The Inevitable Triumph of Progressive Thought
The Inevitable Triumph of Progressive Thought
By Manuel Valenzuela
If the sands of time and the passing of the seasons tell humanity anything, it is the inevitable push forward that drives our species, the collective tidal wave surging us away from the darkness of archaic thought and past conservative ideology, and into realms of evolution and progress. For evolution of society and thought is as inevitable as that of nature and Earth, a construct of universal energy pushing life forward, not backwards, towards betterment, not self-defeat. Progress is as human as anything else, yet one more manifestation of an ever-changing world, witnessed by those who have come before us, recorded in the writings ingrained in the annals of history and present for all to see in the remnants of archeological finds scattered throughout the globe.
Human progress is as present as night and day, an omnipotent and omnipresent force that cannot and has never been defeated. Many interests have tried to halt this unstoppable momentum, only to realize that the greatness of humanity pushes us forward as a species. It may be contained for a small time, yet over and over again progress continues its unrelenting drive onward, toward greater liberalism and independence of thought, toward increased humanism, education and world concern.
Just as Earth has continued to change and evolve during its long, four-billion year old existence, never halting its progress, just as flora and fauna evolve according to their environments and circumstances, adjusting to survive and changing in order to thrive, and just as humanity once left the African jungles and savannas for the great Diaspora to all corners of the globe, giving rise to eventual civilization, so then progressive thought continues guiding us forward through centuries and decades, making extinct mechanisms and thoughts no longer accepted, useful or beneficial to the great majority of a society’s citizens.
It is human progress, that catapulting boulder flying at the apex of our skies, that has led America and much of the world to where we are today, away from the corrosive grip Christianity, religion and its minions once had over our individuality, our free-thought and our independence, away from the reign of kings and queens, away from the world of accepted slavery, feudalism and apartheid, and away from the male paternalism and uneducated fantasy we were once imprisoned by. It is progress, more than anything else, which has guided us away from dark ages and unenlightened existence, away from ingrained barbarism and primitiveness.
Progress enabled us to penetrate, after centuries of devastating control by organized religion, the incredible possibilities of the mind. As such, upon escaping the dungeons and the shackles placed at our feet and arms for so many centuries, humanity took a great leap forward, making a once sequestered western world, full of controlled thought and persecuted progress, a launching pad of talent, ability, creativity and opportunity. Progress was free once more to continue guiding us along our journey in time, helping us in the long and arduous path toward whatever destiny awaits us.
As the Church began to crumble humanity began to rise, building itself from the rubble of corrosive impediment a tower of all-encompassing enlightenment. Humankind’s indelible talents and abilities, with our ceaseless quest for knowledge and perpetual drive forward burst open in society a desire to understand a world that had been denied us for too long. Finally, humanity was able, now free of biblical bondage, to continue on its sojourn of self-discovery, emancipated from primitive myth and fable, now bound only by the limits of our own abilities. Without the pervasive control gripping us to the confines of ignorance and manipulative conditioning, humanity’s potential became limitless, without constraints or persecutions, and soon fictions gave way to reality, lies disappeared in an avalanche of truth and humanity was able to continue on its inevitable road to progress.
A withering flower, denied centuries of sunlight, water and nutrients, suddenly began to blossom with the advent of enlightenment. Human creativity and free-thought exploded like never before, and the world began witnessing a profound change in society. The printing press transformed knowledge, allowing the many to learn what was once reserved to the few. Science began questioning and indeed destroying established dogma that had for years captured the minds of the masses. The rise of the individual, with diverse thought and abilities, with astounding creativity now free to unleash wonders never before seen, began interpreting the way we saw ourselves and our environments.
The evolution of music, art, writing and technology made manifest a world that had been denied the ever-curious and inquisitive human mind. This change could be seen in philosophy, education and science, in architecture, food and entertainment. It was everywhere, rampant throughout humanity, rewriting society, rethinking what was then known, uncovering the wonders of nature and the origins of man, forever rocketing humanity into the zenith of knowledge. The road to understanding who and what we are, the beauty and balances of nature, the universal laws of existence and ever-better ways to improve civilization had thus been opened.
This was progress, free once again after centuries of imprisonment, and while it was far from perfect, while still not universally implemented, accepted or quickly spread onto all castes, while fought ardently by enemies of change, it nonetheless became a monumental step in the continued evolution of human civilization.
Our present is today a result of this re-awakening, of a past that resurrected itself due to the strength of human advancement that could not be suppressed indefinitely, no matter how hard biblical zealotry tried to arrest the inevitable move forward by a growing human quest for understanding. The rape of knowledge, the hijacking of education, the wish to return to the ways of the past is in the long run as useless as a squared wheel. From the past comes the present, the present does not become the past. We move forward, as all things do, learning from years gone by, certainly, though forever growing with the passage of time and as always recognizing that society grows and evolves towards better things, it does not regress back to backwardness.
With each new generation progress advances, leaving behind the ways of those now gone as it embraces the ways of those now living. Like an unstoppable freight train its momentum grows, absorbing new ideas and beliefs, embracing different perspectives and thoughts, evolving with time to better suit the needs and desires of a society’s citizens. It is evolution at its best, clear proof that life is evolution, whether in human civilization or natural selection. Change is a needed ingredient in any form of energy, improving, mutating, surviving and thriving. Those entities that fail to change, those that fail to evolve and progress get left behind, becoming historical casualties lost to the sands of time. The resting place of those who fail to progress is an all too familiar junkyard gathering historical rust, a grave unforgiving to both man’s follies and nature’s rejects. Just ask the Catholic Church, other archaic religions now vanished, civilizations lost, ancient cities destroyed and the millions of species now extinct.
By simply embracing change in society, whether in upgrading a home, a car, a television or a computer, whether we heal using advances in medicine or feast on the splendors of modern day food, whether we adapt clothing fashions to those of the present or embrace new forms of music, we are contributing to human societal evolution. In deciding to live in today’s world we are accepting the idea of evolution, of a changing culture always shifting, always moving to new endeavors and ideas. It is all around us, an all encompassing reality, a manifestation of centuries built upon the foundations of centuries, of small primitive villages giving way to mammoth metropolises, of 100 story towers replacing pyramids, of cave paintings giving way to the Internet, of tribes giving way to the nation state, and, if we survive into the future, to the inevitable coming together of the world entire.
It is progress, as inevitable as night and day, that we see in the world of today, exported from the vast universe, itself a constantly evolving behemoth, as well as from the natural world we diminish more each passing day. It exists in our civilization, free to move us forward in time with each arrival of a new generation and the passing of another.
The Enemies of Progress
Ideologies of backwardness, stagnation and regression, of maintaining the status quo, on the other hand, do not adjust to the vibrant energies of modernity and advancement, and so fall behind, becoming displaced and unwanted creations whose time to die has arrived. It is for this reason that the enemies of progress choose to fight, for in the extinction of their ideas their power vanishes. In the death of their belief system the control they once possessed evaporates, and impotent creatures they thus become, trampled by changes they abhor and suffocating under the weight of a world thriving without their manipulations.
The agents of backwardness and primitiveness, those that were once able to rule and control through the unenlightenment of the masses, are rendered inconsequential in a land whose progress has passed over them. This is what they fear and this is why they fight, oftentimes ruthlessly, to maintain their power through the hindrance of progressive thought and evolutionary energy. Progress destroys their foundations, it erodes the belief structure used to control the masses, and, with each new burst of collective knowledge learned by society, their grip on power evaporates. This the enemies of change and progress cannot stand, and so wage guerilla war to preserve the status quo and the backward-thinking, primitive-laden zealotry that has worked to preserve both their way of life and control over so many people.
Those whose interests lie in sabotaging progress will never stop in their quest to subvert the evolution of human thought or the progressive inevitability of humanity. For centuries they have persecuted, banished, castigated, ridiculed, imprisoned, exterminated, excommunicated, disappeared, murdered and ruined those agents of change and advancement. It is those who have everything to lose and nothing to gain from progress that fight strongest to destroy it. And so, with threats to their power and control, under siege from an ever-losing battle, the enemies of change become desperate, capable of human wickedness in order to regain all they have lost. Yet these remnants of false prophets, fictitious beliefs, robber barons, exploiters, oppressors, capitalists, criminals and murderers are waging a losing – albeit ferocious – assault on progressive thought in America.
We of progressive inclinations must not allow these charlatans to gain the upper hand. They refuse to see progress for what it is, instead choosing to regress back to what they once were. America is today vastly different than two decades ago. It is an entirely different world than the America of the Founding Fathers, just as it will be a completely different, impossible to fathom nation 200 year from now. Today’s America is diverse, like no nation or empire ever has been, full of color and vibrancy, culture and universality, an amalgam of humanity. It is now open to fifty percent of the population that for too long has been relegated to the periphery of a male dominated world, their incredible talents and abilities sequestered, their opportunity squashed.
Society and culture are different, as is governance, yet the enemies of progress would have us live according to the precepts of primitive thought and archaic times, when flatulence was a sign from God, Earth was created in six days and man lived in peaceful co-existence with dinosaurs. They would have us discard the wonders of science for the fallacies of fables, having us believe in the comical denial of ego rather than the obvious descent from primates. They would like to return us to the Dark Ages, when to possess free-thought was considered heresy and when searching for knowledge led to burning at the stakes.
The enemies of progress fear homosexuality and their unions, as if gay marriage will further erode an already devastated and dying institution. They fear freedom of choice and of mind for women, as if male paternalism is the best arbiter in deciding a women’s destiny. They fear knowledge and education, for wisdom is their greatest enemy, a kryptonite that weakens their power and control over the masses. They fear sexual revolution and enjoyment, as if too much pleasure cannot be achieved in this world. Simply, they fear the progress of humankind, of our minds and bodies, our emotions and desires, our wants and needs. They fear people of color, for to the enemies of progress blacks belong in plantations or ghetto reservations. They fear immigrants who might one day soon escape their bondage to the American taxpayer, thus becoming members of WASP nation.
Everywhere one looks the enemies of progress can be seen, homophobic, xenophobic, progressophobic and evolophobic, all unenlightened and ignorant, trapped by the chains of hereditary conditioning and the brainwashing of fundamentalist extremism. Because of their tremendous shortcomings, they fear anything different than them, anything that symbolizes change and progress. The fear is obvious in their desperation, reeking out their pores. They want nothing more than to return America to what it can never be, to times that never existed.
For America was always a nation of change, of progress, of evolution. What the enemies of progress fail to see is that America has from its inception been a nation of evolution, its society and culture progressing according to its environment and ever-changing face. America has succeeded because of progressive thought, because it always sought to move ahead, not regress back. The Founding Fathers could never envisage what was to come, much like we cannot see what the future holds, yet the greatness of this nation is that progress has guided us in time, through dark days and cold nights, leading its glowing candle of light to the vivacity of today, with incredible diversity, talent and potential.
This, the enemies of progress fail to understand, and is why they will fail, just as they always do, to rein in the unstoppable freight train named progress.
An Inevitable Truth
Modern civilization, with all its faults, all its violence and wars, all its inhumanity, its inequality and injustice, is not perfect, but it is progressive and it is leading us, however slowly, towards a better place, a better humanism. One has only to look at the world around us. The world of yesterday no longer exists, it no longer has power over us, it loses more ground every day. We no longer live in caves or in dark ages; progressive thought supercedes regressive ideology, we comprehend the world in realities and truths, not fables and myths. Earth is no longer the center of the universe; we now comprehend how we came to be and slowly we are coming to the realization of who we are and what damage we do onto ourselves and the planet.
Many people have surpassed the mechanisms of control, many more are becoming aware, escaping the parameters of fictitious belief, embracing the realism of nature and science, gaining wisdom from freedoms once lost, evolving as individuals by discarding dogma based on faith and the exploitative manipulations of those profiting and empowering themselves through human unenlightenment. Everything in society continues to evolve, always forward, letting go of extinct traditions, becoming grander in knowledge, more learned to science, far more empathetic to our fellow humans and more aware of the world and its inhabitants around us. We still have a long way to go, however, yet one thing will always remain: progress, there to guide us forward, making society a better place and bringing humanity closer together.
Today is a result of progress, of humanity’s refusal to bestow onto itself dark ages and medieval backwardness. For what is history but progress, always advancing, rarely retreating, always seeking answers according to our collective intelligence and quest for knowledge. Human civilization is advancement, an evolution of society that, though at times might find itself sequestered, never fails to defeat the forces of regressive thought. Over and over again, since the dawn of human existence, progress and backwardness have fought in open hostility, battling for human civilization. Every time, progress has been victorious. Indeed, we would not be living present day society without a triumphant progress raising its proud and colorful flag in victory. Its conquest over the forces of regression and primitiveness is a constant over time, and no matter how dire the world might look, no matter the power of malevolent leadership, no matter how enormous the odds might appear, progress always finds a way. Always. It is a given in life, as constant as rain and sun, and it always reappears to guide human existence past murky waters of times past and into new horizons, using the energy and thoughts of young generations, as well as the experience of those past and aged, to fuse together a more progressive, freer, liberal way of living.
Despite tremendous obstacles placed by our own human frailty, our own bad judgments and errors, our self-defeating actions, our mammalian instincts and emotions, and by the enemies of change who wish for nothing more than to impede the flow of gushing rivers of human advancement with giant dams and barriers of backwardness, progress has survived. In fact, it will outlast us, serving the interests of the next species to dominate the planet, helping it evolve towards betterment, helping the earth, sky and waters regenerate from the devastation unleashed by mankind. We cannot claim a monopoly on progress, for it existed before us, and will certainly be present after us. All we can do is embrace it, for it is leading us towards a better tomorrow.
In progress can we see history, and in history can we see progress. It is inevitable, as real as the moon and stars, a stalwart energy that, like all forms of evolution, leads to betterment. So do not fear the enemies of change, delusional in belief they remain, their cause is and has always been lost. Yet we must fight their attempts, for progress needs assistance in defeating their overzealous ignorance and growing power. We must not cave in, we must not relent, we must wage battle, for in the end, history and its truths are with us.
Manuel Valenzuela is social critic and commentator, international affairs analyst, Internet columnist and author of Echoes in the Wind, a novel now on sale by Authorhouse.com. A collection of essays, Beyond the Smoking Mirror: Reflections on America and Humanity, will be published in early 2005. His articles appear in alternative news websites and you can find him regularly on http://www.informationclearinghouse.info. His unique style and powerful writing is read internationally and seeks to expose truths and realities confronting humanity today. Mr. Valenzuela welcomes comments and can be reached at email@example.com. A diverse collection of many of his essays and articles can be found below:
Mr. Valenzuela´s new novel is now on sale. Almost 600 pages in trade paperback form on sale internationally through secure web page transaction. In one month this title will be available on amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com. Also, if preferred, the novel can now be ordered at any local bookstore worldwide through its ISBN number (found on the sales webpage).