A Glass Half-Full of Delusion

Our parents’ generation, inferior to that of our grandparents, brought forth ourselves who are more worthless still and are destined to have children yet more corrupt
— Horace, 65 – 8 BC

Clearly Horace was pessimistic about progress. So was Malcolm Muggeridge, who Paul Phillips in Contesting the Moral High Ground quotes from an address to a Catholic assembly. Muggeridge, he wrote, went on, rightly or wrongly, to assume that “no notion of such a ridiculous thing as progress has ever been put in your heads. If it has, dismiss it at once. There are various things that human beings can do; but there is one thing they can’t do, and that is progress.”

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