"Our stock of idealism has temporarily run low and a mood of cynicism has replaced the devoted enthusiasm of 1918...Without enthusiasm nothing worthwhile is ever done, and thus in the long run the idealist is the only practical man. The mood of cynicism, of indifference of 'don't care' is the mood of death; it is literally the work of Mephistopheles, the Spirit of Denial."
The quote posted above is a segment from the attached 1920 article by one writer who recognized that the modern era that was ushered in following the end of the Great War was lacking in hope and enthusiasm. It was a period of both bitter disillusionment and visionary progress. Morbid symptoms emerged simultaneously from the decay of World War I. In Europe disenchanted voters flocked to Communism and fascism, forming political parties based on violence and revenge that presaged the horror of next world war. The writer was one of many to realize that the legacy of the First World War was disillusionment and cynicism.
Read a related article from 1923...