Lord of the World
In or about the year 2000, humanity has reached "that incredibly lofty goal to which its intrinsic efforts can carry it" — but rejected everything but crass materialism. Technology has advanced to the point where no one need work for a living, while the social sciences have achieved a smoothly-running if almost unbearably sterile social order. Formal religious beliefs except for Catholicism have been uprooted and eliminated as coherent systems, and the Catholic Church has been completely discredited in the eyes of the world, finally being outlawed. The result is everything the late Victorians and Edwardians believed would bring human happiness — and which brings nothing but the advent of new superstitions, despair, and the end of the world … maybe.