The past is in no way “a very good guide to the future” (to quote another economist-blogger today). We have just been through a period of 200 years of man’s history which was unique in 8,000 years of civilisation. In this period, ordinary people in a dozen countries — unfortunately no more than that — by being able to buy status goods, have regained a comparable way of life with individuals in governments.
We have nothing to learn from before 1780 and precious little to learn from 1980. We are now into a new meta-educational era and a total fog as to how to comport ourselves economically from now onwards.