Notes on 12 Lessons of History

Equality and freedom are actually fundamentally opposed. We can’t have both at once—because we aren’t equal. People are born with different abilities: charisma, EQ, intelligence, physical ability, looks, disposition, and so on. Therefore, even when we have full freedom, our distribution of abilities will always produce unequal outcomes.
As a result, the most realistic ideal to strive for is a society that has legal, political, and educational apparatuses that provide equal opportunities to everyone regardless of the abilities they’re born with.
This will then make equality of opportunity possible—but not equality of outcome.
The authors then wrote about the end of society:

Ancient Greece and Rome showed that governments transition from monarchy (rule by one) to aristocracy (a class system) to democracy (rule by “representation”). However, throughout history, once democracy is reached, the gravity of civil strife pulls society back toward a monarchy.
This is because democracies are structurally poor at adapting to new challenges. They’re ultimately toppled by war. It would seem that’s in store for us too, and perhaps it already is with the rise of pseudo-dictatorships around the world.
However, when civilization falls, it doesn’t necessarily mean all our work was lost. What’s left behind becomes fodder for future societies. Consider how many more people read Shakespeare today than they did during his time.