The history of mankind is an immense sea of errors
in which a few obscure truths may
here and there be found.
Cesare Beccaria

 

In the preceding chapters we have reviewed, at least in part, our immense sea of errors, and from it have extracted a few of the obscure truths, and have hopefully rendered those truths a little less obscure. To "straighten up and fly right", as Nat Cole would say, you need truths and not too many errors.

In regard to human relations, the 20th Century has produced its fair share of errors--wars, crime, ineptitude and so on, but on the credit side there have been some positive achievements such as women's emancipation, better understanding between nations, lessened racial and religious bigotry, recognition of environmental issues and so forth . . . not too bad an effort. Perhaps it could even be claimed that human intelligence has advanced a notch, although of course you could argue that point.

Now that the danger of World War III has passed, and aside from the global issues of overpopulation, environment, etc, the main threat to human existence today--as much in the developed countries as in the undeveloped--is the deterioration of peoples' health, together with the almost universal ignorance and indifference to that problem. The 21st Century could, if we played our cards right, produce a new Golden Age for mankind; but that will not happen because we have yet to learn how to play our cards right. Trial and error takes time.

There can be no Golden Age in a civilization beset with health problems and which does nothing about those problems other than to increase taxes to pay for drugs that only make things worse.

Louis Armstrong used to sing: "If it's good, then I want it, and if it's bad then I don't need it." The Russians, after seventy years of Communism, decided Communism was bad and they didn't need it, so they abandoned it--although only after it had just about completely ruined them . . .

The diseases of civilization pandemic in the Western world threaten to ruin everybody, while modern medicine is powerless to stop them. For instance, the death rate from heart disease and cancer currently in the USA is just on one and a half million every year which, in one year mind you, is five times the total number of US servicemen killed in battle in the entire four years of US participation in World War II. And modern scientific medicine can do nothing about it.

Like Communism, now abandoned by the Russians, "scientific" medicine has proven to be a failure and therefore so too is the "health-care" system that is designed around it, in the fallacious belief that health can be restored into a sick body by the administering of drugs. At least Communism works in theory if not in practice, but our health-care system is wrong both in theory and in practice, and only goes to prove the law of diminishing returns: the more you put into it, the more useless it becomes. A medical system that thrives on ill-health is an expensive millstone we cannot afford to carry, and if not soon curbed it will lead us into bankruptcy. Medical dogma with its empty promises is no better than Communist dogma and its empty promises so, as with Communism, the time has come to abandon it.

It has too long been mistakenly believed that technology will bring about a Golden Age, but this belief has been proven wrong because here at the end of the 20th Century we are up to our ears in technology, but we are not as happy as we were fifty years ago. A golden age is an age of enlightenment, and for most of this century we have had the cart ahead of the horse; racing ahead with technology without the enlightenment to give it value.

But there is a change in the wind, a stirring of awareness, and there are signs that a new era of enlightenment has begun. In regard to health matters, perhaps Dr Alexis Carrel's prediction of 1936 has started to come true: "Unless the doctors of today become the dieticians of tomorrow, the dieticians of today will become the doctors of tomorrow." But time is running out. "Right now," says Dr Dean Burk (see Foreword to The Health Revolution), "we are on dangerous ground, and whichever way we take there will be some rough going. As ever, the fittest will survive."

Happy Landings