the crazy leftist rag known as forbes magazine asks…
Capitalism has been the dominant economic system in the Western world for, give or take, 400 years. And in that virtual eye blink in the grander scheme of things it has produced more wealth than all the prior economic systems put together.
It’s also lifted hundreds of millions out of poverty, educated billions and may—heck, let’s just stipulate will—one day cure cancer.
But nothing—not even the bestest thing ever—lasts forever. Stuff happens. Things change. Systems work until they don’t.
How close is capitalism to the end of its useful life? What comes next? And can we even have an intelligent discussion about any of it without getting bogged down in mutually hostile definitions?
Damn. This is fascinating, if not deeply disturbing. Just one more way that European colonialism decimated the people of Africa, leaving behind death, destruction, and disease in its wake; a wake that still troubles the progress of humanity today.
For decades nobody knew the reasons behind the birth of the AIDS epidemic. But it is now clear that the epidemic’s birth and crucial early growth happened during Africa’s colonial era, amid massive intrusion of new people and technology into a land where ancient ways still prevailed. European powers engaged in a feverish race for wealth and glory blazed routes up muddy rivers and into dense forests that had been traveled only sporadically by humans before.
… So the improbable journey of the killer strain of HIV was feasible for only a few hectic decades, from the 1880s to the 1920s. Without “The Scramble for Africa,” it’s hard to see how HIV could have made it out of southeastern Cameroon to eventually kill tens of millions of people. Even a delay might have caused the killer strain of HIV to die a lonely death deep in the forest.