Commentary V4

Is the left really progressive?

Leftist political organizations have long since made the word progressive their exclusive domain, but maybe it is time to reclaim the word, political analyst Tamás Fricz said in a column for conservative daily Magyar Nemzet.

The national and conservative side often labels liberal, socialist, Green and generally leftist political movements as progressive, or the “progressive left”.

This choice of words is both false and misleading. Mainly because by adopting their own terminology we also acknowledge their claim to superiority. Starting from the Latin roots of the word, progressive is any party or political movement that promotes advancement, development, is open to new ideas and is building a better future.

I.e. anyone who is progressive is by definition also a good person and a progressive political party is a good party.

Let’s make it clear: when we (conservatives) use the word progressive to describe them, it is an ironic reference to the fact that they are anything but progressive.

There is only one problem with that: the majority of the people don’t realize the irony behind it and even more to the point, they cannot understand why the right should label the left with something inherently positive.

The first true pinnacle of progress was communism – an idea even accepted by some in the West. But eventually that experiment collapsed totally in 1989. However, without missing a beat, the left then announced (through Francis Fukuyama) the “end of history” and the final victory of liberal democracy.

It is about time to reclaim the word. Because in the truest sense the left is not progressive: they are in fact utopians who reject any view that is not their own and they are also prone to subjecting societies to destructive experiments.

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