A lot of change started happening in the 18th century and by the 19th century it was full steam ahead. With change came a lot of difficulty adapting. Due to that difficulty, a new school of thought arose. Thus, nineteenth century thought was marked by a grappling with change and how to handle it. Political thought went through a transformation in the wake of this new school of thought.
“I have called this principle, by which each slight variation, if useful, is preserved, by the term of Natural Selection.”–Charles Darwin
Watch the full review of Nineteenth Century Thought
How These Philosophers Laid the Groundwork of Progressivism
Progressivism preaches an inevitable outcome – that we are marching toward some future state regardless of our choice. However, this is largely unfounded. Thinkers like Darwin and Marx have been largely proven wrong. Although their ideas weren’t completely demolished, their body of work has taken numerous hits. Instead of marching toward inevitable utopia, we have wavered between progress and regress.
“All political revolutions, not affected by foreign conquest, originate in moral revolutions. The subversion of established institutions is merely one consequence of the previous subversion of established opinions.”–John Stuart Mill
This book is a dense read, for sure. Despite that, I really enjoyed it. But, you will have to dedicate some attention and energy to this book as you read it. If you do, I think you’ll get a lot out of it. The way it’s laid out is very interesting. Simply put, it is a collection of works and writing from several different authors. You’ll get input from writers like Marx, Darwin, John Stuart Mill and more. So, if you want to learn more about the groundwork of Progressivism, this book is for you.