As far as I can tell, no one claimed to be the "apex of human progress". Of course making such a straw man argument shows us who the real asshat is.
Perhaps the greatest failing in these utopian scenarios is not the technological illusions, but the fundamental failure to grasp basic human nature. Karl Marx made this mistake, assuming that by elevating the proletariat to power would eliminate all human foibles, in his mind the exclusive domain of the bourgeois. Roddenberry made the same mistake, assuming that the elimination of want would also exterminate bigotry, greed and elitism.
If you want to see how well these utopian visions would work, go to the zoo. Visit the lion cage. There you will see how freedom from want — unlimited food, free health care, a range of amusements — has converted their society to one of pecking-order-free vegans who lovingly lie down with the lambs. Actual humans have far more in common with those lions you will see, than do the humans of these fantasies.
I have seen the future, and it is expensive.
Asynchronous inputs are at the root of our race problems. -- D. Winker and F. Prosser