Some Recent Ideas of Progress
In view of two world wars and the possibility of a third in which the human race might suffer annihilation, the familiar notion of progress as an escalator is being anxiously reconsidered. To the serious student of the subject two historical works, The Idea of Progress, by J. B. Bury, and Culture and Progress, by Wilson D. Waliis, are virtually indispensable. Since their appearance, however, various new concepts of progress have come to the fore. Three of these, combining scholarship with representative quality, are presented here briefly in the hope that, evaluated together, they may shed some light on man's future.
Berdyaev's Conception of History's Goal
In vivid contrast to Western evolutionism, Nicolas Berdyaev
expresses a tragic, typically Russian view. He sees in history no spectacular social advance but various cycles of growth and degeneration.
When we examine the destinies of peoples, societies, cultures, we observe how they all pass through the clear-cut stages of birth, infancy, adolescence, maturity, affluence, old age, decay, and death. Such considerations have led so important an historian as Edward Meyer to deny categorically the existence of human progress along a