Human History Is an Ever-Expanding Circle of Empathy

Statue of George Washington (Tetra Images/Getty Images)
The world has become freer, more just, more compassionate, gentler, and more equal. But there is clearly room for improvement.

NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE T here are many different ways to look at the history of U.S. race relations. One extreme, for example, compares America’s past and present state of race relations with a future when all of America’s remaining imperfections will have been ironed out. Let’s call that the “future perfect” perspective. The other extreme compares the flawed present with a past scarred by still greater injustices. Let’s call that the “past imperfect” perspective. Both can be illuminating and both can be held at the same time. An appreciation of the past-imperfect perspective provides an understanding of history as a complex and messy process

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Marian L. TupyMr. Tupy is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute’s Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity and the editor of


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