The thesis of the book The Poverty of Progress is clearly defined by the author, E. Bradford Burns.The thesis illustrates the struggle between the minority elitist and the majority poor lower-class.The elite benefited from the progress at the expense of the majority.
This book proves that the idea that Latin America grew with the implementation of the European ideals of progress, urbanization, and industrialization.In fact, only the elite flourished with these ideals at the expense of the majority poor.Burns states in his book that he believes that modernization was ultimately the downfall for Latin America because it did not benefit the majority of its people. Burns presents his case in a very organized way with very enlightening information.He calls for a reconsideration of and probing of the traditional association of modernization with better living standards.He builds the argument in a well thought-out method that builds the development of the social disagreement.
Early on in the book in thefirst chapter he shows his belief that the problems associated with modernization were due to a cultural conflict rather than a class struggle.With this in mind, Burns begins by discussing the division between the modernizing elites, who associated progress with capitalism, and the poor majority, who felt threatened by the capitalist system as it opposed their old, well-established traditions of accord and cooperation. The elite of Latin America had very different ideals and beliefs from the majority poor.
The elite believed in the ideals of individuality and competition.They believed in Social Darwinism, Positivism, and the Enlightenment.The elites pushed for aspects of modernization such as industrialization which came at the expense of the poor.Burns then turns to the ideals of the majority in his book by expressing their view points on the opposition of modernization with eh discussi.