X-Prize Foundation’s Peter Diamandis: Abundance is Our Future

(Guest Post by Matthew Ladner)

Rational optimism or irrational exuberance? You be the judge…probably some of both.

I especially love the part about the progress over the last century and his story about the executive assistant in Manchester.

2 Responses to X-Prize Foundation’s Peter Diamandis: Abundance is Our Future

  1. allen says:

    “Rational optimism” and “irrational exuberance” are our only two choices? Looking at that chart I’m wondering whether “irrationally cautious” ought to be among the choices.

    One trend that Diamandis didn’t mention was the erosion of the authoritarian state. Used to be there were tin-pot dictators in every misbegotten corner of th Earth and a good percentage of the human race was lorded over by two-legged monsters. Now? Not so much.

    In fact, I think the twentieth century will be seen as the beginning stages of the discarding of authoritarianism by humanity with the twenty-first as the century in which representative forms thrust aside authoritarians.

    You can see that trend in big and little changes both far and near.

    The Chinese communist party has embraced free enterprise as a means of avoiding national dissolution but along with free enterprise you get “free”. People who get used to a rising standard of living and the choices increased wealth puts within their grasp are not likely to voluntarily curb their desire to participate in societal decision. Quite the opposite so if you don’t want the bother of representing the people you’re forced to use the means – coercion – you’ve voluntarily eschewed in the economic arena.

    As long as next year looks better then this year that sort of uncomfortable accommodation may survive, of trying to use just enough force to maintain political control but not so much that economic growth is choked off. But longer term? As wealth increases the desire for autonomy doesn’t decrease so Chinese authoritarians are faced with a future which doesn’t really have any place for them.

    My point? Authoritarianism is a monumental waster of resources of every stripe and can only survive by the extinguishment of representative governments which inevitably outperform them economically. We won the cold war with dollars, not guns and “we”, the free enterprise “we”, are in the process of winning the war against authoritarianism in general.

  2. matthewladner says:

    Allen-

    I certainly hope you are right on that score. I suspect that events will prove you right in the long run.

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