It is fascinating, of course, to realize that all civilization is dependent on a tiny number of people who can manipulate abstract concepts; the vast majority merely ride upon the outputs of their efforts. One wonders if, in our new age of populism, the fundamental social structures that permit this tiny number to toil and progress will remain intact, or whether instead we are about to enter another millennia-long Dark Ages. I’m not sanguine that progress always follows a smooth continuous line and indeed history very much indicates otherwise, at least over timescales of centuries.

Anyone who enjoys my articles here on Medium may be interested in my books Why Democracy Failed and The Praying Ape, both available from Amazon.

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