The idea of progress as a straight line is self-serving bullshit. If anything, it's like a tree that goes into all sorts of directions from any given starting point; sure, we made progress along a certain route of branches, but that's pretty much all we know. We have no idea where other branches would have taken us, or wether we might be going in circles in some way. What we are doing and becoming isn't automatically the best we could be doing or becoming just because we are doing or becoming it. I'd even say that seems very unlikely, giving the average shallowness and cowardice of people.. where some see progress, I see a consolation prize enabled by Stockholm Syndrome and lack of intellectual honesty.
Believing in progress does not mean believing that any progress has yet been made.
The Third Notebook, December 4, 1917