Compared to what? In comparison to some form of dreamland Utopia things might be terrible but compared with any other time in history? We have never had it so bloody good. And I mean f***ing everyone!
In 1820, 94% of the world’s population lived in extreme poverty. In 1990 it was 34.8%, and in 2015, just 9.6%. This trend, spurred on by global free market capitalism continues it’s march forward & we expect to hit 0% by 2030. Amazing news you may have never heard about. Access to healthcare means we are living longer & healthier than ever. Crime is at record lows globally & criminologists believe that the current homicide rate may be halved within 30 years. On top of that we now see 60% of the world’s population now living in open societies, the highest ever.
We are living in a golden age of human progress. All of the pertinent data on lifespan, health, prosperity, peace, safety, freedom, knowledge, human rights, gender equality and intelligence are cause for celebration. Are we finished yet? No, not even close. Do we have problems in society? Of course we do (& we always will!) The Utopia does not exist. We must push back against racism continually, the war on drugs appears to be a losing battle & mental health issues are a nuclear bomb.
In comparison to all of human history though: this is by far the greatest time to be alive.
Finally, we enjoy access to information like never before & uncensored access to information is the true beacon of light. It is our greatest tool. It reminds me of the famous quote which can be seen at Auschwitz:
“Those who forget the past are condemned to repeat it.” – George Santayana
This access to information gives me the hope that ALL bad ideas will eventually die. We may see a future without fascism, white supremacy, marxism, communism, racism, sexism, homophobia, misogyny, religious extremism & the rest of the dumb ideologies that hold us back.
Next week: Sweden, seen through the eyes of an Irishman.
Text: Kevin Maher, debater