Neal Stephenson wrote “In the Beginning Was the Command Line” in 1999. Its best to view his writings as a mixture of James Michener, Huxley and H.G. Wells. Although committed to the craft of science fiction, he is not unfamiliar with the historical vein that dominates non-fiction.
In his above noted book, he wrote: “the 20th century was one in which limits on State power were removed in order to let the intellectuals run with the ball, and they screwed everything up and turned the century in abattoir. We Americans are the only ones who didn’t get creamed at some point during all of this. We are free and prosperous because we have inherited political and value systems fabricated by a particular set of 18th century intellectuals who happened to get it right. Be we have lost touch with those intellectuals.”
American Exceptionalism meets Julien Benda!