Sebastian Zearing

how to be progressive without being a stupid liberal


Welcome to my blog! My pen name is Sebastian Zearing, and I think about a lot of things. This is a good post to read if you’re thinking about following my blog so please continue!

My tagline currently reads “how to be progressive without being a stupid liberal.” I feel that deserves an explanation. I also may change the tagline in the future, so I’ll try to write this post so that it won’t be obsolete if I do.

First, What Is Progressivism?

From Wikipedia, Robert Nisbet “defines five ‘crucial premises’ of the Idea of Progress as being: value of the past, nobility of Western civilization, worth of economic/technological growth, faith in reason and scientific/scholarly knowledge obtained through reason, intrinsic importance and worth of life on earth.” I agree strongly with each of these five, exactly as they are. I wouldn’t agree with seemingly trivial mutations such as “nobility of the past” or “the intrinsic importance of economic/technological growth” or “faith in Western civilization.” I think the past is valuable, should be documented, and serves as illumination on our path (fuck Buddha smashing); I think Western civilization is the home of some (probably >50%) of the greatest triumphs of humanity, but not all of them (fuck postmodernism); I think technological advance is a good thing (fuck the Unabomber); I think reason and experimentation hold the key to more progress (fuck canonism); and I think that there is a point to All Of This, and life both on earth and off of it is central to it (fuck nihilists).

So what do I not mean by “progressive”? Well I don’t mean anything that has to do with social justice. Social justice is just a way of redistributing the progress, and isn’t a particularly potent force for generating more of it, and it clearly has the potential to get in the way. When I say I’m progressive, I mean that I believe in the future, and have high hopes for what humanity can do with it. It means I’m not a neo-reactionary, I’m not a conservative, and I’m not a Marxist (and although I do entertain various forms of historical materialism, reason and the experiment of the last 150 years clearly suggest that the proletariat is never going to take control of the means of production). It doesn’t mean that I’m not a racist (in line with the progressive history behind eugenics). But it does mean that if I did believe such emotionally wrong things as, say, sub-Saharan Africans being less economically capable, I would conclude that we should help them more, not less. It also means that I can wield reason to conclude that maybe dumping grain on African economies is a vastly inferior form of aid than slashing our own agricultural subsidies. I also think that the <dumping commodities> strategy is the kind of thing a stupid, know-nothing-about-the-world-but-try-to-help-actually-mostly-just-to-allay-my-conscience liberal would come up with.

But Perhaps A List

Maybe it makes more sense for me to just give you a list of what my various positions are. Please follow by blog if you’re interested in seeing posts on these topics, or reading someone who has a rather unique mix of views! Also note that I’m keen I’m making predictions for all of these things, as that’s the only real way of telling whether or not someone is full of shit.

Leftist views:

  • Gender-neutral marriage
  • Transsexual rights and acceptance
  • Government ownership and/or extreme regulation of natural monopolies/must-purchasables (e.g. utilities, roads, railways, healthcare)

Rightist views:

  • Centrality of the free market to economic thriving
  • Strong support of nuclear families (I specifically oppose gay voices unsure or dismissive of gay marriage)
  • Strong support of military funding (at worst, it’s a basic income for bellicose young people, most of which are working-class men)
  • Climate catastrophism denial

Centrist views:

  • Necessity of basic common-sense regulation, e.g. for both industry and guns
  • Strong support of public education and research funding
  • Measured, rational militarism


Other Stuff

I also have an obsession with the philosophy underlying my views, but this tends to bore people, so I put this blurb at the bottom. And when I say I have an obsession, I may mean that I want to break it down allllll the way to quarks and electrons…


*These views best explain my self-identification as “progressive.”

Licensing: All material on this blog may be reproduced unaltered in whole or in part without individualized consent or notification, but it must credit “Sebastian Zearing” and link back to


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