Human progress cannot be measured by what people produce but by the stages of production. The shift from the development of language in the classical period to religion in the medieval and technical progress after the Renaissance does not tell the whole story. Each of these domains forms an internally consistent system involving people as both agents and subjects of development, and each system tends towards a stifling completeness at its height. Each successive system represents a more primitive need: to communicate, to be at one with the world, to sustain life. As such, each is progressively more universal. But technical progress is not truly systemic, passing by peoples of the underdeveloped world, and requires reflexive thought to bring out this failure, and to integrate technical progress with human progress as a whole.