“For ignorance provides the happiest life”—Sophocles
This work is an attempt to explain why Civilisation is the blossoming then shrivelling of human understanding, which is the gaining then losing of wealth, order, knowledge, security, identity and purpose.
Using short words and simple arguments a suggestion is advanced that appears to make the whole matter so clear that anyone can understand what it is, why it appears and why it 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 in discovering that humanity is sinking into a new dark age. Nevertheless, the author is convinced that by understanding our fate, we can direct our energies into useful rather than useless causes, and be the first civilisation to learn what civilisation is.