From Mises Wiki, the global repository of classical-liberal thought
Progress is headway made toward accomplishing goals. It is evident that there has been much progress over the last few centuries, with the Industrial Revolution enabling a population boom and rising standards of living. It also evident that during certain periods of history, there has been retrogression, as when the Greek and Roman societies of antiquity decayed and collapsed. Ludwig von Mises notes, "The good cause will not triumph merely on account of its reasonableness and expediency. Only if men are such that they will finally espouse policies reasonable and likely to attain the ultimate ends aimed at, will civilization improve and society and state render men more satisfied, although not happy in a metaphysical sense. Whether or not this condition is given, only the unknown future can reveal." There is a tension between ideologies that seek to prevent retrogression through central control in an effort to achieve security, and ideologies that encourage freedom that can lead to progress.