Donald Boudreaux, Economics Chair at George Mason University, has this great article questioning the use of "progressive" as a political label. He finds it an ironic term (and I agree) for those who desire a return to a medieval mindset of feudal lords controlling and commanding their lowly serfs under the guise of the common good. A couple of passages stand out.
On the left’s fear of free markets:
And if the peasants succeeded in breaking the bonds of their servitude, society would disintegrate into a terrible free-for-all in which no one knew his place and every man and woman would run about making individual choices based on nothing more than their own petty, narrow and base preferences. Orderly society would be replaced by unpredictable, disorderly chaos.
"Progressives" today believe the same.
On why "progressive" is the opposite of the leftist/marxist/nanny state’s true intent:
Today’s "Progressives" seek a return to the status and static society in which the few direct and "protect" the many. That, of course, is the opposite of genuine progress.