I can be "open" and "honest" about it, just as I can about other subjects. We look at ourselves and ask: Am I what the revolution was all about? Did the Baal Shem Tov fight for people like me to be able to have a good time in the name of "Chassidus?" We know what the Chassidim HoRishonim were like, how they acted and what they accomplished, and we look at ourselves - no, not ourselves, but even at the "great" ones of today, and we can easily come to the conclusion that the glory days of Chassidus are over, and that we're a mere skeleton of what the movement once was. For some reason the Satmarer "Chassidim" are the ones who carry this flag, along with many others. Flags that is. many other flags. After Zionism this may be their number 2 cause de celebre. Some say - and they may be chronic cynics - that these 2 causes are very closely related. That the REASON they disregard all other Rebbes is BECAUSE of the fact that most others didn't wrap themselves in the flag of Kano'us. I'm not sure why Chassidus has to take the hit, even though I sort of understand it. Or maybe kano'us could've taken a back seat to Chassidus, just like all others saw and understood it? The penultimate piece, the one that features the words of the Arugas HaBosem, is a real tough one to figure out or to come to terms with. After all, the AH had just joined the ranks of the Chassidim, which would lead us to believe that he had thought long and hard about it, had seen all the pros and cons, and STILL decided that this was the way that he wished to conduct himself in. He had come from a Misnagdic - or non-Chassidic family. To believe Rabbi Menashe Fulop, author of the שמנה של תורה, you'd have to think that he was of a simple mind, and judging from his seforim, that simply holds no water.
Reb Mottel Zilber, however, will have none of that talk. There is no Yeridas haDoros, he says. It cannot be. RMZ is himself not a Rebbe, and the irony is that this talk too place while giving a Mesilas Yeshorim shiur... Ans the proof that he brings is also from the Mesilas Yeshorim, which only increases the irony. On the other hand, maybe Reb Mottel doesn't disagree with the SR after all. Maybe the SR himself would agree that until the Rizhiner Kinder there was no yeridas haDeyres after all, and that it all started soon after that, when the Eyniklach assumed their leadership positions. IIRC that's when the real machlokes blew up between Sanz and Sadiger, although it started with the children as well. But who knows? I wouldn't be surprised if RMZ, despite his strong words here, if "confronted" with the words of the SR, if he'd agree with the SR as well! בבחינת "you're right too!" Not because I'm trying to put him down, chas vesholom, only because of the SR's stature amongst frum Jews today. So we may never know the answer to this timeless question.