Lifespans and the Collapse of Civilization

We are not focusing on the most important technology

Glen Hendrix


Photo by Ameer Basheer on Unsplash

One of the leading causes for the impending collapse of civilization is the paltry length of the human lifespan. This was not so much a factor in the collapse of past civilizations. Those died out because of local resources being used up, drought, disease, or overrun by an adjacent or marauding civilizations.

The collapse I’m talking about will be world wide because we are a global species and connected through trade and resources despite the artificially created tribes of nationalism and arbitrarily drawn borders. We have nationally and collectively begun to run out of arable land, water, and oil. We have collectively seen our atmosphere become a trap for heating up the planet and changing our climate.

The early European explorers were vandals, rapacious murderers, and thieves besides being vectors for disease the rest of the world had no defense against. This blossomed into colonialism, a political mechanism for human and resource exploitation. All of this was exacerbated by the invention of capitalism which turned into a voracious monster, using up resources, both material and human, at an ever increasing pace. But it would have happened without all those horrible things because, once we tamed fire, factories and transportation running on fossil fuels became inevitable. The ruination of our future was not inevitable except for one factor — the human lifespan.

It could all have been prevented if humans had lifespans of hundreds of years instead of less than a hundred. If we had the lifespan of Methuselah (969 years — flood killed him) we would not have the problems we have today. People look to the future. If they don’t have a future they don’t really give a great big fuck about right now. Less than a hundred years is quite discouraging if you are stuck in a low wage job without much hope of advancement or raise.

In many cases billionaires exist because they don’t really care about the environment or depleting resources because they are not going to be around to suffer the consequences of their actions. Perhaps they lean to antisocial attitudes, but they might selfishly conclude they would like to retire to a nice environment with air they can breathe and grass…