Manuel Werner, PhD, economics and a Hobbesian realist about humans in the state of nature - not to be confused with misanthropy - has written extensively for both popular and academic publications about unexemplary human behaviour, economics, and business. His first two books in "The Abelard Chronicles" series are "The Perfect Human" and "Mercenary's Mercenary."
Manuel shared his domicile with the late and much missed Benny the Flatcoat. He lives and writes in Montreal.
Why are you so pessimistic about humans?
I am not pessimistic about humans. I am, rather. realistic about the nature of the human. For me humans aren't evil, good or bad. they just are. I try not to confuse 'ought' and 'is.' I do not believe in genetic determinism but I do believe that we carry much evolutionary baggage. There are probably no Caliban's whom Prospero, in "The Tempest," described as: "A devil, a devil born, on whose nature/ Nurture can never stick;........." as there are likely no saints. Humans that passed on their genes were greedy, gluttonous, hypocrites who rarely worried about means to their ends. They were highly suspicious creatures, bereft of altruism, driven by self interest. They rarely, if ever, thought deeply, as most circumstances involved surviving immediate dangers like starvation or being chased by predators, best dealt with by instinct.
To the extent that evolution is such a slow process our brains are still running on those very same survival principles. Fortunately they are tempered by cultural, political, economic and social innovations such as laws, tribal affiliations, security and humanism.
It is instructive to consider that the area around Chernobyl [http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2016/04/060418-chernobyl-wildlife-thirty-year-anniversary-science/] is today thriving with the local flora and fauna, well beyond anything seen during the time before humans disappeared from the area.
Abelard is back in a medieval world helping Hamid defend his Afghan village from the warlords and soon nothing is what it seems. He’s never sure which side anyone is on: not the multinationals after the uranium deposits, not the interested governments seeking geopolitical advantage, not the mercenaries he has engaged and not even the man who looks to him for protection.
A modern medieval tale of craven ambition, grasping opportunism and the unconstrained pursuit of self-interest. Abelard's 650 year gap in his recall confers on him a huge advantage as he successfully claws his way up the corporate food chain. The memories he does have are awash in medieval warfare, murderous vengeance and brigandage on the highways of 14th century Europe.