Western ideas of progress and their impact on humanity
How colonialism, industrialisation and slavery reshaped our world
Dr Rishi Handa
When an interviewer once asked Gandhi, "What do you think of western civilisation?", he replied, "I think it would be a very good idea". This essay explores notions of ‘Western progress’ tracking some of the great turning points in its history, including colonialism, industrialisation and slavery. Taking the historical values and technological advanced of Europe as a starting point, it explores the unrelenting emphasis on economic progress and the derivations of individualistic and imperial values, dating back to Christian and ancient Greek influences. Have these influences led to the ongoing conflicts, instability and unsustainability of the human race?