Yes, Tony, I think your observation is apt.
The pace of American life, hence around the World, is increasing exponentially, affecting all institutions, segments and individuals of various societies. The fact that some are not fit for that kind of change, or might prefer not to take part, is not often considered, is pretty much ignored, until the riots and civil wars break out.
The pressure for change may answer many nagging questions: Why were we in Vietnam? Why are we in Afghanistan? Why are we in Iraq? Why will we be in . . . ?
As an old teacher, I often think of the debate over how large numbers of young Americans graduate from high school without being able to read, write or do math in more than a rudimentary fashion. There are many reasons, but a couple seldom mentioned are these:
In the best of times, according to the now rejected IQ tests, approximately 40-60 or 60-40 percent of students, depending upon the sample, and not taking into account whatever other reasons, did not have the mental capacity to grasp what they technically could read. The widespread new "magic" notion that the faster one read the better one read worked for the top percentiles, less well for the middle, and not at all for those of the lower mental capacity.
But the idea of speed reading had an appealing sound, however ill-baked the results.
Like the case for the automobile, as Welles suggests in THE MAGNIFICENT AMBERSONS, consequences were not adequately considered. Getting there became more important than the point of getting there.
In education, I'm afraid, rubrics, listening devices, movies, TV, and now computers have taken up much of the slack.
Gadgets do for us what we can't or are unwilling to do for ourselves.
The next step is robotics, with more and more of the World's population being left behind. Greater numbers rendered "obsolete." Or considered so. We found out in the last century what that led to, and we are off to a good start in the 21st Century to coming to the logical conclusion and final solutions. And all peoples harbor them.
Welles, as almost always, was most prescient in recognizing this fundamental process in American life, perhaps one hardwired into humanity, which can be applied now to almost everything we do. Shakespeare's elegies for lost golden ages and Cervantes' umbrage at windmills challenged the concept of "progress," but atomic weapons were then some way off.
Today, they are almost literally on our doorstep.