How much thought do you put in to how your society evolved?  I imagine, if you are anything like me, you know a lot about the way it currently works, but less about how it got there.

And yet, history is important.  There’s a difference between a society where some citizens are lower class because they have slowly evolved to be that way over time, and one where some citizens are lower class due to conquest.

That’s an extreme example, of course, but the point is that history matters.

This article in the New Scientist is what sparked the thought in my brain.  It’s part of a series about inequality.  The author is suggesting that unequal societies are inherently more unstable, which causes them to put more emphasis on expanding – which spreads the inequality.

On a side note, like many internet articles, the comments section is almost as entertaining as the article itself.  In particular the number of comments which “breached the terms of use and have been removed”.  You know an article has hit a nerve when that happens!