My parents visited us a couple of years ago in our place in Fairfax. I don’t think our 1967 townhouse is nearly as good as the 1927 bungalow they live in, but ours is about half the age, with more amps on the board and modern conveniences. After the greeting tour, may dad marveled at the number of bathrooms (2+1/2) and proclaimed “Y’all are so rich!”
I have been meaning to write this ever since wading into the dirty waters of political punditry. Things are getting better, not worse.
If you look at the overall arc of time and events, things are demonstrably better than they were a century or a millennium ago.
Even the curses are blessings, because they teach us things to be wary of in the future. They motivate us to look for a way out. Those ways out are usually to the betterment of everyone, even if we hear about the many times that they aren’t.
The fat times are often not the best times for us, as they make us content, indolent and vulnerable. They also make us insist on a level of comfort our parents would find baronial.
Even if everything goes to hell, and we become a dictatorship in constant depression, someone is getting exactly what they want. Divided warlords fight each other to maximize their goods, and some are better off for it, within those limited goals.
Somebody is always improving their lot, even if it comes at the expense of everyone else. They are motivated to keep the game on those terms, because that is their livelihood. That is the key to them living in the manner to which they are accustomed.
So we can choose whether we all do better, or just one of us does better. One person’s will is a lot easier to understand than a billion people’s. That is why the bold and tireless make it.
Even the arc of dictatorship and oligarchy is melting away, though. The more information we get, the more we can choose according to our conscience. The wealthier we become, the more we can afford a conscience.
8,000 years ago, there was no wheel, 2,000 years ago, there was no such thing as common law. 500 years ago, there were no such things as chimneys. 300 years ago, there was no such thing as representative democracy. 200 years ago, there was no such thing as electricity. 150 years ago, there was no such thing as libertarianism. 100 years ago, there were no vaccinations. 50 years ago, there was no such thing as the internet.