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A Dead Man Won the Last Democratic
Presidential Debate

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Posted By: earlybird, 1/17/2020 8:13:04 AM

What’s striking about this election cycle’s Democratic presidential primary debates is how much they’ve been absolutely dominated by a man who’s been dead for 90 years. That man is Herbert Croly, the intellectual godfather of the progressive movement and the first editor of The New Republic. Croly’s most influential work, The Promise of American Life (which would have been even more wildly influential had Croly only had a halfway decent editor to cut down his meandering, ponderous prose), provided the intellectual foundation for the Progressive Movement. Croly’s main argument is found in chapter seven of the book; in substance, he advocates what I term “effective freedom”—the conditions under which a person

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Reply 1 - Posted by: earlybird 1/17/2020 8:13:50 AM (No. 290789)
FTA: Progressives have advocated Croly’s vision of collectivist politics and antagonistic social relations ever since his book was first published in 1909—including during the most recent Democratic debate on January 14. Wealth taxes, breaking up big banks, free college and healthcare, campaign finance reform, and ever more regulations to manage the nation’s economic activity—these are the stuff of Croly’s dreams. And the list goes on. Croly contended that the highest goal of a democratic state was to preserve its own existence, and a laissez-faire attitude toward social, political, and especially economic relations—the most important of which were property rights—had the tendency to undermine democracy. What appears on the surface to be freedom—people making their own way in the world voluntarily with one another—actually results in unfreedom. In essence, he suggests, the classical liberal conception of freedom leads to monopoly and the domination it portends.
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Reply 2 - Posted by: hammondb3 1/17/2020 8:34:57 AM (No. 290800)
Two BIG things... Nowhere can one sustain the argument that the United States of America was EVER intended to BE a democracy. Nowhere. There is a 'wink and a nod' towards democratic principles in the House of Representatives, but originally, the Constitution declared that all other arms of the Federal Government (Senate, Judiciary, President) were NOT designed to be chosen by the people. Second, Croly assumes that people are 'basically good'. That is rubbish. No human experience in governance provides evidence that people, left alone, will rise to a high moral standard. Conservatives generally start with a classical view of man as a fallen creature, self-serving and corrupt were it not for laws and social structures that bend his selfishness towards societal betterment. That is why capitalism works so well for ALL in a society. It harnesses the singular selfishness of a person and creates an engine for productivity that makes the lives of all better. Put it this way. Farmland in the U.S. was about three times more productive per acre than similar acreage in the USSR. It was all about PROFIT, but the food production made life for ALL better.
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Reply 3 - Posted by: NorthernDog 1/17/2020 8:35:39 AM (No. 290801)
I think Mein Kampf also plays a big role in Democrat ideology.
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Reply 4 - Posted by: F15 Gork 1/17/2020 8:40:12 AM (No. 290804)
Progressive government inevitably leads to the gulag. Croly is just another dead commie.
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Reply 5 - Posted by: Clinger 1/17/2020 9:25:43 AM (No. 290843)
Yes #2 you made an essential point. Our founders feared democracy. Our inalienable rights cannot be voted away by 51%. Our constitution protects the minority from the majority. Democracy opens the door to the tyranny of the majority which in turn yields to the tyranny of a dictator.
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Reply 6 - Posted by: lewka 1/17/2020 10:02:43 AM (No. 290878)
Look how many anti-Semites are in the Democrat Party and how many Jewish Senators and Congressman and woman are ok with it. Then take a look at Andrew Yang a man of Asian roots is ok with discriminating against Asians. Mr. Yang how do you explain your hate of your own "people" by ignoring Harvard and the racist judges. You sir are a fraud.
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Reply 7 - Posted by: bigfatslob 1/17/2020 10:09:34 AM (No. 290889)
To be a person like Bernie Sanders, a communist, would make him illegitimate as a candidate or elected official because we are a 'constitutional republic'. For Sanders to swear an oath to uphold the Constitution would make him a fraud if he acted any other way. A communist is a progressive in a hurry with a gun.
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Reply 8 - Posted by: Newtsche 1/17/2020 1:19:27 PM (No. 291062)
FTA - "..American politics has operated in Croly’s and FDR’s shadow ever since the Great Depression—nearly a century." Boomers have been resented for their dominance of our culture, they've been a tsunami rolling through our history. They don't hold a candle to the damage done by the spawn of Roosevelt Dims.
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Reply 9 - Posted by: Heraclitus 1/17/2020 3:48:02 PM (No. 291165)
Yes, the profit motive is powerful, and sometimes ugly. But the profit motive is just as powerful, actually more so, in communist/socialist regimes where only the governing classes enjoy the benefits. In free markets, there's a benevolent aspect to it: you do care if your marketed "targeted population" benefits from your product, because they'll come back for more and will influence others to buy some too. In a communist system, whether or not the client/customer benefits is not important at all. The nomenklatura never lack for anything. Who cares about the motley rabble of cogs in the machine. This is especially true when you think human beings have no innate worth or God-given value. I remember one story of one of my Russian/USSR studies professor's stories when discussing the "gigantomania" phase of Soviet industrialization. Nothing they build was any good, but the stuff was huge. She told us about on one visit while staying in a dormitory, she went to the kitchen to fix some food. She found two rotting tomatoes in the enormous refrigerator. The collective farmers didn't care; the roads were mostly impassable at least for the common people; produce sat in delivery trucks, broken down, no parts to fix, no fuel. They DID NOT CARE. The leadership had all it needed or wanted. But the baser instincts of greed, deep and thick in DC, can overtake our Democratic Republic and neutralize our Constitution, corrupting the whole Body Politic..
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