Progressives are often good people with good intentions. However, modern Progressivism has evolved into something so shapeless and amorphous as to amount to little more than a belief in “things that sound nice.” Mainstream Progressives have done an abysmal job of outlining precisely, in their view, the proper role of government and what (if any) limiting principle(s) apply to the state as a whole.
Everything Is Now a Taxpayer-Funded “Right”
Problems with today’s leftism begin with the ideology’s conception of “rights.” In the common laissez-faire view, rights are universal because they do not impose a duty on others to act positively on our behalf. Simply put, the proper view of human rights is that they prohibit us from initiating coercion against others.
Moreover, not only are the rights universal, but they are inherent to being human. To argue that the state confers these rights suggests that the state, through whatever “legitimate” institutions it may possess, can also take them away. This is an unacceptable possibility in a society of free people.
Modern Progressivism, however, has so warped the entire nature of rights as to turn almost any desired good or service into a right.
In this view, private employers refusing to subsidize birth control purchases by employees are violating a woman’s “right” to birth control. Business owners with religious convictions about homosexuality are denying “rights” by refusing to bake cakes for homosexual couples. Offering someone a job that pays wages belowsome arbitrary federal or state mandated minimum is now an act in violation of a “labor right.”
A service once voluntarily offered to the public is now a duty enforced by the violent arm of the state.
The list of our newfound rights is almost endless, but ten conversations with ten different Progressives will yield ten different sets of absolute rights.
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