The Snobbery of the Clock

An observation:

Every age has the temptation to regard themselves as the best of times, except, perhaps, the Middle Ages, whose memory of the glory that was Rome was still fresh in the mind, and could be seen in the Roman road and aqueducts littering the landscape.

However, all prior ages had some sort of rule about respect for ancestors and respect for tradition. Confucius makes this the linchpin of his philosophy. Our age, the age of science, prizes novelty, and has been mesmerized by the idea of an evolution of ideas, whereby some mysterious force of history makes the latest innovation the highest and best product of man, rather than (what it too often is) an untried and untested flight of fancy.

All ages are tempted to pride, but the chronological snobbery, the attitude that our own grandfathers were primitive fools who could not even walk on the moon, is, as far as I know, unique to modernity. The idea springs out of the Romantic poets, and out of Darwin, Hegel, and Marx.

So, in other words, this idea that the current generation is the best because only modern ideas are right — that is a Victorian idea, and, by its own measure, is now out of date.