The consolation of progress

Yes, sir, now we have been completely consoled; we have consoled ourselves. So what if not everything around us now is still not very beautiful; we ourselves are so wonderful, so civilized, so European that even the people are ready to vomit from looking at us. The people now regard us as complete foreigners; they do not understand a single word, a single book, a single thought of ours—but, as you wish, that is progress. …the soul is a tabula rasa, a piece of wax from which the real man can be immediately molded, the general, universal man, the homunculus—you need only apply the fruits of European civilization and read two or three books. …And all this is progress, as you wish!
Fyodor Dostoevsky


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