If history is the original sin, our cardinal acquired sin is naiveté. This ignorance of the domination pervading our past and present is not an innocent state, but a self-serving obstinance justifying the status quo. Among our most naive beliefs: the era of slavery was long ago; individuals are entitled to own natural resources; technology can solve social problems; freedom is a quality that describes economic markets or individual choice; violence can make peace; individuals can be self-made and self-reliant.
Often liberals are considered the bleeding-heart idealists, while conservatives fancy themselves hard-nosed realists. Yet the latter ideology is premised on the mythical existence of justice and freedom, while in truth we are mired in the long, bitter fight for their realization.