In a remarkable piece, the late Sociologist Svetlana Boym reframes nostalgia as the flipside of progress, in what really feels like a key idea to understanding the populism of our 21st century:
(…) nostalgia is a rebellion against the modern idea of time, the time of history and progress. The nostalgic desires to obliterate history and turn it into private or collective mythology, to revisit time as space, refusing to surrender to the irreversibility of time that plagues the human condition.
She goes on:
Nostalgia, in my view, is not always retrospective; it can be prospective as well. The fantasies of the past determined by the needs of the present have a direct impact on the realities of the future.
It is up to us to take responsibility of our nostalgia and not let others “prefabricate” it for us.