We Have Reason To Be Optimistic About The 21st Century

Over at the Prospect, they say,

“We asked 100 writers and thinkers to answer the following question: Left and right defined the 20th century. What’s next? The pessimism of their responses is striking: almost nobody expects the world to get better in the coming decades, and many think it will get worse.”

First of all, freedom vs. totalitarianism along with Capitalism vs. Communism would better define what the last century was about than “left and right.”

Next — and more importantly — why should people be so pessimistic? Sure, there will be demographic challenges, tough choices we’ll have to make about Medicare and Social Security — the war on terror has a ways to go, and who knows what other problems we’ll have to face, but look at how much better off we are because of technological advances.

This is especially true in America. Most poor Americans today live better than many of the richest Americans did a hundred years ago. Don’t buy that? Well, Ok would you rather make 20k a year today or be worth 10 million dollars back in 1900.

Think about how different things were back then. Women couldn’t vote. Blatant discrimination against black Americans was rampant. Medicine was primitive. There was no internet, no TV, no modern air conditioning, music, or super markets, and no Wal-Mart. Look around your house and think about the things you do day in and day out. How much of that even existed back in 1900.

Well, now think ahead to 2100 AD. How many incredible inventions will be around by then? Will the average life span be 150? Will they be able to stick your brain in another body? Will there be teleporters that allow you to go to New York to catch a play, then off to Paris for dinner, then back home in time to catch a holographic Michelle Malkin reading today’s news? It may sound far fetched, but probably no more so than a stealth bomber that can be launched from Nebraska to hit targets in Iraq, a Space Shuttle that can fly men to the moon, or, for that matter, the internet.

The future isn’t certain and there’s no doubt it’s not going to be a cakewalk, but given the advances we’ve seen in the last couple of centuries, we have good reason to think things will be much better for our great, great, great, great grandchildren than they are for us.

PS: If I had to guess, “what’s next,” it would be “Western civilization vs. itself.” Can we maintain the good things about Western civilization, that helped shape the world for the better, or will we foolishly throw away the best parts of our culture in the name of multi-culturalism and moral relativism?

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