Could advances in technology, genetics and artificial intelligence lead to a world in which economic inequality turns into biological inequality? asks the historian and writer Yuval Noah Harari.
Inequality goes back at least 30,000 years.
Hunter-gatherers were more equal than subsequent societies.
They had very little property, and property is a pre-requisite for long-term inequality.
But even they had hierarchies.
In the 19th and 20th Centuries, however, something changed.
Equality became a dominant value in human culture, almost all over the world. Why?
It was partly down to the rise of new ideologies such as humanism, liberalism and socialism.
But it was also about technological and economic change – which was connected to those new ideologies, of course.
Suddenly the elite needed large numbers of healthy, educated people to serve as soldiers in the army and as workers in the factories.
Governments didn’t educate and vaccinate to be nice.
They …