America and the World Revolution: And Other Lectures

America and the World Revolution: And Other Lectures

America and the World Revolution: And Other Lectures

America and the World Revolution: And Other Lectures

Excerpt

The title that stands on this page is a tell-tale one. Let me imagine an archaeologist in the far distant future, rummaging among the debris left by a third world war fought with atomic weapons. By an odd freak of chance, my imaginary future archaeologist finds my script. The date is not written on it. But, if the script is still legible, the archaeologist will have dated it correctly by the time he has finished reading the title. It is dated unmistakably by the two words 'Western' and 'experiment'. Neither word could have figured in the title if the script had been written in my grandfather's generation. This was the generation of Darwin, Huxley, Carlyle, Tennyson, and that pleiad of New England poets and philosophers whose graves are in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, Concord, Massachusetts. If any one of those eminent nineteenth-century predecessors of ours had been asked to set out his views on the future, his title would have been different from mine, and it would have been shorter. It would have been just 'The March of Civilization'.

The nineteenth-century observer would, in fact, have made several assumptions that seem hazardous, or even . . .

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