This Is The Progressive Mind At Work

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It’s been 80 years since Stalin’s brutal reign. Close to 150 years since the end of slavery in the States.

But now we have progressives arguing a way back to slavery and communism…for our own good of course: (h/t JeffG)

In the United States, as in many other countries, obesity is a serious problem. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg wants to do something about it. Influenced by many experts, he believes that soda is a contributing factor to increasing obesity rates and that large portion sizes are making the problem worse. In 2012, he proposed to ban the sale of sweetened drinks in containers larger than sixteen ounces at restaurants, delis, theaters, stadiums, and food courts. The New York City Board of Health approved the ban.

Many people were outraged by what they saw as an egregious illustration of the nanny state in action.

…The United States is facing a series of serious disputes about the boundaries of paternalism. The most obvious example is the “individual mandate” in the Affordable Care Act, upheld by the Supreme Court by a 5–4 vote, but still opposed by many critics, who seek to portray it as a form of unacceptable paternalism.

[John Stuart] Mill offered a number of independent justifications for his famous harm principle, but one of his most important claims is that individuals are in the best position to know what is good for them. In Mill’s view, the problem with outsiders, including government officials, is that they lack the necessary information. Mill insists that the individual “is the person most interested in his own well-being,” and the “ordinary man or woman has means of knowledge immeasurably surpassing those that can be possessed by any one else.”

When society seeks to overrule the individual’s judgment, Mill wrote, it does so on the basis of “general presumptions,” and these “may be altogether wrong, and even if right, are as likely as not to be misapplied to individual cases.” If the goal is to ensure that people’s lives go well, Mill contends that the best solution is for public officials to allow people to find their own path.

Yes. Government does NOT know best, the individual does.

But wait….argues Cass Sunstein….maybe that’s not correct:

Sarah Conly’s illuminating book Against Autonomy provides such a discussion. Her starting point is that in light of the recent findings, we should be able to agree that Mill was quite wrong about the competence of human beings as choosers. “We are too fat, we are too much in debt, and we save too little for the future.” With that claim in mind, Conly insists that coercion should not be ruled out of bounds. She wants to go far beyond nudges. In her view, the appropriate government response to human errors depends not on high-level abstractions about the value of choice, but on pragmatic judgments about the costs and benefits of paternalistic interventions. Even when there is only harm to self, she thinks that government may and indeed must act paternalistically so long as the benefits justify the costs.

Conly is quite aware that her view runs up against widespread intuitions and commitments. For many people, a benefit may consist precisely in their ability to choose freely even if the outcome is disappointing. She responds that autonomy is “not valuable enough to offset what we lose by leaving people to their own autonomous choices.” Conly is aware that people often prefer to choose freely and may be exceedingly frustrated if government overrides their choices. If a paternalistic intervention would cause frustration, it is imposing a cost, and that cost must count in the overall calculus. But Conly insists that people’s frustration is merely one consideration among many. If a paternalistic intervention can prevent long-term harm—for example, by eliminating risks of premature death—it might well be justified even if people are keenly frustrated by it.

…A natural objection is that autonomy is an end in itself and not merely a means. On this view, people should be entitled to choose as they like, even if they end up choosing poorly. In a free society, people must be allowed to make their own mistakes, and to the extent possible learn from them, rather than facing correction and punishment from bureaucratic meddlers. Conly responds that when government makes (some) decisions for us, we gain not only in personal welfare but also in autonomy, if only because our time is freed up to deal with what most concerns us

You see, when the Roman empire, when the Egyptians, when Europe and the States had slavery it was really only for their own good. It freed up their time to do really important stuff. No more mundane stuff, that was all decided for them. Sounds swell. I mean it’s for your own good. All those government workers are sooooo much smarter than you and have only your best interest at heart.


This is the mind of a progressive. It’s the mind of a facist. It’s a the mind of a slave holder and a communist.

This is the mind of a sick people.

Exit quote:

Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. They may be more likely to go to Heaven yet at the same time likelier to make a Hell of earth. This very kindness stings with intolerable insult. To be “cured” against one’s will and cured of states which we may not regard as disease is to be put on a level of those who have not yet reached the age of reason or those who never will; to be classed with infants, imbeciles, and domestic animals.
-C.S. Lewis

Curt served in the Marine Corps for four years and has been a law enforcement officer in Los Angeles for the last 24 years.

15 Responses to “This Is The Progressive Mind At Work”

  1. 1

    Nan G

    Again, this is why Obama wants children, even as young as babies, away from their parents and in the hands of the state.
    Just like the old USSR did, the state would propagandize this next generation fully.
    But Obama NEVER thinks through to the consequences of his actions.
    How did those soviet children do as adults?
    Not achievers at all.
    They dragged on the soviet economy by working as little as possible, drinking as much as possible, have few babies and many abortions, creating dangerous games like red-light suicide drag races and so on.
    The last thing they were was compliant to the leaders of the socialist empire.
    And our experiments with pre-school show very mixed results here, too.

    Paternalism is the daddy side of the Nanny State.
    The babies have elected their favorite sugar daddies but are beginning to notice that their problems are not being solved.

    As bad as capitalism is made out to be it is still the only economic framework that harnesses all of men’s worst tendencies and channels those into productive ends.

    People tend to forget the facts about slavery.
    In the Roman empire, the Egyptian empire, the Greek empire and when Europe had the serf system slavery was much more than 75% of the population!
    In Greece, at one point, it was well over 90%.
    The ONLY people who were the benefactors of slavery were the rulers.
    Those few.

    And Obama has fans salivating to be put in chains!

  2. 2


    I realize banning 32oz sodas will affect both the evil obese rich as well as the good obese poor but why does Bloomberg want to help the evil rich. After all if they have problem with obesity, can’t they afford liposuction? Why doesn’t he have a program specifically for poor people?

    Ban food stamps Mayor Bloomberg. Help the poor slim down without helping the evil rich. In time this might even result in fewer poor people.

  3. 4

    Jim Hlavac

    Well, I guess Bloomberg thinks people are just too dumb to buy two 16oz sodas instead of one 32 oz. Maybe they’ll wind up buying two 20 oz sodas.

    Meanwhile, it is true that the elite seeks to brainwash the schlubs — the Soviets tried it for 70 or 80 years. Less than 4 years after the Berlin Wall fell the Soviet commies were gone — poof! So much for 80 years of indoctrination. The Wall itself fell within months of the first crack. Those here who think they will rule the roost are going to be in for some rude surprises – and far sooner than 80 years. There’s already too much vocal resistance to the nanny daddy state — it will only grow.

  4. 5


    So let me get this straight…
    We are supposed to give up our liberties in order to save the government money?
    And accept that it’s for our own good? When it includes giving up our liberties?
    What an interesting idea.

  5. 6

    Liberal1 (Objectivity)

    Speaking of minds, in the sixties, we used to be against conservatives because their mindset resembled fascists. Is it worse to call liberals communists, or conservatives fascists? Most of us liberals grew up and left this kind of name-calling behind.

  6. 7


    @Liberal1 (Objectivity):

    You aren’t a Liberal, Lib1. You are a progressive. Just like the Democratic party leadership is.

    And progressivism is just a journey to statism(of which communism is but a part).

    The big government of the 60’s wasn’t the problem you had with government back then, Lib1. It was that you and your contemporaries didn’t run it. But now you do, and the overreaching and the tyrannical government edicts are quite ok with you now, because you and your kind are the ones issuing the edicts and grappling away at our freedoms, and you don’t have any problem with it.

  7. 8

    Nan G

    Now the Obama administration has made it impossible for veterans who claim PTSD to ever own, possess or purchase firearms!

    Call his administration whatever you want…..socialists, communists, dictators, monarchs….whatever….

    How would you feel if you received a letter from the U.S. Government informing you that because of a physical or mental condition that the government says you have it is proposing to rule that you are incompetent to handle your own financial affairs? Suppose that letter also stated that the government is going to appoint a stranger to handle your affairs for you at your expense? That would certainly be scary enough but it gets worse.

    What if that letter also stated: “A determination of incompetency will prohibit you from purchasing, possessing, receiving, or transporting a firearm or ammunition. If you knowingly violate any of these prohibitions, you may be fined, imprisoned, or both pursuant to the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, Pub.L.No. 103-159, as implemented at 18, United States Code 924(a)(2).”?

    That makes is sound like something right from a documentary on a tyrannical dictatorship somewhere in the world. Yet, as I write this I have a copy of such a letter right in front of me.

    via gateway pundit:

  8. 9



    @Nan G:

    Now the Obama administration has made it impossible for veterans who claim PTSD to ever own, possess or purchase firearms!

    Where do you get the idea that this is an Obama administration idea? This is nothing new.

    Gun purchases by veterans (and every other US citizen) have been subject to prohibition via mental capacity assessments for many years.

    Furthermore, the assessment of lack of capacity for a veteran is not a permanent thing, as detailed in the NICS Improvement Amendments Act of 2007.

    If you’re interested in the reality of this situation, get a copy of ATF Form 4473 and the completion instructions. Refer specifically to Question 11.f and it’s exceptions/qualifiers.

    Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

  9. 10

    Richard Wheeler

    NanG says call his administration whatever you want “socialists,communists,dictators etc etc.” You sure do.
    Re#8 How can you be so consistently misinformed? Do you work at it?
    Good luck on your move to Utah.

  10. 11


    What’s with this nanny state !!! First they took ciggies away from kids, then made them wear clothes that couldn’t burst into flames, now they want to limit soda size.
    Hold that outrage Nan that is simply NOT true. Not all who claim PTSD are going to have their guns taken away. But the VA is VERY concerned that 4000 vets kill themselves with guns every year. And 40% of all vets are now claiming to be a service related disability. Not sure if Romney would class them as part of the 47%.

  11. 12


    In her view, the appropriate government response to human errors depends not on high-level abstractions about the value of choice, but on pragmatic judgments about the costs and benefits of paternalistic interventions. Even when there is only harm to self, she thinks that government may and indeed must act paternalistically so long as the benefits justify the costs.

    How did we ever exist without benevolent dictators. Some of us consider the risk of smoking, drinking, scuba diving, eating meat, horse back riding, motorcycling, sailing, canoeing, mountain climbing, ice skating and hockey to be worth the enjoyment we derive from those pursuits. Yet, the illuminated duo of Sunstein and Conly are ready to step in on our behalf and tell us when we are overstepping our boundaries with appropriate fines and jail time, since they understand and appreciate our well-being to a greater extent than we can provide for ourselves. Since driving to work is a high risk activity, maybe they will mandate that we live within walking or bicycling distance to our place of employment. How joyous it would be if someone in government actually had our welfare in mind. It would be like a new Constitution without the negativity towards government. At last government will be able to control us for our best interest. What a wonderful and novel concept, government becomes omnipotent and we become the beneficiaries with food allotments, exercise assignments, specific reading requirements, and clothing allotments. The country will be run perfectly and no longer will aberrant personalities with unworkable concepts of freedom be allowed to run amuck and mess up some government employee’s plans for our well-being.

  12. 14


    I love it, that is perfect no BLOOMBERG INTERVENTION NEEDED,

  13. 15

    Jill Rivas

    Great article. Thanks for the info, you made it easy to understand. BTW, if anyone needs to fill out atf form 4473, I found a blank form here This site also has some tutorials on how to fill it out and a few related forms that you might find useful.

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