One Step at a Time

by Grant Carrington & Stephen Goldin

    Published in the June 1981 AMAZING SCIENCE FICTION STORIES. Originally written as "What Profiteth It a Man" at the 1969 Clarion workshop. Sent to an original anthology that David Gerrold and Stephen Goldin were editing. Gerrold rejected it for the anthology but Goldin wanted to collaborate with me on a rewrite.

    This is the night that separates Mankind from its history of ceaseless warfare. The transition to the Golden Age is not heralded by a fanfare of celestial trumpets; it slips across the threshold on cat's feet, silent and unexpected. True, headlines are screaming from every newspaper, and TV commentators are speaking in a hopeful hush about this historic event: the Geneva convocation of the world's heads of state in order to rubber-stamp the Treaty that has already been approved by all the Congresses, Parliaments and Presidia. But no one believes it.
    Oh, they all hope. The world is weary and frightened of war--to frightened to stop and too weary to think of a new way to do things. There have been too many false hopes, too many treaties shattered, too many promises broken. "Peace" has become a word like "Santa Claus;" you say it for the sake of the children but you can no longer believe in it yourself.

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