Wasn't that the classical view of history, as seen back in ancient Greece? The world is deteriorating from one Age to the next, as people go downhill. I forget the sequence. Golden Age, Heroic Age, Iron Age?
Actually, that seems echoed in the usual divisions of comic book history. Golden Age, Silver Age, Bronze Age.
As I recall, the idea of progress is fairly recent and for most of history, people thought things used to be ducky and we're going downhill fast.