If we're to avoid their fate, we'll need policies to reduce economic inequality and preserve natural resources, according to a NASA-funded study that looked at the collapses of previous societies.
"Two important features seem to appear across societies that have collapsed," reads the study. "The stretching of resources due to the strain placed on the ecological carrying capacity and the economic stratification of society into Elites and Masses."
In unequal societies, researchers said, "collapse is difficult to avoid.... Elites grow and consume too much, resulting in a famine among Commoners that eventually causes the collapse of society."
Not to long ago, Michael Bay directed Armageddon, a movie which conclusively showed that only white people had produced the means to stave off... a meteorite collision with earth that would revert worldwide civilization to that of Detroit 2014.
As limited resources plague the working class, the wealthy, insulated from the problem, "continue consuming unequally" and exacerbate the issue, the study said.
Bay pays homage to the dream of John F. Kennedy, that of going to the Moon and having a vision of space exploration to guide our country into the future.
It's worth remembering America had a choice in the late 1960s, early 1970s: continue funding space exploration or fund the proliferation of the black underclass (and eventually the offspring of illegal immigrants and refugees brought to enrich America).
Dark Side of the Moon: The Magnificent Madness of the American Lunar Quest (by Gerard Degroot) is a book that provides a glimpse into the choice America had before it, even before white men stepped foot on the moon in 1969.
Would we fund space exploration or pour billions (trillions) into trying to trick trick nature and close the racial gap in achievement (save the ability for black individuals to dunk a basketball and run a 40-yard-dash a few tenths of a second faster than whites)?
LBJ would have preferred to cut military expenditure – in particular, what he called “that bitch of war.” [Vietnam]
Civil Rights and the Great Society were his programs, more than they were Kennedy’s. Cutting them would be like drowning his baby. In any case, a wave of riots in America’s inner cities underlined the fact that the problem of America’s black population needed urgent attention, not to mention piles of money. That left the space program as the most logical target for cuts.Enthusiasm for NASA was a manifestation of socioeconomic standing. Those in steady jobs were much more likely to support the space program than those on welfare. Blacks were less enthusiastic than whites, high school dropouts less than college graduates. In the early years, even though it was quite clear that rockets were very expensive, space did not have a direct impact upon the disposable income of employed Americans. The cost seemed affordable, since it had not led directly to tax rises. Fifty cents a week was a small price to pay for all that excitement. But for those in poverty, NASA seemed a cruel manifestation of national priorities.
Your taxes go to fulfill the hopes of Whitney Young, who believed ten billion dollars could lift every poor person, magically granting them access to the "American Dream."Going to the Moon was, it appeared, more important than education, welfare, health, or housing. On the margins of society, a constant refrain was heard: “If we can send a man to the Moon, why can’t our children read?” “For the poor, the Moon shot seems just another stunt,” Whitney Young of the National Urban League, commented at the time. “A circus act. A marvelous trick that leaves their poverty untouched. It will cost thirty-five billion dollars [sic] to put two men on the Moon. It would take ten billion dollars to lift every poor person in this country above the official poverty standard this year. Something is wrong somewhere.”The space program was a special boon to the South, with its various installations in Huntsville, New Orleans, Cape Canaveral, and Houston. Some people hoped that this would provide the economic regeneration that would inspire a social transformation – the South would leave behind its racist ways and soar into space. But this did not happen. The sophisticated nature of the work demanded a well-educated, highly trained workforce. As late as 1972, little more than 3 percent of the scientists and engineers working for NASA were black. Granted, there was some manual work for those lower down the social ladder, but, when the contraction began during the Johnson years, the effect was profound. Workers who had left the agrarian sector in order to participate in the lunar challenge found themselves thrown on the scrap heap. (p.199-202)
The America that put men on the Moon was a great country; the America that decided to invest trillions (without any demonstrable return on investment) into uplifting black people is not a great country.
A rough road still leads to the stars.
The science fiction writers from Jules Verne to Robert Heinlein to Asimov believed mankind's future was that of exploring the heavens; little did they know the people capable of reaching the stars would spend considerable effort and resources moving from a dangerous, majority black city (or tipping that way) to another town that will inevitably, demographically tip the same way.
Underneath the stars, the universe was once ours.
Today, the Federal Government will use HUD to map your zip code/neighborhood/community to ensure it soon has sufficient amounts of black enrichment.
We could have been on Mars, but our government decided creating mini-Detroits as official policy from sea to shining sea was a more suitable, noble goal...
Some of us will live to see to the day when such priorities have changed, forever.
Then, and only then, will our noblest collective aspiration revert from uplifting black people, to once again watching rockets lift up to the heavens.