This version of historical pessimism may be called root-causism: the pseudo-profound idea that every social ill is a symptom of some deep moral sickness and can never be mitigated by simplistic treatments which fail to cure the gangrene at the core. The problem with root-causism is not that real-world problems are simple but the opposite: they are more complex than a typical root-cause theory allows, especially when the theory is based on moralizing rather than data. So complex, in fact, that treating the symptoms may be the best way of dealing with the problem, because it does not require omniscience about the intricate tissue of actual causes. Indeed, by seeing what really does reduce the symptoms, one can test hypotheses about the causes, rather than just assuming them to be true.
Steven Pinker, Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress, New York, 2018, pp. 170-171