Is civilization really progressing or....?

On modern civilization:

Some people say that civilization is moving forward on a line of continuous progress.

Others say it could potentially be going backwards despite the technological progress.

What would you say?


This is a very important question. Since the human race shares the vast majority of their behavioural patterns with other mammals especially sheep, most individuals will never even ponder this question because it’s beyond them. Most human beings don’t use their brains to think about civilization in the same way sheep never analyze their own behaviour.

So, modern civilization is driving by consumption of cheap food and low quality entertainment and there hasn’t been much progress over the past few thousand years if any.


But thinking hurts; plenty!

Moreover sheep don’t have any existential problems, concerns, anxieties, depression, psychotherapy … etc and just serenely and blissfully proceed to their loss…

Besides, Jesus said: ‘Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven.’ (Mathew 5.3) :face_with_monocle:

On the same subject, a Boris Johnson statement:


Hi Viviana,

Thinking hurts plenty, that’s true and that’s exactly why the history book on the shelf is always repeating itself.
People who are in power do not learn from their predecessors’ mistakes, instead they repeat them over and over again.


Anyone who starts thinking and making decisions based on that thinking is ‘a person in power’ as you call them, Marc.


You know something Torsten. I’m happy I’m not one of them. As you know, I’m enormously interested in English/British history and at the moment I’m doing research on Margaret Hilda Roberts Thatcher. You know, I have never experienced such difficulty with being and remaining objective. She is indeed an icon of Great Britain, but was she a good politician? I would rather keep that answer to myself for now, until I can figure it out a bit better.
By the way this is a really interesting subject. I’m going to ask a friend of mind what he thinks about it. It’s very good Vivianna started this thread.


Thanks a lot for the kind responses. :blush:

I’m afraid I didn’t get that comment:

Who and what did that refer to?? Care to explain?


Sure, I was referring this:

Marc says that ‘there are people in power’ so the question is what or who gives those people that power. And I answered it.


Yes, Torsten, good question. Who gives them that power?/ Part One

Let me briefly go back as far as the Middle Ages and Early Modern Times. During those, what I call ‘artificial historical periods’ kings and queens inherited power from the former Head of State, usually their father or mother or both. They ruled according to the divine right of kings; they were absolute monarchs and answerable to no one, except God. As time progressed, however, a new social class gradually developed, namely the bourgeoisie. In England this class started to muster a lot of support in the House of Commons and they became elected MPs. Yet, the English electoral system was far from democratic, because women were not allowed to vote or to stand for election.
But, be that as it may, the bourgoisie became richer and therefore more influential than the nobility who had impoverished over the years. It is therefore more than logical that royal houses started to consult them on a regular basis, since they had more means to give their sovereign financial support, particularly in times of war. In 1588 Elizabeth I asked the Commons to finance her military counter attack against the Spaniards. At first the Commons refused to do so, but after making a lot of threats like reminding the Mister Speaker that she had the right to dissolve parliament, Elizabeth mananged to convince them to give her what she wanted. Eventually the English won against the Spaniards, but their escape from the Armada had been a narrow one, even though some patriots may claim differently. You see, after playing stratego, Elizabeth’s treasury was all but empty and therefore she had to sell monopolies in order to repay her warfare debts. This displeased many people, especially merchants and entrepreneurs, because selling monopolies was and is harmful to free trade. Those people were right to be angry. A monopoly gives you the exclusive right to sell a certain product. As a result there is no competition. You see, Torsten, free trade is impossible without competition which has been scientifically proven, and so both are inseparable. No competition, no free trade! Moreover, Elizabeth’s reign had already begun to embrace mercantile and protectionist policies. This meant: maximize the exports and minimize the imports.


Yes, we are making progress as a community of intelligent human beings. You just have to look in the right places to see the evidence. Here is a glimpse of what is to come and my book this definitely is progress and proves that evolution is taking place after all:

The evidence is mounting: if we want a decent shot at climate stability, high-income nations will have to shift to post-growth economic principles. This would have been unthinkable in mainstream circles only a few years ago, but there’s now a striking consensus forming. In 2018, 238 scientists called on the European commission to abandon growth as an objective and explore post-growth futures. In 2019, more than 11,000 scientists from over 150 countries published an article stating that “We need to shift from pursuing GDP growth and affluence toward sustaining ecosystems and improving well-being.” Some of the world’s leading scholars have said the same thing, including Bill Gates’s favourite intellectual, Vaclav Smil.

We need to abandon the principles of a ‘linear economy’ and shift to a ‘circular economy’.


Hi Muryan, welcome to our forum. What role do think is online spam playing in our evolution?