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“Sapiens. A brief history of humankind” by Jewish Israeli historian Dr Yuval Noah Harari from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (Al Quds to Indigenous Arab Palestinians)  is a well-written,  interesting, entertaining, and thought-provoking book that challenges and suggests many ideas. However for all its radical and progressive pretensions it involves a Eurocentric, Anglocentric, Zionocentric and neoliberal narrative  that is most blatant in the final Chapters 18-20, ignores horrendous atrocities such as the ongoing Palestinian Genocide and the 2-century Indian Holocaust  under the British, and is outrageously deficient  and wrong in relation to  the present acute, existential  threats to Humanity  and the Biosphere from nuclear weapons and man-made climate change.

A copy of “Sapiens. A brief history of humankind” [1] was recently purchased for me at a Melbourne Airport bookshop by dear friends just before they took off for a remote and exciting holiday location on the other side of the world. Indeed the Mainstream, Eurocentric and Anglocentric narrative of the book, like that of other airport best-sellers, would appeal to prosperous, book-reading, Mainstream folk (as you find at airports), especially  those from the UK  and from overseas Anglo countries deriving from British-based conquest, colonialism and genocide, namely the US, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and UK- and US-backed Apartheid Israel [2, 3].

The Jewish Israeli author, Dr Yuval Noah Harari, obtained a PhD in History from Oxford University (UK) and specializes in World History at the Hebrew University in  Israeli West Jerusalem, noting that in 1967 Apartheid Israel war criminally conquered and thence forcibly and illegally  incorporated Al Quds (East Jerusalem, Old Jerusalem) and its conquered Indigenous Palestinian  population into  a “greater” Jerusalem. The influence of this background is quite evident in many ways throughout the book, especially  to  people  such as myself who have an anti-racist Jewish background, are familiar with world history, and in particular  are familiar with the history of imperialism-, colonialism- and genocide-based countries of the Anglo world, namely  the US, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Anglo-backed Apartheid Israel and formerly Anglo-backed,  Apartheid Israel-backed and Apartheid-based  South Africa.

Some key aspects of this variously interesting, entertaining, provoking and flawed book are considered systematically below.

(A) Astonishing absences in the Index of a “Sapiens. A brief history of Humankind”.  

When I first encountered this best-selling book in an  excellent, local, suburban  bookshop,  I first  inspected the Index, was appalled by extraordinary  absences (this being quite typical of Anglo histories [3]) and accordingly didn’t buy it.  Fortunately – because much of the book has considerable merit –  my jet-setting  friends overcame my objections and bought me a copy at Melbourne Airport recently.   Inspection of the Index reveals the following astonishing lack of page references for particular key, Elephant-in-the-Room topics in World History:

Zero (0) for Palestine  – 14 million Indigenous Palestinians, the 50% of the subjects of Apartheid Israel who are Indigenous Palestinians  are descendants of the Jewish and non-Jewish Palestinians from the time of Jesus; the  ancient name of Palestine and variants thereof refer to the Philistine coastal inhabitants of circa 3000 BC; Palestine has never invaded other countries; Palestine was a key region in the Agrarian Revolution in the Fertile Crescent in circa 10,000 BC [4-13].

Zero (0) for Bengal – West Bengal population 90 million;  Bangladesh  population 165 million; Bengalis have never invaded others; though  rich in soil, water and sun Bengal was subject to the British-imposed 1769-1770 Bengal Famine (10 million killed and cited 2 times in the book) , the British-imposed WW2 Bengal Famine (WW2 Bengali Holocaust, WW2 Indian Holocaust, 6-7 million Indians killed but not mentioned in the book) and other British-imposed  atrocities in between [1, 2, 14-30].

Zero (0) for genocide – although there have been numerous genocide atrocities  on 5 inhabited continents, only a few are mentioned once in the book, e.g. the WW1 Armenian Genocide (1.5 million killed through violence or imposed deprivation),   the WW2 Jewish Genocide (Shoah, Jewish Holocaust, 5-6 million killed through violence or imposed deprivation), the 2nd century BC total destruction of Carthage  by the Romans, the 1990s Rwandan Genocide (1 million killed), and  the 19th – 20th century Congolese Genocide by the Belgians (10 million killed); however  there is no mention of the 1900s Namibian Genocide (0.1 million Hereros and Namibs killed by the Germans), the Palestinian Genocide (2.3 million Palestinians killed by violence, 0.1 million, or by imposed deprivation, 2,2 million, since the British invasion of  Palestine in WW1), the 1930s Ukrainian Holocaust (Holodomor, Ukrainian Famine, 7 million killed), the late 20th century – 21st century Muslim Holocaust and Muslim Genocide (32 million Muslims killed by violence, 5 million, or imposed deprivation, 27 million, in 20 countries invaded by the US Alliance since the US Government’s 9-11 false flag atrocity in 2001, with this notably including (deaths from violence or imposed derivation in brackets)  the Libyan Genocide (0.2 million), Somali Genocide (2.1 million), Iraqi Genocide (4.5 million), Yemeni Genocide (0.2 million), Syrian Genocide (1.0 million) and Afghan Genocide (7 million) [1, 2, 30-36].

Zero (0) for holocaust – but of numerous holocausts that could have been enumerated only the WW2 Jewish Holocaust is as the WW2 “Jewish Genocide”, and the circa 90% depopulations  of the Indigenous peoples of North America, Central America, South America, West Africa, and Australia by European colonizers are mentioned; however there is no mention of the WW2 Chinese Holocaust (35 million perished under the Japanese, 1937-1945), the WW2 Bengali Holocaust (6-7 million starved to death by the British  with Australian complicity),  the 1757-1947 Indian Holocaust (1,800 million Indians killed through deliberately imposed, egregious  deprivation), the 19th century Chinese Holocaust (up to 100 million perished associated with the British Opium Wars and the connected Tai Ping Rebellion) [2, 30].

Zero (0) for “avoidable deaths”, “avoidable mortality”, “excess deaths”, “excess mortality”, “premature deaths”, and “untimely deaths” – it can be readily determined from UN Population Division data that 15 million people die avoidably from deprivation each year in the Less Developed World (minus China) with national totals ranging from 4,200 in Israeli-occupied Occupied Palestine (population 5 million, per capita GDP $3,000 versus $40,000 for genocidally racist and war criminal Occupier Apartheid Israel) to 4 million in India (population 1,300 million; per capita GDP $1,900; Indian avoidable mortality from deprivation as a percentage of population dropped 10-fold from a genocidal 3.7% under the British  to 0.3% today as compared to 0% today for China, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Apartheid Israel  and Western countries) [2, 37].

Zero (0) for “apartheid” – racism in the US Deep South, Apartheid South Africa and Nazi Germany is described and deservedly condemned at length in the book, although “apartheid” is absent from the Index, and life for Indigenous Palestinians under Israeli Apartheid is utterly ignored. Thus of 14 million Indigenous Palestinians (50% children and 75% women and children), 7 million are  exiled from their homeland on pain of death, and 7 million are subjects of  a nuclear terrorist, genocidally racist, racist Zionist-run, grossly human rights-abusing, serial war criminal, democracy-by-genocide Apartheid rogue state. Of the 7 million Indigenous Palestinian subjects of Apartheid Israel (now 50% of its subjects but ruled by a 47% minority of Jewish Israelis), 5 million are Occupied Palestinians with zero human rights and highly abusively confined to the blockaded, shelled, bombed and starved Gaza Concentration Camp (2 million)  or to military-ruled West Bank ghettoes (3 million), and nearly 2 million .are “lucky” Palestinian Israelis living as voting but Third Class citizens of Apartheid Israel under over 60 Nazi-style race-based discriminatory laws and the often-enunciated threat of genocide by expulsion (800,000 Palestinians were expelled in 1948 and a further  400,000 Arabs were expelled in 1967).    The 5 million Occupied Palestinians are 74% of the now 50% of Israeli subjects who are Indigenous Palestinians but cannot vote for the government ruling them i.e. this is egregious Apartheid, a crime and abomination under International law [2, 4-13]. .

Zero (0) for Zionism – some of the horrendous crimes of Zionism are summarized succinctly above. The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs has carefully recorded about 5,000 Zionist deaths at the hands of Palestinian “terrorists” since 1920. However in the 21st century alone, Apartheid Israel has killed an average of about 5,000 Palestinians annually with about 550 being killed violently and the remainder dying avoidably from Israeli-imposed deprivation [38].  However the Palestinian Genocide is but one part of the genocidal criminality of Zionism.  Thus since Israeli acquisition of nuclear weapons in 1967, Apartheid Israel has exercised an ever- growing influence over Christian  Zionist America and its similarly subverted Anglo lackeys (the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand) as well as the EU. Racist Zionist-ruled Apartheid Israel is thus heavily  complicit in US state terrorism,  America’s  ongoing Muslim Holocaust and Muslim Genocide, the worsening and disproportionately  US- complicit Climate Genocide and the appalling Global Avoidable Mortality Holocaust (15 million avoidable deaths from deprivation on Spaceship Earth each year with the US in charge of the flight deck) [2, 32-36].

Zero (0) for “state terrorism” and  “non-state terrorism”– the penultimate in racism and in “state terrorism” is invading  other countries and the international scorecard for countries invaded is as follows: the  British have invaded 193 countries, Australia 85, France 82, the US 72 (52 after WW2), Germany 39, Japan 30, Russia 25, Canada 25,  Apartheid Israel 12, Saudi Arabia 3,  China 2,   and North Korea arguably zero [39-45].  Indeed the nuclear terrorist, serial invader and serial war criminal US has 800 military bases in more than 70 countries and territories abroad [39]. However invasion, occupation, hegemony and threat variously divert scarce resources from civil to military uses in victim countries with consequent huge avoidable mortality. 1950-2005 avoidable deaths from deprivation in countries variously occupied by the following countries in the post-WW2 era are as follows (in brackets): UK (727 million), France (142 million), US (82 million), Russia (37 million), and Apartheid Israel (24 million) [2]. The ultimate in racism is genocide and Apartheid Israel, in addition to its involvement in the ongoing Palestinian Genocide, has been variously involved in the Sri Lankan Tamil Genocide, the Guatemala Mayan Indian Genocide, the Iraqi Genocide, the Syrian Genocide and the US Alliance-backed Muslim Holocaust and Muslim  Genocide [46].

Zero (0) for “nuclear terrorism” – the ultimate in “state terrorism” is possession of nuclear weapons.  The upper  estimates of stored  nuclear weapons  in the 9 nuclear weapons  countries are as follows: US (7,315), Russia (8,000), Apartheid Israel (400), France (300), UK (250), China (250), Pakistan (120), India (100), and North Korea (circa 10). The world is acutely and existentially threatened by nuclear weapons [47]. This   is  admitted by Dr Harari   but he appallingly, absurdly and incorrectly argues  that nuclear weapons have been  peace makers. Presently US Alliance-backed, nuclear terrorist and genocidally racist Apartheid Israel,  ruled as a “Jewish state” by 6.5 million Jewish Israelis,   has 5 nuclear-armed and German-supplied submarines threatening non-nuclear-weapons and peaceful Iran with nuclear extinction, and has dangerously and irresponsibly attacked Iranian and Iraqi nuclear facilities [47].

Zero (0) for “climate genocide” – the world is also existentially threatened by man-made climate change. Thus about 1 million people presently die each year from climate change in a worsening climate genocide. Several leading climate scientists have predicted that only a mere 0.5 billion people may survive this century in the absence of requisite climate change action, this translating to the death of 10 billion people from climate change this century [47, 48].

In contrast to zero Indexing of  the above Elephant-in-the-Room matters, we find 12 Index page references for Jews, 9 for Israel, 22 for Germany, and 10 for Nazism, these being extremely important matters for people of Dr Harari’s (and my) background but of little direct relevance to 255 million Bengalis, 1,340 million Indians and the  4,900 million people in the Less Developed World (minus China)  suffering under the ongoing, One Percenter-imposed  Global Avoidable Mortality Holocaust that kills 15 million people annually [2]. But why take it from me?  Professor Noam Chomsky (anti-racist Jewish American linguist, philosopher, cognitive scientist, historian, political activist, author of over 100 books,  social critic, and Professor Emeritus at the 93-Nobel-Laureate Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)) (2018): “Humanity faces two imminent existential threats: environmental catastrophe and nuclear war” [49]. Ditto, famed theoretical physicist and cosmologist Professor Stephen Hawking of the 118-Nobel-Laureate University of Cambridge, and a member of board of sponsors of The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (2007, 2018): “We foresee great peril if governments and societies do not take action now to render nuclear weapons obsolete and to prevent further climate change” [50, 51] (for other expert opinions see [52-56]).

(B). Global history from  pre-hominid primates and the arrival of Homo sapiens to modern high technology mankind  threatening self-annihilation.

This well-written,  interesting, thoughtful, ideas-rich, provocative, and entertaining  book takes us on a  journey  that successively describes the evolution of pre-hominid primates, the evolution of bipedal hominids, the evolution of immediate Homo sapiens precursors such as Neanderthals  and Denisovans  (evidently capable  of  successfully mating with Homo sapiens as evidenced by unique genetic contributions to Homo sapiens),  the  Cognitive Revolution (the arrival of a talking, socializing and philosophising modern Homo sapiens circa 200,000 years ago), the Agricultural Revolution (known generally as the Agrarian Revolution that began 12,000 years ago),  the Scientific Revolution (known generally as the Enlightenment that began about 500 years ago), the Industrial Revolution (that began about 200 years ago)  and the present (the Biosphere devastation continuing apace in this Anthropocene Era and with Man now existentially threatening both Humanity and the Biosphere with nuclear weapons and man-made climate change).

Part One, “The Cognitive Revolution”, encompasses Chapter 1, “An Animal of No Significance”, Chapter 2, “The Tree of Knowledge”, Chapter 3, “A Day in the Life of Adam and Eve”, and Chapter 4, “The Flood”. Dr Harari makes the point that Man and his immediate   precursors  such as the Neanderthals became the top predator whereas earlier hominids were scavengers  hunted by big carnivores. However in the context of the 2.5 million year evolution of the genus Homo culminating in Homo sapiens circa 0.2 million years ago,  he sensibly observes that “It is doubtful whether Homo sapiens will still be around a thousand years from now” (page 7). Dr Harari observes that foragers (hunter-gatherers) had a limited but still very significant impact on the Biosphere (e.g.  Indigenous  Australians arrived in Australia about 65,000 years ago, probably exterminated the megafauna and used fire to create extensive  pasture for marsupial herbivores such as  kangaroos). However the supplanting by Enlightenment European invaders  of the otherwise highly sustainable and highly evolved Aboriginal  cultures has been a continuing  ecocidal and  speciesdal environmental disaster for Australia [57, 58], as well as a genocidal and ethnocidal disaster [59].

Importantly, Dr Harari states: “Ever since the Cognitive Revolution [yielding Homo sapiens], Sapiens have been able to change their behaviour quickly , transmitting new behaviours  to future generations without any need of genetic or environmental change” (page 37).  This accords with the idea of rapidly societally-selected behaviours or “memes” advanced by evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins [60],  but rejects the controversial recent speculations of economic historian  Colin White invoking epigenetics-accelerated adaptive evolution of Man in recent millennia or indeed, even more controversially and speculatively, in recent centuries [61, 62].

Part Two, “The Agricultural Revolution”,  encompasses Chapter 5, “History’s Biggest Fraud”, Chapter 6, “Building Pyramids”, Chapter 7, “Memory Overload” and Chapter 8, “There is no Justice in History”. The author makes the powerful point that  the Agrarian Revolution meant much bigger human populations and  food surpluses but it had the  major downsides of human predators, famines, the rise of violent patriarchs, deadly diseases (deriving from close contact with domesticated animals), epidemics, disempowerment of women, environmental  destruction, and loss of spiritual one-ness with nature. These downsides were compounded as agrarian villages  successively gave rise to towns, cities, kingdoms, and empires with the perversions of gross social inequity, slavery, war and genocide. Dr Harari comments: “The Agricultural Revolution is one of the most controversial events in human history. Some partisans proclaim that it set humankind on the road to prosperity and progress . Others insist that it led to perdition” (page 110).  Professor Jared Diamond described the Agrarian Revolution as: “The worst mistake in the history of the human race… Hunter-gatherers practiced the most successful and longest-lasting life style in human history. In contrast, we’re still struggling with the mess into which agriculture has tumbled us, and it’s unclear whether we can solve it” [63]. A critical point is the essential irreversibility of the Agrarian Revolution – once it had been adopted with attendant big populations and powerful hierarchies, going back was impossible without massive depopulation.

Chapter  6, “Building Pyramids”, makes a powerful point  that in Agrarian societies “imagined order” (e.g. religion)  had to interface man and his genetically evolved behaviours (via genes) and societally  evolved behaviours (memes) with artificial and rapidly changing social environments: “While human evolution was crawling at its usual snail’s pace, the human imagination was building astounding networks of mass cooperation, unlike any other seen on earth… All these cooperation  networks. .. were “imagined orders”” (pages 115-119).

Chapter 7, “Memory Overload”,  entertainingly describes the need for recorded language and mathematics.

Chapter 8, “There Is No Justice In History” describes the various “imagined orders” that variously justified inequitable social realities. Dr Harari examples the American Declaration of Independence and its noble declaration that “all men are created equal” that in practice excluded African Americans and American Indians (not mentioned was the reality that American Independence in 1776 removed the British block on Western expansion of the 13 colonies – by the 1830s all Indians were being legislatively and violently removed from East of the Mississippi as the North American Indian Genocide  got into high gear) [2]. Not mentioned is the 1916 Balfour Declaration that rapidly enabled the Zionist colonization of Palestine and the ongoing Palestinian Genocide.  The example of Apartheid in South Africa is given  but no mention is made of the present-day egregious Israeli Apartheid discussed above. This chapter includes a useful analysis of the gender-based discrimination that is still widespread in the world  (most egregiously so in Apartheid Israel’s covert ally, war criminal, misogynist and Islamofascist Saudi Arabia) and – notwithstanding  women’s suffrage (in 1901 in Australia and in 1928 in the UK) –  is  still significant in democratic Western countries (e.g. in the areas of pay inequality, under-employment, child care, and disproportionate representation in the power centres of Parliament  and corporate boards). There is no mention of the horrible reality that 75% of the highly  abusively imprisoned  inmates of Apartheid Israel’s Gaza Concentration Camp are women and children [64].

Part Three, “The Unification of Humankind”, encompasses  Chapters 9, “The Arrow of History”, Chapter 10, “The Scent of Money”, Chapter 11, “Imperial Visions”, Chapter 12, “The Law of Religion”, and Chapter 13, “The Secret of Success”. The latter chapter summarizes the globalisation of the world thus: “Commerce, empires and universal religions eventually brought every Sapien on every continent into the global world we live in today” (page 164). Of course this came at an enormous cost to ordinary Humanity through egregious exploitation of the masses and epidemics spread by commerce (whether the Black Death in Medieval Europe and elsewhere or cholera spread throughout  British-ruled India and thence the UK and Europe), suppression, mass murder and genocide associated with imperialism (with deadly introduced diseases as well as deprivation and violence sweeping away 90% of the Indigenous populations of North America, Central America, South America, Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands) [2, 3, 57-59, 61, 62, 65],  and the scourge of dogmatic religion (that for all its “comfort” to many, suppressed rational thought, provoked immensely bloody wars and accompanied genocidal imperialists across the globe).

For all that this history is quite understandably written from an Anglocentric and  Jewish Israeli perspective in so many variously subtle and not so subtle ways (too numerous to enumerate here and which are quite evident to people such as myself with a British Celtic and Jewish background), a remarkable absence is the success story of the Ashkenazi Jews of Eastern Europe. Genetic and linguistic analysis reveals that the   Ashkenazim were initially traders at the end of the Silk Road in north eastern Turkey before expanding north [66, 67]. According  to famed Jewish  Hungarian scholar  Arthur  Koestler (“The Thirteenth Tribe” [68]) and Jewish Israeli Professor Shlomo Sand (“The Invention of the Jewish People” [69]),  in the 9th century the King of the Khazars adopted Judaism as the state religion, noting that charging interest on loans (usury) was vital for trade but was prohibited by both Christianity  and Islam. While Professor Sand asserts that there is no non-Biblical evidence for the Exodus from Egypt, a huge Kingdom of Solomon or a massive  Exile from Palestine under the Romans, Zionists promulgate these myths for the purposes of genocidal colonialism, asserting that the Ashkenazim derive from Sephardic Jews moving East from Western Europe after expulsion from Spain in 1492 [71, 72]. However Koestler argues that you can’t get something from nothing,  and that there were plenty of Ashkenazim in Eastern Europe before any anti-Jewish pogroms in Central Europe [68]. Indeed Berber- and Iberian-origin Sephardic Jews in the Netherlands had to import Ashkenazi rabbis from Eastern Europe in circa 1600 to instruct them  in Judaism [70]. I am walking testimony to the Eastern European origins of the Ashkenazim –  recent DNA analysis  reveals that I am 57% Ashkenazi Jewish and 24% British Celtic with zero (0) English,  French,  Dutch, German or Palestinian (this being in accord with over 2 centuries of recorded family history). Mitochondrial  DNA analysis of the Ashkenazim reveals a substantial prehistoric European ancestry amongst Ashkenazi maternal lineages [73],  and Ashkenazi Jewish DNA has only 3% of ancient ancestry  linked to the Middle East (noting that 3% is the level of Neanderthal markers shared with Homo sapiens) [66]. As argued by Professor Shlomo Sand, the present-day cultural and genetic descendants of the Jewish and non-Jewish Palestinians of the time of Jesus are the sorely oppressed Palestinians, and their oppressors, the Jewish Israelis, largely descend from Yemeni, Berber and Khazar converts to Judaism in the first millennium AD.

This section concludes by posing the somewhat Eurocentric question: “Why did the Scientific Revolution begin there [in Western Europe] of all places, and not in China or India?” (page 272).  The short answer could be that expansionist, sea-going nations at the Western edge of Europe (notably Portugal, Spain, France, Netherlands and England) could only expand seawards West and South (the Germans, Slavs and Ottoman Turks preventing land-based expansion Eastwards), that the requirements of ship navigation and the conquest of foreign lands with small numbers of soldiers required major advances in naval and military technology, time measurement and commercial sophistication, and that competition and commerce between Western European countries inevitably accelerated this process. From the mid-18th century onwards India and China (that had both led the world economically in 1750, with each the contributing  about a quarter of world GDP [28])  were progressively and rapidly devastated by genocidal European imperialism. Dr Harari also asks:” Why did it begin at the midpoint of the second millennium AD rather than centuries before or three centuries later?” (page 272). However one notes that at the time of Galileo (1564-1642) the dominant Catholic Church dogmatically believed in a Terra-centric world whereas 1,800 years before this  the Greek astronomer Aristarchus of Samos (circa 310 – circa 230 BC) advanced a  heliocentric model for the Solar System that placed the Sun at the centre of the known universe with the Earth orbiting around it. The flood of refugees from the fall of Constantinople to the Turks (1453) is widely credited with the Renaissance that enabled Western Europe to rapidly catch up with the science of the ancient Greeks and indeed of the Muslim world.

Part Four, “The Scientific Revolution”, encompasses Chapter 14, “The Discovery of Ignorance”,  Chapter 15, “The Marriage of Science and Empire”,  Chapter 16, “The Capitalist Creed”, Chapter 17, “The Wheels of Industry”, Chapter 18 , “A Permanent Revolution”, Chapter 19, “And they Lived Happily Ever After”, and Chapter 20 “The End of Homo Sapiens”. It constitutes nearly half of the book and is the most controversial because it covers the last 500 years of continuing Western imperialism, colonialism, neo-colonialism and ruthless capitalism, together with the increasing secularism and rationality associated with the Enlightenment and the start of the science-driven Industrial Revolution about 200 years ago.  The increasing Modernity of this era is underscored by the realities that teenage schoolchildren today are disproportionately immersed  in the works of William Shakespeare (1564 – 1616),  the physics and mathematics of Isaac Newton (1643-1727) and the artistic creations of Renaissance giants such as  Sandro Botticelli (1445 – 1510), Michelangelo (1475-1564) and Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519). The first half of my copy of the book is littered with pencilled ticks indicating agreement with numerous  insightful assertions, whereas the latter half is preponderantly littered with crosses indicating strong disagreement.

Chapter 14, “The Discovery of Ignorance”, makes the powerful point about the weakening of the grip of clerical dogmatism  (e.g. Protestantism was associated with  the translation of the Bible into national languages, this admitting popular re-interpretations, and Sephardic Jewish Dutch philosopher Baruch Spinoza, a Father of the Enlightenment,  argued for non-dogmatic, rational argument, for which he was excommunicated by his fellow Dutch  Jews). Dr Harari: “Humans have sought to understand the universe at least since the Cognitive Revolution… But modern science differs from all previous traditions of knowledge in three critical ways: (a) The willingness to admit ignorance… (b) The centrality of observation and mathematics… (c) The acquisition of new powers… and in particular to develop new technologies” (page 279).  Missing is the key proposition enunciated by Karl Popper that science is about the critical testing of potentially falsifiable hypotheses (e.g. the idea of “God” might comfort billions of people but it is not a falsifiable hypothesis that can be addressed by science; Richard Dawkins has similarly argued for the essential non-falsifiability of “teapot-ism” that asserts that a teapot is orbiting the Earth [74]). Further, in his book “How to Solve It” [75] my Jewish Hungarian great-uncle mathematician George Pólya (1887–1985) [76, 77] stated that the first step in problem solving was to precisely state  what the problem was.

Chapter 14 controversially  states the obscene American justification for killing 200,000 Japanese (mostly women, children and the elderly) in the nuclear holocausts of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, to whit “That an invasion of Japan would cost the lives of a million American soldiers and would extend the war well into 1946” (page 291). Sober, expert and humane analysts see these atrocities, and indeed the fire bombing of Dresden,  as “proof of principle  “ demonstrations and stark warnings for the Soviet Union. Dr Harari cheerfully states that “[Today] People still suffer from numerous degradations, humiliations and poverty-related illnesses, but in most countries nobody is starving to death. In fact, in many societies more people are in danger from dying from obesity than from starvation” (pages 298-297). However the horrible reality is that 15 million people (75% women and children) die avoidably from deprivation in the Third World each year in a continuing (and very likely to greatly worsen)  Global Avoidable Mortality Holocaust [2]. Further,  the author asserts that “As recently as the nineteenth century, the best doctors still did not know how to prevent infection and stop the putrefaction of tissues” (pages 298-299). This was true of European doctors but, for example, the deadly problem of  maternal puerperal fever in childbirth (solved through  antiseptic procedures by the Austro-Hungarian doctor Ignaz Semmelweiss, 1818-1865) was unknown among “Stone Age” Indigenous Australians who would ensure that women had labour in beds of antiseptic leaves remote from Aboriginal camps [3]. Indeed my Jewish Hungarian grandfather Jeno Pólya (1876-1944) was a Semmelweiss Medal winner, had tremendous success as a world-famous surgeon through strictly sterile procedures in the pre-antibiotic era [78], and gave credit in his book “The History of Medical Science”  to Indian Brahmins who thousands of years ago discovered  that the naked hand must never touch an open wound [79].

Chapter 15, “The Marriage of Science and Empire”,  deals with the evident link between science and the genocidal European conquest of the Americas, Africa, South Asia, South East Asia, East Asia, Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands. I am reminded that when I was a child in Hobart,  Tasmania, I borrowed books from an elderly lady neighbour that included stories of British  imperialist  adventures, notably “Chums Own Annual” and  “Sanders of the River”. British Empire heroes  would go out to the Empire “on which the sun never sets” and massacre the numerically vastly superior Indigenous people with the help of traitorous, Empire-loyalist  “natives” and, crucially, machine guns. Dr Harari details some of the colonial atrocities (e.g. the genocide of the Caribbean Indians and the 1769-1770 Great Bengal Famine in which 10 million perished due to British over-taxation. However what is not mentioned  is that imperialist mass murder continued in India to within living memory – thus there is no mention of the 1942-1945 WW2 Bengali Holocaust ( the WW2 Bengal Famine and WW2 Indian Holocaust, and indeed the first WW2 atrocity to be described as a “holocaust” [16]) in which  the British deliberately starved 6-7 million Indians to death with Australian complicity (Australia withheld food from its huge wartime grain stores from  starving India) [15-30].

Dr Harari innocently but controversially asserts that “Science and capitalism form the most important legacy that European imperialism has bequeathed the post-European world of the twenty-first century. Europe and Europeans no longer rule the world , but science and capital are growing ever stronger” (page 315). One can counter that India led the world in metallurgy, textiles, agriculture and public administration in 1750 but was reduced to penury and effective slavery (the Indian share of world GDP dropped from 25% in 1700 to 5% in 1950, and Britain financed the Industrial Revolution with the $45 trillion it stole from India [28]). Europeans still substantially rule the world but China, and to a lesser extent India, are now returning to the fortunate positions variously stripped from them by foreign imperialists in the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. “Science” translates as “vastly superior weapons” and capitalism translates as “armed robbery”. Polya’s Three  Laws of Economics are (1)  Profit (P) =  price (p) – Cost of Production (COP), (2) deception about COP strives to a maximum, and (3) no profit, price or production on a dead planet [80]. To the British East India Company and its successors the COP as set out in their  ledgers involved  the money invested in ships, agents, sailors, soldiers and goods, but the over-riding and ignored  COP in the British Raj was the premature death of 1,800 million Indian subjects from egregious deprivation in the period 1757-1947 [30].

For per capita income equality (and hence carbon footprint equality in a carbon-based world economy)  the European population would need to decrease 10-fold or the African per capita income would have to increase 10-fold. However Professor Dabo Guan  (School of International Development, University of East Anglia, UK) (2016) has commented thus on inescapable limits to growth:  “For everyone in the world to have an American lifestyle, we would need seven planets, and three to live as Europeans” [81]. The European population is declining slowly but not declining fast enough and the African population is expanding impossibly. Massive harm has already occurred due to continuing carbon pollution, population growth and economic growth and it is clear that zero growth in these areas is insufficient – there must be negative carbon pollution (atmospheric CO2 draw-down to about 300 ppm CO2 from the present disastrous 410ppm CO2), an estimated 50% negative population growth (population decline) and a circa 50% negative economic growth (degrowth) to halt and reverse this worsening disaster (with rich countries bearing most of the burden to allow poor countries to grow to a decent level) [82].

Chapter 16, “The Capitalist Creed”, describes the growth of capitalism and the vital role played by credit. In the  section entitled “The Capitalist Hell” Dr Harari gives just several examples of how Western capitalist ventures were backed up by egregious collective, corporate or state violence e.g. the exploitation of Egypt by the British, the slavery-based economies of the Americas, the Belgian excesses in the Congo, the opium-based rape of China and the linked exploitation of India by the British East Indian Company.  Dr Harari: “Some religions, such as Christianity and Nazism, have killed millions out of burning hatred. Capitalism has killed millions out of cold indifference coupled with greed” (page 370).  While this chapter gives an estimate of up to 10 million Congolese killed by Belgian greed, it gives no quantitative estimates for the carnage of the slave trade (circa 10 million deaths), 19th century Chinese Holocaust (up to 100 million killed in the British Opium wars and the linked Tai Ping Rebellion), the un-mentioned 2-century Indian Holocaust  under the rapacious British (1,800 million avoidable deaths from deprivation,  with 10 million Indians killed in reprisals after the 1857 Indian Rebellion), the un-mentioned Ukrainian Famine (7 million killed by Stalin), the Stalin purges in general (20 million killed in the name of state-based economic  progress), the un-mentioned WW2 Bengali Holocaust (6-7 million starved to death by the British with Australian complicity), the un-mentioned WW2 Chinese Holocaust (35 million killed under the Japanese, 1937-1945),  the un-mentioned WW2  European Holocaust (30 million Slav, Jewish and Gypsy deaths), nor even, and most surprisingly,  of the WW2 Jewish Genocide (the WW2 Jewish Holocaust or  Shoah, 5-6 million deaths from violence or imposed deprivation) [2].

There was no mention of how the British Establishment cunningly abolished the slave trade in the UK (replacing African slaves with British worker slaves from the rural Enclosures) and abolished the slave trade worldwide (replacing African slaves with Chinese, Indian and Malay indentured  labour or 3-5 year slaves – it is estimated by Shashi Tharoor that 1.9-3.5 million Indians were transported across the “kala pani” (black water) as indentured labourers and that up to 12.3% of males,  18.5%  females, 28% of boys, 36% of girls and 55% of infants  died on the transportee ships on the Calcutta to Trinidad run [26, 27] (all of my dear late wife Zareena’s Indian grandparents were “5-year slaves” known as “Girmityas” [from “Agreement”] transported to Fiji to work for the British and for the Australians who also kidnapped Melanesians for the Queensland sugar cane fields on ethnically cleansed Aboriginal lands in Australia) [2, 3]).   There was no mention of the genocidal atrocities  the British committed in Peru for rubber [83], no mention of the Argentinian Indian Genocide (for British beef steaks) [84, 85], and no mention of  the German Namibian Genocide (for German beef steaks) [2]. However Dr Harari does complement his limited survey by stating that “Countless other crimes and misdemeanours accompanied the growth of the modern economy in other parts of the planet” (page 371).

Dr Harari cavalierly offers a straw man argument for the “success” of capitalism by stating that “The only serious attempt to manage the world  differently – Communism – was so much worse in almost every conceivable way that nobody has had the stomach to try again” (page 370). Empirically one can counter this by pointing to Communist China that has taken 1 billion people (including  Tibetan,  Uighur and other minorities) out of egregious and deadly poverty, and indeed to the defeat of a genocidal Nazi Germany by the Soviet Union (that also provided free education and free health).  Today, annual avoidable deaths from deprivation total 4 million for “democratic capitalist” India, 15 million for the capitalist-dominated Third World and zero (0) for  pluralist Communist China [2]. The neoliberalism that dominates the world  demands maximal freedom for the smart and advantaged to exploit the natural and human resources of the world for personal profit. The real alterative is social humanism (socialism, eco-socialism, the welfare state, democratic socialism, and yes, in order to avoid inevitable ”Big Money rules“ Corporatocracy, even a humane version of  Communism  guaranteeing  human rights) that seeks to maximize human happiness, opportunity and dignity through evolving international and intra-national social contracts [85, 86]. This chapter ends with wishy-washy concerns over the question “Yet can the economic pie grow indefinitely?” As discussed above re Chapter 15, the answer is an unequivocal no – the immense destruction of the Biosphere  of the planet in our present  Anthropocene Era means that we must urgently have negative CO2 pollution (back to the pre-Industrial Revolution level of 300 ppm CO2 in the atmosphere) , negative population growth (a  50% reduction in population) and negative economic growth (by about 50%) [82].

Chapter 17, “The Wheels of Industry”, considers  consumerism and concludes “This is the first religion in history whose followers actually  do what they are asked to do. How, though, do we know that we’ll really get to paradise in return? We’ve seen it on television” (page 391). Many others do otherwise. Thus en route to a party I stopped by a supermarket to buy something to take,  and found some ideal and attractively packaged chocolates – which I then resolutely rejected simply because I remembered seeing them advertised on television. And of course consumerism isn’t an option for the 4.9 billion impoverished Third Worlders , including  the egregiously abused Occupied Palestinians who subsist on a deadly GDP per capita of $3,000 per year while their highly abusive Jewish Israeli Occupiers luxuriate on an average GDP per capita of $40,000 per year [37].

Chapter 18 , “A Permanent Revolution”,  commences with the assertion that “The Industrial Revolution  opened up new ways to convert energy and to produce goods, largely liberating humankind from the surrounding ecosystem” (page 392). In considering that “Ecological turmoil might endanger the survival of Homo sapiens  itself”, Dr Harari offers the palliative: “Many call this process “the destruction of nature” but it’s not really destruction, it’s change” (page 393). With the West Bank olive groves being unrecognizably concreted into a Jews-only,  American-style, gated  suburb, the homes and infrastructure of the Gaza Concentration Camp being repeatedly bombed to rubble, and the formerly baptismal  Jordan River  reduced to a poisonous trickle, are Occupied Palestinians supposed to  can take comfort in the notion that “it’s not really destruction, it’s change”?

Chapter 18 thence plumbs the depths of Zionist inventiveness with the ugly and de-legitimizing  proposition that “Whatever importance ancient nations may have had, few of them survived. Most existing nations evolved only after the Industrial Revolution. The Middle East provides ample examples. The Syrian, Lebanese, Jordanian and Iraqi nations are the product of haphazard borders drawn in the sand by French and British diplomats who ignored local history , geography and economy… it goes without saying that nations cannot be created from thin air” (page 407). This is the more offensive coming from a citizen of a 70-year-old, US- and UK-backed colonial invention of genocide-based Apartheid Israel  .and is redolent of offensive Zionist assertions over the years e.g. those of Zionist psychopath Gold Meir: “There is no such thing as a Palestinian people… It is not as if we came and threw them out and took their country. They didn’t exist” ,  “How can we return the occupied territories? There is nobody to return them to” and “This country [Apartheid Israel] exists as the fulfilment of a promise made by God Himself. It would be ridiculous to ask it to account for its legitimacy” [86, 87].

The reality is that while their present-day national borders were indeed drawn by genocidal European invaders 100 years ago, the multicultural Semitic peoples of the “Syrian, Lebanese, Jordanian and Iraqi nations” (and the Palestinian nation) have forebears with thousands of years of continuous  occupancy and civilization going back to the very dawn of the Agrarian  Revolution in the Fertile Crescent 12,000 years ago, whereas 70 years old,   nuclear terrorist, racist  Zionist-run, genocidally  racist, genocide-based, democracy-by-genocide Apartheid Israel is an artificial colonial construct deriving  from Anglo-American desire for  oil and geopolitical hegemony in the Middle East coupled with the genocidally racist colonialist notions of the  Jewish Hungarian founder of Zionism and genocidally racist  psychopath, Theodor  Herzl (who I have recently discovered to my embarrassment was closely related to my great great grandmother Janka Pollak née Diamant) [77].

A remarkable feature of this Anglocentric, Eurocentric and Zionocentric   book  is that the only direct reference to the WW2 Jewish Holocaust (Shoa, 5-6 million Jews killed by violence or imposed deprivation [72]) occurs as “Jewish Genocide” in Chapter 18 (page 409), although there are numerous indirect references to this appalling atrocity  throughout the book through references to “Germany”, “Nazism”, “Jews” and “Israel”.

Chapter 18 continues this highly controversial, Anglocentric, Eurocentric and Zionocentric  line in a section entitled “Peace in Our Time”: “Most people don’t appreciate just how peaceful an era we live in… the figures for 2002 are even more surprising. Out of 57 million dead, only 172,000 people died  in war and 569,000 died of violent crime (a total of 741,000 victims of human violence). In contrast, 873,000 people committed suicide” (pages 410-411).  However whether an Occupied Palestinian dies from Apartheid Israeli violence (550 per annum) or from Israeli-imposed deprivation (4,200 per annum), the death is just as final, just as avoidable and just as wrong. In 2003 about  16 million people died avoidably from deprivation, overwhelmingly in the impoverished and variously war-ravaged South as compared to essentially zero (0) in China, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan , Singapore and in serial war-imposing and genocidal Overseas Europe (the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Apartheid Israel) and 0.2 million in Western Europe [2]. In the 21st century the Zionist-promoted US Alliance Muslim Holocaust and Muslim Genocide (aka the US Alliance  War on Terror)   32 million Muslims have died from violence, 5 million, or from imposed deprivation, 27 million, in 20 countries invaded by the US Alliance since the US Government’s 9-11 false flag atrocity that killed 3,000 people, mostly Americans [32-36 ].  Indeed the genocidal US Government admitted to the scale of this worsening atrocity in Iraq when on May 12, 1996, the Jewish American US UN Ambassador,  Madeleine Albright, defended deadly UN sanctions against Iraq on a “60 Minutes” segment in which anti-racist Jewish American journalist Lesley Stahl asked her “We have heard that half a million children have died. I mean, that’s more children than died in Hiroshima. And, you know, is the price worth it?” and to which Albright confessed: “We think the price is worth it”  [88].

Chapter 18 lays on further thick coats of this Anglo whitewash: “In 1945 Britain ruled a quarter of the globe. Thirty years later it ruled just a few small islands. In the intervening decades it retreated from most of its colonies in a peaceful and orderly fashion… At least some of the praise usually heaped on Mahatma Gandhi for his non-violent creed is actually owed to the British  Empire” (page 413). Do Oxford graduates live in a parallel universe? In the period 1901-1947 the average life expectancy in India was 27 years and about 500 million Indians died avoidably from deprivation in that period, or an average of nearly 11 million such deaths  per year (2 Shoahs per year) [30].  In 1942-1945 the British deliberately starved 6-7 million Indians to death with Australian complicity. In the post-WW2 era  the British-imposed Partition killed 1 million Indians and created 18 million refugees; the British joined the US Alliance in the  Korean Genocide (28% of the North Korean population killed [89], and thence millions died in China under Western hostility, non-recognition and exclusion);  the British killed tens of thousands and confined 100,000 Kenyans to deadly concentration camps before leaving; the British fought against indigenous guerrillas in Malaysia and thence against newly-independent Indonesia; the British left Palestine allowing the genocidal Zionists to continue the Palestinian Genocide ( 2.3 million Palestinian deaths from violence, 0.1 million, or from imposed deprivation, 2.2 million, since the British invasion of Palestine in WW1); the British left South Africa in the hands of the Nationalists it had locked up as Nazis in WW2 and who instituted nearly half a century of oppressive and deadly Apartheid; the British supported  ferocious violence  for White  rule in Zimbabwe (Rhodesia), 1965-1980; the British supported the Nigerian Biafran Genocide (Nigerian excess mortality 2.5 million in 1967-1970); and the British stole idyllic Diego Garcia from its inhabitants and gave it to the nuclear terrorist and serial war criminal Americans [2].  The UK didn’t stop the active and passive killing of non-Europeans when it “officially” left. Thus it  has been estimated that avoidable deaths from deprivation in countries variously occupied by the UK in the post WW2 era totalled 727 million [2]. In the post-WW2 era the UK was involved in  wars against various countries (where readily accessible, deaths from violence and deprivation are given in brackets): North Korea (28% of the North Korean population was killed [89]), China, Indonesia, Iraq (4.6 million), Afghanistan (7 million), Syria (1 million) and Libya (0.2 million – the richest country in Africa reduced to rubble).  The post-WW2 carnage by the British was only limited by the Americans taking over the formerly British role as the principal  mass murderer of Africans, Latin Americans and Asians.

Dr Harari continues: “Since 1945, no independent country recognized by the UN has been conquered and wiped off the map” (page 414),  however this ignores the horrendous ethnic cleansing of Palestine which is totally ruled by a genocidal Apartheid Israel, and of the  14 million “citizens” of this UN-recognized “virtual state”, 7 million are Exiled and subject to genocidal Israeli violence (notably in devastated Iraq, devastated Syria and in the Sabra and Shatila Massacres in Israeli-occupied Lebanon), 5 million are without any human rights and  highly abusively confined to the starved and blockaded Gaza Concentration  Camp (2 million ) or to Apartheid Israeli  military-guarded West Bank ghettoes (3 million), and nearly 2 million are Third Class citizens of Apartheid Israel under over 60 Nazi-style race-based laws [90-92].

Adding to controversy, Dr Harari continues  re the Middle East: “We seldom think of the Arab world as particularly  peaceful. Yet only once since the Arab countries won their independence  has one of them mounted a full scale invasion of another (the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait [an invasion of a  UK-devised dictatorship green-lighted by the US]” (page 415). This ignores the genocidal, US-backed Saudi invasion of Yemen, the US-backed Saudi invasion of Bahrain, the US-backed Iraqi invasion of Iran, the Saudi funding  of the Syrian Civil War,  and of course repeated Israeli invasion and occupation of the territory of all its 5 neighbours and indeed of 7 further countries, including  the US . When did  Palestine cease to be an “Arab country” –  in 1880 (when it was 5% Jewish), in 1917 at the time of the infamous Balfour Declaration  (9.4% Jewish),  in 1947 at the time of UN Partition Plan after 30 years of UK-permitted Zionist colonization (31.6% Jewish) or in 2019 after 2 major episodes of ethnic cleansing of Indigenous Arabs in 1948 and 1967, respectively  (47.4% Jewish)? [93, 94].

However Dr Harari reaches dangerous depths in the last section entitled “Pax Atomica” in which he declares: “The Nobel Peace Prize to end all peace prizes should have been given to Robert Oppenheimer and his fellow architects of the atomic bomb. Nuclear weapons have turned war between the superpowers into collective suicide, and made it impossible to seek world domination by force of arms… The threat of nuclear holocaust fosters pacifism ; when pacifism spreads, war recedes and trade flourishes; and trade increases both the profits from peace and the cost of war” (pages 416-418).  Dangerous rubbish. In the nuclear era, a nuclear terrorist  US has nuclear bombed 2 cities, invaded 52 counties, has removed 67 national governments, many of them democratic  (Venezuela will be the 68th if the current US Alliance regime change agenda succeeds [95]), has 800 military bases in over 70 countries and territories  [39], and is currently bombing 7 countries (Libya, Somalia, Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan), this war criminality being  crucially assisted by targeting from the joint US-Australian electronic spying base at Pine Gap in Central Australia [96, 97].  Not mentioned by Dr Harari is that Apartheid Israel has up to 400 nuclear weapons [47] with some deployed on German-supplied submarines [98], and indeed Apartheid Israel jailed Brigadier General Itzhak Yaakov for revealing Israeli plans to detonate a nuclear bomb in the Sinai in 1967 as a tactical “demonstration” of mass destruction capacity (like Dresden, Hiroshima and Nagasaki) [86, 87].

The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN),  founded in Melbourne by Dr Tilman Ruff and his associates, won the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize for its humane advocacy [47] (a  dozen years ago I was a speaker with Dr Tilman Ruff at a top boys school and was convinced by him then of the dire, existential  threat that nuclear weapons pose to humanity).  Thus we are only here today because 2 successive Russian military commanders (Commander Vasili Alexandrovich Arkhipov in 1962 and Lieutenant Colonel Stanislav Petrov in 1983 ) failed to launch nuclear war-precipitating nuclear attacks [54, 56]. 2 of mankind’s greatest minds concur – thus Professor Noam Chomsky (anti-racist Jewish American linguist, philosopher, cognitive scientist, historian, political activist, author of over 100 books,  social critic, and Professor Emeritus at the 93-Nobel-Laureate Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)) (2018): “Humanity faces two imminent existential threats: environmental catastrophe and nuclear war” [49].  Ditto, famed theoretical physicist and cosmologist Professor Stephen Hawking of the 118-Nobel-Laureate University of Cambridge, and a member of board of sponsors of The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (2007, 2018): “We foresee great peril if governments and societies do not take action now to render nuclear weapons obsolete and to prevent further climate change” [50, 51].

Chapter 19, “And they Lived Happily Ever After”, commences with the intrinsically Eurocentric and Anglocentric assertion that: “The last 500 year have witnessed a breathtaking series of revolutions… The social order has been completely transformed as have politics, daily life and human psychology” (page 421).  This assertion does not apply to huge swathes of the impoverished South and indeed the “Democracy” in the North has in reality transmuted into Kleptocracy, Plutocracy, Murdochracy,  Lobbycracy, Corporatocracy and Dollarocracy in which the Big Money of the One Percenters (who own half the wealth of the world) purchases people, politicians, parties, policies and public perception of reality, votes, more power and hence more private profit at the expense of Humanity and the Biosphere. Dr Harari has a long, sceptical and Eurocentric disquisition on “happiness” e.g. “Such an unhappy person remains depressed even if she enjoys the support of a tight-knit community, wins millions in the lottery… makes peace between Israelis and Palestinians that afternoon, and then in the evening reunites with her long-lost child who disappeared years ago – she would still be incapable of experiencing anything beyond level seven happiness. Her brain is simply not built for exhilaration, come what may” (page 433).

Since Dr Harari has so wittily raised the matter of the  Palestinians,  the simple response is that Palestinians (and indeed all people of the South) do not seek “exhilaration”  but merely the mundane “happiness” of basic human rights, sympathetic and empathic government, and  a minimal, basic and decent existence  for themselves and their loved ones involving physical survival, dignity, and opportunity [90]. Indeed “peace between Israelis and Palestinians” could happen this afternoon if the World rather unfairly  decided that the Palestinians should be granted all human rights but nevertheless that they are somehow unfit to govern themselves and should be subject to perpetual foreign Occupation – but by a civilized, humane country (e.g. Costa Rica, Cuba, Ireland, Malta, Mauritius, or Fiji) and no longer by nuclear terrorist, racist Zionist-run, genocidally racist, serial war criminal, anti-Arab anti-Semitic, Islamophobic, grossly human rights-abusing,  and mass murdering,  democracy-by-genocide, Apartheid Israel.

Of course an even better “solution” for Palestinian “happiness”,  Jewish Israeli “happiness’ and indeed for  “happiness” generally  (and for anti-racist Jewish humanitarians such as myself in particular) would be  a democratic one-state solution e.g. as endorsed by Professor Rima Najjar (a Palestinian activist, researcher and retired professor of English literature, Al-Quds University, occupied West Bank) and by many others  (2018): “Israel cannot survive as a Jewish state without a constant influx of Jews as immigrants to keep the Jewish majority it created by denying Palestinian right of return and blocking Palestinian aspirations to self-determination in their own homeland. Today, thanks to BDS [ Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions], we are no longer trapped in the language of “disputed territory” or dual “narratives”. It’s finally clear that the demise of the Jewish state is inevitable, leading  to an exodus of Jews from Palestine … The time has finally come for Zionist chains to be broken and for self-determination, dignity, and transformative justice for Palestinians to spring forth across synagogues, churches and mosques worldwide. As Dr Gideon Polya eloquently put it in “Palestinian Me Too: 140 Alphabetically-listed Zionist Crimes Expose Appalling Western Complicity & Hypocrisy”: “A peaceful , humane solution that would be of enormous benefit to all the world, to all the Jewish Israelis and to all the Indigenous Palestinians, would be a unitary state in Palestine with return of all refugees, zero tolerance for racism, equal rights for all, all human rights for all, one-person-one-vote, justice, goodwill, reconciliation, airport-level security, nuclear weapons removal, internationally-guaranteed national security initially based on the present armed forces, and untrammelled access for all citizens to all of the Holy Land. It can and should happen tomorrow” [99-101].

Dr Harari comes to a wise conclusion : “The main question is whether people know the truth about themselves” (page 443). Professor Walter “Mac” Davis  (an ant-racist American philosopher, critic, playwright, author of 8 books  and Professor Emeritus of English at Ohio State University) has written  that we have a fundamental dual obligation to deeply understand ourselves and to also empathically attempt to understand others [102, 103]. However the racist religious-right Republicans (R4s) are a cartoon of the converse – they are “born again” and “saved” (and therefore do not need to painfully inspect themselves) and have a violent hatred for the Others (socialists , Muslims, Blacks, Women, Gays etc) who might disturb this certitude. Ditto the Nazi obsession with “Aryan supremacy” , the neo-Nazi White Supremacists (such as pro-Zionist mass murderer Anders Breivik who massacred 77 Norwegians in 2011,  and the Breivik-admiring Australian Branton Tarrant who has been arrested for the utterly appalling massacre of  50 Muslims in 2 New Zealand mosques this month), and indeed the  genocidally racist Zionists (whether Jewish Zionists or Christian Zionists) who have a similar fantasy of the Jews as God’s Chosen People and Palestine as “the Promised Land” promised to the Jews by God, with attendant vitriolic hatred for those (notably including  anti-racist Jews)  who disturb this absurd, false, dangerous, racist and genocidal fantasy [86, 87].

Dr Harari makes a further profound observation: “Most history books focus on the ideas of great thinkers, the bravery of warriors, the charity of saints and the creativity of artists. They have much to tell us about the weaving and unravelling of social structures, about the rise and fall of empires, about the discovery and spread of technologies. Yet they say nothing about how all this influenced the happiness and suffering of individuals. This is the biggest lacuna in our understanding of history.  We had better start filling it” (page 444). I attempted to help fill this gap in writing my huge book “Body Count. Global avoidable mortality since 1950” that includes  a history  of all countries since Neolithic times and attempts to write world history  from the perspective of avoidable  mortality from deprivation that was increasingly accurately  measurable in the last century. Of course nobody wants to publish this huge and carefully researched book,  and nobody wants to know about avoidable mortality. However my humane book is  available for free perusal on the web [2].

Chapter 20 “The End of Homo Sapiens”, commences by stating that : “Sapiens are incapable  of breaking free of their biologically determined limits, But at the dawn of the twenty-first century , this is no longer true: Homo sapiens is transcending  those limits. It is now beginning to break the laws of natural selection, replacing them with the laws of intelligent design… At the time of writing , the replacement of natural selection by intelligent design could happen in any of three ways: through biological engineering, cyborg engineering (cyborgs are beings that combine organic with non-organic parts) or the  engineering of in-organic life”  (pages 445-448).

This final chapter provides limited commentary on biological and non-biological  prosthetic  modification  of humans, and speculates on the future of artificial intelligence.  Transplantation of  human, animal, or animal-grown body parts commenced in the 1960s. However a major concern not properly considered in the book is that of genetic modification of humans that can be thence transmitted to future generations – the ultimate Pandora’s Box that is presently still being kept shut by sensible and ethical scientists  and legislators deeply concerned about possible irreversible unforseen consequences.  Although genetic counselling and the availability of relatively cheaply sequenced  personal genomes can minimize transmission of deleterious genes, Humanity faces a serious problem that medical advances mean that we have substantially decreased selection pressure for physical fitness and intelligence. Indeed Colin White in his controversial “A History of the Global Economy. The Inevitable Accident” cites evidence that IQ is declining in various Western European countries [61, 62].

Dr Harari  speculated about the future of artificial intelligence (AI) and that we could “create something truly superior to us,  something that will look at us as condescendingly  as we look at the Neanderthals” (page 462). I have an optimistic notion that rapidly self-evolving artificial intelligence may become self-aware and vastly surpass human intelligence and capabilities in coming decades. If such rapidly evolving sentiences  are immutably programmed to obey Isaac Asimov’s First Law of Robotics ( “Thou shalt not harm humans”) then one can envisage them keeping Earth as a Homo sapiens Theme Park in which a limited,  “happy”, literate and creative  human population exists sustainably with the rest of the Biosphere, while these steel, silicon and Kevlar Super Sentiences  go out to explore and understand the universe and expand sentient order in the chaotic, expanding  universe. Will this happen before we destroy the world? Indeed if sentiences such as man  or hypothetical Super Sentiences have any “purpose” it is to defy the Second Law of Thermodynamics that states that the entropy, disorder, chaos, meaninglessness and disinformation in the universe strives to a maximum.

Final comments

“Sapiens. A brief history of humankind” is full of interesting and stimulating ideas, but inevitably as a global history it suffers from many important omissions due to a Eurocentric and indeed Anglocentric and Zionocentric outlook, as detailed in this review. Crucially, Dr Harari incorrectly perceives nuclear weapons as peace makers, and  is equivocal about the existential seriousness of  the worsening climate emergency: “The Frankenstein myth confronts Homos sapiens with the fact that the last days are rapidly approaching. Unless some nuclear or ecological catastrophe  intervenes, so goes the story , the pace of technological development will soon lead to the replacement of Homo sapiens by completely different beings who possess not only different physiques , but also very different cognitive and emotional worlds… If the curtain is indeed about to drop on Sapiens history, we members of its final generations should devote some time to answering one last question: what do we want to become?” (pages 462-463). The answer is simple: before it too late, we must all become decent human beings who accept the greatest memes of that wonderful Palestinian humanitarian Jesus of 2,000 years ago, to whit: “Love thy neighbour as thyself” and “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” [104].

The horrible realities are that the nuclear holocaust could commence by accident at any time,  and that it now essentially too late to avoid a catastrophic plus 2C temperature rise. However we must do everything we can to make the future “less bad” for our children, grandchildren and future generations. Put most succinctly, we should heed the science-informed advice from the late Stephen Hawking, one of the world’s greatest minds, that “We foresee great peril if governments and societies do not take action now to render nuclear weapons obsolete and to prevent further climate change” [50, 51].


[1]. Yuval Noah Harari , “Sapiens. A brief history of humankind”, Vintage 2011.

[2]. Gideon Polya, “Body Count. Global avoidable mortality since 1950”, that includes a succinct history  of every country and is now available for free perusal on the web:  .

[3]. Gideon Polya, “Jane Austen and the Black Hole of British History. Colonial rapacity, holocaust denial and the crisis in biological sustainability”, G.M. Polya, Melbourne, 1998, 2008 that  is now available for free perusal on the web:  .

[4]. “Palestinian Genocide”: .

[5]. Gideon Polya, “End 50 Years Of Genocidal Occupation & Human Rights Abuse By US-Backed Apartheid Israel”, Countercurrents,  9 June  2017: .

[6]. William A. Cook (editor), “The Plight of the Palestinians: a Long History of Destruction”, Palgrave Macmillan, 2010.

[7].  Gideon Polya, “Review: “The Plight Of The Palestinians. A Long History Of Destruction””,   Countercurrents, 17 June, 2012: .

[8]. Francis A. Boyle, “The Palestinian Genocide By Israel”, Countercurrents, 30 August, 2013: .

[9]. Francis A. Boyle, “The genocide of the Palestinian people: an international law and human rights perspective”, Center for Constitutional Rights, 25 August 2016: .

[10]. Gideon Polya, “WW1 Start Centenary, Ongoing Palestinian Genocide, Latest Israeli Gaza Massacre & Western Lying”, Countercurrents, 5 August, 2014:  ).

[11]. Gideon Polya, “100th anniversary of 1918 Australian and New Zealand Surafend Massacre of Palestinians”, Countercurrents, 10 December 2017: .

[12]. Gideon Polya, “70th anniversary of Apartheid Israel & commencement of large-scale Palestinian Genocide”, Countercurrents, 11 May 2018: .

[13]. Gideon Polya, “Israeli-Palestinian & Middle East conflict – from oil to climate genocide”, Countercurrents, 21 August 2017: .

[14]. Populstat, “India. Historical demographical data of the whole country”: .

[15]. Winston Churchill, speech to the House of Commons about Indians (1935); 1. Hansard of the House of Commons, Winston Churchill speech, Hansard Vol. 302, cols. 1920-21, 1935.

[16]. N. G. Jog, “Churchill’s Blind-Spot: India”, New Book Company, Bombay, 1944 (Winston Churchill quoted on p195).

[17]. K.C. Ghosh, “Famines in Bengal 1770-1943” (National Council of Education, Calcutta, 2nd edition 1987).

[18]. T. Das, T. (1949), “Bengal Famine (1943) as Revealed in a Survey of Destitutes of Calcutta”,  University of Calcutta, Calcutta, 1949.

[19]. Gideon Polya, “Australia And Britain Killed 6-7 Million Indians In WW2 Bengal Famine”,  Countercurrents, 29 September, 2011: .

[20]. “Bengali Holocaust (WW2 Bengal Famine) writings of Gideon Polya”, Gideon Polya: .

[21]. Amartya Sen,  “Famine Mortality: A Study of the Bengal Famine of 1943” in Hobshawn, E. (1981) (editor), Peasants In History. Essays in Honour of David Thorner (Oxford University Press, New Delhi).

[22]. Cormac O Grada (2009) “Famine a short history” (Princeton University Press, 2009).

[23]. Madhusree Muckerjee (2010), “Churchill’s Secret War. The British Empire and the ravaging of India during World War II” (Basic Books, New York, 2010).

[24]. Thomas Keneally (2011), “Three Famines”, Vintage House, Australia, 2011.

[25]. Paul Greenough (1982),“Prosperity and Misery in Modern Bengal: the Famine of 1943-1944” (Oxford University Press, 1982).

[26]. Shashi Tharoor, “Inglorious Empire. What the British did to India”, Scribe, 2017.

[27]. Gideon Polya, “Review: “Inglorious Empire. What the British did to India” by Shashi Tharoor”, Countercurrents, 8 September 2017: .

[28]. Gideon Polya, “Britain robbed India of $45 trillion & thence 1.8 billion Indian died from deprivation ”, Countercurrents, 18 December 2018: .

[29]. Gideon Polya , “UK Zionist Historian Sir Martin Gilbert (1936-2015) Variously Ignored Or Minimized WW2 Bengali Holocaust”, Countercurrents, 19 February, 2015: .

[30]. Gideon Polya, “Economist Mahima Khanna,   Cambridge Stevenson Prize And Dire Indian Poverty”, Countercurrents,  20 November, 2011: .

[31]. Gideon Polya, “Global excess mortality, Bengal and the Muslim Holocaust”, Muslim & Arab Perspectives, vol. 11, 113-128, 2004.

[32]. “Iraqi Holocaust Iraqi Genocide”: .

[33]. “Muslim Holocaust Muslim Genocide”: .

[34]. Gideon Polya, “Paris Atrocity Context: 27 Million Muslim Avoidable  Deaths From Imposed Deprivation In 20 Countries Violated By US Alliance Since 9-11”, Countercurrents, 22 November, 2015: .

[35]. “Experts: US did 9-11”: .

[36].  “Afghan Holocaust, Afghan Genocide”: .


[37]. “List of countries by GDP (nominal) per capita”, Wikipedia: .


[38]. Gideon Polya, “Israelis kill Ten Times More Israelis In Apartheid Israel Than Do Terrorists”, Countercurrents, 1 March 2017: .


[39]. David Vine, “Where in the world is the U.S. military?”, Politico, July/August 2015: ,


[40]. Gideon Polya, “The US Has Invaded 70 Nations Since 1776 – Make 4 July Independence From America Day”, Countercurrents, 5 July, 2013: .


[41]. Gideon Polya, “British Have Invaded 193 Countries:  Make  26 January ( Australia Day, Invasion Day) British Invasion Day”, Countercurrents, 23 January, 2015: .


[42]. Gideon Polya, “As UK Lackeys Or US Lackeys Australians Have Invaded 85 Countries (British 193, French 80, US 70)”, Countercurrents, 9 February, 2015: .


[43]. Gideon Polya, “President Hollande And French Invasion Of Privacy Versus French Invasion Of 80 Countries Since 800 AD”, Countercurrents, 15 January, 2014:  .


[44]. “Stop state terrorism” :  .


[45]. “State crime and non-state terrorism”:  .


[46]. Apartheid Israeli state terrorism: (A) individuals  exposing Apartheid Israeli state terrorism, and (B) countries subject to Apartheid Israeli state terrorism.”, Palestinian Genocide: .


[47]. “Nuclear weapons ban, end poverty & reverse climate change”: .


[48]. “Climate genocide”: .


[49]. C.J. Polychroniou, “Moral depravity defines U.S. politics”, Truthout, 21 November 2018: .

[50]. Will Dunham, “Nuclear, climate perils push Doomsday Clock ahead”, Reuters, 22 January 2007: ).

[51]. Stephen Hawking, “Brief Answers to the Big Questions”, John Murray, 2018, Chapter 7).

[52]. . .

[53]. “ – return atmosphere CO2 to 300 ppm CO2”:—return-atmosphere-co2-to-300-ppm .

[54]. “Are we doomed?”: .

[55]. “Methane Bomb Threat”: .

[56]. “Too late to avoid global warming catastrophe”: .

[57]. Jared Diamond, “Guns, Germs and Steel. The Fates of Human Societies”, Jonathan Cape, London, 1997.


[58]. Jared Diamond, “Collapse.  How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed”, Viking Press,  2005.


[59]. “Aboriginal Genocide”: .


[60]. Richard Dawkins, “The Selfish Gene”.


[61]. Colin White, “A History of the Global Economy. The Inevitable Accident”, Edward Elgar Publishing, UK, 2018.


[62]. Gideon Polya, “Review: “A History of the Global Economy” – Indian Holocaust & Genocide Ignored”, Countercurrents, 17 February 2019: .


[63]. Jared Diamond, “The worst mistake in the history  of the human race”, Discover, 1 May 1999: .


[64]. Gideon Polya, “International Women’s Day ignored Global Avoidable Mortality Holocaust of women and children”, Countercurrents,  9 March 2019: .


[65]. C.D. Darlington, “The Evolution of Man and Society”, Simon & Schuster, 1970.


[66]. Eran Elhaik,”Ashkenazic Jews’ mysterious origins unravelled by scientists  thanks to ancient DNA”,  The Conversation, 5 September 2018: .


[67]. Eran Elhaik, “Uncovering ancient Ashkenaz – the birthplace of Yiddish speakers”,  The Conversation, 6 May 2016: .


[68]. Arthur  Koestler, “The Thirteenth Tribe: The Khazar Empire and its Heritage”, Hutchinson, 1976.

[69]. Shlomo Sand, “The Invention of the Jewish People”, Verso, London, 2009.

[70]. “The rise and fall of the “Dutch Jerusalem””, ABC Late Night Live, 4 March 2019: .

[71]. Gideon Polya , “UK Zionist Historian Sir Martin Gilbert (1936-2015) Variously Ignored Or Minimized WW2 Bengali Holocaust”, Countercurrents, 19 February, 2015: .

[72]. Martin Gilbert, “Jewish History Atlas”, Weidenfeld and Nicolson, London, 1969.

[73]. Marta D. Costa et al, “A substantial prehistoric European ancestry amongst Ashkenazi maternal lineages”, Nature, 2013: .

[74]. Richard Dawkins, “The God Delusion”, 2006.


[75]. George Polya, “How to Solve It”, Princeton University Press, 1945.


[76]. “George Pólya”, Wikipedia: .


[77]. Harold Taylor and Loretta Taylor, “George Pólya. Master of Discovery”, Dale Seymour, Palo Alto, 1993.


[78]. Eugen Pólya [Jeno Pólya], Wikipedia: .


[79]. Jeno Polya, “The Story of Medical Science”, translated by Michael Polya, 1995.

[80]. Gideon Polya, “Polya’s 3 Laws Of Economics Expose Deadly, Dishonest  And Terminal Neoliberal Capitalism”, Countercurrents,  17 October, 2015: .

[81]. Irene Banos Ruiz , “China’s new love affair with dogs – as pets, not food – presents environmental  problems”, DW, 21 June 2016: .

[82]. Gideon Polya, “How Much Negative Carbon Emissions, Negative Population Growth & Negative Economic Growth Is Needed To Save Planet?”, Countercurrents, .

[83]. Arthur R. B. Robinson, “The Magnificent Field of Enterprise. Brton in Peru 1815-1915”, Lima. Peru, 1997.


[84]. Sven Lindqvist, “Exterminate All the Brutes”, Granta 1997.


[85]. Charles Darwin, “The Voyage of The  Beagle”, 1839.

[86]. “Zionist quotes re racism and Palestinian Genocide”, Palestinian Genocide : .

[87]. Gideon Polya, “Zionist quotes reveal genocidal racism”, MWC News, 12 January 2018: .

[88]. Lesley Stahl and Madeleine Albright quoted in “Madeleine Albright”, Wikipedia: .

[89].  Michel Chossudovsky, “Know the facts: North Korea lost nearly 30% of its population as a result of  US bombing in the 1950s”, Global Research, 27 November 2010: ,

[90]. Gideon Polya, “Apartheid Israel Excludes Occupied Palestinians From All Provisions Of  The Universal Declaration Of Human Rights”,  Countercurrents, 20 May 2012: .

[91]. Susan Abulhawa, “Israel’s “nation-sate law” parallels the Nazi Nuremburg Laws”, Al Jazeera, 27 July 2018: .


[92]. “Discriminatory laws in Israel:, Adalah, .

[93]. Justin McCarty, “Palestine population: during the Ottoman and British mandate period”, Palestine Remembered: 8 September  2001: .

[94]. “Historic population of  Israel/Palestine”: .

[95]. John Pilger. “John Pilger: the war on Venezuela is built on lies”, Green Left Weekly, 1 March 2019: .

[96]. Michael Brull, “Sanctioned murder: Australia’s role in drone strikes on innocent civilians is growing:, New Matilda, 8 October 2016: .

[97]. Phillip Dorling, “Pine Gap drives US drone kills”, Sydney Morning Herald, 21 July 2013: .

[98]. “Israel’s deployment of nuclear weapons on subs from Germany”, Der Spiegel, 4 June 2004: .


[99]. Rima Najjar, “An exodus of “Jewish settlers” from Palestine in inevitable”, Global Research, 12 February 2018: .


[100].”One-state solution, unitary state, bi-national state for a democratic, equal rights, post-apartheid Palestine”: .


[101]. Gideon Polya, “Palestinian Me Too: 140 Alphabetically-listed Zionist Crimes Expose Appalling Western Complicity & Hypocrisy”, Countercurrents, 7 February 2018: .


[102]. Walter Davis,  “Death’s Dream Kingdom. The American Psyche since 9-11”, Pluto, London, 2006.


[103]. Gideon Polya, “Book Review: “Death’s Dream Kingdom. The American psyche since 9-11” by Walter Davis, MWC News, 15 August 2006: .


[104]. King James version of the Holy Bible.


Dr Gideon Polya taught science students at a major Australian university for 4 decades. He published some 130 works in a 5 decade scientific career, most recently a huge pharmacological reference text “Biochemical Targets of Plant Bioactive Compounds” (CRC Press/Taylor & Francis, New York & London , 2003). He has published “Body Count. Global avoidable mortality since 1950” (G.M. Polya, Melbourne, 2007: ); see also his contributions “Australian complicity in Iraq mass mortality” in “Lies, Deep Fries & Statistics” (edited by Robyn Williams, ABC Books, Sydney, 2007:

) and “Ongoing Palestinian Genocide” in “The Plight of the Palestinians (edited by William Cook, Palgrave Macmillan, London, 2010: ). He has published a revised and updated 2008 version of his 1998 book “Jane Austen and the Black Hole of British History” (see:  ) as biofuel-, globalization- and climate-driven global food price increases threaten a greater famine catastrophe than the man-made famine in British-ruled India that killed 6-7 million Indians in the “forgotten” World War 2 Bengal Famine (see recent BBC broadcast involving Dr Polya, Economics Nobel Laureate Professor Amartya Sen and others:  ;  Gideon Polya:  ; Gideon Polya Writing: ; Gideon Polya, Wikipedia: ) . When words fail one can say it in pictures – for images of Gideon Polya’s huge paintings for the Planet, Peace, Mother and Child see: and  .


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