Chris Hedges Writes a Stinging Critique of the Idea of Progress

Greetings:

In a previous blog post on Progressive Quakers I noted that the progressives were fully immersed in the idea of progress; that things will inevitably get better and better.  And it was this idea of progress which allowed the progressives to undermine traditional Quaker Faith and Practice so effectively.  It was also this idea of progress which provided them with conceptual tools for their support of W.W. I.  Chuck Fager in his two books on Progressive Quakers seems to agree with this primary view of how history is working.

At truthdig Chris Hedges has penned a stinging, and at the same time thoughtful, critique of the idea of progress and how it negatively impacts our world.  The article can be found here:

http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/our_mania_for_hope_is_a_curse_2...

I found the essay helpful and insightful.  Perhaps you will as well,

Jim

Views: 278

Comment by Forrest Curo on 5th mo. 27, 2015 at 12:52pm

CH generally writes eloquent rants; but I wonder how much of your enthusiasm with this one is due to approval of his conclusion...?

Truly, faith in technology is a blood-drenched idolatry; but knowledge of God implies a valid basis for hope, for rejecting dogmatic assertions like: "There is nothing inevitable about human existence except birth and death. There are no forces, whether divine or technical, that will guarantee us a better future." 

And I've never thought of you as wanting people to "act with an urgency and passion that comprehends the grim possibilities ahead," although those possibilities are pretty grim all right.

Looking at what we can, in fact, hope to accomplish towards fending off those incoming 'grim possibilities', the best I've concluded so far is the importance of refusing to be fooled by the Powers & Principalities currently dominating human consciousness. That might prove contagious, or so I hope. But accomplishing that demands guidance from a certain divine 'force', not merely 'urgency and passion'.

Comment by Jim Wilson on 5th mo. 27, 2015 at 2:31pm

Typo Alert:  I notice I wrote 'Christ Hedges'.  I hope that is not a freudian type.  It should be 'Chris Hedges'.

Thanks,

Jim

Comment by Jim Wilson on 5th mo. 27, 2015 at 2:38pm

There, I think I've fixed it.  Ah, the eternal typo!!!

You make good points, Forrest.  I don't agree with everything that Hedges writes about progress, but I linked to it because I think it may be helpful to see how the idea of progress shaped Quaker history.  I think it had a major impact.  Fager does as well.  My tendency is to see the impact as negative, Fager's is to see it as positive.  Probably the truth lies in a less extreme take on the idea.

Jim

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