One year ago, I lived in Washington, D.C. I walked amid suits and skyscrapers, museums and monuments. Every building declared that this was a Very Important City, and every politician and think tank and NGO affirmed it. Congress wrestled with the budget, the bureaucracy implemented infrastructure projects, the Pentagon directed wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and lobbyists pressured the government to fund X and support Y and oppose Z. Everyone pushed their pet cause.

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