Noah Millman:

You can’t just hate the present and long for the past, any more than you can make the future better by demanding of some nonexistent authority that they make it so. To make the future, you have to actually learn about the past, its glories and its follies alike, its conflicts and its contradictions. If we want to be like our forebears who successfully made it new, we have to, you know, be like them. We have to mine the incredibly rich resource of our past, and use that resource in whatever way we need to create new forms of art and politics, forms that are relevant to us. And then we have to hope that the future will treat us the same way, because then it will be alive. 

Noah is absolutely right about this, because, you know, when is Noah not right? But I will just add that if you suggest that there is anything, anything at all, that we can learn from the past, a vast loud chorus will show up to shout: NOSTALGIA!