Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Why progressive liberalism fails in government

It is undeniable that progressive liberalism is a failed political ideology in government when compared to conservatism. It is undeniable because it falls behind conservatism on just about every measure of national progress you can think of.

Whether it is education, crime, health, social mobility, the economy, manufacturing, employment, equality or general quality of life issues there have been marked declines over the last 50 years of progressive liberalism whereas, in comparison, the previous 50 years of conservatism brought meteoric improvements in all these areas.

So it’s not a question of whether progressive liberalism fails or not – it is only a question of why does it fail?

It fails for the simple reason that it ignores the basic principle of good government – i.e. that a government should always aim to do what is right for the majority of the people it governs.

What does that mean?

It means that any thing which the government proposes should be aimed at achieving the maximum benefit or the least inconvenience for the greatest number of people.

Progressive liberalism fails because it turns this basic fundamental of good governance on its head. Rather than enacting laws for the benefit of most people it enacts laws for the benefit of a few. Rather than enacting laws which cause the least inconvenience for the majority of people they enact laws which cause the majority the greatest inconvenience.

Such a system is bound to cause dissatisfaction, division and can only lead to a fractured nation in a perpetual state of conflict as more and more minority groups compete for the special attention of government – and the more that the government concedes to these special interest groups the more divisive it becomes.

To paraphrase Abraham Lincoln, a government can not keep everybody happy all of the time so its aim first and foremost must always be to keep as many people happy as often as they can. If by doing so that means that a few minority groups have to accept being slightly worse off than the majority then so be it. If, however, the actions of government mean that the majority are the ones who have to accept infringements on their rights, freedoms and liberties then that nation is heading for a monumental fall.

Good governance should be about doing the most good for the most people – not the fewest. Progressive liberalism ignores this principle and this is why it will always fail.


bernard said...


I notice your use of the small 'c' in conservatism, so it's not a party political point you are making.
That being the case, then what has happened to our democracy over the past 60 years, (bearing in mind that this condition we are in is being experienced right across Europe as well).
Writing in 1942, George Orwell saw the signs of 'dissolution' beginning during the interwar years. He described our democracy then as being governed by "aging old duds, artificially stupefied by the rule of money, and back in power again, and who have learned nothing from past experiences", and are "hanging upon us like a necklace of corpses".
He also described the German government as "not for working men, but a gang of bankers, gaga generals and corrupt right-wing politicians".
Sounds very familiar, and that was written in 1942.

Letters From A Tory said...

Unfortunately, this doesn't register with many swing voters who don't understand the subtleties of how Labour have destroyed everything that is good and true about this country.

Stan said...

I'm definitely not making a party political point, bernard - there is nothing conservative about the Conservative Party.

I'm not sure what era Orwell was referring to when he wrote that in 1942 - for example, when he describes the German government as "a gang of bankers, gaga generals and corrupt right wing politicians" I believe he is referring to the Weimar government - not Hitler - and all the other comments refer to the state of politics prior to the Great Depression.

It's also worth remembering that Orwell's politics were full of conflicts - he was a socialist, but a social conservative. He was a traditionalist, but he wanted to see England subsumed into a European Union. He was opposed to totalitarianism, but prposed politcal solutions that lead to totalitarianism.

Stan said...

"Unfortunately, this doesn't register with many swing voters who don't understand the subtleties of how Labour have destroyed everything that is good and true about this country."

No, No, NOOOO! It is not "Labour" that have destroyed everything that is good and true about this country, LFAT - it is progressive liberalism - and the Tory party has been just as guilty as Labour. Indeed, some of the worst damage was done under Tory governments.

Progressive liberalism is a cancer, my friend - and the party you support is rotten to the core with it.

Larry said...

Stan is spot on. Yet again. I'm voting BNP.