I think we avoid learning our history because it’s not a fairy tale.
Career soldiers are supplied via government and will eventually defeat a population who splits time between fighting and producing food.
Cities are more efficient than small towns and allow more specialized jobs. As human population continues to grow, so does urban sprawl. There is no right or wrong, there’s just the laws of the natural universe, one of which is force.
Suburbs and strip malls will continue to consume the countryside until the human population reaches the capacity of its food production. We have done this throughout all of history, growing as geography and technology have allowed us. It will suck when we run out of food, but that’s when we reach our next level of homeostasis.
A profound example relating the previous paragraphs is the hunter-gathering people who settled the Chatham Islands around AD 1500. The islands weren’t suitable for agriculture and so small in size that population control was critical (even castrating infant males) to prevent over hunting. They were so close-knit, they had to handle disputes diplomatically rather than violently.
When the farming people from New Zealand (one and the same people) rediscovered them in 1835, they slaughtered and enslaved their direct ancestors. The biggest difference between the two cultures was the food production capacity of New Zealand versus that of the cold and relatively tiny Chatham islands. (I learned this from a fascinating book called Guns, Germs, and Steel, and then fact checked with Wikipedia.)
Perhaps the single largest factor throughout human history which decides who will be conquered is food supply. All other innovations (writing, organized government, metallurgy, etc.) seem to spawn as a result.
Rome and the christian way of life spread, not because of belief, rather the raised quality of living. Christianity served as common ground, facilitating diplomacy and cohesion as never before, even in the most heated debates. This is one general observation in Peter Heather’s: The Fall of the Roman Empire. The same is happening with our new moral compass: Chipotle, AT&T, Amazon, etc. guide us because they deliver results and improve our lives.
It is nice that folks in Guatemala City can get matching bathroom mats for the price of handwoven rug by an indigenous tribe. It’s also a little sad to see how Pizza Hut and Radio Shack replace mom-n-pap shops, slowly homogenizing the formerly unique towns and cities across the globe.
Manufactured space food will inevitably be disguised as the latest “healthy” trends, replacing simple foods recommended by the old and wise. Anti-aging pills will promise a substitute for clean living and exercise. We are still searching for the fountain of youth, after all.
Why do I share this? It entertains me to understand stuff, like how humans really function. If the right people get the right information, maybe we can avoid getting sucker-punched.
I find it impossible to experience joy and judgement simultaneously.