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Why We May Be Living In the Best Period of Human History

Robert Dimuro

Posted on January 20, 2019 18:55

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Here are some reasons to be optimistic about living in early 21st-century America

Many Americans are pessimistic about the time period in which we live. Corruption, polarization, pettiness, and ineffectiveness in our politics and government seem to be at their pinnacles; climate change may be negatively altering our weather patterns; and civil war battles over tribal divisions are brewing in our streets. Consequently, people are worried about the future of America and of the entire civilized world - and they should be. However, I think we should be grateful that we live in early 21st-century America, which, for several reasons, may be the best time and place ever to live in the history of civilization.

Major historical change began with the industrial revolution, which occurred about 250 years ago. Since then, the historically stagnant figures of population, wealth, and standard of living have increased exponentially. Over time, industrialization, coupled with free-market capitalism, led to European and later American dominance, which is undoubtedly the best thing that could have happened for the stability and prosperity of the entire world.

This is the broad context that explains our present lives in America today. America’s military strength keeps the entire world in check, allowing corporations, not armed forces, to dominate global conflicts. Economic battles have replaced military battles between nations, such as America’s trade war with China. Although many stakeholders are concerned about whose interests are better served in this conflict, nobody is concerned about an actual war with China, which would cause major destruction and loss of life. Fortunately, diplomacy has become the norm regarding most conflicts among developed nations.

Within this new age of relative peace and stability, the advent of the digital age has unleashed a new period of major historical change - one that will dwarf the advent of the industrial age. The Internet, which is still in its infancy, has vastly transformed and improved daily life, happening almost within the snap of a finger since its inception. We are lucky to be living in a time in which we can enjoy the benefits of digitalization and still cherish aspects of our dwindling brick-and-mortar world.

Although there will be many more technological advancements in key sectors in the near future, such as in computing power, nanotechnology, stem cell therapy, oncology, automation, artificial intelligence, etc., concerns about the future may soon begin to outweigh these benefits. Digital advancements are happening so fast that our youth will become more and more detached from the material world, leading to health and social problems. Exponential population growth, even if sustainable, may begin to lower our standard of living. Climate change and even the possibility of an impending ice age may cause our planet to become less and less habitable. Global peace and stability since the end of World War II may not last forever. Lack of faith in our political institutions may cause society to break down. Luckily, in the early 21st century, we don’t have to face these potential crises for however long this great period of history lasts us.

Robert Dimuro

Posted on January 20, 2019 18:55

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