Darkness descends over civilization and freedom. It flows not from any external threat but from within the human heart. We are beings capable of happiness and flourishing, but sometimes we push our fears and anxieties into the shadows. There they fester. And from those deep psychological bowers, fear and anxiety reemerge transformed.
To live right now, then, is to live in paradox. Despite conditions of relative peace and abundance, a psychosocial pathology has taken hold. It manifests itself as something like a replacement religion. Where people once turned to their temples and communities for reassurance, more turn now to political authority. Merchants of fear magnify the significance of certain human problems, which obscures complicated truths and feeds the dogmas of this new faith. Adherents believe they are on the side of the angels, but their faith threatens to bring about a new Dark Age. Why? Because more and more people in the grip of this religion are willing to use illiberal means.