Our story of outrage and despair at its core is the belief that we can only ever overcome our deep challenges by truly acknowledging and atoning for our deeply unwise, destructive, pathetic nature.
Many of us had already seen the illusions and facades of The Story of Progress. In the face of the false promises of capitalism, we were forced to question whether the advances of modernity truly were the real progress we made them out to be. But now we visibly witness the world seemingly crumbling before our eyes.
De Witt’s lynching, perhaps more than any other single event, possessed Spinoza to write what are now considered some of the seminal texts in modern thought. What Spinoza could not have known, was that he – along with Hume, Kant, Leibniz, Rousseau, Voltaire, and many others – were also writing among the first chapters of The Story of Progress.