The Trump administration isn't a political outlier in any way. Rather, it bares the very essence of conservatism, stripped of business suits, expensive cars, and McMansions. It has taught everyone who can be taught that sociopathy, narcissism, power-hunger and greed lie at the heart of all conservatism. The appalling outcomes of the COVID-19 pandemic have taught the teachable what the result of giving conservatism a place in society will always be: in a word, catastrophe. For the teachable, the conclusion is obvious: the proper place of conservatism lies in the trash-bin of out-grown ideas.
The veritable inverse of Trumpism is Progressivism, particularly democratic socialism. One part of the mission of Everything Progressive is to clarify the nature of Progressivism - which, like the US constitution, and the Declaration of Independence, is a manifestation of Enlightenment thinking concerning politics. (Ironically, while embracing the US flag, Trump symbolically embraced everything he most disdains. His flag-flying acolytes, too, would be stunned if they understood what that flag actually represents.)
Progressivism is the political philosophy that attempts to optimize society for the equal benefit of everyone. To that end, it exemplifies such key concepts as "one person, one vote", and "equality of everyone before the law". It is the only political philosophy fully consistent with democracy, which is, itself, the only morally justifiable form of governance. It stands opposed to philosophies such as fascism and conservatism, which attempt, instead, to optimize society for the maximum benefit of a few, typically the wealthy owners of corporations and banks.
In the pages of Everything Progressive, we work out the implications of all of this. The French philosopher D'Alembert saw the Enlightenment in terms of fulfilling the project begun during the Renaissance. We regard the Enlightenment itself in the same way. We're long overdue for some "course corrections" of Enlightenment thought, especially in its economic dimension. But the ideal of human progress, which is what the "progress" in "progressivism" refers to, remains at the core of our project here. And this means genuine progress across the board, in every field of legitimate human endeavor.
Desirable as a more Progressive world would be, the United States (and to varying extents the rest of the world), has instead been moving steadily toward various forms of fascism and authoritarianism. This is not an accident. In the US this movement has been coordinated by businessmen and central bankers (globally, nearly all central banks, such as the "Federal" Reserve, are actually privately owned) and by "neoconservatives" (who are, in fact, closeted fascists). So we regard it as essential to trace the influence of the pathological trends in American politics that are diametrically opposed to Progressivism.
Fascism is parasitic upon Progressivism. Consistently pursued, it would eventually end by destroying the very economic base upon which all economies necessarily depend by its constant emphasis on "austerity" (for everyone - except the wealthy owners of corporations and banks, and the Pentagon), an emphasis which eventually undermines economic demand, which in turn undercuts production. (Production without demand leads to economic stagnation, as would demand without corresponding production.)
Thus, beside being invariably and inevitably unjust, conservatism is also ultimately even self-defeating.
Optimizing society solely for the economic benefit of a tiny handful has further imposed ecological blinders which ultimately threaten to destroy the environment and thus civilization itself. And the COVID-19 catastrophe has made it as clear as anything possibly could that conservatism/fascism as an approach to governance is catastrophic in its consequences.
But even this understates the concentrated evil represented by conservatism. Fascists have learned that they can obtain the natural resources belonging to others by means of warfare; and so they have also learned how to profit from this warfare in and of itself. This has led the US to embrace a permanent war footing based upon the idea of a never-winnable war nominally against "terrorism" - an ever-possible tactic by some vague someone somewhere, not, by intent, an identifiable and defeatable enemy.
Because "terrorism" has been transformed into such a vague and conveniently elastic term, it can even be applied to those who most oppose fascism and terrorism. And since fascism operates solely for the benefit of the wealthy owners of large corporations, the very citizens of the United States have now become "enemies of the (neo-fascist) state". Hence the need for the illegal mass surveillance program of the NSA, the "targeted individual" program of the FBI, and NORTHCOM, a military command which has been tasked with the military policing of American civilians in violation of the concept of posse comitatus.
Restoring economic, political, and ecological sanity in a grotesquely distorted landscape such as this requires, first of all, an understanding of the nature of central-bank based fascism - absurdly, an understanding needed even by the fascists themselves. (Though the problem here is that fascists, being from first principles criminal, are constantly trying to carve out exceptions for themselves, no matter what the ultimate consequences of their actions. To a very large extent, they can't easily be educated even in their own best interests. Witness, again, the literally insane reaction of neo-fascists to the COVID-19 crisis.)
Nevertheless, Everything Progressive aims to provide information to inform fascists and non-fascists alike of the basics of a paradigm that is, in the long run, absolutely superior to fascism. (As fascists gradually destroy the environment, limit medical care, and undermine the economies of societies, the "long run" shrinks from year to year, even for them.) In doing so, we hope to help get American, and global, society back on track.
Despite first appearances, Everything Progressive isn't primarily about politics or economics. It is, rather, about the entire spectrum of Progressive possibilities that lie before the human race — if we can survive the death spiral of the current era of failed fascism. In this sense, it represents an attempt to reboot the aims of the Enlightenment.
Even before the current economic and health crises, the most that billions of human beings could aspire to was a way of life that approached bare survival. This was nothing short of criminal. Full employment can be achieved in all modern societies, even now - if only CEOs and bankers could rid themselves of their abhorrence of creating demand for labor and of creating a better life for everyone. (Like Trump, in order to feel good about themselves, neo-fascists need to feel better than everyone else.)
But, even as we work toward urgent, immediate priorities, such as restored civil liberties, quality healthcare, full employment, and economic justice for all, we should keep in mind that we live in an era in which it is possible not only to solve all of humankind's age-old ills — including, to some degree, even the most fundamental disease of all, the aging process — but to also achieve an unprecedented level of understanding of ourselves and the universe.
A new generation of tools, from garage-based three dimensional printing to do-it-yourself genome analysis, now make it possible for a great many to venture into a realm of ideas, tools, and technologies where few have ventured before. And, beyond even this, new space missions have revealed water on the Moon, and seas beneath the ice of Enceladus, a moon of Saturn, where undreamed-of life forms may flourish.
From our own living rooms we can join physicists as they probe the nature of matter and of reality itself with the latest generation of particle colliders. Open source software is making it possible to detect information where only noise was apparent before. And hundreds of new planets, some capable of supporting life as we know it, are being probed. The advent of new generation of super-telescopes will soon be opening a new window on the universe where we will see what has never been seen before.
But even this is not all. The arts, too, have entered into a new era. Basement recording studios provide the opportunity to inexpensively create and produce music at the highest level of professionalism. Augmented and virtual realities beyond current conception lie waiting for us just around the corner. And every city of any size has self-help groups of one sort or another where the craft of writing, or painting, or composing can be learned.
Here at Everything Progressive we invite you along for the entirety of that adventure - the greatest adventure of all.
In support of that end, we would like to see every person a citizen and philanthropist, everyone an artist and scientist, everyone a philosopher and mathematician. Taken individually, each of these is a high ideal. When taken together, they comprise the hightest ideal of all - that of the complete human being, capable of meeting any challenge successfully. Most people have automobiles, televisions and smart phones. Why shouldn't we aspire to provide, to everyone who wants them, home laboratories, art studios, libraries?
Like all ambitious ideals, these ideals are far easier of accomplishment with good tools. Many of those will be found here.
The Editor / Everything Progressive