The article explores the idea of social progress in the context of the history of human society. The author considers the concept of progress in interrelation with the three revolutions. The first revolution was an agrarian one, which established the dominant religious consciousness and dependence on the divine intervention. Accordingly, the idea of progress as opposed to the perfection of God was not dominant. The world of nature is born, develops, and dies. This approach prevailed for about seven thousand years: from the first civilizations to the XV - XVIII centuries. According to the Judeo-Christian tradition, after the fall, the world fell away from God. This understanding corresponds to the primordial approach and is also opposite to the idea of progress. In the Renaissance, the secularization of consciousness and culture begins. Culture and values are formed on the basis of religious Judeo-Christian values, but a man becomes the bearer and guarantor of these values. The ideas of humanism and worshipping of a human being as the main creator are reflected in philosophy, art, and painting. In accordance with this approach, the idea of progress is born. The idea of progress is fully formed and takes possession of the masses in the age of Enlightenment. During this period, the industrial revolution is taking place. In European culture, the primacy of rationality, machine labor and equality is asserted. But at the same time, the industrial revolution entailed many social crises that are still relevant today. The United States and Europe were gradually able to overcome the challenges of the industrial revolution and create a system of “capitalism with a human face”, while partially imposing their system on other countries where production is cheaper. Therefore, the problems of the so-called “wild capitalism” still take place in the third world countries.
By the middle of the XX century, science became the leading factor in manufacturing. Society is changing from industrial to post-industrial. The article focuses on the problems and opportunities of the modern post-industrial society with all the accumulated baggage of the previous stages of development. Humanity has achieved great technological success, and the scientific and technological revolution has brought material benefits to society. But at the same time, the consumer society creates many problems. What is progress in the context of modern discourse? The answer to this question is the purpose of this article.