In theory, I agree with you. On the specific matter of ancient Athens, though, since they developed and practiced a primitive and limited form of democracy rather than being another's monarchy, I find it pointless to criticize them for not making the leap to full universal suffrage in one go.
They were was progressive as they could be in their own time. We are as limited by our sensibilities now as they were then. We all have limits to what we can imagine, even you, Sci
. Will we be criticized by future historians for not making social leaps that we aren't facing now and can't even imagine? Should we be criticized for not letting computers have a vote? Will we be looked down on for not letting chimpanzees run for office? What kind of revolutions will occur in the future that will make even you seem like a backward heathen to future people?
The past is what it is, what happened happened, and we can learn from the past without faulting them for their limitations that they couldn't overcome or even see. They weren't telling lies to themselves
. They were just limited in their understanding.