I always hear progressives say that small-government folk are going backwards with old ideas, and that we need to move forward with new ideas. Besides the fact that the rationality of an idea has nothing to do with whether it’s old or new, progressives have it backwards. Big government control of people’s lives has been the norm for millennia throughout human history, from ancient times, through the usual monarchies and such. On the broader historical scale, what has been relatively recent and new (only a few hundred years old) is the development of an ideology that favors freedom from government control as long as one is not violating anyone else’s rights. Political liberty and small government is a pretty new idea with a short history. Progressives seem to want to go way back to ancient and per-Enlightenment attitudes of controlling people through government.