A fundamental difference in worldviews can be seen in contrast between those who hold to a belief in the concept of the “golden age” and those who adhere to the concept of progress.
The Golden Age premise is that there was, in the past, an ideal civilization from which human society has continuously declined.
“Progress” is the premise that human society is continuously moving towards an ideal civilization.
One concept of ‘the ideal’ is in the past. The other is in the future.
Whichever one a person subscribes to will shape much of their social/political/economic/religious/etc, worldview.
Are we surrounded by building blocks, or by ruins?
Among those who held to the progressiveist, future-positive, conception of human history were Stalin, Lennin, Marx, Hitler, Moa, Pol Pot, Jefferson, Robespierre, Locke, Smith and Cromwell, just to name a few.
Even the Puritans who settled in the new world held to a progressive outlook in their conception of the “city on a hill” motif.
At the root of the “progressive” view is a mad man’s hubris centered on the individual, at any given moment in that person’s time.
It is the belief that a single person has the power, and right, to “change the world” to fit their own preference.
Which is astounding in its arrogance and ignorance, when you consider the breadth of history against a single finite lifetime.
The Golden Age conception of history is the sanest, because it places the individual in perspective against the awesome, immeasurable and unperceivable scope of history.
We are each one among billions, all of who are caught up in the tidal wave of a continually unfolding story.
No one individual can see the whole from the beginning to the end. And yet there are some who presume to take it upon themselves to “change the world”.
We could laugh at them for being such asses if it weren’t for the fact that they also tend to become history’s greatest monsters.