You make some wonderful points. I did present Imperial China in rose covered glasses. I’m also thinking about doing an article on the Amish where I’ll do a better job at avoiding that pitfall. I don’t mean to say life was better than now. I mean to say that technology remained stagnant and therefore it doesn’t have to progress. A central authority can and will regulate it if humanity has any chance of surviving into the distant future. And this is not something we should necessarily dread because technological “progress” is not inherently good. As China became more modernized life for your average Chinese person got worse, not better, but granted, it wasn’t great to begin with.