Go back 50 years and you would have found a general belief that the human race would be in a far better place 50 years from now, particularly for developed industrialized nations. Despite the beginning of the turbulent hippie generation it was assumed the future would see poverty significantly reduced, a more fairer and just society, a better standard of living, and technology providing us with less work and more time for family, friends, community and interests.
Well for sure some have seen their level of poverty decrease but they are still poor. Social justice and harmony continue to allude us while hate seems to grow only stronger. We are working longer than ever and haven't been this economically stressed since the 1930s. Yet despite a strong business cycle and the rich having an ever increasingly bright future.
So what happened to reality near 50 years later? How do we explain the discontent that brought someone like Donald Trump? Why is the world on edge the way it was before World War 2? And why hasn't progress wiped out most of poverty and given even more broad base success?
Were we as humans too naive to self interests, particularly of the powerful? Do we overestimate the abilities of mankind to create lasting peace and prosperity? Did we look at the future with utopia instead of reality?
For most of mankind most humans have been poor, usually desperate so and under the rule and abuse of the self centered rich. Should we have expected no more despite advancements of all kinds.
Yes, in the past 50 years we have made great strides in medicine, technology, manufacturing and communications. Its hard to remember what a 1967 Ford Fairlane was like or a rotary dial phone. A time when we had to stand in line to get cash at a bank. When we couldn't just have stuff delivered to our door step. But did we complete the entire process of more fairness, greater opportunity and more time to grow as individuals?
We as humans have the amazing ability of imagination, thinking and changing the world around us. A tiger has never changed the jungle. But we always seem to fall short when it comes to bettering ourselves. Do we overestimate our effectiveness at changing the world around us and improving ourselves?