‘Progressives' would like to see things change (progress), while ‘conservatives’ would like to see them stay as they are (conserve). Each have valid points. However, at what point does progressive politics end? And there must be an end. It isn't possible to continually progress if there is nothing to progress toward.
When an author writes a book, should they get to the end and continue writing it only for it to never be published? When the football match is over, should the players keep playing as if the game is still going? Of course not, if we continue to make changes in the name of progress when we've already reached our goal, we are only creating the illusion of progress. For progressive politics to function, it must have a well-defined goal. Change can set us up perfectly to succeed only to not realise we've won, then that change only enables us to work hard at undoing our achievements. If we fail to recognise when we have achieved our goals, our progressive intentions become regressive.
If progress continues perpetually, it means it can only exist to create an enemy. This is to say, the only reason for not having a vision of what we are progressing to is to perpetuate arguments and create a rivalry. This also serves a purpose, albeit a subjective one. It gives people a function and adds some value to their lives knowing they can fight for something. An ultimately counterintuitive position which is detrimental to the objective goal of sustainable progress as it contradicts the definition of progress.
Now, many would counter by saying we, as a society, are far from what an ideal society looks like. This is undeniably true as there is still a great deal of pain within society. However, the fact that there is such a thing as an ‘ideal society' indicates that there is a clear vision of what it should become, and therefore, there is an end point to the progressive ideology.
The purpose of being progressive is to, one day, become conservative. If we eliminated all disease on earth only to continue to fight disease within the human body, it is most likely we will be fighting the body itself as there is no longer any disease to fight within it. If we (somehow) create a world free from prejudice but continue the fight for equality, our efforts can only serve to diminish the equality we secured.
The Examined Life
by Rhys Hagan
‘The unexamined life isn't worth living.'
To live without examining life is to live without purpose.
The impact of this statement is lost on those who aren't entirely sure what it is to examine a life. For too long, and too often, have I fallen into that category. Doing things because it's what I've always done, saying things without considering the consequences, not saying things because it's not my problem.
I won't say that the idea of 'The Examined Life' is to find my purpose and live more completely, that's simply not true. The reason I'm writing this is to express my existential angst. To discuss the possibility that, perhaps, life has no satisfying purpose.
I plan on asking difficult questions which may not have an answer and addressing sensitive topics like sex and suicide. I'll touch on the multitude of wild things that go through my head but I find difficult to express through conversation. Or things that people just don't want to talk about because it makes them uncomfortable.
Hopefully, I can offer some kind of insight.
Hopefully, I can find some.