Sunday, September 6, 2009

Perhaps I'm a Regressive

I have been thinking about whether I'm a conservative, a classical liberal, or something else. For a while, I kept saying "I'm not a conservative; I'm a preservative". Meaning that I want to preserve our founding principles against the onslaught of socialist liberal thinking. Since liberals have rebranded themselves as progressives, and since progressives occur in both the Democrat and Republican parties, I am considering calling myself a regressive. I reject the progressive agenda.

Progressives are statists, that is, they believe the state usually has the most effective solution to society's ills. As such, progressive government would be government that just keeps progressing: expanding without bound, devouring our liberty as it goes -- rather like what we have now.

There is no formal definition for a regressive thinker. According Webster, the word means

1 : tending to regress or produce regression
2 : being, characterized by, or developing in the course of an evolutionary process involving increasing simplification of bodily structure
3 : decreasing in rate as the base increases <a regressive tax>

Definition 1. is a tautology, and is therefore useless. However, definition 2. expresses my belief that we need to simplify, and revert to the founding principles of the US Government. Definition 3. suggests that I might support a regressive tax. No, I would stop with a flat tax. If we did 2., then 3. would be a very minor distinction anyway, since taxation would not be much of a burden for anyone.

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