The Enlightenment was about making the world better – by eliminating class differences. If everyone was given equal opportunities – everything would get better. But instead, things got more complicated – and new problems arose that had not existed before.
American history was an example of this. America got off to a great start with its Constitution – a new invention that many other countries copied, confident that this would make them rich and powerful also. This happened recently, in Afghanistan. It was given a constitution, written by American experts – and told to have an election. These American experts expected great things to happen – Afghanistan would automatically become a modern country! It never happened.
This did not work in America either – it had a long, bloody Civil War, that solved none of its problems – but it did become an Industrial country, with transcontinental railroads – and a huge inequality between the rich Industrialists and the Workers.
And with the rest the world, it participated in WWI, the Depression, and WWII. with its Holocaust. Something had gone terribly wrong – but no one knew what it was.
What happened was simple – unconscious problems wrecked everything – much to the amazement of everyone – who had no idea these existed. Or that the unconscious itself existed.
The discovery of the unconscious was one of the great achievements of the early 20th Century. But it was soon forgotten – because it was too inconvenient. It revealed too much about who we were.
As I write this, most people will agree – without thinking about it. But I know, from personal experience – how shocking and painful the discovery of unknown problems can be. Their discovery can nearly kill you. No one actually dies – but it is an experience, that most people avoid, with all their strength.