Utopia or Dystopia

Thomas Cole the Course of Empire

“The farther backward you look, the farther forward you are likely to see.”  

Winston Churchill

The above quote is taken from Ian Morris’ recent and fascinating Why the West Rules- For Now: The patterns of history and what they reveal about the future.  Indeed, the whole point of Morris’ book can be seen in Churchill’s quip. Morris, a trained archaeologist and historian, aims to find a pattern in the broad arc of human history beginning with the birth of civilization, take us into the present age, and project current trends outward into the next century and perhaps beyond.

This is, needless to say, a pretty ballsy thing to do, at least if one wants to remain safe in the cocoon of respectable academia where scholars can spend a decade glued like a car door on Magneto to a subsection of one obscure historical text, or stuck for seven years…

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