Lemmings are a small animal which gets a great sense of security from being in agreement with others. Sometimes hundreds of thousands of them will migrate into the sea, and die, because it is impossible for them to think that so many could be wrong. Sometimes, with human beings too, at least every few thousand years, this sweet idea turns out to be a lemon.
About seven thousand years ago a few people, probably less than one in a thousand, started to till the soil to grow their food, and domesticate animals. Again and again over the next two thousand years, the hunting and gathering folk, who were much more numerous, raided the farms, stole their produce, and slaughtered their animals. It was so easy, compared to hunting or gathering your own.
The farmers started again. By 3,000 BC in Mesopotamia and Egypt they were at last strong enough in these limited areas to defend themselves. There was no turning back. All people would benefit.
Up until 50 AD, although men had been writing for 3,500 years, the Greek philosophers had come and gone, high Egyptian culture was now old, the Roman Lawmakers were nearing their height, and we now have half a million cuneiform manuscripts from this time in Mesopotamia, and the Old Testament had long been written, there has not been discovered a single statement of conscience against chattel slavery.
After the earlier Slave Trade Act of 1807, limiting slavery, in 1833 the Slavery Abolition Act was passed by Britain with the negro slave trade ending, and in 1865 slavery was abolished in America. In 1816 white slavery which had involved one million Europeans* being enslaved in North Africa, was ended with gun boat diplomacy. Slavery is now unanimously abhorred. How could these great changes each have occurred, within so short a time as 2,000 years? The simplest way to say it is that that there is no force on earth so powerful, as an idea whose time has come!
Are there other such ideas waiting in the wings? We think so. It’s not easy understanding ideas which are new and different, especially when others are not helping you, because they don’t yet understand them either.
We’d love you to join us in raising and discussing the new economic ideas which will need to accompany the technological age.
It’s hard work, challenging, and you’ll have to commit time to it, but there are no rewards in its class which promise to produce a world of greater efficiency, in terms of human satisfaction.
· *“White Gold” by Giles Milton, Hodder & Stoughton 2004.
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