Progress, the name itself is deceptive. With the ‘pro’ affix, we are conditioned to think it being a positive thing. Progress, in and of itself is the act of moving forward. Whether or not it is positive progress or negative progress remains to be seen.
As humans, we are still in the youth of our civilization, the infancy of our potential progress. A chief problem for the human race is the habitual nature to hold on to the same ideals that offered positive progress at one point and hoping to continue to force positive progress using the same line of thinking. Take the global political arena for example, we are still in the pre-World War 2 mindset that we have to protect what is ours, damning the rest. A very individualistic mindset. That was useful at the time because technology wouldn’t allow us to interact universally with those around the globe. Restrictions in travel and communication forced us to form collective groupings of individuals for survival. Humans are pack animals, after all. This economic, social, technological experiment we have run these past two-hundred plus years has failed and we need to take a step back, reevaluate the system we have and move forward only when we have gotten a control on our destructive, over consumption.
The same ideal applies with religions. They were useful in a time when people needed to find others “like them” who shared the same ideal to survive. There is a reason religion and religious dogma is still revered, even one-hundred years after the industrial revolution, cognitive dissonance and tradition. Tradition being the chief perpetrator of such a reality. Ideals, outdated and illogical, passed on from one generation to the next; this is how tradition cripples the positive progress of humanity.
If we humans do not look at and learn from the past, we are doomed to repeat past failures again and again, albeit with very different circumstances. Looking back at the societal norms before the rise of the Roman empire, if a society’s debt grew too large to repay, they simply wiped it out, starting over. With the rise of the Roman empire, they decided against cancelling the debts and sought collections from the countries with whom they had loans. Thus the wartimes of ancient Rome began and ultimately their downfall.