In Dennis Safran’s remarks at City Journal on contemporary progressivism, I have finally read something written by somebody who gets the remarkable absurdities of contemporary political nomenclature:
As Fred Siegel has noted, contemporary progressivism is an upper-middle-class movement that caters to the social libertarianism of coastal elites, while paying lip service to left-wing economic concerns. Even when modern progressives do support economic development, they often do so in ways that stand traditional progressivism on its head—redistributing wealth upward to favored industries.
We subsidize physicians, lawyers, college professors, bankers, financiers, and a few other rarified professions at the expense of everybody else. There is no progress in that sort of progressivism but it does provide nice incomes to its beneficiaries.
That reminds me of the old Soviet-era wisecrack “There is no truth in Pravda [ed. the Russian word for truth] and no news in Izvyestiya [ed. the Russian word for news]”. You sometimes hear it the other way around but I think it makes much more sense this way. Sounds better, too.
There is no conservation in today’s conservatism and no progress in progressivism. It’s a pretty state of affairs.