One may think that pessimism is widespread today. Everyone, on all sides, is outraged at injustices and worried about the problems we face. But just beneath the surface, everyone, on all sides, shares an optimism that progress is not only possible but likely. Everyone believes that once problems are identified, they can be solved, and in time they will be. This myth of inevitable progress is our modern faith, and like many faiths before it, it is a false faith generated by deep-seated human desires. Only the pessimist can see clearly the problems we face, and at the same time understand that progress is unlikely, and that our future, in many ways, is likely to be bleak.