In this book I want to take issue with the view which informs the ‘common sense’ in a majority of Western societies: the idea that the stage of economico-political development that we have now reached constitutes a great progress in the evolution of humanity and that we should celebrate the possibilities that it opens. Sociologists claim that we have entered a ‘second modernity’ in which individuals liberated from collective ties can now dedicate themselves to cultivating a diversity of lifestyles, unhindered by antiquated attachments. The ‘free world’ has triumphed over communism and, with the weakening of collective identities, a world ‘without enemies’ is now possible. Partisan conflicts are a thing of the past and consensus can now be obtained through dialogue. Thanks to globalization and the universalization of liberal democracy, we can expect a cosmopolitan future bringing peace, prosperity and the implementation of human rights worldwide.