The Ideal of Progress

Many researchers in the world believe that our world is actually getting better.

Take for example, people like Dr. Steven Pinker, a Harvard Cognitive Scientist. 

According to Dr. Pinker, we have reason to believe that relative human suffering in the 21st century is less than it has ever been at any point in history. 

Dr. Pinker believes in The Enlightenment, Liberalism, and all the typical western values.

He is right that in a relative sense things are getting better… Certainly.

The expansion of western medicine has led to the massive decrease in infant mortality, and to other miracles, such as the extension of life. Education is better than ever, and more people are literate (they can read) than any point in history. Quality of life is much much better. War between democratic nations does not exist. The list goes on and on. There have been very many achievements by “the ideals of progress.” We seem to be getting better.

But there is another perspective in the secular west. This is the Postmodern perspective that things are getting worse.

The second perspective says that no matter how good things good, there is still more absolute suffering. Nowhere and no place anywhere in history have so many people been suffering at the same time. People are left out of our liberal order. And what about them? So many people are not actually included in our general “ideal of progress.” 

So many souls are indeed suffering global mental illness, global inequality (and starvation), and global unsustainability of the machine-like complexity of our world. But… At what cost to transparency?

It doesn’t seem to add up.

Here we locate the post-liberal (postmodern) perspective. The complexities don’t add up.

So the cost of a progressive, liberal social order is actually the burden of the largest majority of suffering souls (7.7 billion people in a global civilization). Indeed, people, animals, and our very souls and minds, and cultures are crushed.

Progress for who???

Chaotic and destructive impulse literally reigns supreme.
In this global situation we are born into, God is dead. Man is dead.
And so is our notion of beauty, goodness, truth, justice, and meaning. While domination by “progress” = elite, rich, white, male-only selection of society, those with privilege, power, and class, domination by Artificial intelligence = the subordination to
that power.

Our first perspective is highly optimistic, natural, and youthful, but sings the greatness of western advancement. The second perspective is more measured, well thought out, beginning to look at how to change power.


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