Think you know a lot about our country? How about a quick civics question to test your knowledge? First, let me make some statements: Americans try to accomplish too much by vote. Instead, they should be more passive and submissive, like those in Europe; they should trust government experts to create the life Americans need to live.
Who expressed those sentiments? Let me give you some choices. Was it Benito Mussolini, maybe? Or a Marxist such as Vladimir Lenin or Joseph Stalin? The boogeyman himself, Adolph Hitler?
What if I told you these sentiments were expressed by United States President Woodrow Wilson? He was a leader of the progressive movement in the first quarter of the 20th century.
In 1887, when Woodrow Wilson was a professor, he wrote an article, “The Study of Administration,” for Political Science Quarterly. In it, he complained that America’s future success was “made doubtful by that besetting error of ours, the error of trying to do too much by vote.” The problems of modernity were far too complex and needed to be solved far too swiftly to rely too heavily on the American voter.
Wilson praised the European style of democratic governance by administrators and noted with satisfaction that that continent’s citizens could “be expected to be very docile and acquiescent in learning what things it has not a right to think and speak about imperatively.” (Emphasis in the original.)
Americans, on the other hand, tended to be “meddlesome.” Wilson said, “The cook must be trusted with a large discretion as to the management of the fires and the ovens.”
Such ideas are quite far from those of the men who crafted the Constitution. That foundational document’s opening words make clear who is supposed to run the show in America: “We the People of the United States. …”
However, secular progressives believe in the superiority of so-called experts as rulers. They should be governing the nation, rather than those “meddlesome” voters.
Wilson believed that, if American citizens would only trust the experts to build the nation as they saw fit, the people would ultimately be happier. In a 1912 presidential campaign speech, Wilson, then governor of New Jersey, said Americans would one day be living “as a single community, cooperative as in a perfected, coordinated beehive.”
That’s right – a grand, expert-driven collective, with Americans as satisfied worker drones, submitted to central authority.
If such ideas are not chilling enough, here’s one that sounds like something out of the book of Revelation. Charles Merriam, a professor of political science at the University of Chicago, who became an adviser to several U.S. presidents, including Franklin D. Roosevelt, said he believed the purpose of a powerful state was to perfect mankind. However, the process of accomplishing that goal awaited the coming of the universal state.
He said: “This end can be realized, however, only when a world-state is organized, and for this, mankind is not yet ready.”
Find out more.
Editor’s Note: The short blog above – the second of several in a series – is a summary of one of the hard-hitting chapters in the exciting new booklet from AFA – The Progressive Threat to the American Republic. (You can read the first blog here.) This powerful tool pinpoints the core principles of secular humanism and traces the way in which progressivism has reshaped the United States. The booklet's six short chapters cover God’s revelation in nature, natural law, the progressive attempt to take over the institutions of America, the intent to replace God with a humanistic state, the demand of the Leviathan state to ultimately require unconditional obedience, and the humanistic tendency toward fascism. Also included are discussion questions for personal reflection, small groups, or Sunday school classes.
Much of the material is also available as an AFA Cultural Institute lecture by the booklet's author, Ed Vitagliano.
You can get multiple copies of both the booklet and the Cultural Institute lecture here. Share with family, friends, and fellow church members.