Progressivism is a political view that rose in popularity in the Western world during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries that believed that progress was being stifled by vast economic inequality between the rich and the poor, seeing what they perceived to be laissez-faire capitalism with out-of-control monopolistic corporations, intense and often violent conflict between workers and capitalists, and a need for measures to address these problems. Early progressivism was also tied to eugenics and social Darwinism, which resulted in various policies that favoured certain races and classes over others.
Modern progressivism, referred to as regressivism by critics, is characterised by support for or advocacy of social reform that on the surface would appear to have good intentions, however in practice would result in regression to a former or less developed state of affairs. Like previous forms of progressivism, the modern day form preoccupies itself with issues of race and sex, with identity politics introducing gender and sexuality into the mix.
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