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August 30, 2009

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Anthony Bostwick

Thank you for a very respectful and timely article.
We must embrace the inevitable in life which is "the right change"! While I do agree with some of your points, I would also like to put those in the context of the Bahamas and its varying political agendas which affords many leaders including Mr. Ingraham, proactive measures and initiatives that is politically correct and expedient to remain in power, as other leaders of this country found it so convenienct to do. Unfortunately, and for the record, Mr. Ingraham has never won a referendum in the Bahamas where the people speak on the principle or practice of referring measures proposed or passed by a legislative body to the vote of the electorate for approval or rejection.
In "bending the arc of history" its not what and when you do it, its how it is done. Maybe our Prime Minister, his supporters and others around him should have learned from history and their political predecessors that have experienced failed or successful government initiatives.
Access to information and public consultation could and would eliminate much of the controversies and resistance that so many proactive government iniatives encounter and eventually turns into political disasters. It is my hope that we can one day leave politics out of developing proper legislation and the decision making process of our country and finally do what is right for our country and its people.

Erasmus Folly

Simon,

Excellent article. You are very correct to point out that Ingraham has done a hell of a lot for women here in the Bahamas. He would have done more if our people weren't borderline Taliban with their so called Christianity... time will tell. The progressive agenda in this country is so important.

Ironic, that 350,000 Bahamians live on the largest 'fossil' in the world - the fossilized limestone deposited by millions of years and generations upon generations of coral and other marine animals that make up the very 'rock' of our archipelago... yet, our people think the world is 7,000 years old and that a woman is still the property of her man in the year 2009. Ignorance may be bliss but religion does ignorance on a whole other level...

Hopefully, women, who already work harder, study harder and are more responsible generally in this country, will demand more than the average lazy Bahamian male does... at the very least, they should demand total and complete equality before the law courts.

Let's hope!

Get up, stand up Bahamian women!

Rick

To suggest that what the FNM has done and attempted to do is a result of him being a socialist (you call being a progressive, a fancy word for socialist) is certainly "bending the arc of history".
Those are merely sensible policies that one would have thought the "Progressive" Liberal Party would have proposed?

Erasmus Folly

@Rick
Not all manifestations of 'socialism' are the devil incarnate Rick. If it wasn't for 'limited socialism', a very, very few families would have controlled all the world's wealth by now. Give credit where credit is due in the annals of history. Feminism and socialism were born from similar sources and they definitely helped to reinforce one another over the last century. Capitalism is great, but capitalism without some 'limited socialism' is a pipe dream with a bad Hollywood B movie ending...

Ideology for ideology's sake is simply farce.

Cheers!

Rick

Hi Erasmus:
What is "pregressivism" if not ideology?
I prefer to think of these changes as liberalism in the classical sense.
See: http://www.cato.org/special/threewomen/god-machine.html
As Isabel Patterson noted:
Most of the harm in the world is done by good people, and not by accident, lapse, or omission. It is the result of their deliberate actions, long persevered in, which they hold to be motivated by high ideals toward virtuous ends… [I]n periods when millions are slaughtered, when torture is practiced, starvation enforced, oppression made a policy, as at present over a large part of the world, and as it has often been in the past, it must be at the behest of very many good people, and even by their direct action, for what they consider a worthy object.
That is what concerns me when we suggest that the government drives these things.
It makes them believe they are invicible.

Erasmus Folly

@Rick
I prefer not to wear blinders. I acknowledge the contributions of all sides. I don't deem one set of ideas 'evil' and the other 'good'. Their manifestations can be 'good' or 'evil', especially taken to their extremes. Capitalism's far right manifestation, Nazi Germany, was inherently evil. Socialism's far left manifestation, the USSR, was also inherently evil. Ironically, they came to closely resemble one another. The far right and the far left have a lot more in common than they would like to admit and they definitely share their impractical adherence to ideological positions that interfere tremendously with the great 'American' (Roman) contribution to politics - the emphasis on pragmatism and problem solving.

Balance is the key. That is the difference in perspective that I am referring to.

Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Switzerland, the UK, and France all pretty much strike me as awesome places to live and they have a very healthy blend of the best of capitalist and socialist notions. Failure to comprehend/appreciate that for ideological reasons is intellectually disingenuous.

Cheers!

Rick

Thanks Erasmus.
I prefer not to trust government. The track record they have makes me prefer personal responsibility, the rule of law etc.
Call that what you wish.
I believe that progressives or socialists or marxists or natzi's are disingenuous.
The damage they have done throughout history is irreparable, yet people wish to discount classical liberalism without even trying it.
Those countries are awesome places to visit as a tourist - history, culture architecture etc.
If in the end we want a better country here in The Bahamas we had best not continue down the socialist road.
Have another sip for me.

Erasmus Folly


Sip?

No one is dismissing classical liberalism. No one is advoctaing BIG government, at least not on this web site. All I said was, give credit where credit is due. Workers rights etc were paid for in blood on the alter of 'socialism' and governments, at that time were the fiefs of the robber barons... Is that the liberalism you admire? There are good and bad aspects to every set of 'principles'. Balance and pragmatism are the key. That was my point. Ideologues don't respect the 'best' in the 'other'. That renders their vision myopic and fantastical, not realistic.

Rick

Hi again Erasmus:
You said cheers. I didn't have a drink at the time so I was saying have a sip for me :0)
I think you know what classical liberalism is. If not see this link: http://www.ncpa.org/pub/what-is-classical-liberalism
In a nutshell I believe in limited government and our right to live without the intrusion of the state in every aspect of our lives.
BIG government is a natural consequence of getting government to do our bidding. It always comes in small doses until you have a bankrupt NIB or country for that matter. Where's the balance and pragmatism in that?
Where is the balance and pragmatism in our court system or educational system etc?
Call it myopic and fantastical, not realistic and any other adjective you can find. That does not render it illogical or unworkable.
That's the key to me. If that's being an ideologue, well, I'm an ideologue.
Does that make me less or more of an ideologue than someone that might share opposing views?
regards,

Erasmus Folly

@Rick
You miss the point. I am saying, one has to give credit where credit is due. Do you not think that worker's right are important or do you think that the capitalist class should be able to do ANYTHING to their workers? If you believe that some limited form of worker's rights is important, then you admit, at least in a small way, that limited forms of 'socialism' make capitalism better. Ie the principles and ideals of socialism, when not taken 'full blown' but incrementally, can be very positive and beneficial? No?

That is more my point. To admit where a set of ideas or principles has CLEARLY improved or bettered the lot of humanity, even if they are the 'other' set of ideas and principles... through which a balance was achieved that created greater harmony on a practical level. Worker's rights have proven to increase productivity for the capitalist class.

Here you have a clear case of socially inspired ideals actually contributing to the capitalist system. No?

Credit where it is due?

Rick

Erasmus:
I do give credit where it is due, but my point is larger than praising the political class.
I do not put my faith in them any longer.
As was pointed out at Cafe Hayek recently: "...H.L. Mencken said, believing that the remedy for excess government is to fill the legislature with new representatives is akin to believing "that the remedy for prostitution is to fill the bawdy-houses with virgins."
You suggest that these positive changes were not being pushed by society.
You also seem to be suggesting that we should all be the same.
There will always be good employers (me) and bad employers (who?), no matter what laws are put in place.
I prefer to think that changes will come, the political class just pushes them through which makes us expect more from them.
I can't agree with you on the principle that incrementalism you happily go along with has given us what we have.
I guess we have to agree to disagree on one more thing.

Erasmus Folly

@Rick
I wasn't praising the political class - was praising a 'concept' and saying you have to give the concept some due. Socialism, the idea, is not inherently bad or evil, was all I was trying to get you to admit. I don't like all of it. I certainly had no love for the USSR. However, there are times where socialism, the idea, has definitely created the impetus for human beings to lobby their governments for greater rights and greater protections against the vagaries of fortune, the forces of the market and the whim of the capitalist class. These have created many positive reforms. I hate the political class myself, because they could achieve so much more than the mediocrity they content themselves with in this country.

Cheers!

Rick

Erasmus:
Socialism is folly, whether incremental or full blown.
The concept of womens "rights" has been unfolding for generations here in The Bahamas. No one person or politician made these things happen as this article implies.
That is praising the political class in my not so humble opinion.
It is interesting that entrepreneurs do not get it that you can't take advantage of people with a free market.
Employees and clients have alternatives. Socialism ends up, inevitably, with one choice. The government.
This discussion is sine die for me.
Thanks.

erasmus folly


Sad really. Sounds like the very definition of ideological blinders.

Rick

I thought at least you would like my pun :0)

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