Everything Progressive made its first appearance on the internet in April of 2001 as Progressive Living.
Many thousands of American Progressives worked in 2000 for the Presidential campaign of Ralph Nader . . . and all found that experience an education unto itself, including many of the founding members of Progressive Living. Those who had the opportunity to meet and to hear Nader in person soon realized that he was one of the very few individuals involved in public life who was a genuine advocate of democracy. He provided, in fact, a kind of human yardstick by which other politicians and practices could be clearly and unambiguously judged.
And what was judged by the founders of Progressive Living was this: in the millennial election, for the first time in a century, Americans had a real choice: they could elect a man as president who actually believed in democracy rather than oligarchy.
But, precisely because of this belief, Nader was excluded from the Presidential debates. Because of this belief, the corporate media consistently derided him, when they bothered to cover his campaign at all. As with Bernie Sanders, the media as well as the political machines of both parties hated him.
All of that was bad enough, of course, but then the truly unthinkable happened. A member of the Bush crime family — known historically for its friendly dealing with Nazis and more recently for its love of shady energy companies — was selected to the Presidency by a profoundly corrupt and partisan Supreme Court. At that point it became clear that the fix was in. With such criminal origins, it was inevitable that a Bush presidency would prove to be a catastrophe. And so it was. (We leave our readers to ponder what course America could have steered instead with a Nader presidency - but, mininally, two trillion dollars, and thousands of lives, would have been saved on the opportunistic oil war with Iraq which was never fought for the benefit of American citizens.)
But something else became clear, too.
For a wholly inept and unqualified individual like George W. Bush to even be put forward as a candidate meant that political corruption had truly bitten deep. (In this sense, the Trump presidency is a re-run.)
The vast majority of Americans were hardly enthusiastic about the Supreme Court coup d'etat, and they gradually became aware that a total catastrophe had indeed befallen them, especially during the Great Recession. (As we now enter a second Great Depression under Trump.) But its deeper origins were difficult for them to clearly discern.
And so Progressive Living, the precursor of Everything Progressive, was born, with the aim of providing an educational resource for Americans who wanted to make sense of what was going on behind the mass media facade — and who wanted an understanding of what politics, and economics, are supposed to look like instead.
Not very surprisingly, some of the most corrupt elements of American society were very greatly displeased by PL. As all evil men invariably do, they greatly feared public awareness and understanding. Unfortunately, their influence extends to much of the leadership of both the military and law enforcement. (Working law-enforcement officers and FBI agents, as much in the dark as everyone else, have little or no understanding of why they are instructed to do the things that they do. They simply follow orders, and sometimes take the brunt of abuse for crimes that originate far above them — which is not to say that they don't also often act upon poor judgment, and engage in outright felonies. Sadly, human nature is too often frail.)
Inevitably, Progressive Living contributors received harassing phone calls, were followed, computers were tampered with, equipment was destroyed, our editor's home and automobile were broken into repeatedly, and our companion multimedia website was hacked into, tampered with, and briefly taken down by individuals probably associated with Homeland Security and/or the FBI. In addition, many PL pages were also censored, even by Google - they were simply not discoverable there, no matter how many pages deep readers looked. (Progressive Living may well have been among the most-censored sites on the internet.) Even our site search tool had been tampered with, so as to exclude the locating of all three letter acronyms - like "NSA" and "FBI". And we received a take-down notification from criminally corrupt CEOs. (Which we simply ignored. We knew they wouldn't want their antics exposed in a court of law, where their representatives would be placed under oath. Awkward for them indeed.) And still worse was ahead: our editor-in-chief became a selectee in the FBI's Targeted Individual (TI) program.
Despite all of this harassment, Progressive Living was, nevertheless, read, advertisement-free by millions of individuals and in every country in the world with internet infrastructure in the decade and more following the Bush coup. Over the course of that time, PL never asked readers for money, never ran ads, never sought fame and fortune for its writers, and never tried to collect (or sell) information about its readers' internet viewing habits to anyone. It was one of the very few internet sites of any size that did not do any of these things.
And we're not going to do any of them on this site, either.
But something more up-to-date, better organized, and more consistent with current internet trends and website design was clearly needed, and this site is intended to be the answer to that need. Everything Progressive will continue to provide an understanding of the differences between the actual and the ideal going forward.
No matter who is displeased.
But this is only the "Best Antidote" part of the Everything Progressive mission. What about the "More"?
PL intially focused in large part upon economics and politics because the advocates of American neo-fascism as exemplified by such accessories as George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, and Tom Donohue, as well as ring-leaders like David Rockefeller, Lloyd Blankfein, and the Koch brothers, organized so extensively that they imperiled democracy itself in America, and indeed everywhere else as well. This threat is still growing, and our content continues to reflect our profound concerns regarding this extraordinarily dangerous and pathological coterie.
But our deeper purpose has always been to provide tools for everyone, everywhere, to live more fully-human lives. EP is one of the very few websites that has taken a consistently humanistic approach to facilitating this aim.
We believe that the inner logic of civilization, as well as the inner logic of individuality, both point in precisely this direction. To aim for anything else is to aim instead for the debasement of humanity itself, an aim which few human beings could consciously endorse. Even arch-neofascist David Rockefeller strove for a society and a personal way of life that aimed for the fulfillment of his potential in a society that was organized so as to promote this end — although in the case of such so-called "elitists", full lives are desired exclusively for themselves (a desire that has its roots in both psychopathology and comprehensive philosophical illiteracy).
In the end, we suspect, and certainly hope, the sort of society most desired by the "elite" won't prove possible; but the ongoing attempt to secure this objective is, nevertheless, the greatest crime ever perpetuated against humanity.
And that's something every one of us must oppose.
The Editor / Everything Progressive