How Does Industrial Progress Cause Social Progress?

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Progress: such an ominous word. The world sees it and shudders, out of admiration, fear, or both. Some see it in a positive light, as a force that brings about constructive changes in today’s society. Others, however, view progress as causing a host of problems, including environmental damage. Industrial progress does cause environmental damage, but social progress does not necessarily do so. The claim that environmental harm is an inescapable part of progress and raised standards of living cannot be addressed with a simple yes or no answer. Progress may be a simple word, but it is by no means a simple concept. The word progress automatically cues images of technology, medicine, and industry. It is viewed as a way to make everything bigger,…show more content…
Yes, a few cases of societal advancement may cause environmental damage. Solving the hunger problem, for example, could require shipping large quantities of food overseas, which would increase air pollution. Generally, though, progressing socially causes more good than harm. It does zero environmental damage to allow women to vote, to fight for religious freedom, or to allow democracy in liberty-deprived nations. The human race has already made much social progress, with no proof of environmental damage whatsoever. Some forms of social progress can even benefit the environment. One good example is the reduction of corruption. According to The Hill, because corrupt leaders tend to slacken and not enforce regulations, corruption “leads to worsened environmental outcomes including increased emissions, higher rates of deforestation, and increased depletion of natural resources” (Cottrell). If corruption is reduced, less environmental damage is done, in addition to the elevated standard of living in that…show more content…
The use of the word “worldwide” suggests an assumption that progress is needed everywhere, which is doubtful. Worldwide progress is not always a necessity. Development is not needed everywhere, but only in certain locations. It is clear that progress is a must for some people, but it is inaccurate to assume that everyone requires it. According to Marian Tupy, “As long as there are people who go hungry or die from preventable diseases, there will always be room for improvement” (Tupy). The important qualification in this statement, though, is which people are going hungry and dying from preventable diseases. It isn’t the upper class of the richer countries, but the people of the developing countries. Progress is a necessity for those who are starving, suffering from avoidable illnesses, or are lacking basic human rights. Progress is not so vital, however, for those living with an abundance of healthy food, medicine, and liberty. It is by no means a negative thing that many people have happy, healthy lives; it is really quite wonderful. Since life is so wonderful for certain people, though, the human race should focus not on worldwide growth, but instead consider only the places that truly need

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