Are we getting better? Is this really Progress?


There’s a basic assumption that we are getting better, as individuals, as a society, that is so embedded that even to question it is to be radically heretical. Yet as an assumption it’s never actually determined as justifiable, on the pretext that it’s self-evident.

Is it though? Do we ever really think about any instances that would demonstrate that self-evidence? I decided to look at ways in which we are self-evidently getting better to see what the overall sense or meaning of the assumption truly is.

So, what are we’re getting substantially, self-evidently better at? “Getting better” is itelf too generic to be judged, so we need to specify some of the various ways in which we are getting better. Here are a few:

  1. We are definitely getting better at mass production; all the productivity statistics demonstrate that. The area of mass production that has shown the most radical increase is in the mass production of corpses.  The bureacratization of mass producing corpses is a minor change when compared to the way we in more recent times have totally automated it.
  2. While we are at least maintaining the level of inequality, ensuring that a tiny percentage of the world controls most of the wealth and power, this has been true for a long time. However we are getting significantly better at not seeing this as a problem, but rather as a moral imperative.
  3. We are getting better at starting wars for no real reason. In the not-so-distant past governments had to put significant effort into propaganda in order to drum up support for such wars, but now the effort required is pretty minimal. Everybody knows it’s merely propaganda, that the wars are unjustifiable, and the governments know that everyone knows. They also know that nobody cares sufficiently to do anything about it.
  4. We are getting better at believing in the substantiality and reality of something that is neither, and putting our faith, even basing our reality on it. And no, I’m not talking about the Christian or Islamic or Jewish God, but the operative god, currency.
  5. We are getting much better at only producing affordable food and medicines that are actually deadly, thus preventing the elderly from becoming a burden on the wealthy.
  6. We are getting better at polluting available fresh water and restricting access to whatever’s left based on ability to pay for it.
  7. We are getting phenomenally better at pawning off gambling debts by the wealthiest portion of the wealthiest countries, onto the public of poorer countries, until we can hold them for ransom via the IMF and destroy what little economies they do have on whatever whim suits said IMF.
  8. We are getting better at stuffing more people into smaller spaces, spaces that would have been considered unliveable a hundred years ago, and claiming progress because we sell people new gadgets that only serve to ensure they’re available 24/7.

If this is progress, what must regress look like?

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