Courtesy Reuters

The lights of nineteenth-century liberalism that Lord Grey saw going out all over Europe on the night of August 3, 1914, dimmed and sputtered toward extinction during the years of furious war that followed. But new lights flared up during the war itself which have since continued to elaborate an electrified wonderland which no man of 1914 could easily have imagined. The new landscape is still unfamiliar: things change even as we look at them. Remote controls and energies entirely alien to ordinary, age-old sensory experience inform our electric power grids and make them function. The same seems true of modern societies, imparting

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