"The failure of modernity, said the man in the black coat, is the failure of the machine to act morally. It never intended to. But we were deceived by its sober efficiency. We believed it would do with more and less than it ought to have done. Instead it has done less and more, and brought us too many horrible asses. I suppose we would have reached these awful heights ourselves in time. And yet we have come early, and the only books we know are the ones that we ourselves wrote. They will be no help to us, just as we ourselves can be no help to each other. If someone were to forgive me for the things I did in my youth, even that would be an affront. Those crimes are the only evidence that I have lived."