Bill Whittle: progressivism, unions, and the end of the beginning

Posted by: Phineas on March 6, 2011 at 1:10 pm

**Posted by Phineas

The protests by public unions in Wisconsin and elsewhere against any reform of unsustainable benefits and bargaining practices has been likened by some to the death-struggle of a dying order: union membership in private-sector unions has been declining for decades; these days, the majority of union members are government employees. Their furious, unhinged, and thuggish assaults against any who would dare take away their “rights” are like the efforts of a buggy-whip manufacturer to stay in business after the coming of the automobile — a refusal to admit that times have changed, and they are now obsolete.

Bill Whittle looks at these public-union demonstrations and sees in them the visible sign of the end of progressivism, which arose as America adapted to the new industrial age of the later 19th century and fought against the corruption and the crony capitalism of the time. And, in the process, moved away from the vision our Founders had for this nation.

But now, as America transitions from the centralized, hierarchical industrial age to the decentralized, democratic digital age, Bill argues that the progressive vision –rule by boards of bureaucrats who know better than you how to run your life– is becoming an anachronism in what he calls the “third age of Man.” Indeed, they’ve turned into that which they fought against.

As always, agree or disagree, Bill provides much food for thought:

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

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4 Responses to “Bill Whittle: progressivism, unions, and the end of the beginning”


  1. Neo says:

    Unions as reactionaries … they don’t do that well

  2. Carlos says:

    By and large, they don’t do anything well, including work.

  3. Brontefan says:

    Unions, that have their origins in socialism/communism/Marxism/Progressivism, should be on their way out. When an entity is so big that they bully the general public–their usefulness is passed. The 17th Amendment is the primary cause of the loss of States’ Rights–because Senators do not represent state governments. They, for the most part, represent themselves. Why else would they be deemed the most exclusive club in America? These elitists who “have all the answers” and this in America who don’t pay taxes–zero liability voters–need to get over themselves and get ready for a new day. This is an exceptional country, under capitalism, because we offer social mobility–not available in Alinsky’s solution to society–and the concept of TEACHING a man to fish is by far better than “giving him one.”

  4. Swede says:

    Interesting facts about the federal unions. They can’t strike or bargain for wages or benefits. However, they can file grievances against management and stymie its operation with sundry monkey wrenches. As a result, management is blackmailed, because management knows its promotions are based on its performance record. A management person who has had many grievances filed against him/her fears it will hamper his promotion chances. Therefore, management walks on eggs. In a nutshell, management is emasculated…..