The Cromer Terrace blog - for independent graduate perspectives on Current Affairs, Cultural Issues and The Arts
Friday, 22 June 2012
The Progress Trap?
A powerful feature-length documentary on the nature of progress and how a narrow definition of the term is having severe consequences for human kind and the planet. This is highly recommended watching that will put the fiscal crisis and our other first-world problems in a bit of perspective. More than just an environmental film, 'Surviving Progress' draws together different elements such as the intricacies of human psychology, the 'science' of economics, the nature of debt and the collapse of the great historical civilisations. The documentary questions the very nature of traditional economics, which is leading us to the precipice of self-destruction in the name of individual accumulation. The result is a thought-provoking (and hopefully practice-changing) film that presents the paradox of economic development; the most needy are reliant on environmental destruction to pay their debts to the banks, and the western world to sustain our lifestyle. It argues therefore that economics is a flawed science, with no grounding in the natural world, and that our psychological emphasis on short-term benefit could lead us into a new dark age, such as consumed Europe after the fall of the Roman Empire. 'Progress' is taken as a fundamental constant: In fact 'regression' has been probably more frequent in human history. We are beginning to develop the engineering capacity of Gods; we need now to develop the moral capacity and longer-term vision of God if we are to survive.