Greece: It's All "Bad Luck"

“Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded—here and there, now and then—are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty.

“This is known as ‘bad luck’.”

– Robert A. Heinlein


  1. tmitsss:

    It's Bob Heinlein's world we are just living in it.

  2. obloodyhell:

    I recall, in the early 70s, I happened to be reading the short story collection "The Past Though Tomorrow", which summarizes much of his "Future History". It observes a time referred to as "The Crazy Years", taking place about the 1960s or so, and includes some headlines of "the time".

    One of those headlines is about someone advocating the health benefits of eating dirt.

    Not long after that, I encountered a newspaper article.... regarding someone advocating the health benefits of eating dirt....

    The man managed an almost scary prescience in some ways.

  3. Bram:

    Everyone talks about Ayn Rand - never liked her books.

    I love Heinlein's books and his wisdom. He helped make me a Libertarian.

  4. Mercury:

    Ignorance, oppression and general darkness are also the normal conditions of man. As per the previous post, it should be obvious that we have by no means achieved some kind of permanent plateau of enlightenment, civil harmony and universal opportunity. The degrees of free enquiry, personal liberty, rule of law, social mobility and private property afforded to the common man is beginning to revert back to long-term, historical means.
    As within most large and powerful civilizations which have come before, ours will likely revert to a system where people of any means will do their best during their formative years to prepare for the one day that will determine the the rest of their life: the civil service exam. And the greater success there, the higher their general quality of life will be and the more they'll toe the party line in every respect.
    And that's probably the best case scenario.
    People alive now have genrally enjoyed the brightest days humanity has ever known. Enjoy the sunset if you can.

  5. Orion Henderson:

    Sorry, but I just don't believe this. As the world's population has grown, the lives of humans has improved exponentially. I suppose a new dark age is possible, but other than that there is little historical precedent for humans to revert back. And the dark ages really refers to Europe and disregards the entire rest of humanity during the same time period. There is historical precedent for people to always think things are getting worse though. Sort of a "kids these days" of doom and gloom.

    Ultimately, the Greek implosion is barely a bump in the road of human progress. The USA going backwards in regards to "degrees of free enquiry, personal liberty, rule of law, social mobility and private property" is certainly not a good thing. Don't get me wrong. But it is also a bump on the road. We are a tiny fraction of the world's population. And the USA has, in the past, shown real resilience in bouncing back when the pendulum swings to far.

  6. Bram:

    There have been many dark ages and mass regressions. During the European Dark Ages, the Arab / Muslims briefly flourished, then regressed down to a level below that of the Roman society it had absorbed. Empires in the Far East rose and collapsed on their own schedules.

    All the great Mediterranean Bronze Age civilizations collapsed around 1177 BC. Only Egypt remained intact and they were greatly weakened.

    In the Old World and New there are many ruins of ancient civilizations that organized themselves, rose to great heights of wealth, power, and technology, then collapsed back down to tribalism.

  7. SamWah:

    Rah, Rah, RAH!

  8. Craig:

    Yep, Heinlein was the man (until his post-1980 books). Based on what I've read, he was also an all-around nice guy.

  9. Curiosity64:

    The actress who stars in the Divergent movies swears by it. But it not really dirt, it's "purified clay." She's all homeopathic about it.

  10. Nimrod:

    Well, in that case sign me up immediately. I always do whatever actors and actresses recommend.

  11. Curiosity64:

    "Gasp" You mean they do not walk among us as gods among the sheep to teach us the meaning of life, the universe and everything?

  12. Curiosity64: