Thursday, November 10, 2005

New Progressivism: Live Free or Die!

Whoa. Here's a meme I hope to hear more of. This is a vision for an updated progressivism that really appeals to the little-l libertarian in me. From Kevin Drumm we have, THE NEW PROGRESSIVISM....

E.J. Dionne ponders the mission of the Democratic Party today and offers up this quote from Franklin Roosevelt:

"The issue of government has always been whether individual men and women will have to serve some system of government of economics — or whether a system of government and economics exists to serve individual men and women."

....Government's task, Roosevelt argued, was to intervene "not to hamper individualism but to protect it" by helping the less powerful confront economic difficulties and abuses of the system by the powerful.

Whatever message Democrats come up with, they will continue to lose ground and be untrue to what's best in their tradition if they fail to stand up for this affirmative government role in enhancing both individual liberty and self-sufficiency.

Dionne's inspiration for this idea is a package of stories in the latest issue of the Washington Monthly. Its theme is simple: protecting people against corporate abuse is a longtime progressive mission, but Democrats need to figure out ways to do this that empower individuals to fight back, rather than relying solely on centralized federal agencies and ever increasing government regulation.

Empowering the individual. Protecting them from the predation of global capital. That's worth developing. More on this soon, I hope.

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