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The age of fear, some rays of hope.

The coffers are empty. The kingdom is bankrupt. Emergencies have broken out everywhere. The state demands more taxes so the citizens, regardless of what burdens they already carry, must pay more, and more, again and again. Their burdens will increase until they can carry no more and then the state will pile still more on them.

These words would serve as a reasonable description of conditions at many times in ancient history, in the age of Savanarola, during the black death, at times of shortage or war or during the great breakdown of European civilisation in the 20th century.

Who would have imagined we would find ourselves here again? Surely this is some nightmare, some fantasy that will pass in a little while?

No.

We find ourselves suddenly cast back into a dark and unexpected age of fear. The language of the age of optimism, just ended, is of no use now. Thoughts of prosperity or hope are behind us. We must turn our minds to survival.

Most public thinking has been devoted to one quest…