What Is “Progress”?

I’m taking a quick break from grading Comparative Economic Systems book essays to pass along from one of my most thoughtful students his “favorite quote from the book.” He added it after the end of his paper.

It is a great quotation. It’s from p. 57 of Virginia Postrel’s wonderful The Future and Its Enemies:

We make progress not toward a particular, certain and uniform destination but toward many different, personally determined, and incremental goals. In a global sense, “progress” is the product of those parallel individual searches: the extension of knowledge and the gradual improvement of people’s lives—an increase in comfort, in life options, in the opportunity for “diversified, worthwhile experience.”


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