“Here then is one possible projection of the future of mankind’s life on earth. The histories of past universal states allow us to make some general postulates about our own future, and can even offer us some positive lessons, but perhaps the single greatest lesson that we can learn from them is a negative one. Mankind longs today for a world united in peace and freedom, but in the past only the bitter experience of prolonged disunity and war, culminating in intolerable anarchy and distress, has moved men to attempt the salvation of their hard-pressed societies by the forcible unification of rival parochial polities. Even if this has not invariably resulted in the imposition of a tyranny, it has always presaged the eventual downfall of a society. Today we cannot afford the luxury of waiting to learn this lesson by a repetition, at first hand, of our predecessors’ experience; for, if we do wait, the choices open to us will be reduced to alternatives of a world tyranny or the end of life itself. Our knowledge of the past histories of other societies than our own must move us to forestall disaster by taking the future into our hands. If we sit back, we shall find ourselves overtaken by events that have passed beyond our control.” ~ Toynbee, A Study of History, Part VI Universal States. Published 1972.