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Is the Steady State Progressive?

Posted On: Apr 21, 2021   |   Posted By: Steady State

Is the Steady State Progressive?

By Brian Snyder
Karl Marx thought of history as progressive, moving from aristocracy to bourgeois capitalism to socialist revolution to communist utopia. While neoclassical economists such as Alan Greenspan and Paul Romer might not agree with Marx on much, they do agree that history tends toward progress. Today, nearly everyone on the political left and much of the political right is “historically progressive,” even if politically conservative. They all seem to believe that our children will inherit a more prosperous, more just world than the one we inherited and that the human flourishing that began with the Renaissance will continue unabated.
Yet I doubt even Marx could look back on the 150 years since his death and see a history of progress. It takes a unique type of optimism to reflect upon a century with two World Wars, a four-decade Cold War, a series of genocides and pogroms, and one of the greatest famines in human history and see a glass half full. The Soviets and Americans nearly precipitated a...

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