Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think vs. X-Events: The Collapse of Everything
Which of these two views is more plausible? Is abundance right around the corner or are we headed towards the collapse of everything? Well, that brings to mind an old Orson Welles quote,
If you want a happy ending, that depends, of course, on where you stop your story.
At one time, the Roman Empire sat as the jewel of civilization. Founded in 625 BC, a city-state became a republic around 525 BC and made it almost 500 years before stumbling into dictatorship. Even afterwards, the empire soldiered on for another 500 years or so until the Western Empire fell in 476 AD. That's the thing about history -- it goes on for a long, long time. Time enough for all sorts of unlikely things to happen and, yes, as we learned from the Dark Ages after the fall of the Roman Empire, we can go backwards as a species.
Unfortunately, there is a lot of evidence to support the main contention behind X-Events: The Collapse of Everything. We just had a worldwide financial crash that was caused by governmental policies in the United States and spread across the world via derivatives few people understand. How many people truly grasped the size and scope of the risk we were taking? Very few. Additionally, Western democracies are running large, unsustainable deficits because they're having terrible difficulty funding the enormous governments and social safety nets they've created over the last 50 years.