The state and market took over the role of caretaker and made people individuals. Instead of families and communities providing for one another, the state and market encouraged people to be individuals and do as they please under the promise that the state and market would provide those things that family and community previously provided. “We will provide food, shelter, education, health, welfare and employment. We will provide pensions, insurance and protection” (Harari, p. 359). The state and market also took advantage of “imagined communities” and created enormous groups of people who certainly didn’t all know each other, but they had similar interests and as such, behaved similarly. One example of this that Harari uses is fans of Madonna, as they all buy Madonna’s music, concert tickets, and other merch. These imagined communities allowed the state and market to thrive because they are built on “individuals” being part of large groups of heavy consumers.
Historians are certainly most suited to finding patterns in history. Although what humans have done is nothing like any other species this planet has ever seen, historians can still look at what humans ourselves have done in our relatively short time on earth. Empires have fallen at various scales and historians can see better than anyone else when our current society shows signs of impending doom as well. Historians can warn the world they see these signs, but it’s really the responsibility of the world (mostly its leaders) to listen and change. The power exists on this planet already to end all human life. While they are not solely responsible, I believe it is the historians duty to convince others that this power should not be used. Or, if historians think that the world would be better off without humans, then to let us fall.