Neibuhr speaks to our present from the past
This was brought to my attention by the editors of the London Review of Books. It concerns something written by the influential mid-century theologian Reinhold Niebuhr, who as every mid-Illinoisan should know was raised and partly schooled up in Lincoln.
The concluding sentence of Niebuhr's The Irony of American History (1952) says this:
If we should perish, the ruthlessness of the foe would be only the secondary cause of the disaster. The primary cause would be that the strength of a giant nation was directed by eyes too blind to see all the hazards of the struggle; and the blindness would be induced not by some accident of nature or history but by hatred and vainglory.