A few years ago I attended a talk by Professor Anthony O'Hear. He dealt with the subject of Progress, concerning which he appeared to take a conservative view. He tried to undermine the concept by asking, "Has there been 'progress' in the arts?"
It was only afterwards that I realised that the riposte should have been that there has certainly been progress in the access to the arts. Everyone in a country like Britain has more opportunity for reading good books, looking at good art or architecture, or listening to good music, than at any previous stage in our history. My local Oxfam shop could supply the basis for an excellent book or music collection at very little cost, quite apart from what is available in local libraries or over the radio. In fact, the only reason for not having access to the fine arts nowadays must be sheer lack of interest.
If this easy availablity is not 'progress', I don't know what is!