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Assignment Questions

Issues in the Book Victims of Progress

John Bodley ends his book, “Victims of Progress”, with the following paragraph:

“If we realistically assess the present condition of the culture of consumption, it seems likely that this culture, too, will disappear- also a victim of progress, but after a very brief and preposterous career. The important question is: How will the culture of consumption go? Will it be forced to gradually transform itself into a new primitive culture, or will it go out with a total, catastrophic collapse. leaving a shattered world from which a new primitive culture will painfully evolve? Om either event, it may be predicted that in the long run, if humanity survives, primitive culture will be restored as the most viable human adaptation.”

In this statement the author affirms his belief that the present culture of consumption is heading for a fall. While the exact nature of the solution to the dilemmas that humanity is presently confronting. At the same time, he asserts that in many respects we ourselves (as members of large-scale societies) are also victims of progress.

I would like you to address these three issues:
1) what exactly does Bodley mean by the term “victims of progress”?
2) how and in what ways can we be victims of progress if we are not members of small-scale societies?
3) what aspects of the life of small-scale societies should be part of the solution to the problems that humanity is presently facing?

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