The first posting is always the hardest. What is the Progressingamerica project? What are my goals for this blog?
Initially, my goal is to provide a complete transcript of the book Fabian Freeway, by Rose L. Martin. Why would I do this? Simple: far too many Americans (and even more dangerously, many of those of us who believe in free markets) do not understand that progressivism is not just about “making progress”, rather progressivism is a political philosophy, an ideology. One that seeks to destroy free markets and the constitution – “fundamental transformation” to use Obama’s words. Progressivism has roots, it has major figures in history who have defined the ideology and made it what it is today. And it is these roots which I find fascinating and worthy of discussion. It is my hope that by bringing things to the forefront, that others will notice them and keep the discussion going, here and elsewhere. Anybody should be able to point to the details, be forceful in their arguments, and provide facts to prove their case.
Despite the book’s title, Fabian Freeway goes quite into depth about progressivism here in the United States. There have been great books written which detail progressivism in exemplary ways. R. J. Pestritto’s book Woodrow Wilson and the Roots of Modern Liberalism should be on anybody’s must read list, for those who wish to truely understand progressivism. Also, Jonah Goldberg’s book Liberal Fascism has plenty of details from the history of progressivism. But Fabian Freeway is different. It’s in the public domain like most of the books in the Mises Literature Library. That means its free for download for anybody, and anybody can do whatever I want with it.
My plan is to re-create it in a way that’s not only useful, but so that the contents of the book in it’s entirety can be searched on page with your web browser. Also, it would be useful for the contents of the book to show up in a web browser searches. As it currently stands, parts of the book do but your search terms have to be really explicit and the results do not continue on past whatever your terms contained. There’s a copy of the book up on Scribd, on Google books and the PDF that I’ve referenced several times as well, but in all cases the information is locked away and not as accessible as it should be. Not just access to information, but easy access to information. That’s my goal here. That’s what we need if we’re to understand progressivism. No more will progressives be able to run and hide from their own history once we become experts in it. (as a Mises-affiliated blog, these pages show up in Google)
When I’m done the book will be very easy to navigate per chapter via the table of contents(my final posting on the matter), a close example of what I wish to do would be this. Sometimes the best way to educate people is not to try to come up with something new, but rather to highlight that which may already exist, especially if it’s well written. Fabian Freeway is such a book.
The progressingamerica project can be summed up with the following question: “How are they progressingamerica”? I seek to answer the question, and a great way to do that is to highlight past persons and actions from the progressive movement. I have taken very fondly to a quote which comes from Sun Tzu’s Art of War: (section 3)
If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle