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Social & Political Philosophy

Progress – Kristina and Mariana

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_democracy

Who gets to influence and define ‘progress’?

Let’s start with influence. Throughout our history the wealthy and the elite have always been the ones to decide how we progress. It was logical, as they were the ones with access to education and to world news outside of their own country. They were more aware and they decided how their own country or state would accept the changes that were happening around them. Therefore they influenced the progress in the area under their control. We can see similar situations even now, in developing countries, though in a more ‘corrupt’ way.  Today people in power exert their will over their nation, often by banning and censoring information.

In western society, it’s not only the wealthy and the elite that have the opportunity to influence progress in their respective countries and the world, now it can be anyone with a computer and access to the internet who can influence the way people think and do things. Today anyone can influence progress, and that should be a good thing, right?

However with issues such as the HST, was it the best option to have every schmuck in Canada be able to give their opinion on this issue and have their opinion influence the future of the tax?

For more information on the HST issue see: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/economy/economy-lab/hst-vote-a-move-in-the-wrong-direction/article616942/

For the second part of our question, who gets to define progress? Who gets to say that we have advanced, or that we haven’t, or that there is something we need to do in order to further improve? Well, we could say everyone will have an opinion on this issue;  whether we are the best we are going to get, or that we are no better than what we were in ancient times, or maybe we need to elect a space alien as prime minister in order to do better.

Most people will think that we have progressed, and that we are better off under a democracy than under any other type of government. And for that reason western societies find it necessary to make sure that every nation ends up as a democracy, no matter how many people or ways of life die in the process. But do countries such as America get to define democracy as progress? Do these countries have that right/power?

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