As the Second World War was coming to a close in 1944 and 1945, he felt a certain amount of ruefulness, frustration, pessimism at the waste of human life, the suffering, the destruction of Poland, the mass-murder of European Jewry, the insanity of Nazism, etc. Many people at the time felt similarly. The writer Ben Hecht, contemplating his lost Jewish 'brothers' and 'sisters', sadly expressed it like this, in his bookA Guide for the Bedeviled:
If civilization is to be measured by the progress of human rationality, we can still use the yardstick of the cynic—which is no longer than a sigh.And yet... Korzybski wasn't inclined to say "people are bad, the world is bad, etc." and thus to sink into depression and despair. As he said 'I was born with a good liver'. He did say this: "The world is hopeless." Unless we as individuals work at changing the way we 'think' about 'things'. Then we might have some legitimate hope. Are we there yet?