Progressive political ideologies

Progressive political ideologies

The progressive political ideologies They are those that are considered “advanced”, that is, they propose ideas that go beyond and transcend all existing rules, methods, programs and are manifested in favor of well-being. They seek improvements in terms of civil rights and a different distribution of the wealth of nations.

Indeed, political scientists, historians, sociologists and other scholars of these movements warn that progressivism is not about political ideologies, but about a political tendency where several doctrines coincide like the economic, philosophical, ethical, traditional liberalism and democratic socialism.

The concepts of progressive and progressivism arose from the Liberal Revolution of the 19th century that included revolutionary political movements in politics and in the transformations that occurred in the Modern Age and that gave way to the Contemporary Age.

The economic element of this change in the Liberal Revolution was the Industrial Revolution, while the social element was the Bourgeois Revolution, whose most emblematic event is the French Revolution, in 1789, followed by other European revolutions, as well as the independence movements of America.

What are the characteristics of progressivism?

Progressive political ideologies or progressivism keep fighting for freedoms and individual rights following and in line with the liberal concept.

Progressive ideology has its nuances according to the country where it is developed and promoted. For example, in Europe, its followers and promoters are identified as the “new left”, with a certain democratic character and far from Marxism.

In many countries, the progressive ideology at present promotes changes that they consider necessary and in response to the new times, specifically in aspects such as sexual, whose proposal is that it be freer, as well as the possibility of abortion, secularism, euthanasia, regionalism and environmentalism, among other movements.

In Latin America, progressivism is linked to various political currents that on many occasions contradict each other, as they go from promoting the State as a benefactor entity, to economic freedoms and equal opportunities.

They also promote equity, the environmental movement and nationalism, although with more radical tones in which anti-imperialism and even radical socialism on the basis of Marxism emerge.

Revolutionaries and progressives, together but not scrambled

Regarding the relationship that exists between the revolutionary and the progressive, for a moment both partisans were able to identify with their differences. However, after the first half of the 19th century, there were more and more differences, due to the force taken by the events that were evolving, such as the Industrial Revolution, capitalism and class society.

From there, the traditional progressives put aside their role as revolutionaries and identified with the concept of reformists, since they considered that revolutions, although not all were based on violence, most of the changes that they advanced were abrupt and needed time to consider and absorb.

Two groups promoting change

In the United States, two different groups coexist for the use of the term progressive: the Democratic Party, which has its left wing and whose militancy seeks considerable economic and political changes, and the traditional progressive movement, which works to eliminate bipartisanship and encourage more drastic change.

These changes are focused on migration policy, on the greater participation of the State in the economy and social security, in addition to considering issues common to European progressives, such as those related to ecology.

Theodore Roosevelt He has been considered a progressive, since being leader of the Republican Party, he founded the Progressive Party of 1912, which had no major significance.

Despite the short life of the party, Roosevelt’s progressive ideas are an example of social and economic progressivism, such as the improvement of the working and living conditions of his people, which he called a fair deal (square deal).

Other characteristics of progressive political ideologies

  • A relevant characteristic of progressivism is that the citizen is a relevant figure and is responsible for both the process of social formation, as well as participation, decision-making and their own freedom.
  • On the other hand, secularism, mentioned above, is defended and promoted by progressive ideology, so that there is independence of man, society and the State with respect to the influence of the church and religion.
  • Progressive ideas are generally attributed to socialists, as both groups promote ideas of progressive reforms, which are enacted legally and under a democratic regime, preferably under a participatory democracy.
  • It is common for almost all political parties, including the most traditional ones, to speak or identify themselves as progressive, because in light of the changes demanded by today’s society, the parties could hardly become entrenched in concepts and doctrines that do not advance over time.
  • Experts have demanded that the parties understand the concepts associated with progressivism in order to identify if that is the current they follow, without confusing his followers or opponents, and in order to maintain a solidity both in his speeches and in his proposals.
  • Many of these parties confuse being progressive with the progress that societies experience and with their own future, and identify it independently of the ideology that each party has.
  • Regarding political power, progressive ideologies demand a greater transfer of power, both from government positions and from within the party, with the intention of expanding citizen participation in the decisions that involve and affect them.
  • Other promoters of progressive ideology go further, aiming towards the change of the electoral and parliamentary system, to give way to the conceptions of proportionality, open lists and the possibility of revoking those who are elected and do not fulfill their functions.
  • Likewise, progressive ideologies go after the practice of co-management, especially regarding the participation of citizens in social projects linked or directly related to the common welfare, which includes social control, reporting and monitoring of it, supervision of works, the performance and operation of those who are elected by the community for local positions, among others.
  • Furthermore, they promote the reduction and possible disappearance of the State’s repressive bodies.

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