LOOKING BACK ON PROGRESS
Most of us are deeply committed to the cult of change. We believe in the essential beneficence of progress. We deal piecemeal with the frightening range of new problems which increasingly beset our society, but the assumptions underlying the ideology of progress are seldom seriously called in question. It is becoming increasingly urgent that these assumptions should be questioned dispassionately and with a real desire to see the truth. The author does not set out to deal with every aspect of our exceedingly involved situation. Rather he stands back and looks at that situation from various points of view, relating each to his central theme. The penetrating clarity and freshness of the pictures presented to the reader cannot fail to contribute to a better understanding of the ideology of progress, both as to its origins and as to its tendencies in the world of today. In the absence of some such understanding, even the most well intentioned actions are likely to be undertaken in vain. By him, too, the procedure of taking the reader along by steps so tiny as barely to suggest a shift of position is carried to a fine art; by the time a few such steps have been taken without incident it will probably be too late to turn back, since a new awareness will have begun to dawn inspiring a wish for more. Such is his dialectical method, applied at all times with a disarming absence of anything that might suggest a wish to sting; assuredly if love of one’s neighbour and respect for his natural feelings can be implacable in its own way, here is an example.