A Progressive can best be thought of as an addict.

“Progressive” is the (largely self-selected) term by which we refer to a sociopolitical tendency that is always present, but which is too diffuse and too dishonest to have a name of its own. It is the cuckoo of sociopolitics, adopting the label and memorizing the shibboleths of something that’s currently around and sounds good, then warping that to its own ends, which generally don’t resemble those of of the philosophy they displace. The pretense wears thin after a while, and they have to pick something else to ruin.

For about the last half-century they’ve been calling themselves “liberals” while being utterly opposed to all aspects of the liberal program; before that they were “socialists” while despising socialist ideals, and a lot of people who don’t pay attention still think of them that way and disparage them on that basis, which is a mistake. The original, veritable Progressives were thoroughly nasty: social Darwinists, ethnic supremacists, eugenicists, and advocates of tyranny with themselves as the tyrants, so the label “Progressive” actually fits better than usual.

Modern Progressives define themselves in terms of compassion and helping the unfortunate. “Helping” produces good feelings in the helper, a warm glow of accomplishment. It also gives the helper a heady rush of power. The helper is clearly bigger, stronger, and generally more powerful than the one helped, as a simple matter of logistics.

A Progressive is a person who is as addicted to the double rush of power and accomplishment as a junkie is to smack, and like the heroin addict will do literally anything to get another fix. This is why the “help” they provide is always short-term and ultimately destructive. Teach a man to fish, and he eats for life — and doesn’t need further “help”. Give a man a fish, and he eats for today — and is back tomorrow, hat in hand, offering the Progressive another needle. “Environmentalism” has been a Godsend to Progressives in that regard. Teach a man that fishing is a vile act, a sin against Nature and Mother Gaia which no decent person would ever commit, and you can pretty well guarantee that he will be back every day to provide the rush of “helping”.

The usual reaction is to take Progressives at face value, considering them good people who are trying to help but occasionally err by going to excess. This is wrong, exactly backwards in fact. The only people they are trying to help are themselves, and they are taking advantage of others’ weakness to aggrandize themselves and inflate their own importance. Call them what they are: cynical opportunists capitalizing on the misfortunes of others, and excusing it with sanctimonious blather. Conceding the moral high ground to people whose morality is only a few verbs deep is a mistake that has always, in the past, led to poverty and mass graves.