The human glory and curse is life span - too short to gain enough wisdom, short enough not to lock in mistakes. Life span kills us off, but two redeeming qualities ennoble the species - intellect and social instinct. Every newborn is endowed with inventive potential and a collective instinct.
Democracy was invented to make the most of these twin endowments, but the instinct for common cause has been collectivized into group think that defeats the intellect. Intelligence gets overwhelmed by the torrent of entertainment and information that usurp time and attention.
Group think also breaks the chain of empathy, compassion, and cooperation, the hallmarks of social instinct.
The hope remains that, destructive as the past has been, new folks will do it differently if even a few think hard enough about what to do instead of surrendering to what’s wrong. It can go the other way, though, if in any generation too few lay the groundwork for the doing that takes generations.
John Adams once wrote: “I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. My sons ought to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history, naval architecture, navigation, commerce, and agriculture in order to give their children a right to study paintings, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry, and porcelain.” (McCullough, p. 236)
I doubt Adams meant that politics, war, and mathematics ever would be dispensed with. The necessity for generations to build on one another is the point. We have lost sight of what the Founders saw so very well.