The Progressives’ Creed:
What is a progressive?
A progressive is a person who believes that the progress of humanity is
to be measured by the betterment of the human condition for the largest
proportion of people as possible and that politics should in all cases be used
to better the human condition for all and to distribute the benefits of society
equally so that individuals receive equal opportunities for education, work,
and fulfillment and no class, group, or people are enriched at the detriment or
exploitation of another.
- Religion and the Secular State: As there are many paths up a mountain,
the many religions are equally worthwhile. An individual needs to adopt a coherently definite
religion, philosophy, ethic, or creed in order to focus his or her heart,
mind, and energy along a single path of personal development. A society
needs to respect and appreciate the many religions, philosophies, and
creeds in order to allow its members to find the path that is most
suitable for their individual attributes and personal evolution. The separation of religion and state is
essential to the well being of both, in that no religion can avoid the
perversion of its own goals or the oppression of other religions if it
becomes the sole political power of a state.
- Tribe, Caste, Race, & Ethnicity: All
ancestries are equally valuable, and there is no biological or socially
valid basis for asserting that one tribe, caste, race, or ethnicity is
superior to another or should hold privileges over another.
- Environment: The maintenance of fertile earth,
clean water, and breathable air are essential not only for human survival
and our posterity but for the people’s well-being and happiness. The ecological commonweal requires that
the environment have a highest priority in all political decision making
and that environmental security and the prevention of environmental
degradation must predominate in all considerations with as much care and
concern as is given to national security.
Economic democracy is the balance between the economic anarchy of
capitalism and the economic totalitarianism of historical communism. Economic democracy means a fair market
system, neither a so-called “free” market nor a centrally controlled
market. Economic democracy entails
the democratic regulation and control of the economic system within
society at two levels: first, democratically legislated state protective
regulation (i.e., without the extremes of economic totalitarianism by
state ownership or corporate control of the legislature) and, second,
internal democratic control of corporations based on the valuable
involvement of both workers and investors (i.e., rather than the
plutocratic control by capital investors resulting in economic
totalitarianism within the corporation and economic anarchy in the
competition between corporations).
There is no inherent contradiction between private property and
economic democracy, but there is an important distinction to be made
between ownership of private personal property and the ownership of
the major natural resources and their means of production upon which society
depends for its well-being. The
state and its government bureaucracy need not own natural resources or the
means of production but democratic government is always a proper regulator
of the exploitation of natural resources and their means of production for
the benefit of the people and their general welfare, not for the benefit
of profiteering plutocrats.
- Nationalism and Internationalism: Nationalism and internationalism both
have their place, but the harmful extremes of nationalism and
internationalism are to be avoided.
Nations and states are essential in the organization of common
interests in geographical areas. Beneficial nationalism is the recognition
of the people of a nation to be sovereign in the democratic control of
their nation. However harmful
nationalism is a perversion of national pride that asserts the superiority
of one’s own nation over another to the detriment of international
internationalism recognizes that international human interaction is
necessary for the benefit of the peoples of all nations and that no nation
has the right to exploit the peoples of another nation. Harmful internationalism is an extreme
that denigrates the sovereignty of the people of a nation and their right
to self-determination. In all
political decisions, the people’s beneficial national and international
interests must be balanced.
Tyranny comes in many forms, including despotism, tyranny by a
minority, and tyranny by the majority, and all forms of tyranny are to be
equally avoided. Democracy is the
concurrence of the interests of society for the purpose of avoiding the
various forms of tyranny by creating a system of governance that embodies
six political principles: the people are sovereign, the people rule by
laws not personalities, a majority decides the laws, the human and civil
rights of minorities are protected, separation of powers within the state,
checks and balances between the separated state powers. Democracy comes in many variations,
for example a majority may decide the laws by direct or representative legislation,
but if the system of governance does not effectively embody each and all
of these six principles then it is not democracy.
Alan Gregory Wonderwheel
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Written May 2004
Page last edited 2/18/08.