Is "Progressive" synonymous with Antiwar?

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    • #317380
      • Total Posts: 193

      If not, when did this become the case?

    • #317383
      • Total Posts: 6,614

      Ending war sounds like progress to me.


    • #317388
      • Total Posts: 2,795

      I cannot imagine how any progressive person could be for war, especially wars of agression.

    • #317391
      David the Gnome
      • Total Posts: 2,748

      Those fought in the last few decades – nope.  World war II – yes, at least for me, of course, back then the Nazis were in Germany… Today they are here –  at least their ideological equivalent.

      For the defense of ourselves or close allies – if someone else forces it – but only then.  That is my view.  I hope there is a world one day in which war no longer takes place and preparation isn’t necessary.  That is not the world of today.

      I still think we could absolutely cut the military budget by more than half and still be very capable of defending our Country.  It sickens me that our Country is the aggressor in this time.

    • #317420
      • Total Posts: 2,913

       It is lamentable, that to be a good patriot one must become the enemy of the rest of mankind.


      Tell me, great captain, how do the angels sleep when the devil leaves his porch light on? Tom Waites

    • #317426
      Ohio Barbarian
      • Total Posts: 17,982

      In addition to what @davidthegnome mentioned above, I can see the necessity of some UN interventions. If there’s no veto in the Security Council for the UN to militarily intervene somewhere, one would think there’s some serious shit going on that absolutely must be stopped. As far as I’m concerned, anyone calling for or defending military intervention or even sanctions on places like Syria, Libya, Iran, and Venezuela is not progressive.

      I think progressivism and imperialism are mutually exclusive.

      The problem is that there are a lot of people who call themselves progressives who had no problem with taking out Qaddafi and were all for sending in the troops to save the Syrians from the monster Assad. Neoliberals have done their best to hijack the word, and in the minds of millions they have succeeded.


      It is better to vote for what you want and not get it than to vote for what you don't want and get it.--Eugene Debs

      Show me a man that gets rich by being a politician, and I'll show you a crook.--Harry Truman

    • #317442
      • Total Posts: 2,464

      Please note that many Libertarians and Paleo Conservatives are also anti-war. (A well-known anti-war site is run by disciples of Pat Buchanan.)

      So, to reverse your question, anti-war is definitely not synonymous with progressive.

      • #317547
        • Total Posts: 1,906

        and using libertarian, progressive, conservative etc. as divisive group identity labels instead of genuinely meaningful words is not progressive IMO.

        I would say mankind has desired end to wars as long as we have been around… so progress has been rather slow in that field, but some has happened.


      • #317726
        • Total Posts: 193

        tremendous points. Especially the breadth of the sentiment.

        I would not restrict my particular single issue to a subset. I think most people are decent enough,

        or at least self interested enough to not desire war.

        that takes a special sort of elitism, I bet. or whatever words you want to attach. sociopaths, racists, classists, desperate would be billionaires.

        I dont really believe in the word “progressive” any more after it got transported to the third way lexicon.

        Much like “liberal”= first reviled and mocked, then adopted by wolves chasing prey.

        But I know “anti-war” serves me well as a single issue. One I am happy to share with sane people everywhere.

        We are a big crowd. Unfortunately, we don’t live in an accountable, law abiding representative democracy.
        Our voice is on mute.

        With the purported existence of war making lie spreading Progressive Democrats the word becomes used toilet paper.


    • #317449
      • Total Posts: 547

      this document has stood up pretty well over the century of its existence. considering teddy roosevelt’s reputation for jingoism the bull moose progressives got peace right ……….



      “The Progressive party deplores the survival in our civilization of the barbaric system of warfare among nations with its enormous waste of resources even in time of peace, and the consequent impoverishment of the life of the toiling masses. We pledge the party to use its best endeavors to substitute judicial and other peaceful means of settling international differences.

      We favor an international agreement for the limitation of naval forces. Pending such an agreement, and as the best means of preserving peace, we pledge ourselves to maintain for the present the policy of building two battleships a year.”

    • #317451
      • Total Posts: 2,464

      And, as @ohiobarbarian has already suggested, progressivism is antithetical to imperialism.

    • #317463
      • Total Posts: 1,146

      You DO know how to ask the most interesting and thought provoking questions!


      I will take a stab at this now that you’ve got me scritching my head.

      It’s not like this pandemic is giving me more important things to tackle at the moment anyway.

      Ok here goes:

      Perhaps there is a time we can point to where being anti-war became a Progressive value.

      Here is how my patchy knowledge comes at a response to your question:

      We currently think of equality as another Progressive value but the fight for equality itself has been sometimes connected to  war or kinds of wars such as nationwide protests.

      Prior to our Civil War, the Revolutionary war was mostly about wanting to be left alone. I struggle to find our Progressive anti-war roots there.

      But the American Civil War a bit later on was an entirely different beasty.

      Did our Progressive ant-war roots start there? I…. don’t think so but a discussion about this war in regards to your question may aid in pinpointing where they did start.

      Some could argue that the American Civil War was over equality, (obviously), but I do not see any of those Civil War combatant or their leaders as being particularly Progressive.

      While freeing the slaves and legally granting them a measure of “equality” was crucially important, (equality: something we today look to as a Progressive value),  that war also had a lot to do with economics and sovereignty.

      I just can not attach too much in the way of Progressive anti war values, by the standards of their day, to those who fought the Civil War.

      To sum up my first point here: I do not know if we can compare anti-war values as were held by any major factions fighting the Civil War to anti-war values that are linked to Progressives today.

      Moving on.

      Not too much after our Civil War there was a far less bloody fight for womens rights.

      This time the sovereignty was a women’s sovereignty from men being in legal control over them. This time the economics was due to women wanting control over their own economics.

      This too was also a need to create equality for a group of those who were being treated as less than full fledged citizens but these particular “combatants” were twofold dead-set against war.

      First and to my knowledge, there was hardly any talk about arming the Protesters fighting for equality. I doubt that any of them ever even had such thoughts. (Unlike the Civil War combatants).

      Secondly these folks could see what was going on in Europe and believed that in no way, shape or form should our country participate.

      Perhaps being not so far removed from the Civil War gave these Women’s rights Protesters their anti-war value but that value was indeed also widely held amongst them.

      They eventualy got what they wanted with the right for women to vote but felt fully betrayed when their President led them and their fellow citizenry quite willingly off to WWI.

      Some of those who “fought” so valiantly for a women’s right to vote found themselves put in jail because they spoke from their hearts about our involvement with WWI.

      They were branded traitors.

      I would brand these brave warriors who fought for womens rights AND fought equally hard against our upcoming involvement in WWI as Progressives or at the very least Progressives of their day.

      Again, I am attempting to compare anti-war values by the standards of the day to the standards of now and I am still linking this to Progressiveism.

      While I would hardly call most of the Civil War participants Progressive, those who fought for womens equality and against war, they would quite likely self identify as Progressives by today’s standards.

      I admit there are many holes in my knowledge of history, (not to mention my cultural bias creates even bigger holes with the history of other countries), but if I were to put my finger on a time where being anti-war became a Progressive value I might say it occured after our Civil War. (Well that’s my best uneducated guess at any rate).

      I feel the need to add from a different tangent on this interesting topic: inarguably, being anti-war does not mean one is automatically a Progressive.

      For instance:

      One’s religious values can make one ant-war. Losing a loved one to war can instill an anti-war value in a person.

      One could easily be a Conservative in either of those above cases.

      I personally know plenty of Trump supporting Conservetives today who feel that being economically Conservetive means being anti-war and/or against our latest wars starting with the first Gulf war moving through to potential wars with Iran or Venezuela.

      It is often quite amazing to find that we Progressives sometimes share more values with Conservatives than one might think.

      No these Conservetives are not Progressive, not by any stretch of the imagination but my point is that being anti-war is not solely the property of  being a Progressive.

      As further proof:

      Some would argue-even folks here at JPR have made the argument, that His Royal Presidentialness Trump is anti-war and yet labeling him a Progressive would be like placing an UBER sticker on the Titanic!

      You’ve asked an interesting question indeed.

      Yes, currently I see being Progressive as having among other values an anti war value-especially as others point out upthread, anti unjust wars.

      I do take pride in having Progressive values-values I like to think are more closely linked to first and foremost equality with an urgent need to address global climate change a close second on my Progressive values list and being anti-war up there at a close third.

      Is there or was there ever a point where being anti-war a value linked to Progressives?

      My best response to that part of your question until a fellow JPR member comes to my rescue is that it occured just after the U.S. Civil War.

      If nobody comes forward to alter my thoughts to your question, I have to admit to a minor paradigm shift.

      See how you are?

      • #317730
        • Total Posts: 193

        thanks for all that.

        I hadnt considered the context of all our previous wars or movement history when I posed a smartass question.

        But I have thought about a couple of them in newer ways lately.

        WWII seems a little odd in retrospect after beginning to think that both the Kennedy and Bush interests were quite sympathetic if not four square behind Hitler and whatever interests he represented.

        There must have been some heavy score to settle for the Bush interests.

        What really slays me is to realize what anti slavery proponents were willing to do over 175 years ago.

        Also very disappointed to realize what sort of compromises were made and intended originally by Lincoln.

        I think that war was fought and won by the people who moved into territories and died in retaliatory raids

        for a free state.

        I feel so proud of that

        and so ashamed of what we are today.

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