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Is there a difference between a Progressive and a Liberal?

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joemurphy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 09:07 PM
Original message
Is there a difference between a Progressive and a Liberal?
Are Progressives more left-leaning, more radical, more socialistic?

I'm curious what people here think. I'd appreciate any opinions you might have.
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still_one Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 09:11 PM
Response to Original message
1. what happened was that the democrats allowed the repukes
to classify liberal as a "bad" word so they instead used the word progressive

Frankly the democrats should have NEVER allowed themselves to be defined by the repukes

I am a liberal and proud of it. In fact, I am a liberal before I am a democrat

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msongs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 09:40 PM
Response to Reply #1
15. jesus = liberal, satan = conservative nt
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applegrove Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 09:12 PM
Response to Original message
2. All Dems are liberals. Actually all Westerners are liberals. Except
for the fringe right (which is big in the US) and the socialists.

All countries are Liberal if they have a mix of policies & trade. All Democracies are Liberal Democracies. Liberalism won. That is why the neos trashed the word. It was too powerful.
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manic expression Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 09:48 PM
Response to Reply #2
17. What?
All Westerners are liberals? How? Reactionary imperialism can describe western policies pretty well (Vietnam, "free" trade, Iraq, treatment of Cuba, CIA actions, Le Penn getting as much of the vote as he did, exploitation of people and entire regions, anti-abortionists, people who oppose welfare and promote the starvation of the poor, the list goes ooooooon and on)

How are socialists not liberal?

The "neos" trashed the world because westerners allowed them to. We are VERY reactionary, and the environment of America and of the world was one that encouraged such base and disgusting policies.

FDR, JFK, LBJ and Carter. That is about all the liberalism there has ever been in America, and JFK (Bay of Pigs) and LBJ (that Vietnam thing) are generous additions. Face it: liberalism cannot define the western world or its policies at all. Liberalism has never been a big part of the political equation in America.
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applegrove Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 10:01 AM
Response to Reply #17
21. Liberalism is about trade and free ideas. All democracies are Liberal
Edited on Sat Oct-01-05 10:01 AM by applegrove
Democracies. Even the U.S. - though Bush WH is trying to undo that. And yes there is imperialism. And yes nobody is perfect. But the fact is anyone who is for trade and power & information in the hands of many as opposed to a few elites.. is liberal.

You use those terms colloquially in the US to mean different things. Anybody who is for trade & free thinking is a liberal.

Liberalism won.

Neoliberals covet the word so much they tried to destroy it in the US. By neo-liberals we mean neocons.

Conservatives (anti-trade) lost. Pure socialists lost. Liberalism won the world over.


The countries of the world are made up of mixed market economies.
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manic expression Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 10:17 AM
Response to Reply #21
22. No way...
Trade is not always liberal. Only when it is fair is it liberal. Free trade is nothing more than exploitation, something the west has gotten down pat.

Free thinking is scorned in America, at best. In that regard, we are extremely conservative. Throughout the world, liberal policies have succeeded IN SPITE of the environment, not because of it.

Saudi Arabia trades quite a bit, does that make them liberal?

Socialism has done extremely well in Cuba, Venezuela, El Salvador, Sweden, Canada (to a lesser extent) and other countries. I would argue that socialism has succeeded more than liberal capitalism.

I would agree that many European nations are FAR more liberal than America is, and that would help explain why that relationship has become volatile. America is reactionary; Europe is moving more to the left...that is a central reason to why there is a conflict. However, Europe is also the beneficiary of disgusting imperialism and exploitation, and has not done enough to mend the wounds it has created.

Having a mixed market means nothing for a country; their actions and sentiments mean everything. In this way, most of the countries who favor "free" trade (specifically the G8 countries) are very RW.

America is becoming quite fascist. Other countries are moving somewhat to the left, but still practice exploitation and imperialism, which makes them right-wing in many respects. Many countries are dictatorships and fascist states, some of which are backed by the US. All this points to the conclusion that liberalism is succeeding in some ways, but is being attacked and threatened by reactionaries and right-wing policies in many others.
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applegrove Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 10:40 AM
Response to Reply #22
23. Saudi Arabia is not a democracy. Canada has a mixed market
economy. That means some socialist policies when they work better than the market - which they do. That is good information.. where the market fails miserably to deliver.. you use regulations and allow for a monopoly to make the market deliver something better - to meet some goals.

All the less developed nation thinkers & economists are for fair trade. It is a conservative thing to be isolationist. And yes - with job cuts in the USA.. the poor & middle class ends up fighting inflation instead of everyone.

Nobody is saying the neocon trade is "fair trade". That is trade based on bullying and anti-democratic things like "no regulations".

The norms you choose to impose on the world have nothing to do with whether there is trade or not. Deciding that there should be no socialized medicine ... when it works far better than anything else..is simply nothing to do with liberalism. Liberalism is against elites and the monopoly on information they try for. The elites in the united states want regulations ... but only when it benefits them. And never when it favours people. That is not liberalism. That is elite power. Corporate welfare and laws (regulations) to protect private & intellectual property are rampant in the U.S. So is subsidy & funding the army & defense industry in a socialist manner.

Just because you have a bunch of nuts in power - does not mean that your Republic isn't a liberal democracy. It is. At least for now. I am not saying the Bush WH is liberal - though they are in the way they want trade - but not liberal in the way they hide information and save it only for the use of elites. Bush is a Keynesian. So are all Western Democracies. Bush is just an elites Keynesian.
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manic expression Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 10:05 PM
Response to Reply #23
28. No...
The market, and an allowance for a monopoly, can only lead one place: exploitation.

Most developed nations are completely against fair trade. That is conservative and that is what is the prevailing view right now.

Neocon trade is what the western nations are doing right now, and if anyone protests it, they get beaten and assaulted by riot police (see: Geneva; see: Savannah; see: Britain)

Yes, there is elite power in America. However, funding the army in a socialist manner is inherently not socialist (perhaps the antithesis of socialism) because it does not go to the people and goes to the military, the CEO's of defense companies and their cronies.

Trade alone is not a measure of liberalism at all.
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Mr_Spock Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 10:47 PM
Response to Reply #2
30. You are technically correct
Heck, even Dubya used the term "liberal democracy" to describe what we want to occur in Iraq.

Now the meaning in American politics is obviously different. We (liberals) want continued expansion of liberal values and policies and conservatives want to stop any forward movement and even take away rights/privileges/freedoms that they find work against their goal to form a more perfect paternal society.
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ayeshahaqqiqa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 09:12 PM
Response to Original message
3. Progressives
historically have been for the "little guy" instead of corporations/big business. They tend to favor legistlation that is for the common good, such as the Pure Food and Drug Act. Historically, I don't believe the Progressive Parties of the past were big on social issues; I don't recall the Progressives of 1912 endorsing the right of suffrege for women, much less taking on de facto segregation in the South. Liberals, on the other hand, take on the progessive viewpoint of legislation for the good of all, but adding the social aspects of equal rights. At least that's my take on it.
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Free2BMe Donating Member (535 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 09:16 PM
Response to Reply #3
7. Respectfully disagree..
I see the progressive movement as studying issues with an openness which is not "limited" to total liberal philosophy..I rather like the educated swing it takes and purses a justice which may not be advised by either liberal or conservative philosophies. Progressive does not have the label clout that either of these do but seems to be "quietly" more effective than either..
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ayeshahaqqiqa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 09:18 PM
Response to Reply #7
9. Let me clarify
I was talking about the Progressive Party that started in the late 1890s and blossomed during the 1912 presidential election, not modern progressives. I didn't know much about them, and thank you for your post, as you have educated me.
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ElkHunter Donating Member (300 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 10:37 PM
Response to Reply #3
29. ayeshahaqqiqa...
...The Progressive Party of 1912 did indeed support women's suffrage. In fact Jane Addams was a member of the National Committee.
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whalerider55 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 09:13 PM
Response to Original message
4. my two cents...
based on experience, progressives get things done, liberals talk about justice and don't seem as action oriented.

me, i'm a radical pragmatist.

pragmatism is figuring out what the just, ethical, humane, progressive, respectful, compassionate, creative, community friendly solution to a problem is.

the radical part is just getting it frickin' done, ande not comittee'ing it to death.

now. now. just get it done.

jeez, i'm cranky tonite.

whalerider

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Kenneth ken Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 04:00 AM
Response to Reply #4
20. I like that
radical pragmatist. I might be that along with you.

:hi:



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Telly Savalas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 09:13 PM
Response to Original message
5. None of these terms have precise definitions...
but I've always interpreted "progressive" as being a touch more left-leaning/socialist than "liberal". I prefer the previous term because it ties back to the social reformers of 100 years ago.
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eallen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 09:16 PM
Response to Original message
6. In my view, pro-capitalist is a liberal position.
That doesn't mean a market fundamentalist. There's no conflict in thinking that all of capitalism, regulations on pollution, and public schools are good things.
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indigonation Donating Member (247 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 09:16 PM
Response to Original message
8. No - they are synonyms. Look them up.
Edited on Fri Sep-30-05 09:17 PM by indigonation
No, really. http://www.thesaurus.com

Personally, I like to use the word liberal more as a label or pro-noun, and progressive more as an adjective.

I'm a proud liberal. I have progressive views.

People like Limpballs must not be allowed to continue to villify the word and define it for us. Wear either/both with pride. Offer an alternative to the status quo.

Crony "compassionate" conservatives or Regressive troglodytes. Their policies are bad for America.
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Hissyspit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 09:20 PM
Response to Reply #8
10. Generally, in a broad sense, you will find the word progressive in any
definition of the word liberal. That's my experience, anyway.
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whyverne Donating Member (734 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 09:21 PM
Response to Original message
11. If I have to have a label,
I choose progressive. I'm more interested in what works than in any ideology. Some liberals can be as creepy and bossy as the repukes.
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valerief Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 09:23 PM
Response to Original message
12. Doesn't it all describe taxes?
Liberal means tax dollars collected go back to the people (well, some, because most always goes in fat cats' pockets). Conservative means tax dollars are withheld or conserved.

Regressive means the more money you make the less you're taxed. Progressive means the more money you make the more you're taxed.
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pnorman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 09:27 PM
Response to Original message
13. In the Fifties,
and even later, the term "progressive" was red-baited pretty thoroughly by the McCarthyites. It became one of their ironic code words for "commie", or "comsymp". (Likewise with the term "fellow traveler"). "Progressive" became even more an epithet than "liberal", and very few then openly identified themselves with that word.

pnorman
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RoyGBiv Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 09:31 PM
Response to Original message
14. Historically, yes ...

As applegrove indicated, most people in the US are liberals, whether they realize it or not. Liberalism is inherent in our form of government, which the extreme right is trying so diligently to destroy. Progressives are a particular kind of liberal, but even in this, different varieties exist. The term is not a formal designation of a political ideology. It has been used in the name of various major and minor political parties, which lean more to the socialist side of the political spectrum but do not discount the idea of private property or capitalism entirely. However, no Progressive Party has continuously existed from the time of the first formation of one, and a set a party principles has not been etched.

That said, in modern, common usage, "progressive" and "liberal" mean pretty much the same thing. The latter has been destroyed by the Republican Party as a term that can be used without negative moral connotations, so progressive becomes to the preferred term among many. Ironically, it was Henry Wallace, a Progressive Party candidate for President, against whom the term "liberal" as a negative descriptor was initially used most successfully, beginning with his service as FDR's VP. It has connotations of "permissiveness," which was linked with Wallace's refusal to purge the party of the so-called communists or to renounce the support of the American Communist Party during his presidential bid, i.e. he was too permissive/liberal in his associations and ideas. The term "progressive" has almost no negative connotations.

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union_maid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 09:47 PM
Response to Original message
16. They kind of do mean different things
The way we learned it in school, liberals believed that if the constitution didn't say "no" to something then it was possible to do. Conservatives believed the reverse. Back in the sixties, which was my political coming of age, that meant that you could have Voting Rights Act and civil rights laws and generally mandate human rights at the federal level without requiring a constitutional amendment for every bit of social progress. Progressive was a synonym for poltics that ran to ultra-liberal or democratic socialist at the time. But the party lines were not the same as they are now. There were really liberal Republicans and a lot more Zell Miller Democrats than we have today.
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Kickin_Donkey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 02:26 AM
Response to Original message
18. In current, practical terms ...
I don't see a difference.

Historically there may have been differences, but those definitions change naturally over time; now, it's a distinction without a differnce. IMO
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CTyankee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 06:07 PM
Response to Reply #18
27. I agree, to a great extent but
I think liberal has been trashed and is being trashed more than progressive in our current political time. For some reason the RW isn't doing to progressive what they did and continue to do to liberal. My guess is that they realize that people think of progressive as being for progress and the opposite of regressive which they think of being for going backward. Not cool.
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Douglas Carpenter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 03:09 AM
Response to Original message
19. Essentially the same -- but I think there are two types of progressives
Edited on Sat Oct-01-05 03:14 AM by Douglas Carpenter
There is one type which uses the word progressive because they want to identify with the Democratic Party and they are not or at least do not want to be identified as liberals. The DLC runs the right-wing "Progressive Policy Institute" -- see this article:
http://rightweb.irc-online.org/org/ppi.php

Fortunately the word progressive is more often used to refer to the grassroots oriented and somewhat social democratic wing of the Democratic Party. This tradition finds roots in the progressive movements of the earlier part of this century I suspect culminating in the 1924 Progressive campaign of La Follette which carried 13% of the vote along with the state of Wisconsin.

I think it's fair to say that progressives were a major if not the major force during the Roosevelt era.

I suspect this movement (or tendency) suffered splits over the cold war. In 1948 former Vice President Henry Wallace ran for President on a newly formed Progressive Party. His campaign opposed Truman on the Korean War and the cold war in general. The 1948 Progressive Party had several members of the Communist Party USA among is most involved activist. I suppose that limited its life span.

I think during the late 50's and early 60's the Progressive tendency first united around the civil right issue. Unfortunately, the whole question of the Cold War in general and the Viet Nam War in particular again divided progressives.

Personally, I think LBJ was a genuine progressive -- but the Viet Nam War destroyed his base of support along with his Presidency.

I think it is fair to say that from the end of World War II and until the 70's (maybe even later)progressives found themselves divided on the question "should the U.S. maintain an unbeatable military empire and use that power that can dominate the world and impose its will by force when it cannot do it by coercion?".

I suspect most progressives now feel the answer to that question is no. However, the Democratic Party--not wanting to appear weak on defense has frequently turned away from the progressive position.

just my rant

but ya, I think most people use the word progressive and liberal interchangeably
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sadiesworld Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 11:23 AM
Response to Original message
24. Certainly there is a huge difference
between neo-liberal and progressive. Neo-liberals support corporate globalization, progressives do not. It's not a small disagreement, it's a matter of polar opposites.

I try to use liberal only in the context of social/cultural issues, it seems worthless when discussing trade, economics, etc.
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joemurphy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 03:27 PM
Response to Original message
25. I was thinking about the comments and the lack of definitions
on this thread. How about this?

Liberalism can be defined as a political doctrine espousing equality of opportunity but not result. Liberalism is more centrist and embraces capitalism with certain governmental checks to limit capitalistic or monopolistic abuses.

Progressivism embodies liberalism to the extent it espouses equality of opportunity but would go further and seek to equalize results -- at least to some agreed or stated minimum. Progressivism is more left-egalitarian and would favor a wider distribution of economic wealth either through capitalism, redistributive governmental intervention, or through socialism.

I'm not sure I'm satisfied with this dichotomy, but I thought I'd air it and see what people think.

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belle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 05:50 PM
Response to Reply #25
26. Works for me.
It's also worth looking at the words in their non-political meanings:

"liberal"=broad-minded, tolerant, permissive, generous

"progressive"=forward-moving

I like to think I'm both.
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Crunchy Frog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 10:57 PM
Response to Original message
31. It seems to all come down to definitions, as nearly as I can tell.
I've always kind of thought of myself as both. I have noticed the DLC using the word "progressive" to describe themselves lately. I think it's all just highly dependent on how you define a word.
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