Recently, I've been reading around this topic - are we heading for better times or worse - given various crimes and misdimeaours, individual, societal, corporate - here are four viewpoints, ranging from highly optimistic to fairly pessimistic - none of these falls into the naive or sentimental traps of thinking its trivial to understand or solve the problems we all face:
Future perfect proposes a new social organsation that is observed to emerge more and more recently - it is really quite a positive and encouraging piece of writing in the post-Internet age.
The better angels reports on the reduction (when looked at in the large) of violence in society - despite the generally hysterical tone of media reporting world events, the book is quite optimistic.
Adam Curtis' blog (and documentaries) describes how wargames came to dominate how the post-keynes/hayek dominant thinking as led to a terrible place for the economic system that Adam Smith's anti-himan (i.e. reductionist model of the animal as a rational choice algorithm) bestowed on us.
Most of the capital isn't in the free market anyway, instead sunning itself on Treasure Islands out of reach of you or I. A dark view, which sadly is probably quite accurate and which the UK (with the Cabal of London, the Channel Islands and more) is more guilty than most of supporting.