"This is much too complex a community to be summed up in the word 'progressive' and I count myself out of that circle," writes Charles Jeanes. Photo: Bill Metcalfe

LETTER: Don’t label me progressive

From reader Charles Jeanes

Re: LETTER: Questioning women’s centre’s lack of action on community consultation, April 1

This letter-writer appears to believe that appealing to Nelson’s supposed reputation as “a progressive community” (twice) is a strong argument in favour of their recommended policy for the board of the Nelson and District Women’s Centre. In simple logic, this is not so. The argument is not helped in the least by appealing to some idealized picture of what Nelson represents for the letter writer.

Leaving aside all the questions being debated at the centre, I wish to say only that I do not wish my inclusion in progressivism to be assumed merely because I live in Nelson. This is much too complex a community to be summed up in the word “progressive” and I count myself out of that circle.

I am not denying that a community is real, that it is more than merely a sum of individuals, but I am denying that I and many people I know want to be included in the label of “progressives.” The word is loaded with self-righteousness. People in the progressivist camp assume they are “on the side of history” and I most certainly object to that.

I apologize for beating my drum again to oppose progressivists, but I am trying to mount a small cultural counter-offensive against political labelling. Labels of this sort are not merely of no value in many contexts – such as this one – they are positively unhelpful and obstructive to the functioning of community politics.

I hope others might see merit in what I am trying to do, and join me in the effort. We do not need to have these great generalizing labels – progressive, leftist, conservative, fascist, etc. — in our public conversations, at City Hall, in newspapers, and so forth.

Charles Jeanes


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A mushroom grower plans to plan new mushrooms in fallen trees in the Kaslo Community Forest. File photo
Kaslo mushroom farmer given green light for unique project

Robin Mercy will plant mushrooms in the Kaslo Community Forest

Nelson dancers Glynis Waring, Slava Doval and Amanda Papailhou, and musician Nella Banner, premier Respired on April 11. Photo: Submitted
New dance work the latest online offering from Capitol Theatre

Local performers will unveil Respired beginning April 11

B.C's COVID-19 dashboard shows the peaks and valleys of cases prior to the record daily report of 132 on April 9, 2021. (Dashboard image)
Interior Health has record day of COVID-19 cases

132 cases reported Friday, April 9, more deaths in Vernon hospital outbreak

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
1,262 more COVID-19 infections in B.C. Friday, 9,574 active cases

Province’s mass vaccination reaches one million people

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A vehicle that was driven through the wall of a parkade at Uptown Shopping Centre and into the nearby Walmart on April 9 was removed through another hole in the wall later that night. (Photo via Saanich Police Department and Ayush Kakkar)
Vehicle launched into B.C. Walmart removed following rescue of trapped workers

Crews cut new hole in parkade wall to remove vehicle safely

Four members with Divers for Cleaner Lakes and Oceans were out at Cultus Lake on March 28 and 29 hauling trash out of the waters. (Henry Wang)
PHOTOS: Out-of-town divers remove 100s of pounds of trash from Cultus Lake

Members of Divers for Cleaner Lakes and Oceans hauled out 470 pounds of trash over two days

As of Saturday, April 10, people born in 1961 are the latest to be eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine. (Black Press files)
B.C. residents age 60+ can now register to get their COVID-19 vaccine

Vaccine registration is now open to people born in 1961 or earlier

A new saline gargle test, made in B.C., will soon be replacing COVID-19 nasal swab tests for kids. (PHSA screenshot)
Take-home COVID-19 tests available for some B.C. students who fall ill at school

BC Children’s Hospital plans to provide 1,200 kits to Vancouver district schools this April

Ruming Jiang and his dog Chiu Chiu are doing fine following a brush with hypothermia that saw several people work together to get them out of the Fraser River near Langley’s Derby Reach Park on March 25, 2021 (Special to the Advance Times)
Man finds men who rescued him from drowning in B.C.’s Fraser River

A grateful Ruming Jiang says he will thank them again, this time in person when the pandemic ends

Tyson Ginter, 7, is proud of his latest Hot Wheels he recently received by Quesnel RCMP Const. Matt Joyce. (Photo submitted)
B.C. Mountie handing out toy cars to light up children’s faces

‘A lot of times it will be the only interaction they have with the police,’ says Const. Matt Joyce

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam speaks during a technical briefing on the COVID pandemic in Canada, Friday, January 15, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s ICUs see near-record of COVID-19 patients last week as variant cases double

Last week, Canadian hospitals treated an average of 2,500 patients with COVID-19, daily, up 7% from the previous week

Most Read