That vision, of a linear timeline, is not shared by all cultures.
Some people see time as a circular trajectory, they see the society evolving in cycles of growth and decay and according to that philosophy, we are now experiencing an age of decadence, the Kali Yuga.
One of the symptoms of a decaying society is the polarisation of spiritual beliefs, part of a larger trend of social fragmentation.
The middle way of thinking has been abandoned in favor of the hard-line extremism.
According to Buddhist teachings, things and actions are not "good" or "bad" - for example, guns and killing are neutral.
You can use a gun to rob a bank or you can use a gun to protect the bank from being robbed. Or the second World War, the Germans use guns and killing to subjugate people and destroy democracy and of course we used guns and killing to liberate the subjugated nations and reinforce democracy.
So all things being equal, the middle path is always the wise path to follow.
That could be summarised in a simple statement:
"Everything in excess is bad" or "Everything in moderation is good"
This middle way path is a path of harmony, of balance rather than this, is "good vs this is bad" path of righteousness.
It is very hard to convince anybody that democracy is no better than dictatorship, that actually a political, social system is only as good or bad as the people that are running the system.
A democracy run by corrupt people is not a good thing at all, and we are starting to see that in our own government at this very moment in history,
A dictatorship run by intelligent concerned people will always be superior to a democracy run by corrupted politicians.
I know, that idea is very unpleasant and unacceptable to us Americans born and raised to worship democracy and freedom but the truth is that China, a communist dictatorship, is kicking our democratic asses, at this very moment, on all fields, economic, educational, healthcare, research and development and basically, military power would be the only thing that we could say we are better at, but even that is a very relative assumption.
That is just one example but the problem has become an epidemic. The "my way is the right and only way" philosophy is embraced by almost everybody.
You cannot have a decent polite argument anymore, therefore all the paths to progress and reconciliations have been shut close. The only solution left is the frontal confrontation. The only outcome acceptable is the total annihilation of the opponent part.
This polarisation of beliefs will continue covering the lad, will continue to grow, especially with the help of mass media that thrives on chaos and negativity.
The only good thing about this darkness is that will allow a lot of people to finally discern the light of spiritual teachings we have lost or forgot.