From Olaf Stapledon’s The Last and First Men

Olaf on Americans:

“In the Far West, the United States of America openly claimed to be custodians of the whole planet. Universally feared and envied, universally respected for their enterprise, yet for their complacency very widely despised, the Americans were rapidly changing the whole character of man’s existence.

What wonder then that America even while she was despised, irresistibly molded the whole human race. This, perhaps, would not have mattered, had America been able to give of her very rare best. But inevitably only her worst could be propagated. Only the most vulgar traits of that potentially great people could get through into the minds of foreigners by means of these crude instruments. And so, by the flood of poisons issuing from this people’s baser members, the whole world, and with it the nobler parts of America herself, were irrevocably corrupted.”

“These best were after all a minority in a huge wilderness of opinionated self-deceivers, in whom surprisingly an outworn religious dogma was championed with the intolerant optimism of youth. For this was essentially a race of bright, but arrested, adolescents.”

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