Throughout much of human history most common folks have live a brutish existence, subjected to oppression and exploitation, and to the terrible consequences of widespread ignorance.
Civilization after civilization, regardless of cultural differences, has shared a common template when it comes to the way society was arranged. Typically there is a wealthy ruling class that establishes certain institutions to rule over their subjects. Some of those institutions includes the mass media, religion, and government.
Typically, what ends up happening is that the ruling class establishes a system to exploit the citizens either through outright slavery, or subsistence wages. These systems depend on corruption, manipulation, and oppression. They also take advantage of widespread ignorance (about how the system works) and base instincts, including ultranationalism, jingoism, ethnocentrism, and racism.
"Since the finance aristocracy made the laws, was at the head of the administration of the state, had command of all the organized public authorities, dominated public opinion through the actual state of affairs and through the press, the same prostitution, the same shameless cheating, the same mania to get rich was repeated in every sphere, from the court to the Cafe Borgne to get rich not by production, but by pocketing the already available wealth of others, Clashing every moment with the bourgeois laws themselves, an unbridled assertion of unhealthy and dissolute appetites manifested itself, particularly at the top of bourgeois society- lusts wherein wealth derived from gambling naturally seeks its satisfaction, where pleasure becomes debauched, where money, filth, and blood commingle. The finance aristocracy, in its mode of acquisition as well as in its pleasures, is nothing but the rebirth of the lumpenproletariat on the heights of bourgeois society".Anyways, it has been like that for thousands of years... In every society, the only counterweight to corrupt oligarchies is a strong progressive movement.
Marx's description of the French finance aristocracy of the 1840's
Who are progressives? What do they believe in? That's not that complicated to answer; starting with the latter question, Progressives believe in social justice and equality under the law for all. They believe in political reform, in exposing corruption, in modernization, and democracy.
In other words: The closest thing to a "more perfect society" would be one organized under progressive principles. Such society would be healthier, more sustainable, more just, and wealthier.
But alas, we don't live in a perfect world, and so we still need to contend with brutish forces in society, which in modern times include cult-like groups like the current Republican party, and their black sheep, the Tea Party, corrupt organizations like the current Democratic party establishment (the ones on the pockets of corporate masters), and the assortment of fascist billionaires and their fascistic groups constantly trying to figure out ways to undermine democracy by buying off government officials.
It is a constant struggle, a real battle all the way, but here we are, us good-all Progressives doing what we do: standing up for justice and equality for all.
As such, there is no greater force for good in society than Progressives, in the final analysis. Every inch of progress, of justice, of equality, of modernity; every advance in democracy, science, in education, in political reform, has been brought about because of the progressive movement.
Do you sometimes feel discouraged in the face of the brutal and relentless attack on decency, fairness and justice by the tyrannical ruling class, their puppets in government, and their useful idiots in society? Don't. They will eventually be defeated, but only if you stay engaged in the battle.
Want to get some encouragement, put things in perspective? Go to the PBS American Experience website and checkout the documentary THE ABOLITIONISTS.
Abolitionist allies Frederick Douglass, William Lloyd Garrison, Harriet Beecher Stowe, John Brown and Angelina Grimké turned a despised fringe movement against chattel slavery into a force that literally changed the nation.Want to get inspired, checkout another American Experience documentary, SOUNDTRACK FOR A REVOLUTION.
Or read a little about the incredible history of the American Labor Movement, and the brutality and exploitation they were able to overcome.
About the role this site, Daily Kos, has in today's progressive movement? About organizations like MoveOn.org, ActBlue, Progressive Change Campaign Committee, Color of Change, ProgressiveCongress, CREDO and many others?
It is a movement! It will remain, always active active, engaged, as long as there is injustice in the world. And because of it, millions and millions of people will a chance to live in a better world; not yet perfect, but better.
And so, yes, we've seen some setbacks, including the current wholesale corruption of our system of government, and the ridiculous filibuster, and an obstructionist Republican party, and a cowardly and complicit Democratic party. But hey, that's just par for the course.
So on we go to clean up government corruption, or as some here like to say, "elect better Democrats." And yes, while we are at it, let's make sure that in the next two years we do everything we can to get Democratic (the real ones) super-majorities in both houses of Congress, and to spread a progressive agenda to every little town, every city, every state in the country, relentlessly, knowing that only through the progressive movement the promise of bringing about a more perfect union can be achieved.