The Engine of Progress


Written by Joseph Dunsay. After earning a Masters of Science in Ecology and Evolution, Joseph Dunsay became a science writer for international audiences. Find more Jewrotica writing by Joseph here.

Rated PG-13
A collectivist view of national economies prevailed a century ago during the Progressive Era. Proponents of this perspective considered each nation to be an entity in competition with other nations. They advocated mercantilism to the detriment of their national economies due to a misguide interpretation of evolution. Upon reading the works of Darwin, philosophers such as Carl Marx concluded that society would improve through the progressive evolution of nations. The leaders of the Russian Revolution established a new Soviet Union that ruled harshly in the name of progress.

Ayn Rand fled to the Crimea as a child with her middle class family after the Russian Revolution devastated them. After returning to St. Petersburg, which had be rechristened Petrograd, she studied history. Her coursework in American history and politics introduced her to American individualism. It appealed to her as an alternative to the collectivism found in Russian society. Rand immigrated to America to pursue her career as a screenwriter, novelist, and philosopher.

Ayn Rand’s fictional works, such as We the Living, The Fountain Head, and Atlas Shrugged, featured bold productive characters who made self-actualization and productivity their goals in life. Romance between characters was based on mutual desire rather than constant need. True to her Objectivist ideals, the protagonists of Ayn Rand’s novels sought mutually beneficial relationships whether in the economic sphere or the family sphere. They were capitalists in the streets and sex-positive in the sheets.

Rational self-interest bound by honesty and nonviolence is the foundation of Objectivist morality. It assumes that people are born with blank slates for minds that experience writes on without any need to overcome original sin. Objectivists see desire as good and encourage people to find nonviolent was to fulfill their desires though a combination of hard work, wisdom, and mutually beneficial interactions with others. They believe that a mind improves itself through learning as one overcomes challenges and recovers from mistakes. Rather than suggest that society should evolve through competition between nations, they expect each individual to evolve through maturing neural circuitry that encodes the wisdom gained through experiences.

After the fall of the Soviet Union, global leaders advanced international trade and economic freedom in the hopes of securing economic well being for humanity. The results of this experiment in capitalism are heartwarming. The website, Human Progress tracks the massive success humanity has achieved in the past few generations. Metric after metric show life getting better for humanity. For example, farmland is becoming more productive, the cost of building homes is declining, and medical breakthroughs are entering the market. The data suggests that the best way to spur innovations so that humans can live better lives is to grant economic freedom and property rights thereby motivating inventors to unleash their creative potential.

After earning a Masters of Science in Ecology and Evolution, Joseph Dunsay became a science writer for international audiences. His LGBT erotic e-book launched in the summer of 2015.