The first is the obvious correspondence between progressivism and wars. Teddy Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, and FDR are classic examples of this in considering their progressive commitments as well as their engagement of the Spanish-American War, WW1, and WW2. To a degree, LBJ can be included here as well due to his involvement with the Great Society and Vietnam.
The second thing to consider is how many people take exception to progressivism and FDR being the real cause of WW2. After all, the Great Depression followed the Roaring 20s of Herbert Hoover.
However, if you look at what actually got the Roaring 20s off the ground, you might be surprised to realize it had little to nothing to do with supply-side economics, but rather had to deal with the demand side of the equation:
(Skip to 2:35, the opening is rather slow)
What this tells us is while Hoover might have taken a hands off approach to the economy, he wasn't the actual driving force behind consumption. (You might notice as well the encouragement of feminine exhibitionism which coincides with consumerism.)
In fact, if you really insist on learning about how consumption became more influential than investment, I insist you read about the rise of progressivism's predecessor - pragmatism:
http://books.google.com/books?id=3ETlmt ... on&f=false
The last thing to consider is how this even extends into today's day and age, especially in light of the War on Terror and War in Iraq.
This might seem like a rather bizarre consideration. After all, these wars were declared under a neocon Republican administration. They couldn't possibly be progressive, could they?
While this paper predominantly emphasizes the matter of civil wars in authoritarian, third world countries, it also has something interesting to say about the effects of Democratic Peace Theory:
- However, Hudson and den Boer argue that it may be in the state leaders’ self-interest in maintaining
internal social order to send and expend bare branches in imperial wars and foreign expeditions (207–27). In
essence, their argument relies on the diversionary or scapegoating theory of war (Levy 1988, 666–72). Gelpi
(1997) shows, however, that only democratic states engage in diversionary tactics but authoritarian states
do not, while Pickering and Kisangani (2005) show that only mature democracies, consolidating autocracies,
and transitional polities engage in diversionary tactics (Oakes 2006). Both of these conclusions seem to
suggest that China would not wage interstate wars in order to divert attention from its domestic problem
of bare branches.
Later on, the paper goes on in its regression analysis to demonstrate that democracy seems to be a rather weak explanation for preventing interstate conflict. In fact, Islam, despite condoning polygany, is actually a better DETERRENT not only of interstate conflict than democracy, but of civil war as well.
I'd like to note two other things behind Islam:
One, Islam was the primary terrorist motivator in 9/11 which lead to the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Two, Islam actually CONDEMNS consumerism.
Ergo, if Islam is a better deterrent than democracy, and Islam acted out so badly, what does that tell us about the potential of democracy? Would that not tell us that the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were more effective in diverting American men than Islamic men? Would this not especially be the case among economically struggling backgrounds where things such as crime rates and gang violence are more prominent?
This is a pattern I've come across very often when discussing politics with troops coming home. Many people enlist in the military due to social alienation, especially from the working class where the concept of a "poverty draft" is often used. These men (which they predominantly are), will even surrender 100% to social liberalism on all fronts just for the chance to get a job by being politically correct. Heck, some of these men are even participating in Occupy Wall Street.
To be clear, if you know anything about modern American politics, this isn't a recent phenomenon. Progressively influenced Rockefeller Republicanism has been alive and well for decades, but the effect it's having now is unsurpassed.
No Child Left Behind... yea, OK.