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Grateful in Baltimore

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The news out of Baltimore suggests some interesting lessons about the possibilities for meliorism. That’s what Boston intellectuals called their belief in progress, in the days before the relevant part of metaphysics became known, first as liberalism, and, recently, as progressivism. Ralph Waldo Emerson, William James, John Dewey and Martin Luther King Jr. were meliorists. The news from Baltimore had seemed pretty bleak until Friday, when a 35-year-old city prosecutor brought charges against six police officers involved in the death of Freddie Gray last month. An attorney for the Fraternal Order of Police in Baltimore complained of an “egregious rush