Proof - The World Is A Better Place To Live
What has the World Come To
We can all whine about the way the world looks today but in reality the world is many times better than years past.
In reality the world is many times better than years past. Never before have we been this close to world peace, so healthy, so cultured, and so educated and certainly never this happy.
This is a short article highlighting what life was like in past years and how darn lucky we are to be living in the 21st century!
Read on and maybe, this will change your outlook on life.
Health and Wellbeing
The world used to be very unhealthy indeed.
Irish Famine of 1740–1741 - A great place to start because the majority of us are Irish descendants. The 21 month crisis famine was caused by the Little Ice Age which was hailed as the last long cold spell. Basally it was too cold to grow crops and the nation starved to death. During this time 38% of the population died. During the next 100 years many of the Irish and other locals migrated to the America.
Great Irish Potato Famine of 1845 – 1852 – Sometime referred to as the Potato Blight, once again in Ireland. Lessons learnt from the previous famine caused farmers to introduce the Irish Lumper potato, an easy to grow, cold resilient potato. This particular variety of potato became the staple food of the poor until the variety became diseased. The disease spread across the land rendering their staple food rancid. With little to eat the people not only staved but more so died of sickness caused by malnutrition. In fact, more people died during this period due to disease rather than starvation. History does not hold exact mortality figures but it is thought that, out of the 5.7 million inhabitants, more than a million souls died in the holocaust.
The Great Depression – Was a nasty world period where mostly children fell to disease and malnutrition. It is documented that 90% of children living in rural eastern USA were malnourished. Considering 90% of the population at the time was under the age of 20, an awful lot of kids must have been in dire straits. Many did not survive the hunger and contracted diseases like tuberculosis.
Lack of Medical Help – Most of us know how far medicine has advanced in just 30 years. In the past most aliments such as cancer were not curable or controllable. One could visit a doctor but there was no cure. If the patient was suffering from osteoporosis, polio, a heart condition or similar nothing could be done. Up until around 1950, it was common that in a household of five children, two were not expected to live past age 5. However, worldwide child mortality rate is decreasing in recent years. According to UNICEF and the UN, in 1990 12 million children under the age of 5 died, in 2009 8 million, and in 2011 only 7 million.
We think today there is war, and there is. Today there are 60 countries and 426 Militias-guerrillas/separatist groups at war or on the brink of war. There is trouble in the USA, North Korea, the Middle East and Africa. (Source http://www.warsintheworld.com). But this pails in light of years gone by where just about everyone was at war. World War I saw 42 counties involved in one war alone. World War II saw 113 countries involved. Turning the clock back a little further to Europe and Napoleon days we see wars lasting years, we see the invasion and takeover of countries like Greece, The Americas (yes the USA), Australia, Africa, New Guinea, and countless others. The Europeans took over lands and either enslaved the locals or exterminated them. We cannot discount these millions of deaths, or push them under the carpet just because the victims were uncivilized.
Casualties of war - Using World War II as a bench mark where more people were killed than any other war in history, a total of 60 to 78 million died. The next worst war was in the year 1206, being the Mongol conquests war where 30 to 60 million died. The next inline were 25 million in the Qing dynasty conquest of 1616. Putting these figures into perspective we can look at the Gulf War where 40,000–57,000 died. The Iran–Iraq War was very bad at 1 million casualties. The Iraq war has similar figures. However one can see the numbers of recent days bear little resemblance to those 30 years and beyond ago.
Some readers will note the discrepancy in the above casualty figures. This is because most historical reports do not account for dearths on both sides, this article includes all casualties.
Education and Culture
Up until the beginning of the 20th Century only the wealthy were schooled, all others were involved in work from a very young age. Only a handful of the world population could read and write. Books and literature were far and few between. In 1970 the world illiteracy was at 38% however, it has since halved, in 2005 only 12% were illiterate. (Source http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Literacy )
Culture was intertwined with witches, goblins, and religion. Today culture is made up of an understanding of our history and our fellow countries. Through education and travel people have become more aware and worldly, leaving little room for mistruths and witchcraft.
Software and Communication
The impact of technology has seen the greatest strides in the betterment of the world than anything before. Only the invention of fire or perhaps the wheel changed our world more than modern technology. The impact of the computer has been far reaching; today we use software to communicate, educate, calculate and do our work for us. With all these functions we have become super-efficient, leaving time to use the software to entertain us. Best of all, it is mostly free.
The crime rate is dropping every day mostly due to less people being starved into stealing but also due to electronic surveillance. Security cameras are everywhere posing a real problem for would-be vandals, murders, thieves and the likes.
If we were to go back in time, 30 years, or 50 or a 1000, and told people what it is like on earth today the people would think of the future as heaven.
- Tell the people they do no need to work 15 hours 6 days a week.
- Tell them that all their children will live past the age of 80.
- Tell them the government will support them when they are unemployed.
- Tell them polio was irradiated from most of the world.
- Tell them their kids can go to school for 12 years for free.
- Tell them they will not be burnt at the stake because someone thought they were a witch.
- Tell them they can communicate with friends in faraway places for free.
- Tell them about democracy.
- Tell them wars are fort in unmanned tanks and aircraft.
- Tell them slavery has been abolished.
- Tell them about UNICEF.
- Tell them that racism is deemed wrong.
- Tell them women in most countries can vote.
- Tell them the world now cares for the environment.
But, mostly tell them how darn lucky you are to be living in the 21st century!
What period would you prefer to be living in ?
Karl Marx: A Nineteenth-Century Life