“…The concept of progress must be grounded in the idea of catastrophe. That things are ‘status quo’ is the catastrophe. It is not an ever present possibility but what in each case is given….
…‘It is one of the most noteworthy peculiarities of the human heart … that so much selfishness in individuals coexists with the general lack of envy which every present day feels towards its future.’ This lack of envy indicates that the idea we have of happiness is deeply colored by the time in which we live. Happiness for us is thinkable only in the air that we have breathed, among the people who have lived with us. In other words, there vibrates in the idea of happiness, ( ) the idea of salvation. This happiness is founded on the very despair and desolation which were ours….”

Walter Benjamin, The Arcades Project