Progressives are, for the most part, extremely technocratic. They truly believe that the elite, because they are so well educated, can build a top-down system that works "the right" way this time. They want to tear down the old system, appoint philosopher kings to rule us, and all will be well. It's not a new idea -- Plato, Constantine, and Thomas Moore all wrote about it. And you know what? It didn't work back in the old days, and it won't work now. Over the long term people can be counted on to work in their own interests, and even the most brilliant engineer cannot build a system that goes against human nature.
In a A Brief History of Time, Stephen Hawking wrote,
A well-known scientist (some say it was Bertrand Russell) once gave a public lecture on astronomy. He described how the earth orbits around the sun and how the sun, in turn, orbits around the center of a vast collection of stars called our galaxy. At the end of the lecture, a little old lady at the back of the room got up and said: "What you have told us is rubbish. The world is really a flat plate supported on the back of a giant tortoise." The scientist gave a superior smile before replying, "What is the tortoise standing on?" "You're very clever, young man, very clever," said the old lady. "But it's turtles all the way down!"
I think the current progressives are a lot like the little old lady in this story. Socialism, Communism, and Statism have never succeeded in the past, but next time they'll get it right. We haven't found the right philosopher king to rule us yet, but the next one -- Boy will he be great! And thus we get mediocre statists all the way down.