Are Progressives Totalitarian?
By Arnold Kling
In comments on this post, SydB argues that I have created a straw-man characterization of Progressivism when I suggest that the Progressive mindset sees a technocratic solution to every problem. He writes,
In Mr Kling’s analysis, L’s are associated with freedom and the power of markets, C’s with wisdom, and P’s are totalitarian. That’s the starting point for his discussion.
I actually think that there is a continuum between a free society and a totalitarian society. The more brutal and unforgiving the forms of repression against dissenters, the more totalitarian the system. If regulations are enacted with the intent of stopping global warming, that is not totalitarian. If those who question the consensus on global warming get thrown into prison, then that is totalitarian. In principle, you could have technocratic rule with free elections and basic political rights–or so I thought Progressives believed.
But if as a Progressive you think that technocratic rule implies totalitarianism, then far be it from me to argue otherwise.