..today’s secret…How are we to live?
This is the time of the year amateur futurists rev up their data-rich tools and predict some 2022 possibilities.
These predictions are generally a focused event in a focused industry, like how the stock market will do or how good will the Yankees be.
Me? I think about the future by looking back in history. Big dots. Signals. Cycles. Can what happened before happen again kinda thing…
The further back and the deeper in history I study, the clearer the patterns emerge.
My most recent pattern revelation is that over the past 100,000 years or so each generation of man has always been quietly asked by the universe to answer the same five-word question:
How are we to live?
Note…this might be a good time to bail if you are not interested in how this question evolved over time…and what I think 2022 is going to be about.
Happy New Year!!
For you hanger ons…here goes.
Man left his caves about 100,000 years ago to explore faraway lands not yet named. Took him about 45,000 years or so to lay roots on six continents. No way to get to Antarctica.
On the way man congregated in hamlets which became villages which became towns which became cities. Man learned that wood floated and made boats. Someone figured out how to cultivate grain. Trade began for real.
Eventually a new category of group-living emerged – civilizations.
A civilization is a group of people with common characteristics, like borders, an economy, a religion, and a social structure on how one was to live life.
There has been about 100 known civilizations in world history.
These 100 can be sliced and diced many ways…the Chinese were extra large, Japan the longest uninterrupted, and the greatest were the Egyptians, no, Romans, no, Incas, no, British, no, Germany, no, those upstart Americans.
Anyway, does anyone remember those ancient Vedic or Tartessian civilizations?
Civilizations formed at different times and speed in history. Some lived. Some died. One commonality among all civilizations was that someone in the civilization wore the pants for the entire family.
It was a King, Pharoah, Shah, Emperor, or some narrow class of elites who came to power thru their heritage, coups, religious revolutions, civil wars, assassinations, etc.
These authoritarian rulers set forth the living arrangements for generally two classes of people, the rich who helped rule and the poor who didn’t.
It was the ancient Greeks who threw a wrench into this two-tiered world order by introducing an in-between ‘middle class’ of people.
This Greek ‘middle class’ established order between the rich and poor, introduced citizenship, and sowed the seeds of democracy we know today.
The Greeks also gave the world another reason to kill each other. Until the Greeks, civilizations killed each other for land, resources, religion, or just for the hell of it. The Greeks gave us another reason – human freedom.
Two primary human freedom questions emerged from these ancients Greeks.
Do the people in a civilization belong to the governing structure or does the governing structure belong to the people?
Are human souls free and entitled to govern themselves or collective beings ruled by others?
Boiled down to just five words these questions become one…
How are we to live?
How are we to live? Currently there are 195 countries in the world today. Unfortunately, only a handful of them are classified as a democracy where the governed give consent on how they are to be governed.
How are we to live? America is one of these 195 countries. In world history America is still in its infancy. Some think it is still an experiment in self-government as its founding principles of equality, liberty, and justice are historically rare.
How are we to live? Our Founding Fathers answered this question at the country’s birth thru the Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and Bill of Rights. A little recognized fact is that our Constitution is the longest operating constitution in all of human history.
How are we to live? The United States was not perfect at birth. It’s story is full of missteps, errors, contradictions, and wrongs. It has been the responsibility of each generation following the country’s birth to address this question and the country’s imperfections in their own way and time.
How are we to live? Unfortunately, in our short American history this question becomes so argumentative that every third generation of Americans has spilled blood to answer it. The Revolutionary War, Civil War, and World War II resulted in over one million every-third generation of Americans dying.
How are we to live? As of today, three generations have passed since Germany and Japan thought they had a better way to live. Six generations since the slavery issue came to a head. Nine generations since we told England we didn’t want to live their way. See the ever-third-generation pattern?
How are we to live? Like clockwork, this question has been heating up again big time. China, Russia, some other countries, a bunch of globalists, and even a segment of Americans thinks it’s time the American experiment gets back in line with world history. People are a function of those wearing the pants, not a people controlling their own destiny. The Constitution is, well, past its time…
How are we to live? Well, here’s my take for 2022…
…the stock market will survive somehow. The Yankees will be fine if MLB gets an agreement with the players.
…the answer to the ‘how are we to live’ question will not be resolved. We’ll have a better idea this time next year how it’s going to shake out.
…2022 is going to stay ugly in a lot of ways trying to answer this ‘how are we to live’ question.
…and, according to the world history calendar, our younger fighting-age generation is more at risk somehow, somewhere, and sometime soon…
…and yes, people will still need your help next year.
Happy New Year!