Progressives seem to hate progress

Of all the numerous odd notions prevalent among liberals, one of the oddest must be the idea that people throughout history should have conducted themselves according to the standards of the 21st century — liberal standards, of course. Had they done so, we would not have had all those totally unnecessary wars, famines, pestilence, etc. Oh, and slavery, which is an obsession among liberals. They fervently believe that it could return to America any day now.
The idea that those nosy Europeans should have minded their own business has been getting a boost with the approach of Florida’s 500th anniversary. Had it not been for the angry old white men, the real Americans who were living in a liberal utopia and communing with nature would have been free to keep on doing so for the next 500 years.
People in the 15th century behaved like people in the 15th century. They didn’t attend Harvard, read the New York Times and pretend to love ballet, so they were savages — as people who do those things today imagine Americans west of the Alleghenies and south of the Mason-Dixon line to be.
What seems particularly to enrage liberals is that humans continually have improved their standard of living, especially where freedom is allowed. That’s called “progress,” and people who label themselves “progressives” hate it.
They demand that we divest ourselves of our cars, air-conditioned homes and other devices that rob Mother Earth of her precious resources. Of course, as in the Soviet Union, exceptions for party members will be tolerated. All social norms, including families, need to be jettisoned as well.
I can envision Utopia, too. It will be in the 25th century and enlightened people of that day will remember liberalism-fascism-progressivism-communism-socialism as an amusing blip in human history involving well-intentioned people whose minds had been programmed by politicians, public schools, the news media and Hollywood propagandists.

Lloyd Brown retired as editorial page editor of the Florida Times-Union, in Jacksonville.

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