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Progressivism holds that it is possible to improve human societies through political reform. As a political movement, progressivism seeks to advance the human condition through social reform based on purported advancements in science, technology, and social organization. Adherents hold that progressivism has universal application and endeavor to spread this idea to human societies everywhere. Progressivism arose during the Age of Enlightenment out of the belief that civility in Europe was improving due to the application of new empirical knowledge to the governance of society.
From the Enlightenment to the Industrial Revolution
Immanuel Kant identified progress as being a movement away from barbarism toward civilization. 18th-century philosopher and political scientist Marquis de Condorcet predicted that political progress would involve the disappearance of slavery, the rise of literacy, the lessening of sex inequality, prison reforms which at the time were harsh, and the decline of poverty.
Modernity or modernisation was a key form of the idea of progress as promoted by classical liberals in the 19th and 20th centuries, who called for the rapid modernisation of the economy and society to remove the traditional hindrances to free markets and the free movements of people.
In the late 19th century, a political view rose in popularity in the Western world that progress was being stifled by vast economic inequality between the rich and the poor, minimally regulated laissez-faire capitalism with out-of-control monopolistic corporations, intense and often violent conflict between capitalists and workers, with a need for measures to address these problems. Progressivism has influenced various political movements. Social liberalism was influenced by British liberal philosopher John Stuart Mill's conception of people being "progressive beings." British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli developed progressive conservatism under one-nation Toryism.
In France, the space between social revolution and the socially conservative laissez-faire centre-right was filled with the emergence of radicalism which thought that social progress required anti-clericalism, humanism, and republicanism. Especially anti-clericalism was the dominant influence on the centre-left in many French- and Romance-speaking countries until the mid-20th century. In Imperial Germany, Chancellor Otto von Bismarck enacted various progressive social welfare measures out of paternalistic conservative motivations to distance workers from the socialist movement of the time and as humane ways to assist in maintaining the Industrial Revolution.
In 1891, the Roman Catholic Church encyclical Rerum novarum issued by Pope Leo XIII condemned the exploitation of labor and urged support for labor unions and government regulation of businesses in the interests of social justice while upholding the property right and criticising socialism. A progressive Protestant outlook called the Social Gospel emerged in North America that focused on challenging economic exploitation and poverty and, by the mid-1890s, was common in many Protestant theological seminaries in the United States.
Early 20th-century progressivism included support for American engagement in World War I and the creation of and participation in the League of Nations, compulsory sterilisation in Scandinavia, and eugenics in Great Britain, and the temperance movement. Progressives believed that progress was stifled by economic inequality, inadequately regulated monopolistic corporations, and conflict between workers and elites, arguing that corrective measures were needed.
Contemporary mainstream political conception of the philosophy
In the United States, progressivism began as an intellectual rebellion against the political philosophy of Constitutionalism as expressed by John Locke and the founders of the American Republic, whereby the authority of government depends on observing limitations on its just powers. What began as a social movement in the 1890s grew into a popular political movement referred to as the Progressive era; in the 1912 United States presidential election, all three U.S. presidential candidates claimed to be progressives. While the term progressivism represents a range of diverse political pressure groups, not always united, progressives rejected social Darwinism, believing that the problems society faced, such as class warfare, greed, poverty, racism and violence, could best be addressed by providing good education, a safe environment, and an efficient workplace. Progressives lived mainly in the cities, were college educated, and believed in a strong central government. President Theodore Roosevelt of the Republican Party and later the Progressive Party declared that he "always believed that wise progressivism and wise conservatism go hand in hand."
President Woodrow Wilson was also a member of the American progressive movement within the Democratic Party. Progressive stances have evolved. Imperialism was a controversial issue within progressivism in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, particularly in the United States, where some progressives supported American imperialism while others opposed it. In response to World War I, President Woodrow Wilson's Fourteen Points established the concept of national self-determination and criticised imperialist competition and colonial injustices. Anti-imperialists supported these views in areas resisting imperial rule.
During the period of acceptance of economic Keynesianism (the 1930s–1970s), there was widespread acceptance in many nations of a large role for state intervention in the economy. With the rise of neoliberalism and challenges to state interventionist policies in the 1970s and 1980s, centre-left progressive movements responded by adopting the Third Way, which emphasised a major role for the market economy. There have been social democrats who have called for the social-democratic movement to move past Third Way. Prominent progressive conservative elements in the British Conservative Party have criticised neoliberalism.
In the 21st century, progressives continue to favour public policy that they theorise will reduce or lessen the harmful effects of economic inequality as well as systemic discrimination such as institutional racism; to advocate for social safety nets and workers' rights; and to oppose corporate influence on the democratic process. The unifying theme is to call attention to the negative impacts of current institutions or ways of doing things and to advocate for social progress, i.e., for positive change as defined by any of several standards such as the expansion of democracy, increased egalitarianism in the form of economic and social equality as well as improved well being of a population. Proponents of social democracy have identified themselves as promoting the progressive cause.
Progressivism, in the general sense, mainly means social and cultural progressivism. There term cultural liberalism is similar, and is used substantially similarly. However, cultural liberals and progressives may differ in positions on cultural issues such as  and political correctness.[original research?]
Unlike progressives in a broader sense, some cultural progressives may be economically centrist, conservative, or politically libertarian. The Czech Pirate Party is classified as a (cultural or social) progressive party, but it calls itself "economically centrist and socially liberal".
Economic progressivism is a term used to distinguish it from progressivism in cultural fields. Economic progressives' views are often rooted in the concept of social justice and aim to improve the human condition through government regulation, social protections and the maintenance of public goods.
Some economic progressives may show center-right views on cultural issues. These movements are related to communitarian conservative movements such as Christian democracy and one-nation conservatism.
Progressive parties or parties with progressive factions
- Argentina: Frente de Todos (factions)
- Australia: Australian Greens, Reason Party, Australian Labor Party (factions)
- Brazil: Workers' Party, Brazilian Socialist Party (factions), Democratic Labour Party, Socialism and Liberty Party
- Canada: Liberal Party of Canada (factions), New Democratic Party
- Chile: Social Convergence, Liberal Party of Chile
- Colombia: Humane Colombia
- Czech Republic: Czech Pirate Party
- France: Radical Party of the Left, New Deal
- Germany: Alliance 90/The Greens
- Greece: Syriza
- Hungary: Democratic Coalition
- India: Aam Aadmi Party, Bahujan Samaj Party, Trinamool Congress
- Italy: Possible, Green Europe
- Indonesia: Indonesian Solidarity Party, Green Party of Indonesia
- Japan: Social Democratic Party, Japanese Communist Party, Reiwa Shinsengumi
- Kosovo: Vetëvendosje
- Mexico: Morena, Party of the Democratic Revolution, Citizens' Movement
- Netherlands: Democrats 66, GroenLinks, PvdA
- Pakistan: Pakistan Peoples Party
- Peru: Purple Party
- Philippines: Akbayan
- Poland: Polish Initiative, Your Movement
- Portugal: Socialist Party, Left Bloc, People Animals Nature,
- Romania: Save Romania Union, Democracy and Solidarity Party, Volt Romania, PRO Romania
- Russia: Yabloko
- Serbia: Party of the Radical Left
- Slovakia: Progressive Slovakia
- South Korea: Justice Party, Progressive Party, Mirae Party
- Spain: Unidas Podemos, Spanish Socialist Worker's Party, Más Madrid, Sumar
- Taiwan: Democratic Progressive Party, New Power Party, Taiwan People's Party
- Thailand:Thai Liberal Party
- Turkey: Republican People's Party
- United Kingdom: Green Party of England and Wales, Labour Party (factions), Scottish National Party, Plaid Cymru, Social Democratic and Labour Party
- United States: Democratic Party (factions), Green Party of the United States
- Venezuela: Popular Will
- Argentina: Front for Victory
- Canada: Progressive Party of Canada
- France: Movement Party, Opportunist Republicans
- Hong Kong: Demosisto
- Japan: Japan Socialist Party
- Netherlands: Free-thinking Democratic League
- New Zealand: Jim Anderton's Progressive Party
- Poland: Spring
- Romania: Romanian Social Party, National Union for the Progress of Romania
- South Korea: Progressive Party (1956), Democratic Labor Party, New Progressive Party, Unified Progressive Party
- United States: Progressive Party (1912), Progressive Party (1924), Progressive Party (1948)
- Affirmative action
- Democratic socialism
- Economic progressivism
- Green politics
- Left-wing nationalism
- Left-wing politics
- Left-wing populism
- Liberal socialism
- Managerial state
- Modern liberalism in the United States
- Progressive conservatism
- Progressive Era
- Progressive Party
- Progressive tax
- Radicalism (historical)
- Reformist party (Japan)
- Revisionism (Marxism)
- Secular liberalism
- Transhumanist politics
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When the going got tough, the economic progressives got going back to the Reagan days when the cultural progressives were to blame. Clinton's presidential campaign had "signaled cultural moderation and articulated the pocketbook frustrations of ordinary people," Robert Kuttner, editor of The American Prospect ventured. "But in office, he seemed a cultural liberal who failed to produce on economics."
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Politically, we would be considered center-right on social issues
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I was working on my doctoral dissertation largely concerning difficulties and opportunities for socially conservative, economically progressive movements, and desired to get involved in such movements ... and was glad to see that ASP was interested in applying such ways of thinking to contemporary issues.
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In Brazil, as Simone Bohn makes straightforward (Chap. 3), the progressive Workers' Party (Partido dos Trabalhadores, PT) governments did not threaten the power of the national elite or landlord class; ...
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... capitalism and a wise federal bureaucracy presided over by a progressive Liberal party with intelligent leaders.
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Progressive groups such as Syriza and Podemos6 tend, on the contrary, to show solidarity towards migrants and refugees, as in general being the weakest components of the society. The Five Star Movement that defines itself as neither ...
- Christopher Chase-Dunn, Paul Almeida, ed. (2020). Global Struggles and Social Change: From Prehistory to World Revolution in the Twenty-First Century. JHU Press. p. 133. ISBN 9781421438634.
The Arab Spring, the Latin American Pink Tide, the Indignados in Spain, the Occupy movement, the rise of progressive social movement– based parties in Spain (Podemos) and in Greece (Syriza), and the spike in mass protests in 2011 and ...
- Prebble Q. Ramswell, ed. (2017). Euroscepticism and the Rising Threat from the Left and Right: The Concept of Millennial Fascism. Lexington Books. p. 86. ISBN 9781498546041.
SYRIZA massively scooped up the votes of leftist, progressive, socially liberal young people, as well as the trade union voters, not specifically aligned with the Communist Party, to gain 52 seats.
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The choice to be made for Syriza is between fidelity to a progressive social agenda and retaining Greece's place within a community of nations tied together by a commitment to a neoliberal global economy. The skill with which they ...
- "'India's soul at stake': Bengalis vote in divisive election". The Guardian. 26 March 2021.
The TMC has implemented a progressive development agenda, but it has also been mired in accusations of corruption and thuggery.
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... capturing 295 seats in the Diet. Progressive parties like the Japanese Communist Party and Social Democratic Party, ...
- Willy Jou, Masahisa Endo, ed. (2016). EGenerational Gap in Japanese Politics: A Longitudinal Study of Political Attitudes and Behaviour. Springer. p. 29. ISBN 9781137503428.
Conventional wisdom, still dominant in media and academic circles, holds that the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and the Japanese Communist Party (JCP) occupy the conservative and progressive ends of the ideological spectrum, ...
- ""선제공격 능력 갖추자" 日정부 주장에…"시대착오적" 비판". Edaily. 13 November 2021. Retrieved 3 December 2021.
... 개헌에 반대해 온 진보 성향의 일본공산당은 "적 기지에 대한 공격력을 갖추더라도 상대국의 지하나 이동발사대 등 미사일 위치를 모두 파악하고 파괴하는 것은 불가능하다"며 ...[... The progressive position Japanese Communist Party, which has opposed the constitutional amendment, said, "Even if it has offensive power against enemy bases, it is impossible to identify and destroy all missile locations such as underground or mobile launchers of the other country" ...]
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Members of the progressive Minjung Party hold a press conference in front of former President Chun Doo-hwan's home in Seoul on May 18, 2020.
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"The dog barks, but the caravan moves on," Lee Eun-Hae, a spokeswoman at the minor progressive Minjung Party, said in a statement about Mr. Trump and closer relations with North Korea.
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As of January 2020 (the time of writing), a new leftist government coalition between the Socialist Party and the leftist populist Unidas Podemos that emerged from the November 2019 election is coming to power with a progressive agenda ...
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The Democratic Progressive Party, founded in 1986, is a progressive and liberal political party in Taiwan.
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She later ran as a New York State lieutenant gubernatorial candidate on a progressive Green Party platform
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Progressive decrees, exemplified by the government's legalization of same-sex marriage in July, depicted the FPV as progressive. Behind the scenes, Kirchner promoted 'La Campora," and Peronist youth organization.
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