenry and Spin said above, they don’t like their illusions’ being dispelled. Not only that, they will not believe it. It was just the wrong people in charge and (Communism/Socialism/Nazism) has just never been really and truly and actually tried.

    How is human nature to be perfected or tamed?

    As alluded to above, for Progressives, if we put the right people in charge and give them all the levers of power they need, human nature will be perfected for the whole world and whole human race.

    Those conservatives/libertarians who do believe human nature can be improved do not believe human nature is changed from the top down. Each person must work to perfect himself. He can help his neighbors, but cannot take the journey for them. And with each new generation, the lessons of discipline must be learned again. It is an individual effort, and necessitates that individualism be allowed.

    And of course, there are those conservatives who think only God can perfect human nature.

    • #8
    • January 21, 2020, at 3:33 PM PST
    • 10 likes
  9. Arahant Member

    Dan Wilson (View Comment):
    I believe Utopianism also has good intentions at the heart.

    «L’enfer est plein de bonnes volontés ou désirs.»

    The belief that Utopia can be achieved on Earth/in the physical realm is a definite dividing line between Progressives and sensible people.

    • #9
    • January 21, 2020, at 3:37 PM PST
    • 7 likes
  10. Percival Thatcher
    Percival Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Dan Wilson: You can see the issues with the European Union. If it were all about a single currency and providing for the common defense, it might have worked, but big governments can’t help but to flex their muscles. They ask for more control and do their best to further the globalist goals.

    When it was a Common Market, it was highly successful. Governments being governments, they started to bolt on additional features to the design. That only works with engineering projects when the additions are trivial, and government projects are no different.

    Personally, I think the problems started with the common currency. Controlling the currency without some measure of control over government spending? Nope. Bad idea.

    Welcome to Ricochet, Dan!

    • #10
    • January 21, 2020, at 3:45 PM PST
    • 5 likes
  11. Percival Thatcher
    Percival Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Dan Wilson (View Comment):
    I believe Utopianism also has good intentions at the heart.

    «L’enfer est plein de bonnes volontés ou désirs.»

    The belief that Utopia can be achieved on Earth/in the physical realm is a definite dividing line between Progressives and sensible people.

    Gotta immanentize that eschaton, baby!

    • #11
    • January 21, 2020, at 3:49 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  12. David Foster Member
    David Foster Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Excellent post.

    I think there are multiple factors behind this phenomenon. One of them is the extreme level of fear, contempt, and anger that many educated/urban/upper-middle-class people demonstrate toward Christians and rural people (especially southerners). I wrote about some of the reasons behind these emotions in my post The Phobia(s) That May Destroy America.

     

    • #12
    • January 21, 2020, at 3:56 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  13. Spin Coolidge
    Spin Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Dan Wilson (View Comment):
    I think Utopianism is an result of the desire for world peace, but you do have good points.

    I’d reverse it. Look, you are new to Ricochet so let me just tell you: we have a penchant for splitting hairs.

    • #13
    • January 21, 2020, at 4:55 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  14. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge

    Spin (View Comment):

    Dan Wilson (View Comment):
    I think Utopianism is an result of the desire for world peace, but you do have good points.

    I’d reverse it. Look, you are new to Ricochet so let me just tell you: we have a penchant for splitting hairs.

    Then splitting them again, and again, and …

    • #14
    • January 21, 2020, at 5:02 PM PST
    • 6 likes
  15. Dan Wilson Coolidge
    Dan Wilson

    David Foster (View Comment):

    Excellent post.

    I think there are multiple factors behind this phenomenon. One of them is the extreme level of fear, contempt, and anger that many educated/urban/upper-middle-class people demonstrate toward Christians and rural people (especially southerners). I wrote about some of the reasons behind these emotions in my post The Phobia(s) That May Destroy America.

     

    Read your Phobia article. Good points. I think the redneck is definitely a factor in leftists worries that America may have trouble getting to the cosmopolitan global village that they’re hoping to reach…guns and religion, right?

    • #15
    • January 21, 2020, at 5:03 PM PST
    • Like
  16. Dan Wilson Coolidge
    Dan Wilson

    Spin (View Comment):

    Dan Wilson (View Comment):
    I think Utopianism is an result of the desire for world peace, but you do have good points.

    I’d reverse it. Look, you are new to Ricochet so let me just tell you: we have a penchant for splitting hairs.

    I’ve come to this site to have my ideas challenged. I love debate. It’s all the hatred I can’t take anymore. Thanks for the interaction today, @spin. I’ve read a lot of articles on this site in the past, but it’s been a great first day as a participant.

    • #16
    • January 21, 2020, at 5:05 PM PST
    • 5 likes
  17. Saint Augustine Member

    Dan Wilson (View Comment):

    I’ve come to this site to have my ideas challenged. I love debate. It’s all the hatred I can’t take anymore. Thanks for the interaction today, @spin. I’ve read a lot of articles on this site in the past, but it’s been a great first day as a participant.

    And you are most welcome here.

    I’d love to debate you on Kant, but I’m insufficiently familiar with that text. Also, I’m bogged down in another debate on Kant, and it’s already quite enough.

    (If you actually want to debate Kant, there’s someone else here you should meet!)

    • #17
    • January 21, 2020, at 5:07 PM PST
    • 1 like
  18. Susan Quinn Contributor

    Well done, Dan! Welcome to Ricochet! 

    • #18
    • January 21, 2020, at 6:30 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  19. Arahant Member

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):
    I’d love to debate you on Kant, but I’m insufficiently familiar with that text. Also, I’m bogged down in another debate on Kant, and it’s already quite enough.

    You mean you can handle one Kant, but you can’t handle two Kants?

    • #19
    • January 21, 2020, at 6:50 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  20. James Gawron Thatcher
    James Gawron Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    Dan Wilson (View Comment):

    I’ve come to this site to have my ideas challenged. I love debate. It’s all the hatred I can’t take anymore. Thanks for the interaction today, @spin. I’ve read a lot of articles on this site in the past, but it’s been a great first day as a participant.

    And you are most welcome here.

    I’d love to debate you on Kant, but I’m insufficiently familiar with that text. Also, I’m bogged down in another debate on Kant, and it’s already quite enough.

    (If you actually want to debate Kant, there’s someone else here you should meet!)

    Dan,

    I think Aug is referring to me. Kant’s ideas on government are one of the most misunderstood aspects of Kant’s philosophy. The basic idea underlying Kant’s view of government is the Law of Right. The Law of Right is applied at four different levels each dependent on the previous. We start with Private Right the fundamental Right. This is your Right whether a government exists to defend it or not which includes your Right to property. Next comes Public Right. This is the aegis under which a polity is formed. Public Right’s sole justification is to protect Private Right. Now that we have formed a polity under Public Right what happens when that polity interacts externally with another polity. This is considered analogous to Private Right and is called National Right. One nation’s individual Right against another is National Right. Finally, we get to Cosmopolitan Right. This is analogous to Public Right. An organization of nations formed under the aegis of Cosmopolitan Right has the sole function of defending each individual nation’s National Right.

    If you really understand this in the foundational manner Kant presents it then you would not consider the League of Nations an organization that was upholding Cosmopolitan Right. With zero ability to protect or enforce the National Right of its member nations the League of Nations would be considered a Cosmopolitan Wrong (yes the opposite of Right is Wrong). The EU would also be a Cosmopolitan Wrong as it abuses the National Right of its smaller member nations to the benefit of France and Germany.

    Cosmopolitan Right as defined by Kant would be most akin to the Allies in WWII. A group of nations came together to protect the National Right of all of their members against vicious aggressor states (Germany & Japan) who were brutal abusers. The UN was more successful at maintaining peace because it installed the WWII alliance with its Security Council. Over time the UN Security Council has drifted away from the WWII alliance and no charter, no matter how elaborate, has maintained it as a force for Cosmopolitan Right. The UN has increasingly been a force for Cosmopolitan Wrong.

    Kant’s analysis is just that, an analysis. It is not a fixed plan like that of a Marxist world dictatorship of the proletariat. A first-level Kantian analysis of Marxism would tell you that it is built on a completely corrupt fundamental. Private Right is made illegal by Marxism as private ownership of property is illegal. Thus the entire system is based on a Private Wrong. The Marxist world dictatorship would, of course, be a Cosmopolitan Wrong of the highest order. 

    Perpetual Peace is a goal that although unlikely to be actually attained is useful in directing us towards rightful action. Of course, if you don’t understand the idea of the Law of Right (like Marx or the EU) Perpetual Peace would make no sense and an attempt to employ it by such people would probably produce ethical disasters.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #20
    • January 21, 2020, at 6:53 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  21. Saint Augustine Member

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):
    I’d love to debate you on Kant, but I’m insufficiently familiar with that text. Also, I’m bogged down in another debate on Kant, and it’s already quite enough.

    You mean you can handle one Kant, but you can’t handle two Kants?

    I Kant even handle one sometimes.

    • #21
    • January 21, 2020, at 6:53 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  22. Saint Augustine Member

    James Gawron (View Comment):

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    Dan Wilson (View Comment):

    I’ve come to this site to have my ideas challenged. I love debate. It’s all the hatred I can’t take anymore. Thanks for the interaction today, @spin. I’ve read a lot of articles on this site in the past, but it’s been a great first day as a participant.

    And you are most welcome here.

    I’d love to debate you on Kant, but I’m insufficiently familiar with that text. Also, I’m bogged down in another debate on Kant, and it’s already quite enough.

    (If you actually want to debate Kant, there’s someone else here you should meet!)

    Dan,

    I think Aug is referring to me.

    Yep.

    • #22
    • January 21, 2020, at 7:00 PM PST
    • Like
  23. Saint Augustine Member

    James Gawron (View Comment):
    . . . (yes the opposite of Right is Wrong) . . . .

    I thought it was Left.

    Oh, wait–same thing.

    • #23
    • January 21, 2020, at 7:05 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  24. MeandurΦ Member
    MeandurΦ Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Arahant (View Comment):
    As alluded to above, for Progressives, if we put the right people in charge and give them all the levers of power they need, human nature will be perfected for the whole world and whole human race.

    I’m more cynical than that. I think it’s all about the power, baby.

    The pie in the sky, “we are all one” is part of the bait, for the switch later when the oligarchy is cemented and we all become their slaves.

    • #24
    • January 21, 2020, at 7:06 PM PST
    • 1 like
  25. Percival Thatcher
    Percival Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):
    I’d love to debate you on Kant, but I’m insufficiently familiar with that text. Also, I’m bogged down in another debate on Kant, and it’s already quite enough.

    You mean you can handle one Kant, but you can’t handle two Kants?

    Double negative.

    • #25
    • January 21, 2020, at 7:25 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  26. Judge Mental, Secret Chimp Member

    Welcome.

    • #26
    • January 21, 2020, at 7:38 PM PST
    • Like
  27. Judge Mental, Secret Chimp Member

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):
    I’d love to debate you on Kant, but I’m insufficiently familiar with that text. Also, I’m bogged down in another debate on Kant, and it’s already quite enough.

    You mean you can handle one Kant, but you can’t handle two Kants?

    Dan, you’re going to have to deal with a lot of this sort of thing.

    • #27
    • January 21, 2020, at 7:40 PM PST
    • 7 likes
  28. James Lileks Contributor

    Welcome! An as others have said, great post. 

    I think we ought to focus on what the problems are that progressives hope to solve and agree that we see them as problems too. It may still irk them that we don’t go about solving problems the way they want (like our reduction in greenhouse gases), but we may be able to get back to disagreement and away from hatred.

    That’s always been my hope as well, but in the last few years the liberals have become leftists, and we no longer seem to share the same predicates and intellectual architecture. If they start from the assumption that capitalism is the problem, and inequality is prima facie evidence of the unjustness of the existing system, it is difficult to proceed, since all of their remedies involve statist intervention at the molecular level. 

    The progressive forces want to create a collective whose objective is the perfect outcome, and hence will tolerate most any means to force the collective into being, and excuse any shortfall because the goal is nobler than the alternative. 

    I despair of finding common ground with people who have a very concise view of how I should live my life, and regard any argument to the contrary as a deathwish for the planet. I couldn’t care less how they live, but given my insistence on living my life in a way that flaunts their holy certainties, how can they not hate me?

     

    • #28
    • January 21, 2020, at 10:33 PM PST
    • 11 likes
  29. Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Demo… Thatcher

    Welcome and thanks for the thoughtful post. A comment on historical context:

    There is a difference between Progressivism as a political theory seeking to strengthen and centralize the Federal government and the substance or policies Progressives want to enact using that structure.

    The early Progressives did not hate America. You can’t find a more robust nationalist who insisted on the need to assimilate newcomers to the American way of life than Teddy Roosevelt. Woodrow Wilson and FDR were also assimilationists. Wilson and FDR did put a larger emphasis on international institutions but their underlying assumption was those would be American dominated (along with our Allies) and that would be a good thing. That remained the predominant theme of liberals (the renamed progressives) well into the 1960s and continued as a strong strain until the end of the 20th century. The “World Peace” branch of Progressivism that started in the 30s ended with the collapse of Henry Wallace’s presidential campaign in 1948.

    21st Century Progressivism is very much like what you describe in the OP. Emerging out of the long march through the institutions and amplified by social media it is now the sea in which we live, and the dominant strain in the Democratic Party. It does dislike and distrust America and hate conservatives. Its eruption over the past two decades reminds me of the creature in Alien bursting from the crew member’s chest. In that same regard, Barack Obama can be seen as the spiritual heir of Henry Wallace. In Obama’s case he saw international institutions as a technique that could be used to control the abuses of America.

    But I also notice that today’s Progressives have no coherent theory of international relations or institutions. Look how all the current candidates for the Democratic nomination shy away from any detailed discussion of foreign policies. No one talks of a peace movement anymore – 21st century Progressive focus is on reconstituting America on a completely different basis than that envisioned in the Declaration and the Constitution, as they view those as illegitimate founding documents. As far as they are concerned, the rest of the world can take care of itself.

    • #29
    • January 22, 2020, at 8:52 AM PST
    • 5 likes
  30. Doug Watt Moderator

    Welcome, great first post. I found it interesting that the Brit’s did not adopt the Euro. Perhaps it was their insurance policy for the day that might come when they decided to leave the EU. If the European Union had not done anything more than eliminate tariff barriers within Europe it would have been a success. Meddling is a feature of bureaucracy. The EU determined who could fish for herring, or what type of olive’s one country could sell, and another could not. Cultural meddling included a hearing concerning a perpetually aggrieved Swedish mother who wanted crucifixes removed from her daughter’s classroom in Italy.

    Poland implemented a retirement age for judges to rid themselves of holdover Communist judges from the Soviet occupation. The EU threatened Poland with sanctions for both the judge issue, and their anti-abortion laws. As one writer put it; The Poles were not impressed by the old totalitarian’s, and they are not impressed by the new totalitarian’s.

    • #30
    • January 22, 2020, at 10:05 AM PST
    • 9 likes