The World Is Going to Hell in a Hand Basket

“The world is going to hell in a hand basket.  People nowadays are lazy, irresponsible, inconsiderate, and immoral. The marriage vow means nothing, and mothers don't stay at home where they belong to raise their children properly. Parents don't discipline their kids, so-called educators don't care, inept government officials get into office because nobody takes the responsibility to vote, exploitative megacorporations are just out for a profit, and wishy-washy churches accommodate anything. Why can't we have a world like when I was a kid, when people took pride in their work, kids showed respect for their elders, neighbors knew each other and kept the neighborhood safe, the dollar was sound and went a long way, and teachers and ministers taught you right from wrong?  The world is going to hell in a hand basket.”

People have been saying this for generations. More than 2400 years ago Socrates complained, "Youth have bad manners, contempt for authority, and allow disrespect for [their] elders." The only thing that has changed since then is the rapid increase of science and technology, but the basic goodness and aspirations of mankind haven't changed. Neither have its temptations to "sin" and fear.  The facilitations of technology have proved useful, but also abuseful. With plentiful food, starvation is thwarted, but over-weight becomes a problem. With plentiful information resources, dictators can no longer thrive on ignorance, but directions for constructing pipe bombs are readily available.  The quest for self-control and the appeal to our "better part" continues, and nobody said it would be easy. 

I have faith in the strength of each of us, and society collectively, to progress in each age, as evidenced in the spread of democracy, elimination of slavery (at least on the books), advancement of women’s rights, suppression of disease, a higher standard of living (albeit in greatly varying degrees), dissemination of the truth though the information revolution, and marginalization of kleptocracies, crime syndicates, gangs, thugs, and miscreants through the concerted efforts of the moral majority (lower case).

The Myth

The Steady Gain of Man

Why Do Adults Hold Teenagers and Children in Such Low Esteem?