I actually like that idea (the accomplishments were diminished by the next generation which did not learn from history but instead sought to repeat it) very much - since it is absolutely realistic. Unfortunately.
I don't think it's the idea that's the problem, but rather the execution. There's nothing wrong with the idea of the next generation not learning and therefore repeating the same mistakes of their predecessors, but at the same time, some background is needed at the same time. If we'd been given a more accurate depiction of the power of the different factions, then I think it would have been fine, but The Force Awakens would have you think that The First Order has already replaced the Empire, based on how the film treats them, when that's not the case. They're treated as an established threat to the galaxy, not one that is still on the rise.
So finally I got to watch TFA too. In general I found it the best Star Wars film in a long time. I can see where the criticism of 'remake' comes from, in many ways it seems to pick up the elements of the original Star Wars and channel them for future entries. But I at least am thankful it's not a re-imagination in the manner the Star Trek universe got at Abram's hands. For Trek that was probably the right decision - though the steam seems to have gone already - for Star Wars and the involvement of the original cast that would have been disastrous.
As for the feeling the rise of the First Order is missing in the tale, that was probably because writers and producers wanted to avoid at all costs starting their new series with another Phantom Menace and a subsequent meandering storyline of how the First Order became what it is. I have to say not only do I understand this, it's also much how I would have tackled the matter. It's also a sadly realistic and only too topical development: winning a war but losing the peace.
And it's not as if missing pieces and developments wasn't already a tradition with Star Wars. The first film saw the rebel's victory over the Death Star, the Empire's most deadly weapon. The second film saw them even more on the run and fighting for dear life as if the victory over the Death Star had meant nothing at all. The same goes for Luke's character, he started out as a talented farmer boy (okay, with the right set of genes), the second shows him having tea and 'shrooms with a Jedi and later losing his hand to some swordplay. And by the third he's suddenly a bad-ass Jedi himself, on par with Vader and easily able to overcome a galaxy-mafia figurehead Han Solo ran away from with good reason. Luke's years as bouncer of some Hell's Angels dive seem to have been lost.
Anyway, I solidly appreciated TFA though I strangely had no desire to rewatch it immediately. Chances are the next films will concentrate on the new characters and probably only then we can really judge how good or bad it is in comparison.