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Progress is impossible

27 February 2016

Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.

George Bernard Shaw


6 Comments to “Progress is impossible”

  1. “Progress is impossible without” unlearning old falsehoods …

  2. Good words from my distant kinsman. Just thought I’d toss that out there — basically free of any relevance or significance, but yanno.

  3. The fact that he wanted to bring progress with eugenics and dictatorship make the statement quite scary.

  4. Since we’re quoting G.B.S. here, it seems appropriate to give his old nemesis G.K.C. a chance to respond. The latter would say that progress is only possible if you don’t change your mind about what you want to progress towards:

    Silly examples are always simpler; let us suppose a man wanted a particular kind of world; say, a blue world. He would have no cause to complain of the slightness or swiftness of his task; he might toil for a long time at the transformation; he could work away (in every sense) until all was blue. He could have heroic adventures; the putting of the last touches to a blue tiger. He could have fairy dreams; the dawn of a blue moon. But if he worked hard, that high-minded reformer would certainly (from his own point of view) leave the world better and bluer than he found it. If he altered a blade of grass to his favourite colour every day, he would get on slowly. But if he altered his favourite colour every day, he would not get on at all.

    (Orthodoxy, chapter 7.)

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