Why Isn’t Everyone a Boundless Optimist?

My uncle got my my wife and I tickets to see The Scottsboro Boys in the West-End for Christmas. It was awesome; funny and affecting with a late, optimistic coda. That said generally the entire story was pretty grim (racial oppression and a brutal miscarriage of justice.  But with catchy tunes!) which is even worse if you read the actual history of what happened.

But I got to thinking about how much things have improved.  I’m an optimist and a believer in the steady march of progress so I got to wondering; why would anyone not be? How could someone want social/scientific/cultural progress to slow down, stop (or in the case of reactionaries) reverse?

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