For almost five hundred years, from the voyages of Columbus to the end of World War II, European civilization dominated our planet. That domination ended with the devastation caused by the war and the resulting dissolution of colonial empires. This century has begun with a weakening of American power through disastrous wars, financial crisis and the success around the world of revolutionary movements supported by terrorism.
This accelerating shift in the worldwide structure of power has led to a weakening of the cultural certainties that have sustained the West for half a millennium: the rule of reason, the primacy of the individual, and the value of a tradition ultimately based on the achievements of the ancient Greeks and Romans. We can no longer look to the past as a guide to the future. New and disturbing thoughts have invaded not only our dreams but our daily lives as well. Nothing and no one can protect us from these dangerous intrusions.