We have made virtually no progress over the vast majority of human history. Our species has existed for 200,000 years and for the vast majority of that time, people were alive, they were thinking, they were suffering, and they wanted things. But nothing ever improved. The improvements that did happen happened so slowly that archaeologists can’t distinguish between artifacts from eras separated by thousands of years.
Then there was slow improvement, and then faster improvement. Then there were attempts to institutionalize a tradition of Criticism, which is the key to rapid progress—that is, progress discernible in a human lifetime—and there was also Error Correction, so that regression was less likely. That happened several times and failed every time except once—in the European Enlightenment of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.
For almost the whole of human existence we had the ability to be creative and make progress yet we didn't. Why? Because our culture was wrong. It wasn't our fault. Cultural evolution has a nasty tendency to suppress the growth of what we would consider science or anything important that would improve their lives. But it is entirely possible this static purgatory could happen again. Nothing can prevent it except our working to prevent it.