Cassandra was a figure in Greek Mythology who was cursed with the ability to see the future but an inability to get anyone to believe her predictions. It would be a curse to know what is going to happen but never be able to convince anyone to do something different or to change. I am of the age that the things that I predicted a long time ago are happening and I really want to say I told you so but no one likes that either. One of the reasons that cranky old men are cranky is that they have learned and made mistakes and learned from those mistakes and they cannot get anyone to not repeat the same mistakes.
Luther was a cranky old man as well. He understood that all the things we look to for salvation and progress and hope are incapable of doing or granting any of these things. We can learn from Luther that history is not redemptive and politics are not redemptive and neither is technology or science. The problem of man is man and Luther escaped utopianism because he saw the focus of man’s problem in man, not in his environment. Luther brought together Jesus sacrifice and payment for the sins of the world and the final judgment of the individual and the world together in such a manner as to avoid both despair and illusion.