the reality of the existence of the human species isn’t like that:

Pauperism is normal

poor health is normal

appalling living conditions are normal

early death is normal

high infant mortality is normal

Why do I speak such heresies?

because humankind has existed in its present form for 1m, or maybe 150k years (depending on your take on what constitutes ‘human’.)

In any event for all that time, my above normalities have been the lot of humankind. Only in the last century or so have we been able to escape the constraints of that ‘normality’ and devise a different kind of ‘normality’

Now, compare the two time periods — -a century or two, or 150000 years. Which would you call normality on that basis?.

Take the period of recorded history, say 5–6000 years. Normality has been a priveleged elite, while the rest lived in abject poverty.

The last century has allowed the delusion that we have entred a different phase of existence, where ‘infinite plenty’ is the new normal.

Sorry — but that isn’t so.

Just as in ancient and not so ancient times elites live in towers and gated compounds and hold the finer things in life as their right tenure. While the rest of us languish outside their walls and have to be content with their leavings.

Even as recently as 1914 in Europe, military recruits from rich backgrounds were 6'’ taller than those from the poorer classes.

Crap food and living conditions defined the health of the poor — -just as it always has. Those poor knew all of the above ‘normalities’ — up close and personal. They survived childhood to become cannon fodder.

But we have moved on. Haven’t we?

We expect unlimited health and wealth to deliver everything we need, forever. But just like the ‘good old days’ the elite cream off the best before the poor get their chance at the trough

That is why it’s becoming impossible to acquire the things that make a decent living standard. It was a myth in the first place.

No doubt our forebears would have liked to demand more — -and they did of course within limitations, but to them the “more’ we have no would have seemed a fantasyland. Unfortunately we seem to be headed back to the level of ‘more’ that was their normality.

co-author of The End of More, in paperback and kindle on Amazon email

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