Recent centuries have amounted to evolutionary flux. Humans have grown sufficiently strong to fully control the planet’s life and extinguish entire species, from buffalo to mosquitoes. Both harmful and valuable animals are being exterminated, though for opposite reasons. Within decades, tigers, elephants, and monkeys might only be seen in zoos. The destruction of old forests contributes to the extinction; new forests lack comparable fauna diversity. Overfishing and sea pollution causes similar extinction in the water.
This process is nothing new, and falls short of the previous extinction’s magnitude, when an entire type of animals—all the huge ones—perished. Though we regret the lack of opportunity to see dinosaurs on safari, the Earth is just fine without them.
Some humans are affected with a like problem of extinction. Throughout the ages, all humans were about equal. Their cultures were so alike in terms of advancement that Romans and Germanic barbarians competed equally; and when it came down to sword battles, the Germanics astonishingly prevailed. Today, barbarians seem to lack such an opportunity. Some Africans and Mexicans trickle into America, but the majority of them have no hope of plundering America’s riches. Africans increase their standard of living tremendously with the crumbs from Western technological advances. Their quality of life, starting from near-zero, rises tremendously in relative terms. But in absolute terms the gap has to increase. Some cultures proved inefficient. Acquiring a culture—and perhaps the ability—to study takes many generations, and by the time Black academics appear, Western societies would make the gap unbridgeable.
Historically, primitive societies took over advanced ones by military means. That option, Kalashnikovs against fighter bombers, is now closed. Decadence might do as well: unwilling to work or bear children, Europeans open themselves to the third world’s immigration. But the immigrants dissolve into the new culture within two generations. Descendants of Moroccans in France can do relatively well, while their homeland compatriots would be falling increasingly behind.
There is no Greenpeace to save these extinct cultures, nor do we need one.