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  • Writer's pictureCorey Lee Wilson

Who Are the Progressive Left?

Who are the Progressive Left? Answer: They are typically very liberal, highly educated, and majority White—and most say U.S. institutions need to be completely rebuilt because of racial bias.

Reflecting their name, Progressive Left have very liberal views across a range of issues – including the size and scope of government, foreign policy, immigration and race. A sizable majority (79%) describe their views as liberal, including 42% who say their views are very liberal – double the share of the next largest group (20% of Outsider Left).

Roughly two-thirds of Progressive Left (68%) are White, non-Hispanic, by far the largest share among Democratic-aligned groups. Progressive Left are the second youngest typology group – 71% are ages 18 to 49, primarily Gens X, Y and Z. Progressive Left are also highly educated, with about half (48%) holding at least a four-year college degree, making it one of the two most highly educated groups overall.

Their liberal outlook is not limited to issues related to the size and scope of government. Their views on race and racial equality also distinguish them from other typology groups: Sizable majorities say White people benefit from societal advantages that Black people do not have and that most U.S. institutions need to be completely rebuilt to ensure equal rights for all Americans regardless of race or ethnicity.

Progressive Left broadly support substantial hikes in tax rates for large corporations and high-income households. They are the only typology group in which a majority express positive views of political leaders who describe themselves as democratic socialists. And Progressive Left are more likely than any other typology group to say there are other countries that are better than the U.S.

Although they are one of the smallest political typology groups, Progressive Left are the most politically engaged group in the Democratic coalition. No other group turned out to vote at a higher rate in the 2020 general election, and those who did nearly unanimously voted for Joe Biden. They donated money to campaigns in 2020 at a higher rate than any other Democratic-oriented group.

Politically, the Progressive Left is overwhelmingly Democratic and nearly unanimous in their support for Joe Biden in 2020. Nearly all Progressive Left (98%) either identify with or lean toward the Democratic Party: 46% say they strongly identify with the party. About a third (32%) are independents who lean toward the Democratic Party.

To Understand and Oppose Progressivism Madness, Their Ideals Must be Clearly Identified

To understand and oppose the post-modernists (i.e., progressives), the ideas by which they orient themselves must be clearly identified.

First is their new unholy trinity of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). Diversity is defined not by opinion, but by race, ethnicity or gender identity; equity is no longer the laudable goal of equality of opportunity, but the insistence on equality of outcome; and inclusion is the use of identity-based quotas to attain this misconceived state of equity.

All the classic rights of the West are to be considered secondary to these new values.

Take, for example, freedom of speech—the very pillar of democracy. The post-modernists refuse to believe that people of good will can exchange ideas and reach consensus.

Their world is instead a Hobbesian nightmare of identity groups warring for power. The Hobbesian Nightmare refers to a chaotic, conflict-torn society in which social strata are immersed in a self-centered perpetual antagonism that culminates in widespread violence in which the state apparatus fails to enforce law and order across its territory.

Second is rejection of the free market—of the very idea that free, voluntary trading benefits everyone. They won’t acknowledge that capitalism has lifted up hundreds of millions of people so they can for the first time in history afford food, shelter, clothing, transportation—even entertainment and travel. Those classified as poor in the US (and, increasingly, everywhere else) are able to meet their basic needs. Meanwhile, in once-prosperous Venezuela—until recently the poster-child of the campus radicals—the middle class lines up for toilet paper.

Third, and finally, are the politics of identity. Post-modernists don’t believe in individuals. You’re an exemplar of your race, sex, or sexual preference. You’re also either a victim or an oppressor. No wrong can be done by anyone in the former group, and no good by the latter. Such ideas of victimization do nothing but justify the use of power and engender intergroup conflict.

All these concepts originated with Karl Marx, the 19th-century German philosopher. Marx viewed the world as a gigantic class struggle—the bourgeoisie against the proletariat; the grasping rich against the desperate poor. But wherever his ideas were put into practice—in the Soviet Union, Cuba, Mao’s China, Vietnam, and Venezuela, to name just a few—whole economies failed, and tens of millions were killed. We fought a decades-long cold war to stop the spread of those murderous notions. But they’re back, in the new guise of identity politics.

The corrupt ideas of the post-modern neo-Marxists should be consigned to the dustbin of history. Instead, we underwrite their continuance in the very institutions where the central ideas of the West should be transmitted across the generations. Unless we stop, post-modernism will do to America and the entire Western world what it’s already done to its universities.

Article content courtesy of the forthcoming Progressivism Madness: A SAPIENT Being’s Guide to the Idiocracy and Hypocrisy of the ‘Regressivism’ Movement (Winter 2023).

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