Title says it all. I’d like to present a video and get people’s feedback on it. I don’t really know much about philosophy and such but I know bit about history and numbers. None of this adds up, especially if you compare it to the actual industrial revolution as they do in the video. The industrial revolution was the exact opposite of helping the poor. It was basically slaving the poor for progress (morality of which is not really a part of the topic at hand).
It’s just wishful thinking. The only way to grow the global pie, he says, is if poor people get more opportunities. But what’s forgotten in this video is that the world is not all under the same government. If it was, then this things might actually be achievable. But it’s not. There are multiple countries, and among those, a few super-powers. America and Russia immediately come to mind, though I might place a few others in the list as well. But that’s not important. What is important is that America and Russia each want to be more powerful than the other. America still wants more pie than Russia, and vice versa. Yes, perhaps the pie is larger than before. But that just means that there’s more available for those who have forks and plates (i.e. opportunities). If you have forks and plates, you can have pie. But we’re talking about a super-addictive pie. You want as much of it as possible. So you keep all the forks and plates for yourself, and don’t give them to others. Because people don’t need pie to work in your factories. Stale bread is enough for them. That’s what the industrial revolution showed, and continues to show. Regions of Africa and Asia are bad off because various people (Americans, Europeans, Africans, Asians) refused to share their plates and forks, and used the people there to gain more plates and forks for themselves. From a purely materialistic view, you would want to live in a powerful country–a country grown fat on other countries. It’s still a zero sum game.
From a spiritual view, however, the world is as it should be. We are not meant to spend eternity here. If we were, I would be all in support of scientific research of all kinds to make material life better for everyone. Rather, we are intended for a life after this one, and what we say, do, and believe in this life has an impact on where we go in the next. Our main focus should be getting everyone closer to God, not closer to Mars or Jupiter (I mean those both in the senses of planets and gods: war and sensuality). From a spiritual standpoint, poverty brings people closer to God, and so is the preferable life.
what is Egoistic anti-Altruism then?
What they say here is true when viewed from an economic lense. Before the industrial revolution humanity was trapped in the “Malthusian trap”, which simply put means that the pre-industrial worlds population was restricted by the worlds agricultural output, as merely increasing the amount of farmers (population growth) didn’t necessarily increase the world food output beyond a certain point, as dictated by the law of diminishing returns. However, with the industrial revolution the productive output of humanity was no longer restricted by what the earth could grow by itself, and factories and farming machines allowed us to exponentially increase our productive power both agriculturally, and industrially.
With industrial production humanity is much less restricted by the law of diminishing returns when it comes to productive output, and as such adding more people to the earth doesn’t spell the doom for all of mankind, but instead an increase in the creative capacities of humanity (by adding more humans who have their basic life needs covered) means an increase in overall productiveness and technological advancement.
The pie has indeed grown, and that in provable by the fact that humanity has utterly obliterated any population boundaries that existed pre-industrial revolution. If the pie hadn’t grown it would be impossible to maintain even a fraction of the human population which we have today.
The topic of the Malthusian trap is more thoroughly explored in the book Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond, but also in Hans-Hermann Hoppes ‘A short history of man’ which you can read right here, if you’re interested.