How fortunate we are! After eighty-five years of assorted errors and miseries, the human race has emerged into sunlit uplands. There is no major war, nor any visible prospect of any. Utopian socialism, the principal motive for revolutions throughout the industrial age, has been discredited beyond hope of revival. There is hardly a city anywhere on our planet that does not bustle with enterprise—with healthy, well-dressed people engaged in interesting work. All is calm, all is bright, and even the wretched of the earth have cell phones.

Is it all a fool’s paradise? Do we really face decades of peace and prosperity in a world dominated by a single free, civilized, and reflective superpower with primarily mercantile interests? Shall we and our children live out our threescore and ten in the security of bourgeois triumphalism, free to accumulate money, enrich our arts, and advance our sciences? Or is something horrid lurking...

 
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