Harari says that originally we relied on our local units to survive. He claims that it is either our families or tribe who would support us in any disaster. The change from tribe to chiefdoms into city-state came with it an inherent shift from reliance on your peers and family into reliance on the individual and the city-state. “The state and the market approached people with an offer that could not be refused. ‘Become individuals,’ they said. ‘Marry whoever you desire, without asking permission from your parents. Take up whatever job suits you, even if community elders frown.” (Harari 402) This break away from the restrictions on your local culture gave people more individuality but it also came with putting a price tag on life. Everything people do now costs money even drinking water. It is somewhat narrow in thinking however as we still have family units that we rely on in times of crisis, even if our biological family is crap, we make our own. We join churches, community groups, and have friends who will support us.
The role that historians should play as we consider our future as a species is a question for the individual historian. Just as every other person in life has their own personal motivations in life so do historians. It is a question of what is most important to them. Are they trying to preserve the history of the human race? There are probes in space with vast stores of data on humanity for any space dweller to find. Are they trying to understand humanity as a whole, like Harari? Good Luck 🙂 Every person needs to find their own motivation for living in a dying world. We have records of all kinds of world-ending prophecies, people had to find a meaning to live on, now it is our scientist writing the doomsday pamphlets and our decision on how to deal with it.