what's at stake with the LHC is Knowing how the universe is put together.
the Higgs boson is the capstone of the Standard Model and was proposed in 1964. If we don't find that with LHC, Standard Model fails.
The cost of all HEP ever done is negligible compared to the cost of wars to line the pockets of the elite and bailouts to prop up their failed business model.
there are other experiments on structure of universe going on beside the LHC, dark matter detection and CMB mapping too.
Nobody's gonna believe that computers are intelligent until they start coming in late and lying about it.