History of popular progressive topics and ideas

Modern progressive activists often act as if the causes they support are radically new. However, most of them go back decades, and some have been around for centuries in one form or another. One well-known example of this is the drive to expose the genocide of Native Americans. In modern times, this takes the form of protests over the use of Native American lands, or why we celebrate certain public holidays. However, references to the dispossession and abuse of Native Americans have appeared in the literature at least since the 1800’s (including a reference in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein). Another example is the term "intersectionality" itself, which was invented in the 1980’s but didn’t achieve widespread usage until the past few years. Just how far back do the various progressive concepts and causes go–and, by extension, if they’ve been with us for so long how come change hasn’t come faster?

  • Interestingly, it seems that one can trace back Foucalt's concerns about power and knowledge back to Aquinas, and scepticism to David Hume. It seems that we tend to re-enact history, though not as farce as Marx once put it. – RedFlame2000 3 years ago

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