Post-modern liberalism didn't spring full-blown into being like Athena from
the forehead of Zeus. It evolved rather over time from classical liberalism
through several fairly-distinct phases.

You're right on this. But it might be more accurate to say that at any given time "progressivism" was a mix of relatively libertarian, "modified" laissez-faire liberal types (the "Brandeisians" and J.A. Hobson across the pond) and more authoritarian types like the Fabians and their American counterparts. The libertarian end of the spectrum, certainly, there were things like the recall and public initiative. But this same "good government" movement, from the very beginning, also favored city-wide school boards, larger wards or at-large aldermen, etc., as a way of placing government policy safely under the control of "professionals" and keeping the great unwashed from meddling in the business of their betters. It was the same kind of petty lust for control that Hilaire Belloc and William English Walling described in their critiques of Fabianism. And it tied in pretty closely with the authoritarianism of the public education bureaucracy, the "deskilling" of blue collar labor under Taylor's "scientific management," in a much broader phenomenon of the rise to control of the white collar "professional" class in the late 19th century. Even when "progressives" were more sympathetic to the relatively libertarian part of the mix, the increasing centralization of the corporate economy and the state made it likely that their movement would succeed only in those areas where centralized bureaucracies benefitted.

In the earliest stages of "progressivism" people still by and large believed
in free markets and private property, but believed that left entirely to
themselves, free markets produced monopolies which had to be broken by antitrust
action. These early antitrust progressive are sometimes known as Brandeisians,
and we see their imprint heavily upon Wilson's New Freedom platform. The next
stage of progressivism invovled allowing the big businesses to remain
unbroken, but regulating them with the federal government, a few we find heavily
influencing TR's New Nationalism platform of 1912. New Nationalism contained no
explicit calls for cartelization, but it evolved into Hoover's New
Individualism (a rather contradicatory name for what it described) in which government
would, mostly informally, support the cartelization agreements of Big Business.
Hoover's voluntary cartelization finally, by the New Deal, evolved into
outright calls for goverment-forced cartelization that heavily animated the NIRA of
1933. It's worth note that the Brandeisians fought the NIRA bitterly, and
their influence on the Supreme Court got it declared unConstitutional.
Cartelization remained anathema to old Progressives right through the New Deal.

David Levenstam

In a message dated 6/18/03 12:24:15 PM, [EMAIL PROTECTED] writes:

>Actually, they support state capitalism under the name of "progressivism"
>"putting people first" or some equally inane goo-goo slogan. Just about
>every part of the Progressive/New Deal agenda reflected the interests of
>business in cartelizing and stabilizing the corporate economy; it was
>sold to the public as a "progressive" restraint on big business.
>Please bear in mind that what was called "socialism" by democratic
>socialists in the 1920s would not have been recognized as such by most
>the classical socialists of the nineteenth century. The difference reflects
>the New Class takeover of the working class movement, by Leninists and
>Fabians, at the turn of the century.
>Revisionist historians like Gabriel Kolko and James Weinstein called the
>phenomenon "political capitalism" or "corporate liberalism." Murray
>Rothbard agreed with their analysis. Whatever you call it, it is organized
>capital acting through the state. The court intellectuals of corporate
>liberalism (Art Schlesinger) like to depict the movement as an idealistic
>attempt to set "countervailing power" against the giant corporations.
>And a
>lot of big business propagandists like to howl about how "anti-business"
>forces have won consistently. But in fact, it is a case of Brer Rabbit
>hollering "Please don't fling me in that briar patch!"

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