The World Was Always Awful
A Guide to World History for People who Romanticize the Past
I always argue with my Mom about her belief that the world used to be a better place in years past. As the title of the fake book suggests, there have always been awful things going on, since the beginning of human history.
'Better' & 'Worse' are value judgments, so whether things have improved or not is mostly a matter of personal opinion.
Most people who think that life was better in the "Good Ol' Days" are mostly thinking back to a time when they were younger. At the time, they were probably just ignorant of all the horrible crap going on around the planet. Of course things seemed better when we were younger. A young person has no idea that genocide, disasters, crime, & other horrible things are going on everywhere... all the time!
Another factor contributing to the common perception that society is descending into chaos is the 24-hour cable news cycle. We now hear all the crazy stuff happening around the world, in real time.
Although there are plenty of bad things happening in the world, my personal view is that the state of humanity is improving overall. It would be cool to be a temporary time-traveler, but I would definitely prefer to live my life NOW than at any time in history.