"There is only one consideration which may lighten somewhat the burden of what seems inevitable. It is this: that, just as we could not forsee the sudden tidal wave which has swept over us, so the future, even the immediate future, may check the ruin of our home, of our most ancient life. Some incalculable further change may stop the further process of disintegration. it is not conceivable - but often enough the inconceivable happens. Disaster and decline might destroy the machine and so save, before they had disappeared, the last stocks and found some new repose they might strike root again."
Hilaire Belloc - The County of Sussex (1936)