I keep seeing and hearing cynics sigh about how far we have "fallen." The disease is rampant, on both right and left. The striking thing to me is the inanity of some cliches, like: "Isn't it a shame that our wisdom has not kept pace with technology?" This nonsense is spouted amid the greatest transformation of diversity, inclusion, acceptance, re-evaluation and tolerance in the history of our species! At no other time were so many hoary/awful assumptions - about race-gender and so on - pilloried by light and scrutiny!
And if that is not ADVANCEMENT of our souls, I do not know what would be.
I go into this here: 2001: A Space Odyssey: Shining Light on How Far We've Come
In pointing this out, I do not call for complacency. These trends - expanding our horizons of worry, exploration, concern, inclusion and so on - are the core essence of my life, in activism, science and science fiction. But it is important to note that this progress was not achieved by radical polemicists and cynics, who deny that we have already made great progress.
It was propelled by science, which examined and demolished old taken-for-granted assumptions. It was propelled by millions who mixed idealism with pragmatism... the realization of the stupidity of wasting human potential by limiting options for women and minorities, for example.
There is no greater enemy of further progress than the cynics who declare that great progress HAS NOT ALREADY HAPPENED.
Political correctness is not the driver of progress, but an unpleasant waste product of progress, unavoidable but to be navigated with high boots, while helping the best civilization in human history to get... and note this phrase... even-better.