"For ignorance provides the happiest life" — Sophocles
This work is a theory of civilization; an attempt to explain what it is, why it occurs, and why it rises and falls; an achievement that has previously been beyond our species ability. Using short words and simple arguments a suggestion is advanced that appears to make the whole matter so clear that any one can understand what it is, why it is so important, and why is goes wrong. A feat that seems to significantly improve our understanding of humanity and our private selves.
Pursuing truth carries the risk that revelations will not be pleasant, which seems to be the case here, for there is little to gladden the heart offered by this tome. There is no joy in discovering the source of disconcerting social changes could well be a fatal incurable disease that condemns the whole of society. Despair is the over-riding feeling that accompanies the belief that humanity is sinking into a new dark age. The theory offers some small relief by explaining why events are unfolding, and hope that civilization can rise again, cleverer and stronger, but this is little compensation to offset its grim prediction of our future. Nevertheless the author is convinced that it is better to try to understand our fate, regardless of its awful implications, so we can direct our energies into useful rather than useless causes; and above all, it helps us distinguish between good and bad, and right and wrong.
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