Given that humans are incapable of neutrality (at least with respect to matters that concern them), then they will always have the assumption either that the past was better than the present or the present is superior to the past.
Having established this assumption, there is room for variation over the degree of superiority, and its magnitude: e.g. the past was better than the present with a few specific exceptions, or the past was a lot or a little better than the present - and this varied in different times and places, and so on...
But there must be an assumption.
Having clarified this - then the assumption marks a cleavage point between political perspectives; because if we assume (or expect) the present is better than the past, then we assume (or expect) that things are getting better (the 'progressive' and Leftist assumption) - while if the past is worse than the present then things are getting worse (the reactionary assumption).