|Human population vs Year.|
Politics:In Palaeolithic times, there weren't many people living on this planet. People hunted and gathered their food, and had relatively non-hierarchical, egalitarian social structures. According to archaeologists, violence in hunter-gatherer societies was ubiquitous. Approximately 25% to 30% of adult male deaths in these societies were due to homicide, compared to an upper estimate of 3% of all deaths in the 20th century. The cause of this is near constant tribal warfare: "From the !Kung in the Kalahari to the Inuit in the Arctic and the aborigines in Australia, two-thirds of modern hunter-gatherers are in a state of almost constant tribal warfare, and nearly 90% go to war at least once a year." However, due to the extremely low population back then, extremely few people were killed in absolute terms. Then, around 10,000 BC, some bright spark/bulb invented agriculture...
Fast-forward a few thousand years to the time of Genghis Khan. He came to power by uniting many of the nomadic tribes of north-east Asia. The Mongol invasions resulted in wholesale massacres of civilian populations. His descendants went on to stretch the Mongol Empire across most of Eurasia by conquering or creating vassal states out of all of modern-day China, Korea, the Caucasus, Central Asian countries, and substantial portions of modern Eastern Europe, Russia and the Middle East. Many of these invasions repeated the earlier large-scale slaughters of local populations. However, due to the low population (around 300 million), few people were killed in absolute terms. Then, around 1,600 AD, some bright spark/bulb invented government...
As mentioned in How did we get to where we are today? Part 2., the invention of liberal government encouraged the exchange of ideas and entrepreneurship. Monarchies taxed people, but their bureaucracies stifled entrepreneurship, so the French and the Chinese invented loads of stuff that never saw the light of day. We Brits got lucky. As a result, the Industrial Revolution created wealth out of dirt, which led to rapid economic growth and rapid population growth. The Green Revolution led to more rapid population growth.
Fast-forward to the 21st Century. Warfare has killed millions of people. Rulers have killed hundreds of millions of people (the vast majority by totalitarian & authoritarian regimes), according to Anarchy Begins at Home: The Blog Series Part 6 – Democide. However, due to the extremely high population, only approximately 5.6% of the total population have been killed by rulers. That's what I call relative peace.
EDIT: I don't want a system where entire populations can be slaughtered by armies led by a charismatic leader. I also don't want a system where the poor & underprivileged are "free" to die in poverty. Some people scrounge off Social Security, but the amount of money scrounged by them pales into insignificance compared to the amount of money scrounged off the rest of us by the wealthiest people on this planet.
Religion:I'm not religious. I have no problem with people believing in God, as long as they have no problem with me not believing in God. A thought experiment that you may find interesting is God's Debris, by Scott Adams.
Diet:Read the rest of my blog, dammit!
In other news...
Mum is now in a coma, but her breathing is regular.