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August 1, 2012


An estimated 600 million residents of India -- nearly twice the population of the United States -- were left without electricity this week. Given the sweltering summer heat and the dependence on electricity for security, health care and food preservation, the historic power outage demands answers.

The first question that comes to mind is:

How did humans survive for tens of thousands of years (or 6,000 if you're a young-earth creationist) without air conditioning, nightlights and hair dryers?

The truth is all of humanity suffered an electrical power outage for tens of thousands of years. We take this stuff for granted!

Consider that the richest, most powerful people that have ever lived couldn't afford the basic conveniences that we take for granted. Nebo had no air conditioning. Queen Victoria couldn't afford a used Volkswagon (they didn't exist). Ghengis Khan couldn't afford a flashlight. Julius Caesar never heard (or heard of) a radio or television. Qin Shi Huang never owned an electric toaster. Peter the Great never heard an audio recording. Napoleon Bonaparte never saw an airplane. Antiochus IV Epiphanes didn't know what an elevator was. Nebuchadnezzar ruled the world but was never able to go to the movies; he was about 2,500 years early to the first showing. Tiglath-Pileser I never saw a power mower. The list goes on.

The second question is:

Who spoiled us?

Why does the world population covet electricity as if it were a basic human right?

This thought comes to mind when such problems perplex us: Were it not for Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla there would be no access to electricity.

To understand the impact of life without electric power one must live a few days without it. Consider the problem that perplexed hundreds of millions of Indians this week was the norm for humanity since the beginning of time.

As the saying goes, you don't know what you got 'til it's gone.

The power outage in India is the latest reminder that Western civilization -- the politically correct term for white folks -- has provided the ingenuity that most take for granted.

And it's not just electricity.

Try this. Take a snap shot of your current surroundings. Print a copy of the photo taking note of all the items in the picture. Note which items were invented by Western civilization.  While many things in your photo were made in China, nearly everything was invented in the West.

Here's another exercise.

Today try to live without anything invented (or discovered) in the Orient. Again, many things are made in China, but few were invented there. Life will be tough, but not impossible. You will do without gunpowder rendering your guns useless. Your silk ties will stay in the closet. You will also do without coal-generated electricity as Europeans learned of the "black rock that burns" from China. If your electricity comes from the Hoover Dam or some other hydro plant, you're in the clear.

Tomorrow try to live without anything invented (or discovered) by Hispanics, Latinos and blacks. You will be required to set aside your kid's water cannon and Motown records.

The following day determine to live without anything invented (or discovered) by white people. You will suddenly discover the Amish are far more advanced than previously thought.

The above would be a great exercise of school children. Fat chance.

Stop and consider all the innovations born in the minds of white folks, then imagine what life would be  like in India or Indiana without them. Or, spend a year on a deserted island.

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  1. Electricity is the ONLY thing that separates us from the middle ages.

    Here's a fair warning:

    You'll know the shit is about to hit the fan if ever your neighborhoods power goes out for no reason -- not weather or heat or godzilla -- no reason at all. The lights just go out. That's a sign of an infrastructural failure. You'll have about 24 hours to get your crap together and hunker down someplace safe. After 24 hours, roaming bands of barbarians will start looking for food.

    That's another good way to tell if the shit is about to hit the fan - you see roaming bands of barbarians. But by that time it's too late for you if your not prepared.

    Be prepared.

    The Senior Engineer