“Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded — here and there, now and then — are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty.
This is known as “bad luck.”
~ Robert A. Heinlein
Instapundit links to this article I posted on Facebook the other day about the world’s growing problem of obesity. Obesity. Let that sink in for a minute. Obesity. To be obese, one has to intake more calories than the minimum needed to sustain the active levels of life. This is something that should be celebrated, especially since “scientists” of the late 1960’s (like Paul and Anne Ehrlich, co-authors of “The Population Bomb”) were predicting massive food shortages then famines and wars as a result.
The celebration doesn’t mean that we should ignore the hungry of the world – because they do exist – but for a large percentage, the hunger is the result of human ignorance or political machinations of despots trying to maintain control. With the amazing knowledge and magnificent abilities to change our environment mankind possesses, there is truly no reason people should be hungry.
We have eradicated diseases that 50 years ago were death sentences. We have made childhood safer and more secure than at any time in recorded history and we have provided a period of general peace and global stability comparable to the Pax Romana. We have changed the worlds of science, medicine, and culture in ways only imagined a century ago.
Within my lifetime, I have seen us go from not having television to a 12 inch black and white set, costing thousands of dollars, to cable with 500 channels and high quality color big sets costing hundreds of dollars. I’ve seen vynl records be replaced by 8 track tapes replaced by cassettes replaced by CDs replaced by digital files. I’ve seen couriers be replaced by fax machines replaced by emails and have seen all of the aforementioned technologies be packaged in a phone I can carry in my shirt pocket.
We need to gain perspective of how momentous our times are – but instead, our politicians squabble over control of this plenty, inventing new religions to lend credibility and validity to their actions – “climate science” and statism are but two of them. We have solved so many problems that we use our spare time to create more and more ridiculous issues. We can’t even decide what male and female should be. We then take these “problems” and then deconstruct everything to reveal motives that never existed to support positions that never were valid.
When one views the current three-ring circus that is Washington, D.C. these days, it illustrates how small the people are who are playing for astronomically large shares of power. I swear, the absurdity is enough to make a cynic even more cynical. Galt’s Gulch was a physical location in Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged” but I see more and more people (like myself) who are withdrawing to that mythical sanctuary through our minds…and as we do, the problems of history will return.
As Kipling wrote in his poem “The Gods of the Copybook Headings”:
As it will be in the future, it was at the birth of Man
There are only four things certain since Social Progress began.
That the Dog returns to his Vomit and the Sow returns to her Mire,
And the burnt Fool’s bandaged finger goes wabbling back to the Fire;
And that after this is accomplished, and the brave new world begins
When all men are paid for existing and no man must pay for his sins,
As surely as Water will wet us, as surely as Fire will burn,
The Gods of the Copybook Headings with terror and slaughter return!