Concept

Cultural pessimism

Summary
Cultural pessimism arises with the conviction that the culture of a nation, a civilization, or humanity itself is in a process of irreversible decline. It is a variety of pessimism formulated by a cultural critic. Traditional versions It has been significant presence in the general outlook of many historical cultures: things are "going to the dogs", the Golden age is in the past, and the current generation is fit only for dumbing down and cultural careerism. Some significant formulations have gone beyond this, proposing a universally-applicable cyclic model of history—notably in the writings of Giambattista Vico. Nineteenth century The pessimistic element was available in Arthur Schopenhauer's philosophy and Matthew Arnold's cultural criticism. The tide of Whiggish optimism (exemplified by Macaulay) receded somewhat in the middle of the reign of Queen Victoria. Classical culture, based on traditional classical scholarship in Latin and Greek literature, had itse
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