"the one duty we owe to history is to rewrite it. ... when we have fully discovered the scientific laws that govern life, we shall realise that the one person who has more illusions than the dreamer is the man of action. ... if we lived long enough to see the results of our actions it may be that those who call themselves good would be sickened with a dull remorse, + those whom the world calls evil stirred by a noble joy. each little thing that we do passes into the great machine of life which may grind our virtues to powder + make them worthless, or transform our sins into elements of a new civilisation, more marvellous + more splendid than any that has gone before. ... what is termed sin is an essential element of progress. without it the world would stagnate, or grow old, or become colourless."
--oscar wilde, the critic as artist, 1890