David Stove (1927-1994), "The Malthus Check," On Enlightenment
(New Brunswick: Transaction Publishers, 2003), pp. 57-73 (at 61):
The past is one long hideous night of oppression, greed, cruelty,
ignorance, superstition, fanaticism, and imposture, with priests and
kings to blame. (To update, substitute "capitalists," "whites," "males,"
etc., to taste.) But then somehow—it is not clear how, or rather it is,
in Condorcet's treatment, an absolute mystery how, but anyway
somehow—in Europe, a few years back, light dawned. And this light
is soon going to spread everywhere, and irreversibly. Our descendants will all be happy, healthy, free, equal, just, rational, leisured,
and cultivated. Condorcet does not actually say that Enlightenment
is going to cure wooden legs, though I think it would have pained
him to hear it denied. He does say that the length of human life will
be indefinitely increased. He never faces, as even ancient Greek
fable had faced, the Tithonus-problem: extension of life without
reprieve from aging. But no doubt he would have said that, in the
future, the progress of medical science will etc., etc.