How much has civilization improved, exactly?

AlignAlign Remain CalmForum Moderators, Constellation Join Date: 2002-11-02 Member: 5216Posts: 8,207 mod
edited December 2013 in Discussions
I sometimes daydream of going way back to the Roman Empire or such and telling them of their legacy (without getting locked up in an insane asylum), which inevitably leads to wondering what more they might want to know.
"Are our children healthier," they might ask, or "Must we still join the army," or "Do nobles still get away with everything".
To which my answers would be yes, no, and umm.

While we don't have nobles who are by birthright allowed to go out and be all "Guards! Kill that peasant, he looked at me funny", I can't help but think rich people might have just about that same role. It might not be outright legal, but I get the feeling that in practice their money would smooth a lot of the consequences out. Two months instead of four years, at least. And could nobles really get away with that without issue, even back then?

I'd like to say that at least they don't believe themselves fundamentally better people, nor do the common folk believe that of them, but there's no shortage of belief in the idea that people get rich mostly because they work hard on both sides - and being hard-working is inherently better, isn't it?


Many things are objectively better (like healthcare), but I'd have trouble disproving anyone who insisted our hierarchies are mostly the same as always, just with different names.
AurOn2ellnic

Comments

  • RaZDaZRaZDaZ Members, Reinforced - Shadow Join Date: 2012-11-05 Member: 167331Posts: 465 Fully active user
    edited December 2013
    Depends what you are measuring tbh. Civilization is a very broad term. I'll give you a general answer.
    A few examples of what we have improved in the modern world:
    - Medicine vastly improved
    - Industry, crafting and production more flexible and in masses
    - Science expanding
    - Education
    - Social class equality
    - Exploration of space and the moon, understanding the universe
    - Healthcare
    - Socio-economic status for average person vastly increased, primarily thanks to Britain's industrial revolution
    - Equality of ethnic minorities and women
    - Slavery completely abolished
    - Technology has improved immensely over the past 100 years
    - Age of information, Moore's law
    - Democracy becoming the modern worlds primary form of government
    - Free from war and oppression
    - Freedom of expression and beliefs, no longer denounced for abandoning faith
    - And lastly, war and strategy
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  • ellnicellnic Members, Reinforced - Shadow Join Date: 2010-07-19 Member: 72559Posts: 915 Advanced user
    edited December 2013
    I do this all the time, Glad I am not the only one going mad lol. Seriously though I would love to go back in time and live in the glory days of rome
    RaZDaZ wrote: »
    - Free from war and oppression

    I agreed with all that you said apart from that very 1
  • Kouji_SanKouji_San Sr. Hινε Uρкεερεг - EUPT Deputy The NetherlandsMembers, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue Join Date: 2003-05-13 Member: 16271Posts: 15,781 Advanced user
    Are we speaking word wide or per region, cause the world as a whole is quite F-ed up and skewed #-o

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  • AlignAlign Remain Calm Forum Moderators, Constellation Join Date: 2002-11-02 Member: 5216Posts: 8,207 mod
    Kouji_San wrote: »
    Are we speaking word wide or per region, cause the world as a whole is quite F-ed up and skewed #-o

    Skewed, not screwed?
    Kouji_SanAurOn2
  • Kouji_SanKouji_San Sr. Hινε Uρкεερεг - EUPT Deputy The NetherlandsMembers, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue Join Date: 2003-05-13 Member: 16271Posts: 15,781 Advanced user
    hmm, I'd say both :P

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  • DeskLampDeskLamp AustraliaMembers Join Date: 2013-02-03 Member: 182783Posts: 81
    There are more slaves now then there ever have been in human history.
    NazoAurOn2
  • AlignAlign Remain Calm Forum Moderators, Constellation Join Date: 2002-11-02 Member: 5216Posts: 8,207 mod
    DeskLamp wrote: »
    There are more slaves now then there ever have been in human history.
    More people in general, mind - what specifically are you referring to?
  • AurOn2AurOn2 COOKIES! FREEDOM, AND BISCUITS! AustraliaMembers, Forum Moderators, NS2 Playtester, Forum staff Join Date: 2012-01-13 Member: 140224Posts: 2,130 mod
    edited December 2013
    I'm willing to say since the time of the romans we've probably gone backwards. So many wars. so many religious wars.
    @align in terms of slaves, I'm thinking he means raw numbers, and he's correct. Even in a ratio of free to slave weighted by percentage, it's also higher than it ever has been in human history.
    "freedom" "democracy" is a joke.
    The fact we now have 2 kinds of slaves, is kind of sad. the new type being the wage slave. (people who work for walmart etc)
    Send me a private message if you need me to kill someone "help" with anything.

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  • JirikiJiriki retired ns1 player Members, NS1 Playtester, Squad Five Silver Join Date: 2003-01-04 Member: 11780Posts: 614 Advanced user
    edited December 2014
    Are you guys kidding with me with this nonsense?
    There are more slaves now then there ever have been in human history.
    There are more people now than ever in human history, d'uh.

    We are always slaves, if not anything else, than to our genes, but the slavery of modern kind in cubicle or service job is nothing compared to the hard labour the people before us had to do. My both parents came from farm and agriculture, and the life was lot tougher back then.
    I'm willing to say since the time of the romans we've probably gone backwards.
    No.
    I do this all the time, Glad I am not the only one going mad lol. Seriously though I would love to go back in time and live in the glory days of rome
    No you wouldn't. Stop going mad over things you don't understand, smart people love to use people like that for their own personal movements, cults and other nonsense.

    worldgdp1600_2003a.gif

    Industrial revolution was a massive exponential gain compared to time since Rome. It's not well written in history books (just a lot of nonsense about evil capitalists). The purchasing power of Rome was that of Zimbabwe, if not less. If you wanna go to Rome, move to some of the worst African nations.

    * A lot less violence. The most common way to day when we were hunter-gatherers, was interpersonal violence.
    * Life expectancy (due to many factors) is like 2.5x what it was during Rome (30 years). Look here.
    * Modern agriculture. Before that famines killed a lot of people.
    * Modern plumbing. A lot less infections and better health.
    * Modern medicine. Before antibiotics (which are running out because if misuse), common throat infection could kill. Even though this is kind of polemic in nature, read this to get some idea what world without antibiotics would look like. We killed a lot of viruses with vaccination campaigns
    * Purchasing power has increased around 200x since Roman time. This means for many commons good such as butter or milk you need 200x less manpower hours. That's out of Stetson, I did look it up last time I posted about this.
    * Human rights and tolerance towards other people
    * Freedom the way many of our parents never had
    * Modern facilities, clean working space etc.
    * Loads of entertainment etc.

    I was in the army, so I know that things like dry clothes, warm bed, food and roof over your head are really amazing. You take it for granted. Modern people are completely cuddled, and have no idea what it would be out there if it wasn't for these western inventions.

    Maybe watch a great British movie called Threads 1984 that shows what a post-WW3 world would look like. It's a real gem of a movie that most people have not seen. It's not like Mad Max, but a real and brutal description of world without civilization. It's one of those few movies that has a powerful emotional message.
    Post edited by Jiriki on
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  • AlignAlign Remain Calm Forum Moderators, Constellation Join Date: 2002-11-02 Member: 5216Posts: 8,207 mod
    Yeah this turned rather more negative than I was expecting. Daydreams are one thing, but actually living in Rome? No way.
  • KamamuraKamamura Members, Reinforced - Gold Join Date: 2013-03-06 Member: 183736Posts: 669 Advanced user
    @Jiriki - please stop feeding us the liberal economy fairy tales, the recent crisis has already invalidated much of it anyway.

    Lot of the benefits you name are here thanks to the cheap and plentiful energy from fossil fuels, that is now becoming more and more scarce. Thus, all the niceties will be accessible to fewer and fewer people, because the current economic model won't be able to sustain itself.

    I recommend this book to everyone:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Limits_to_Growth

    Limits to growth is what the world has reached, and there is no easy nor quick cure for it.

    Modern agriculture (after the "green revolution") means just saturation of soil with artificial fertilizers. Once the phosphate deposits run out it will be mass starvation practically everywhere, since most soils are severely depleted.

    90 percent of fish population in world's oceans is gone due to commercial fishing, in many areas fish populations collapsed and were replaced by jellyfish. It was a major source of food for millennia, and now it's dying.

    Life expectancy has increased, but health of the population has not improved, on the contrary. Today's 40+ people are in many cases invalids compared to those of the past centuries - obesity, cardiovascular problems. Due to the pollutants, cancer rates are sky-rocketing, and full one third of people will go through some sort of cancer.

    Purchasing power for trinkets is astronomical, but quality basic needs like non-harmful food, good water, clean place to live are getting more and more expensive.

    Freedom is just an illusion - you can say what you want, until you are irrelevant. Once you start to be a threat, the global powers that be will hunt you to your death, and there is no hiding place in the world anymore. Manning and Snowden, true fighters for democracy and transparency, are the proof.

    It's the age of the unified global empire, but it is crumbling from the inside already.

    But yeah, entertainment is superb. This period is an escapist dream come true.
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  • JirikiJiriki retired ns1 player Members, NS1 Playtester, Squad Five Silver Join Date: 2003-01-04 Member: 11780Posts: 614 Advanced user
    edited December 2014
    "@Jiriki - please stop feeding us the liberal economy fairy tales, the recent crisis has already invalidated much of it anyway."
    This kind of simple narrative of good vs evil is the reason we have most problems today.

    I wish I could just say "oh well Koch-Brothers & evil corporations blabla" or "evil left-wing casting US into socialism with single-payer system", but the truth is a lot more multi-dimensional than that. Tyler Cowen once said it best:
    "Every time you are telling good vs evil story, imagine pressing a button that lowers your IQ by 10 points. You don't need to read any books. In my mind, that's a quick way to get a lot smarter"
    Lot of the benefits you name are here thanks to the cheap and plentiful energy from fossil fuels, that is now becoming more and more scarce. Thus, all the niceties will be accessible to fewer and fewer people, because the current economic model won't be able to sustain itself.
    1. You are missing the point. Our living standards are still hundred or more times higher than in Rome or anything before Ind. Rev.

    If you think fossil fuels are going to run out, how about go short some oil stocks? Most people quickly realize their irrationality when you have to put actual money on the line. This is because politics isn't about policy, we care little about truth value of our opinions.

    We do have one cheap source of energy, and it is nuclear energy but we're not using because of irrational fears (with same risk aversion, we shouldn't be using cars either).
    Modern agriculture (after the "green revolution") means just saturation of soil with artificial fertilizers. Once the phosphate deposits run out it will be mass starvation practically everywhere, since most soils are severely depleted.
    Aha. People have said many things will run out (farm land and horses for example) and there will be an armageddon or whatever.

    How about the price of phosphate is going to rise, and industry will seek alternative ways to fertilize land.

    If that is going to happen any time soon, I suggest you buy agricultural items (ETF's etc.) and become rich.
    90 percent of fish population in world's oceans is gone due to commercial fishing, in many areas fish populations collapsed and were replaced by jellyfish. It was a major source of food for millennia, and now it's dying.
    That's possible. Oceans are public goods, and no single fisher bears the costs of overusing the good. You could privatize oceans (the same way you privatize forests), or you could just use some kind of quotas. I leave that to the public goods economists and smart local politicians to study. The reason I don't have any strong opinion on the subject, is because I haven't really researched the different ways to solve such a coordination problem.
    Life expectancy has increased, but health of the population has not improved, on the contrary. Today's 40+ people are in many cases invalids compared to those of the past centuries - obesity, cardiovascular problems. Due to the pollutants, cancer rates are sky-rocketing, and full one third of people will go through some sort of cancer.
    Yes, lifestyle choices cause a lot of problems. What does this has to do with anything?

    We've got a lot less pollution now than before, and pollution is an economic externality, that ought to be regulated to make sure nobody can seek rent (with cap-n-trade or Pigouvian taxes).
    Purchasing power for trinkets is astronomical, but quality basic needs like non-harmful food, good water, clean place to live are getting more and more expensive.
    Statistics please.

    Water is not a problem here, neither is food. Clean place to live isn't hard to get either, obviously capital area is more expensive. Maybe in the US some of these things need better coordination. When I visited US, the quality of infrastructure was noticeable, and that's probably because of many reasons.
    Freedom is just an illusion - you can say what you want, until you are irrelevant. Once you start to be a threat, the global powers that be will hunt you to your death, and there is no hiding place in the world anymore. Manning and Snowden, true fighters for democracy and transparency, are the proof.
    Most of the shit NSA is doing in terms of privacy wouldn't be acceptable here (in Finland). I think big problem is that people like to use government to do a lot of things, and hand over a lot of power to them. If there is anything you could learn from free market thinkers, is that decentralization of power is important. This is how biological systems can withstand entropy.

    I don't think we need huge bodies US or EU to make laws or have any power. When you move power to that federal level, nobody is really in charge. Democracy within hundreds of millions of people is a joke. When you have local competition, at least you can change state or country when some stupid things happen in one place. You need some global coordination like in case of climate change, but beyond that highly centralized power leads to corruption and rent-seeking.

    All of these points that you are stacking, don't really have anything to do with my original point. There're lots of complicated coordination problems today, but my point is that we're a lot richer than we were ever before.
    Post edited by Jiriki on
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  • JirikiJiriki retired ns1 player Members, NS1 Playtester, Squad Five Silver Join Date: 2003-01-04 Member: 11780Posts: 614 Advanced user
    edited December 2013
    tl;dr Here's a nice video about developed vs developing countries. Developing countries are what our countries were before economic progress.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OwII-dwh-bk
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  • BestProfileNameBestProfileName Members Join Date: 2013-01-03 Member: 177320Posts: 448 Advanced user
    DeskLamp wrote: »
    There are more slaves now then there ever have been in human history.

    Not proportionally, so your point is irrelevant.

    Razdaz said a couple of silly things but apart from that it was relatively sound.

    How "exactly" has it progressed? I don't have a number for it. And yes, our best civilisations haven't improved that much since Roman times but it's there.

  • skulkgatoskulkgato Members, Reinforced - Gold Join Date: 2013-03-03 Member: 183645Posts: 39 Fully active user
    Okay so we established that Roman dudes had a harder time then us, and that we have more money. Thanks.
    flintknapping gato
  • ZEROibisZEROibis Members, Constellation Join Date: 2009-10-30 Member: 69176Posts: 1,017 Advanced user
    edited December 2013
    But what about them Omecs?

    Anyways, we all know the Babylonians got us all beat. They had that cool garden and than big tower thing. We have nothing compared to that shit!
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  • VetinariVetinari Members, Squad Five Blue, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Silver Join Date: 2013-07-23 Member: 186325Posts: 3,468 Advanced user
    edited December 2013
    Jiriki wrote: »
    We do have one cheap source of energy, and it is nuclear energy but we're not using because of irrational fears (with same risk aversion, we shouldn't be using cars either).

    I agree on that one. Germany is opting out of all nuclear energy production until ~2020 (I don't know exact numbers and am too lazy to research), driven from Fukushima and irrational fears of the people. I think that's, let's say, short-sighted. You are going to run into some serious problems if you shut down a dozen nuclear power plants just like that.

    How will the future energy problem be solved? One day, the oil will (finally) run out. Maybe in 50 years, maybe in 100. Up until then, every generation will have procrastinated and passed down the problems to their kids (= US, or well, MINE generation. thanks for nothing). Then the oil/energy price will rise, and everybody feels the need to act and acts surprised.
    Then the EU will pump billions into solar energy from the sahara for the lowest bidder, and the energy crisis will be solved.

    At least, that's how I imagine it...


    edit: btw, many problems look less fierce if you change your field of view, e.g. away from the US, to europe. For example this one:
    AurOn2 wrote: »
    The fact we now have 2 kinds of slaves, is kind of sad. the new type being the wage slave. (people who work for walmart etc)

    Yes, we have similar problems, but not as bad.
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  • KamamuraKamamura Members, Reinforced - Gold Join Date: 2013-03-06 Member: 183736Posts: 669 Advanced user
    @JirikiB - the problem is that you are doing the very same thing you accuse me of - you are peddling a myth, a story of our society's success based on cherry-picked facts and distorted interpretations. It's not a question of "good or evil" which are categories I have never used, but you have put in my mouth. It's a question of fundamentally wrong growth based economic system that pays for today's consumption and short-term fixes with illusion of today's growth - a collective and pampered hallucination, but still hallucination.

    Want to return from the land of fairy tales and wishful thinking back to Earth? I suggest you start with reading this article:

    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/earth-insight/2013/dec/23/british-petroleum-geologist-peak-oil-break-economy-recession

    Please note that this sober article is from a geologist who knowledgeable about how oil production really works, and who understands the concept of EROEI. Do you?

    The opinion that "nuclear is cheap and plentiful" could not be far from truth. First, there is very limited amount of fissile materials avalable:

    http://daryanenergyblog.wordpress.com/2011/04/02/myth-vi-–-there’s-plenty-of-fissile-material-in-the-world/

    You say you are from Finland, right? I am surprise you are not aware of what economic disaster was building of the Olkiluoto nuclear power plant, that should have been finished in 2010 after numerous delays, and is still not operational.

    Nuclear plants, in fact, require huge investment up-front, and their EROEI is actually rather poor, especially when compared with conventional oil.

    As for our current situation, it resembles ship crew who ate most of their food supply on a long voyage and they keep singing praises on how satiated they are - TODAY, yes, but at the cost of being hungry tomorrow.

    There are limits to economic growth imposed by the very laws of nature and physics, and our society is reaching them these days. A system based on assumption of infinite growth must and will collapse.
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  • JirikiJiriki retired ns1 player Members, NS1 Playtester, Squad Five Silver Join Date: 2003-01-04 Member: 11780Posts: 614 Advanced user
    Peak oil, I don't disagree but how much are you long on oil stocks? Words are cheap.
    the problem is that you are doing the very same thing you accuse me of - you are peddling a myth, a story of our society's success based on cherry-picked facts and distorted interpretations
    Really? Please I made a bullet point list, such as about average life expectancy and you are just throwing a polemic statement over it. Which of those were "distorted interpretations"?
    There are limits to economic growth imposed by the very laws of nature and physics
    This is true. There are limits to how much more efficient we can make computers too. We are not there yet. Most of the cost still comes from labour costs, I think it was 70%, and we can automate possibly a lot of that even now. We're not getting more inputs (land or resources) as much as we are getting more outputs from the existing inputs, but there's stagnation mostly because a lot of low-hanging efficiency fruit has been picked, and only big remaining thing is maybe increase in automatization.

    There're physicsl limits of how long Earth can exist as well, that doesn't mean it should be a todays concern.
    You say you are from Finland, right? I am surprise you are not aware of what economic disaster was building of the Olkiluoto nuclear power plant, that should have been finished in 2010 after numerous delays, and is still not operational.
    So what? As long as tax payer money is not used on that, it doesn't really matter. Not my investment money. I'm sure there are lots of other delayed corporate projects, with a lot of money. Why are you so interested in that?

    One of the reasons it has been delayed is because its politically really hard to get permits, so they wanted as a big nuclear reactor as possible, which meant a prototype design instead of something more tested and robust.

    We should grant permission to build as many nuclear power plants here as possible.
    http://daryanenergyblog.wordpress.com/2011/04/02/myth-vi-–-there’s-plenty-of-fissile-material-in-the-world/
    There's probably enough thorium to last 1000+ years. We should use what we have.
    Nuclear plants, in fact, require huge investment up-front, and their EROEI is actually rather poor, especially when compared with conventional oil.
    EROEI is a bad concept. It doesn't take into account opportunity costs, and all the costs that come from the whole way of supply chain. You are basically running into economic calculation problem. If it wasn't profitable, it wouldn't be built. As simple as that. If there is some cost that isn't taken into account (such as negative externality), we should find and fix it.

    Yes oil is cheaper now, and more economical, but if tax externalities with gas quotas, the oil consumption ought to decrease. This means other options will become always a bit more economical over time.

    We should just grant nuclear permits and let companies invest them. If will happen if its profitable.
    As for our current situation, it resembles ship crew who ate most of their food supply on a long voyage and they keep singing praises on how satiated they are - TODAY, yes, but at the cost of being hungry tomorrow.

    Look, to make things simple economic growth is a easily misunderstood concept and certain envinronmental movements have lambasted the whole thing.

    There's roughly two ways to create growth. One way is to use more resources (inputs such as labour or capital) to create widgets, another one is to use existing resources more efficiently (this can be faster CPU's, education, anything). There's nothing wrong with the latter, in fact such growth is good for the environment.

    Yes, we could run out of resources but here's the problem. The better question is which natural resources are you going to limit? People seriously thought that limiting number of horses in the end of 1800s was smart because otherwise humans didn't have enough food to eat. And this wasn't just a few crazy people, people seriously thought that. Whatever you do, you'll run into economic calculation problem. Future is extremely hard to predict.

    Sure you could set a quota for nickel, iron or some other resource and then be done with it, but my guess it most likely will just hurt economy because a) that horse example above b) we could reuse the resource. These are extremely complicated questions and you shouldn't just take a random belief from some random blog and believe it. I'm always skeptical of laypeople (including myself) mimicking or cherry-picking expert beliefs.

    Consider for a moment there are people who know a lot more than either of us about these things, and have much more moderate beliefs of what is going to happen. Hyperbole always sells.
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  • 1dominator11dominator1 Members Join Date: 2010-11-19 Member: 75011Posts: 1,171 Advanced user
    Celebrities are a better analogy for the old time nobility imo.
  • KamamuraKamamura Members, Reinforced - Gold Join Date: 2013-03-06 Member: 183736Posts: 669 Advanced user
    Here is what scientists have to say about Jirikb's fairy tales of eternal, unstoppable progress

    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/earth-insight/2014/mar/14/nasa-civilisation-irreversible-collapse-study-scientists?commentpage=9

    Collapse within a few decades. The world is in fact in a Malthusian trap, the needs of the exponentially growing populace are going through earth's non renewable resources fast. The ruling elite is blind and totally disconnected from reality, and fails to listen even to its own scientists when they sound the alarm.

    The recent Ukraine events are a prelude to the final, bloody battle for the dwindling resources that will have no victor, only few suffering, impoverished survivors in the smoldering ruins of the once glorious industrial world. A good lesson of the cost of lying into your own pocket - too bad it will be to late to learn from it.
    Each day, hundreds of enthusiastic new players rush to join the ranks of the TSF to protect the universe, our beloved and the values of our society from the alien menace.

    Glory to the TSF! Glory to Arstotzka ! Glory to the mods!
  • TerranigmaTerranigma Members Join Date: 2010-04-03 Member: 71158Posts: 67
    edited March 2014
    I never thought that ressources are in any way a limiting factor as the fact that most wealth is located in western countries while people starve in poorer regions of this world isn't due to a general lack of ressources but due to the overall destribution of goods and services. As it isn't the objective of the economy to provide goods but to sell products it ain't no suprise that a lot of people don't benefit at all from the progress made in economy. Since the industrial revolution the overall productivity has vastly increased and one might think that continuous full employment wouldn't be necessary anymore - it still is.

    I keep wondering what the point of increased productivity is when the people don't actually benefit from it? At least in Germany people currently work as much (or even more) per week than they did 20 and 30 years ago. Yet, productivity has increased in the very same time so that the same amount of work could be done in less time. Still, that isn't the case. Economy might grow but that doesn't eventually benefit the majority of the people. In bad times it is often said that everyone has to tighten his belt and that the bad situation of the economy takes it toll on everyone - funny, in good time it is never said that the outcome should benefit all equally.


    Thus, I would neither say that the Industrial Revolution nor productivity per se is to be considered an achievement. It all comes down to the question: "Does it benefit the people?" No, it doesn't. Economical growth for its own sake is of no value. People don't lack essential goods and services for life because we can't produce them but because the way we do economy isn't supposed to provide but to sell goods. And the bad thing about poor people is that they're pretty bad customers.

    I think most lower- and middle-class Romans would be quite astonished that the overall standards of living have increased so vastly in a very small (western) part of our world while most of the everyday toil which was common to the Antique is still prevalent most parts of today's world. By the time the USA and UdSSR set their goal to head for the moon they actually made it in no time - still, we can't (don't want to) figure out how to fight obesity in western countries and how to fight starvation in a lot of non-western countries. That's odd. I won't go into "Good vs Evil"-kind of explanations but I found Marx writings on economy and the relation between poverty and wealth more accurate and to the point than Adam Smith's Invisible Hand which still dominates Liberal discourses today. It doesn't come down to good and evil but to the simple question whose argumentation is more solid and reflects best what actually happens in economy and society. Thus I won't call Liberals evil as I dislike ad hominem arguments. Still, I find their hypotheses quite shallow.
  • DarkLaunch357DarkLaunch357 Campinas, BrazilMembers Join Date: 2013-09-01 Member: 187599Posts: 77 Fully active user
    Kamamura wrote: »
    Here is what scientists have to say about Jirikb's fairy tales of eternal, unstoppable progress

    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/earth-insight/2014/mar/14/nasa-civilisation-irreversible-collapse-study-scientists?commentpage=9

    Collapse within a few decades. The world is in fact in a Malthusian trap, the needs of the exponentially growing populace are going through earth's non renewable resources fast. The ruling elite is blind and totally disconnected from reality, and fails to listen even to its own scientists when they sound the alarm.

    The recent Ukraine events are a prelude to the final, bloody battle for the dwindling resources that will have no victor, only few suffering, impoverished survivors in the smoldering ruins of the once glorious industrial world. A good lesson of the cost of lying into your own pocket - too bad it will be to late to learn from it.

    I wonder, will that lead to the Great War of 2077? :P

    Seriously though; the ruling elite will only listen to what is truly profitable, that is, profitable here and now. While I do believe that enhanced production methods and innovation will prevent such a catastrophic event for a while, such a conflict is most surely going to happen if utmost care about excessive use and misuse of our non-renewable resources is not taken.

    I gotta say I identify myself with a lot of you guys, reading the threads and all... Yup. Cookies for everyone :)
  • nightlightsnightlights Members Join Date: 2017-02-20 Member: 228095Posts: 4
    Great thread, there is a lot of conflicting but good opinions here.
  • glenn0510glenn0510 San JoseMembers Join Date: 2017-09-25 Member: 233229Posts: 12 Fully active user
    Well, that was interesting to read.
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