In Canto 7 of Inferno, Dante sees the progidals and misers punished for their excess as God sees fit. Vergil comments, of Fortune, the allegorical figure who rules wealth and power in our world, that she causes li ben vani (the empty goods) to move from nation to nation, people to people; her permutazion are without respite, so power and wealth are in constant movement, unreliable, unforeseeable:

Vostro saver non ha contasto a lei

(your knowledge cannot contend with her)

The sentiment is thoroughly in opposition to that of our times, to science and what we call progress; but it would seem true nonetheless.

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