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18th Century and then...

 ... what happened? The 18th century was amazing! I've only recently read Bram Stoker's Dracula for the first time, I was astonished to read that they knew of blood transfusions. Of course they didn't know anything *about* blood transfusions, different blood types, and why it sometimes saved and sometimes killed people, but they bloody well knew that if you took blood out of one person and put it into another you could save their life.

The 18th century was a brilliant front for thought as well, religion was challenged for the first time in, I'd guess several hundred years. Art was revolutionized, men wanted away from the things that had burdened them and forced them into the lives of simpletons. They wanted to think for themselves, they wanted to learn, they wanted to know.

And then... what happened? What have we as a society really done in the last 200 years but refine what those free thinkers gave us? More recently, in the last 100 years, what disease have we eradicated, what problems have we solved, how have we revolutionized the way we live?

Why is it when you dive into philosophy you're handed a dusty tome from 100-1000 or more years ago and told that these are the most pure things you will experience. That everyone else has added bits and bobs to these ideas, but to understand them you'll need to read Socrates, Plato, Epicurus, Nietzsche, Rousseau.

It angers and saddens me to think that our society is so weak now that we have no strong voices on these fronts. We have no modern revolutionists, headed off into the dark corners we can only dream of. If they are there, I don't know of them, and I suppose, in their day, the greats we look back on were unknown to the average person as well, but I'm afraid that when the 100 years passes over this time, the minds people look back on will be sadly lacking the power they had in centuries past.