What is commonly believed today that will be proved false eventually?

1) Earth is in danger of being invaded by an alien civilization. As our recently acquired capability to generate sustainable abundance, and especially the abundance of space resources, demonstrates, alien civilizations will find only one thing uniquely valuable about Earth: our human cultures. (They could take a few hundred specimens of any organism and have a breeding population. No need for invasion of Earth itself to do this.) Those cultures would, of course, be destroyed by any heavy-handed interference. So, if ETs exist, I expect they may be quietly observing us right now. We would provide some of the most fascinating exo-anthropology available.

2) Pharmaceutical drugs are inherently useful and illegal drugs are inherently destructive. As I document in my book, the present War on Drugs began as a fraud implemented by timber baron W. R. Hearst and his son-in-law, Harry Anslinger (first head of predecessor agency to DEA). Hearst feared hemp as a threat to the value of his timber holdings, and used his newspapers along with Anslinger to demonize “marijuana” (so-named because of the fact that Anslinger detested Mexicans and blacks, and wanted to criminalize them by association).

Many pharmaceutical drugs can have deadly side effects yet remain legal. (e.g. Ambien can cause sleep driving. FDA recently approved a “female Viagra” that doesn’t work and is dangerous when taken unless one abstains from alcohol. There are many other examples.) Cannabis offers enough medical uses that the US Department of HHS filed its own patent on those medical uses; simultaneously with the US DEA declaring that no medical uses exist. Other drugs such as MDMA and LSD have been found to be enormously helpful in treating PTSD, as reported in medical journals by psychiatrists.

In future, all drugs will be judged in terms of their potential benefits and potential harms. Medicine will not be controlled by politics. Tobacco and alcohol will be consumed in moderation by some responsible adults, and the same will be true of other psychoactive drugs.

3) Capitalism is the only viable economic system. “The trend of technology replacing virtually every worker destroys the model of capitalism. Capitalism assumes that economic production chiefly employees (sic) people not machines. Workers derive personal wealth from employment. When the majority of goods and services are produced by machines without human labor then the capitalist model falls completely apart.”

While some argue that capitalism only needs for there to be proper rewards to those with capital, and has no inherent need for workers, this ignores Adam Smith’s observation that production for any purpose other than consumption is ridiculous. Most consumption is by the vast majority who are not capital owners. (A Universal Basic Income would allow a type of capitalism to continue, though far different than anything to date. But the hurdles to adoption are enormous: Guaranteed Mirage Income?)

It is obviously beyond the scope of this answer to explain why the other defenses of capitalism (e.g. new jobs will be created faster than old ones are destroyed, and workers can be retrained for those new jobs) fall short. I have done so in my book and in various other platforms. In my book, I have proposed a new system of production called Celebrationism. Whether that system or another based on sustainable abundance comes to prevail, I am confident that the old scarcity-based “isms” (capitalism, socialism, etc.) will remain only as forms of entertainment within the security of abundance-based societies.

4) People need to suffer. There are so many variants on this idea that I won’t try to address them here. As I see it, future abundance-based societies will recognize that suffering, and much of the pain of life (which is not the same thing as suffering; AKA pain resisted), can be eliminated with no consequence other than healthier, happier people and ecosystems.

5) Dystopia is inevitable. News media focus on bad news because it captivates viewers. Good news generally does not captivate. Authors and movie makers likewise understand the economic value of frightening people.

Yet technology is advancing at accelerating speed, and every major technological advance opens up vast new powers to better the human condition and the world. (Yes, they also open up commensurate powers to cause harm. I am presuming that wisdom will prevail. Otherwise, with the powers now opening up, there may be no future for humanity. That would be obliteration, not dystopia.)






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