If you pay attention to progress in a society, you will realize very quickly that nothing useful comes about without great deals of hard work and luck, and that it necessarily moves in a certain direction.
This may seem self-evident. In order to go somewhere, you must have a person going and a direction in which to go. In order to build something, you must have a person (or machine building), and a thing to build.
For the person going, a useful tool is a map (or phone GPS). For the person building, a useful tool is a design or blueprint. For the progress of a society, there must be an equivalent to a map or blueprint. This may be many things – an ideal of stable government and prosperity, or the lucid words of a skilled politician – but I prefer to describe it as a vision.
To revise my earlier statement that progress in a society requires two things, I would add, “Progress that is beneficial to a society requires people working hard and a direction dictated by a clear vision in which to progress.” This statement begs the question, what is the vision our society is working towards? If it is unclear, or is not what you think it could be, what should be our collective goal instead?
I’ll leave that question to you for now.