As Nietzsche asserted (note: I didn't say argued) in his posthumous work The Will to Power, if there were an ideal, finalised stage of humanity it would have been reached by now. Rather history seems to be a recurring cycle of good and bad, good usually taking place on an individual scale and bad taking place on a mass scale.
In world mystery traditions, generally grouped under the heading 'the occult', an individual, someone who is not divided or dual, goes through different levels of consciousness, and ascends the great mountain of enlightenment through self-labour without pitching a tent a third of the way up thinking that is enough.
According to Mark Passio, early, primitive, Christianity, before its being organised at the council of Nicaea by Constantine, did preach the doctrine of reincarnation (rather than the doctrine of one life and out), namely that one doesn't go anywhere after death but reincarnates again and again until one learns to live in harmony with the creator's will expressed as it is in natural law principles.
Do cultures follow this pattern of reincarnation and slow ascent? Or is it closer to the truth to say, along with Aldous Huxley, that
"The one lesson to draw from history is that people don't learn from it"and are thus condemned to repeating its mistakes and madnesses? Is a slow ascent discernible on a societal scale like it can be discerned in unique individuals (for many never ascend or even begin to ascend) among the various incarnations and reincarnations that befall civilisations over the ages?
Perhaps it is the task of great holistic historians, such as the late Carroll Quigley who wrote the mammoth book Tragedy and Hope: A History of the World in Our Time, to discern the incarnations, however varied, of civilisations and within them, the signs of progress or growing enlightenment as they can and do occur within the lives of individuals.