The “progressive” policies of the socialist left, under the banners of “social justice,” “equality,” and “compassion,” have inflicted catastrophe in many forms—poverty, moral decline, criminality, violence, illness, and death—upon countless millions of people. The programs and policies that led to these disastrous outcomes were often promoted by “progressives” as expressions of high-minded “liberal” idealism that promised to improve the living conditions not only of people in great need, but also of those in the middle class.
Progressives view their own prescriptions for all manner of social ills—racism, sexism, homophobia, intolerance, greed, alienation—as solutions uniquely rooted in enlightenment and decency. By contrast, they portray conservative social policy as the outgrowth of selfish greed and mean-spiritedness. But the solutions they have advanced in the form of social and ideological crusades, often prosecuted with messianic zeal, have actually brought immense, needless suffering to the very same “victims” in whose names they have acted.