The Question of Social Progress

My piece on Social Progress was published today at the Hub. Please check it out here. If you are interested in becoming a subscriber, please let me know. I have 3, 90-day trial subscriptions to share.

“We tell ourselves a few different stories about the question of progress: the Enlightenment, the Marxist, and the Postmodern prominent among them.

All boats have been steadily rising, unevenly, and in fits and starts over time, but exponentially so after the Enlightenment. This is the view of progress as improvements in quality of life.

To others, progress is a bit of a mirage. Yes, we are healthier, wealthier, and safer, but the core of what it means to be human, and its challenges remains unchanged — we are selfish, cruel and domineering. The strong oppress the weak in a new guise.

You might also think, who’s to say? Isn’t talk of progress really a non-starter? There’s little meaning to life beyond what we make up in our own little heads. Self-actualization and determination are the only games in town.”

Though onto something, there are problems with each.”

“Over the coming weeks, The Hub will be publishing essays by leading Canadian thinkers and writers that aim to provide better answers to the modern frontier question. In particular, the essays will grapple with the different issues, ideas and technologies that will shape Canada’s future over the next 30 years.

Our contributors will have full discretion to put forward which issue, idea or technology will be the most consequential for Canada in 2050. It might be demographic change, the rise of China, the prospect of new currencies and financial systems, the effects of climate change, progress on Indigenous reconciliation, or something altogether different. The onus will be on the contributors to make the case for why their vision of the future represents Canada’s next frontier.

Readers can anticipate two or three essays from this series each week through the spring and summer. Their cumulative foresight and wisdom will help to push ourselves and the broader national conversation away from the day-to-day of politics to a different and better future for Canada.

The Hub’s founding essay argued that, as a society, we need to get back to the future. The Next Frontier essay series can help to lay out a roadmap to get us there.”

What is the Hub?

The Hub’s mission is to create and curate news, analysis and debate about a dynamic and better future for Canada in a single online information source.

The Hub’s mix of content includes original news reporting and commentary, a daily newsletter, multimedia and events exploring a wide range of topics including economics, culture, technology, geopolitics, public policy, law and governance.

We welcome vigorous debate among competing visions of Canada’s future rooted in the ideals of pluralism, individual choice, and broad-based opportunity.

Our goal is to reorient popular debate in Canada towards the big ideas that will capture and propel us collectively towards a future of growth, dynamism, and human flourishing.”

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