Despite his loyal namesake's best efforts, Henry George is not imagined as a Christ-like figure by contemporary leftists. This is because, overwhelmed by Marxism, few contemporary leftists remember their non-marxist forebears. But George's contemporaries certainly did. He flashed, burned white hot, and was gone. In a fit of overly generous praise, which ages poorly, philosopher John Dewey held: "It would require less than the fingers of the two hand to enumerate those who, from Plato down, rank with Henry George among the world's social philosophers." Though very few leftists today concur with Dewey's assessment, its worth noting that quite a few leftists yesterday heartily agreed.
After blogging about the history of progressivism for going on 6 years now, I am starting to believe that this is a huge weakness among conservatives, perhaps the biggest of all. Far too many people believe that all leftism falls within the socialist/marxian sphere, and because people (some of whom, I believe, are in flat-out refusal) don't look beyond that sphere, it leaves us wide open to attacks from people who would be relatively easy to defeat otherwise.
This goes back to what I believe is my mission statement, and has been my mission statement since November 2010:
If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle - Sun Tzu (Art of War, Chapter 3)
That quote is on the right hand side of my blog, and it will never ever change. It perfectly encompasses the reason for the existence of this.
If you are a conservative and you are in refusal to even consider the non-marxist left, you will succumb in every battle. And you have been. I see it all the time, I hear it all the time - in other blogs, on TV, radio, and elsewhere. There is a definite feeling no matter where you turn that conservatives take two, if not three steps backward for every one step forward. Then people scratch their heads "how did we get here?"
You gotta know your enemy. All of them. Not just the socialists and the communists. And just so it is said, this isn't me practicing a little finger wagging. I put myself into this. I have been reading the works of the non-socialist progressives for years now, and I still, STILL do not believe I know enough about progressives like Wilson or Theodore Roosevelt and all the rest. But at least I am trying to know them and their statist beliefs. All houses worth living in are built on strong, rock solid foundations. Progressivism has a weak foundation(if it were ever attacked; the foundation of progressivism is strong enough to resist basic erosion), but because nobody dares look progressivism in the face and challenge it, that foundation stands the test of time - at least the last 100 years - it's stood so far. It will likely keep standing until we attack it.
We have a long way to go to eliminating progressivism, and in just about every instance, we haven't even begun to fight. That fight begins, and can only begin, with an understanding of the non-marxist left. The old left. A lot of people will talk about the new left, the 60's generation and beyond, but what about the old left? I mean before FDR's time.
Why do so many let them off the hook, when they don't deserve to be let off the hook? They are guilty.