The below is from The Spectator, the best-written and most entertaining magazine in the English language. To read the whole magazine on iPad/iPhone, click here for a free trial. Or click here for a Kindle free trial. It may not feel like it, but 2012 has been the greatest year in the history of the world. That sounds like an extravagant claim, but it is borne out by evidence. Never has there been less hunger, less disease or more prosperity.

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This article first appeared in the print edition of The Spectator magazine, dated