Excerpt from an essay on William Graham Sumner, a critic of progressive liberalism, written by Jonathan Marshall, Department of History, Cornell University:<quoted text>
Progressive liberals championed "taking into the hands of the state the business of the individual man". They were not content to rely on the laws of God or the market place for social progress. "We have to deal with it deliberately, devise its social organization, alter its tools, formulate its method, educate and control it," said Walter Lippmann, one of the most self-consciously "liberal" progressives in 1914.
Herbert Croly, another prominent progressive liberal in 1908 wrote, "We must fearlessly champion a system of increased Governmental control, paying no heed to the cries of
worthy people who denounce this as Socialistic."
Theodore Roosevelt was the first President to put progressive principles into practice, admired Croly and shared many of his views.
Argued William Graham Sumner:
"The State, far from being 'a tutelary genius over us all,' was simply a little group of men chosen in a very haphazard way by the majority of us to perform certain services for all of us. The majority do not go about their selection very rationally, and they are almost always disappointed by the results of their own operations. Hence 'the State,' instead of offering resources of wisdom, right reason, and pure moral sense beyond what the average of us possess, generally offers much less of all those
Sumner's assessment pretty much sums it up.
(The early trappings of progressive liberalism began over a century ago. It's nothing new. You're just another who willingly surrenders to the State.)