Bill Maher kicked off a cultural meme a few weeks ago with a segment on his popular show Real Time where he skewered the cultural left for progressophobia, which he defined as “situational blindness, except what you can’t see is that your dorm room in 2021 is better than the South before the Civil War.”
In this episode, I map the idea of progress in our culture. Maher’s comments were widely praised in the mainstream media, from Morning Joe Scarborough on MSNBC (center left) to Peggy Noonan at the Wall Street Journal (center right). Together these represent the modern worldview (orange altitude). Traditionalists (blue/amber altitude) see no progress in this wicked world, only the opportunity for redemption or transcendence. Progressives (green altitude), who also have a fallen-world narrative, see the idea of progress as an insult to all who continue to suffer.
The arising integral stage has a chance to revalorize the message of progress. Not as a march to a triumphal future, but as the ever-widening circle of moral consideration we have, individually and collectively, for each other and all aspects of our world. Onward to upward!
On a personal note, many of you may know that our Brother Terry Patten, who I have worked with and hosted on the Daily Evolver many times, is fighting a battle with cancer. I invite you to join me and many of his friends and fans in supporting him at his GoFundMe site.
~ Jeff Salzman