Beginning with the Spanish American War, that civil religion inspired the "Progressive imperialism of the Teddy Roosevelt sort; Wilsonianism or liberal internationalism; Cold War containment; and global meliorism
Progressives were divided into those who saw progressivism through the lens of "child study and development," those who were interested in promoting "social efficiency and industrial order," and those whose primary concern was "social meliorism
In the 1957 edition of The President: Office and Powers, Corwin offered a backhand compliment to his former student: "Professor Rossiter, whose work on The American Presidency became a classic on publication, teaches, in effect, that the presidency is pervaded with a principle of meliorism
that guarantees that it will always be just right.
The alternative, a strict and narrow efficiency view of progress, was a fundamentally immoral one, as The School demonstrated by equating progressivist visions not grounded in social meliorism
with Nazism; in the editorial article, the journal's editors argued that civic cooperation, social justice, and intelligent activity were hallmarks of democracy, whereas Nazi society submitted citizens to their rulers as if they were animals to be trained:
The leaders rejected the soft meliorism
of more secular activists, the idea that significant progress could be made through consciousness-raising and education campaigns, through consensus and gradual reform.
Throughout the rest of the book, Stroud builds on his reading of Dewey by drawing a link between aesthetic experience and Dewey's corresponding projects of meliorism
is defined as the acceptance of the "existing capitalist-individualist social order", while working within this frame work to correct certain abuses.
He describes the themes of the reforms in terms of specific orientations that interpreted them: active learning in the context of child study and developmental psychology; individualized instruction in terms of social efficiency and industrial order; and connecting schools to contemporary society, in the context of social meliorism
, democratic education, and cooperation.
resides in the second of these standards as it does in the first.
There was, of course, the other side concerning this issue, namely, the reformers who rejected this application of Darwinian thought in favor of political and social meliorism
The conflict between optimism and gloom--between a forward-looking, New World meliorism
and a much darker, more tragic and backward-looking vision which we might associate with Europe and the past (22)--is a familiar element of an American narrative tradition which owes as much or more to Hawthorne as it does to Emerson, but the Bascombe trilogy replays this long-running conflict in a new and distinctive way.
One potential solution is to regard pluralism and radical empiricism as two different names for the same philosophical position, a metaphysical worldview that entails a pluralistic as opposed to monistic view of the basic "stuff" or substances that compose reality (in other words, ontological pluralism, or the "each-form" view of reality) as well as a commitment to a pluralistic version of pantheism, (27) belief in a finite God, (28) panpsychism, (29) and meliorism