Every culture has its own way of accounting for reality. These explanations are necessary to enable the culture as a whole, and the individuals within it, to act and to justify those actions. We cannot come to grips with anything until we have some way of understanding and explaining what we are dealing with.
Legislation enforces the ideology of those who elected the government, but may quash the ideology of those who voted another way. (Photo: Wikimedia)
Unfortunately, there is a huge problem here. The scheme works best if our explanation of reality is sound. In some areas, we may indeed have adequate accounts of reality (e.g. engineering), but human knowledge is limited, and in many more cases (e.g. medicine), our explanations do not coincide with actuality. In these situations, we must act within inadequate frameworks. So tenuous is our conceptual grasp on reality that sometimes we are aware of the damaging shortcomings of our explanations while at other times we remain in the dark.
Progressives think in a crudely primitive way about projects that promote prosperity, but may impact the environment.
Whatever happened to the idea of progress? I do not mean “progressive,” as in ever more social spending and the inevitable national bankruptcy, ruin, and widespread poverty that follows – like the gold-plated “Club Med” European model which brought about so many national financial crises of a few years ago, or the Chavez/Maduro model responsible for the ongoing social and economic collapse in Venezuela. No, I mean the plain old-fashioned Anglo-American kind of progress.
Projects like the Hoover Dam, once considered “progress” are now condemned by crude environmental thinking that resembles the worldview of primitive societies. (Image: public domain)
If you are young, you may not remember, but there was a time when “progress” meant building things to make what we need more abundant and affordable. That would include structures like dams to generate loads of cheap electricity and to ensure everyone has plenty of inexpensive clean water. It would also include pipelines to provide ourselves with the affordable gasoline we need for our cars, or the inexpensive natural gas needed to heat our homes. Things like roads and bridges so we can get where we want to go and to open up new areas for the development that will continue to enhance our prosperity. We are talking about the kind of progress that makes everything more plentiful and less expensive; the kind of progress that makes our lives better, more convenient, and more prosperous; and the kind of progress that really is the only way to reduce poverty.