Libertarian political philosophy springs from the notion that natural rights are of prime importance to a good life. These rights, classically identified as life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, should not be under assault by oppressive State action. Government, as the coercive arm of the State, is at best a necessary evil and must be designed with constraints against its natural ends of tyranny.
Progressive ideology stands in absolute opposition to the Libertarian political philosophy. An ideology can be defined as a coherent system of ideas based on assumptions about things that can be applied toward desired goals. It becomes an ideocracy when it becomes a dominant force within government. This is what the world experienced when the Democratic Party held the Presidency and the Congress in thrall under Obama’s first few years in power. Its characteristics? Secret “transparency” meetings. Passing bills (without reading them) to find out what is in them. Incomprehensible laws of many thousand pages that take over entire economic sectors. The use of government agencies for political purposes (DOJ, EPA, IRS). The Constitution is essentially ignored in moves to gain control of the American people.
The defining characteristics of Progressive ideology, as with Libertarianism, are difficult to fully pin down. We will try anyway. In a nutshell, Progressives are Statists. They believe in promoting “community,” that is, seeking to achieve economic equality in the lowest common denominator. Property, businesses, and progress are not their owners alone, but spring from government activity. It is evil to be rich, but it is not good to be poor. Thus, they take from the rich and give to the poor.
Progressives really believe that they are the smartest guys in the room! They conduct studies that reinforce the satisfying conclusion that they are indeed more intelligent than everyone else. They believe in the duty to force everyone, the “little people” beneath them, to do as the political class think best. Greek yogurt served in schools. They support government intervention in every aspect of society (economic, politics, family life, education, etc.). Because government bureaucrats know best, central planning, as seen in soviet five year plans. is the goal for every sector of life. Government spying on people’s mail, internet use, credit card charges, and GPS locations fit well with a desire to protect the village and ultimately, beneficially tell them how to behave.
Government intervention is expensive, so they promote wealth redistribution by giving ‘free’ stuff to the poor and raising taxes on the rich.; The elite at the pinnacle of power are comfortable with the imposition of government-approved approaches to what food is good to eat, federal programs to stop bullying and every other conceivable thing. They are idealists not living in the real world.
Progressive ideology ultimately leads to irrational results like zero tolerance policies in middle schools. Progressives believe that simply passing a law against something will necessarily result in predictable, positive results. Proscribing the sale of “big gulps” will lead to a decline in obesity.
All of these characteristics: government control, central planning, government intervention in all activities, elitism, and taxation attack the precepts of Libertarianism. They are also the fundamental principles of 1984 totalitarian society and must be stopped at all costs.