"Again and again the race would emerge from savagery, and pass through barbarian culture into a phase of world-wide brilliance and sensibility. Whole populations would conceive simultaneously an ever-increasing capacity for generosity, self-knowledge, self-discipline, for dispassionate and penetrating thought and uncontaminated relgious feeling.
Consequently within a few centuries the whole world would blossom with free and happy societies.
Average human beings would attain an unprecedented clarity of mind, and by massed action do away with all grave social injustices and private cruelties. Subsequent generations, inherently sound, and blessed with a favourable environment, would create a world-wide utopia of awakened beings.
Presently a general loosening of fibre would set in. The golden age would be followed by a silver age.
Tyrants and tyrannical oligarchies would set about destroying liberty. Hate-mad submerged classes would give them good excuse. Little by little, though the material benefits of civilization might smoulder on for centuries, the flame of the spirit would die down into a mere flicker in a few isolated individuals. Then would come sheer barbarism, followed by the trough of almost subhuman savagery."
-- "Star Maker" by Olaf Stapledon