photo credit: Dunny

How is cultural and political progress to be measured? With any type of change there should be measurements or benchmarks to indicate in what direction or in what way something is changing. With a ruler, one can determine the progress that a snail makes; with the “change” mantra infusing contemporary politics, how is it to be calculated?

Political progressivism masquerades under the claim that it represents the people, but the very word hardly lends itself to such a definition. Instead, the word serves as a politically-correct label for what in truth is nothing more than the tyranny of the majority (although the majority can rarely even agree on the definition of the word they espouse so dearly). Tradition, the Constitution, and other time-tested bulwarks of our society are trampled through the “change” that the prevalent passions of the people demand.

In such a political philosophy, elements of culture and law older than the individual are viewed as anachronistic and obsolete, for progress demands continual change and renewal. To progressives, those who champion tradition and centuries-old laws are behind the times, clinging to the philosophies and practices of men from a long-forgotten age of oppression and ignorance.

To be sure, the right kind of progress is always welcome and should always be pursued. After all, just because something happened in the past does not mean it should continue into the future (e.g. slavery). But to abandon the pillars of past progress in pursuit of the progressive ideal (whatever that is) is little more than rhetorical political back-scratching; progressivism for progress’ sake is hardly a worthy effort without a strong case being made for why the sought-after change is truly better.

In short, progress from A to B doesn’t necessarily mean that B is better, only that more people want B. The passions of the majority have historically been and should continue to be insulated by established republican law so as to quell the momentary surges of popular demand. Short of this ideal, the demand for change and progress so prevalent in our recent political discourse will be absent any adequate rational, philosophical, or moral justification for its existence.

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