Today we live in the world of consumption, overall freedom and ubiquitous conveniences (I mean the most developed countries). High technologies, effective material production, great human capital are things following us this century. Computers, internet, mobile phones, electronics make our life easier and more productive. We have long life expectancy due to good living conditions, advanced medicine saving us from serious diseases and so on…But had we all these earlier? No, we hadn’t. Our life is developing as well as society….We’re facing the progress itself! But what is the progress of our society in reality? It is development, transformation from the lowest to the highest, from the least perfect to the most perfect. It’s eternal capability to perfect human intelligence, science development and, of course, moral development. When we clearly understand what the progress is, we’ll come to conclusion that it’s a very contradictive process especially in the modern society. In one area we have progress but in another one is threatening degradation or regress. And that’s why..
We have all we need and even more. Our jobs are much easier then they were even 20 years ago. We haven’t got to work physically a lot, be covered with dust or soot, dirty up our hands with mazut when lathing… We just sit in our clean offices and look into a monitor. Monitor and keyboard, monitor and keyboard…we need nothing else to work… And we’re glad to this except our eyes…Then the workday is over we get off a chair and get into a comfortable car. The next step is a supermarket. We buy everything we want and we want a lot, more and more every time… The products are relatively cheap because most of them are gene-modified and full of added preservatives. After buying all these cheap and tasty things we come home, eat and have a rest. Our home is full of harmful and radiating electronics which is used by us for “having a rest”. We relax by surfing the internet or watching TV. The last one only offers us foolish popular shows containing improbable but fascinating stories. The only aim of all of these is to attract our attention and make money on us via advertisement. Just to force us to buy more and more useless and harmful things. But we like it…we like the choice. As it seems to us we make our choice independently, for instance what sausage to buy…But we’re mistaken. We choose what we were told from the blue screen. So it’s just an illusion of real choice. We’re managed by governments, mass media and public stereotypes. It’s one more illusion, the illusion of absolute freedom. We think we have all the political freedoms. We have the right to vote and to be elected, to really control the power and run the state. It’s an illusion again. The power isn’t controlled by the public. It’s controlled by different finical and military structures. We’ll never get the truth about real affairs state in our policy, economy, and society.
And what about ecology? Our environment is almost destroyed. You will never find the place in the world not being polluted by humans. We breathe the air full of chemicals, drink water full of industrial wastes and so on. Many species of plants and animals have become extinct. Obviously, that the nature pays us back the same. That’s why there are so many natural disasters such as earthquakes, tsunami, droughts, floods, hurricanes … Today different dangerous diseases are becoming more and more widespread all over the world. AIDS, for instance, is the misfortune of more than 30 million people
There are other serious world problems. One of them is the nuclear weapon spreading. More and more countries develop nuclear kinds of weapon. Even the nuclear supplies of only United States can destroy the whole world in some minutes. And what may happen when access to the nuclear weapons is got by terrorists, we can only imagine. There is a very accurate phrase concerning it said by a scientist answering the question about the third world war, “I don’t know what exactly the third world war will be, but the fourth world war will be with bow and arrows”.
One more problem is the poverty in the least developed countries. Moreover half the world earns not more than 2 dollars a day. People in these countries suffer from hunger. They don’t have access to good education or medical care. Millions of them are dying from infection diseases every year. Even the developed countries try to help them, it doesn’t work properly. The low level of human capital, political instability, huge debts and corruption hold back their development. That’s why this problem isn’t likely to be solved in the nearest future.
So, we see our progress has the opposite side. And this opposite side is so large that it’s difficult to estimate: do we have progress or regress? Of course, our life expectancy is so long but does it matter when anytime we all may be destroyed in one minute by a nuclear bomb? As for the morality, our society is corrupting…it’s not necessary to give an example here because everyone knows what here’s meant.
Thereby it’s difficult to say exactly whether progress or degradation we have now. The obvious progress in technology doesn’t lead to the progress of the whole society automatically because the full progress includes also intelligence and morality development. Although everyone has his or her own criteria of social progress but, nevertheless, it stays quite contradictory.