Monday, October 11, 2010

Oliver Wendell Holmes -- Progressive Icon

Exploring the Roots of Progressism
Controversy equalizes fools and wise men - and the fools know it.  -- Oliver Wendell Holmes
Oliver Wendell Holmes was an interesting man. Highly educated, intelligent and pithy.  He was the son of abolitionists, a thrice-wounded Civil War veteran, and he was put on the Supreme Court by President Theodore Roosevelt, who later regretted his decision.

Holmes also did much to break down the constitutional bulwark constructed to guard our liberties, and the progressive hordes stormed through the breach.

Law Professor Michael Arians sums up Holmes's judicial philosophy:
Holmes’ jurisprudence is the wellspring for much of current American views about jurisprudence. Holmes 1) tuned everyone to a social view of law—"The life of the law has not been logic, it has been experience;" 2) was perceived to advocate judicial restraint when (conservative) judicial activism was denounced by progressives; 3) advanced the idea of law as prediction, thus leading to the is/ought of legal realism; 4) urged a view of law from the perspective of a bad man, which led to a form of authoritarian control; and 5) argued for a thoroughgoing positivism (and opposition to moral language in law).  (Ariens - Oliver Wendell Holmes)
Holmes was in the vanguard of abandoning a strict rule of law and replacing it with "empathetic" interpretations.  His judicial restraint abetted progressives in building the state-friendly legal framework that tramples our rights to this day.
Between two groups of people who want to make inconsistent kinds of worlds, I see no remedy but force.  -- Oliver Wendell Holmes
 Progressivism is Statism

Progressivism is neither "liberal" nor "conservative."  The Wilson progressives were pro-war, anti-alcohol, and violated the rights of anarchists, smut peddlers, war protesters, and communists.
the Progressive movement was a comprehensive drive for statism and big government across the board – in every area of American life, from the economy to foreign policy to the treatment of dissent, and even to sex and the consumption of alcohol. The movement was a coalition of certain big business groups and new circles of technocratic intellectuals, devoted to a planned and cartelized economy in which they would share the rule.  (Murray Rothbard - Wilson's Raiders)
Militarism, globalism, domestic spying, and the ever burgeoning cohort of alphabet soup agencies are all products of progressivism.

When you deprecate natural rights as Holmes did, you are left with whatever the state decides you deserve.

Murray Rothbard - Wilson's Raiders
Michael Ariens - Holmes
Brainy Quotes - Oliver Wendell Holmes


Brooke said...

Scary stuff.

It's no wonder people like Hillary Clinton call themselves progressives!

Leticia said...

Holy Cow! Progressive just got a bit more alarming.

Bob Belvedere said...

Thanks for reminding us that this vile man should always be mentioned in the same breath with Wilson, TR, and LaFollette.

Quoted from and Linked to at:
Three Generations Of Progressives Are Enough

Jersey McJones said...

I'm so sick of this.

Progressivism, as you see it, died in the 1930's.

Today's progressive is essentially an economic nationalist and a social liberal, as am I. I personally am only so progressive, though, as are most liberals. I wouldn't like to see progressivism carried away. On the other hand, I detest buffet capitalists.


Silverfiddle said...

But Jersey, progressivism gave birth to the overweening statism we now suffer under.

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