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Fugitive DemocracyAnd Other Essays$
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Sheldon S. Wolin and Nicholas Xenos

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780691133645

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691133645.001.0001

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From Progress to Modernization

From Progress to Modernization

(p.348) Chapter 18 From Progress to Modernization
Fugitive Democracy

Sheldon S. Wolin

, Nicholas Xenos
Princeton University Press

Since the beginning of its modern history, the idea of progress functioned as a political critique directed against the power-wielding institutions of monarchy, aristocracy, and church. Progress quickly became the personal property of liberalism, even though there was no necessary connection between the two. Just as “left” and “progressive” became virtually interchangeable terms, so “conservative” and “antiprogressive” were widely regarded as synonymous. This chapter suggests that these historical identities are now in a process of realignment. The left's historic monopoly on change is being successfully challenged and conservatism is emerging as the party of progress. These shifts signal that a profound change is taking place in the meaning of progress.

Keywords:   political theory, liberalism, conservatism, progress, liberals, conservatives

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