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Thanks for your interest in The Developmentalist. Our goal is to honor and integrate the bedrock values of all three major American cultures: traditional, modern, and progressive. Notwithstanding the culture war, we believe these distinct sets of values can be reconciled and harmonized for the greater good of our country.

Here’s a list of some of the progressive values and political goals we seek to forward:

• Protecting the environment and reducing carbon pollution

• Championing social justice, multiculturalism, and worldcentric morality

• Promoting feminism and LGBTQ equality

• Atoning for America’s historical crimes and misdeeds

This is a partial list of what we call Caring Values, which have greatly expanded the scope of our nation’s moral concern. We see Caring Values as essential to what we call the “progressive worldview.” If you would like to suggest additional Caring Values, or make a comment about the best aspects of progressivism, please click on the button below or comment at the bottom of this page. We will highlight selected comments at the bottom of this page.

We want to help modernists and traditionalists better appreciate the important role that Caring Values play in our national culture. And we likewise want to help progressives better appreciate the upsides of traditionalist Heritage Values, as well as modernist Liberty Values and Fairness Values. If this sounds interesting, we invite you to explore these relevant thought pieces on our website:

Regardless of your take on the “developmental perspective,” considering the bedrock values of those you disagree with can make you a more effective advocate for the values you hold dear. Reflecting on the values of our political opponents can also help de-escalate the culture war so that our disagreements can become productive again.

Showing 5 comments
  • Adam Singer

    Let’s please include the project of greater integration of certain indigenous wisdom and ethics into the mainstream “American way.” This wisdom goes beyond environmental preservation and contains entire ways of thinking, refined through thousands of years of trial and error, that can genuinely help our culture out of its rut. It is a precious resource to help us on our way forward.

    • Libby Comeaux

      Adam and George, thank you for naming the fundamental worldview on this continent, one perhaps recently emerging into political discourse. My suggestion would be to include it as a separate worldview and ask Indigenous Peoples to populate it and give it voice. As its description is clarified, then policy proposals can strive to include its values and test the strength of the proposal by how well it supports those values.

  • George Brown

    I agree fully with Adam’s comment. I find your approach very useful but it really does leave out indigenous wisdom and values. I think it is a project for the Institute to include in it’s work plan! Great new site!

  • Cathy Russell

    Progressives care for all people, including the growing epidemic numbers who die “deaths of despair.” In 2019, over 156,000 people died via suicide, alcohol, or drug overdose, the so-called “deaths of despair.” The majority of these deaths were among White men, who died at a rate of 120 per 100,000. Anne Case and Angus Deaton first noticed this trend of white men dying at an alarming rate in their 2015 paper, “Rising morbidity and mortality in midlife among white non-Hispanic Americans in the 21st century.” Case and Deaton also noted that in addition to deaths were parallel declines in physical and mental health, increased chronic pain, and inability to work. Black men also suffer deaths of despair at an unacceptably high rate, but at half the rate of White men. Case and Deaton attribute deaths of despair to lost economic opportunities. This explains deaths among men in general, but not among White men. Could it be that years of hearing about toxic white masculinity has created an epidemic of terminal despair among men?
    Everyone cares about the tragic deaths of 250 Black men shot every year by police and the 7500 Blacks murdered. But who is caring for the 156,000 killed by despair? Progressives care for all people. Progressives look at gender and race to gain clues about the problem in order to solve the problem.

    • Libby Comeaux

      Thank you, Cathy, for bringing this data forward. Progressive caring values extend to the white male “deaths of despair” – and suggest a change in framing conversations about historic practices and policies. Somehow, there needs to be an accurate historic understanding of patterns that led to large-scale racialized wealth gaps, patterns that were government sponsored and so need some sort of government corrective. This is a different conversation from blaming white men born long after those systems were set in place and who, incidentally, may suffer from a differently-implemented wealth gap themselves. This is a complex problem that does not lend itself to brief responses, but an important one, and I’m grateful that you raise it.

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