The latest edition (#15) of Dan Carlin's Hardcore History was originally set up to discuss the depressio0n of the 30's and its effects on people. As it worked out, Dan holds a more general monologue pondering human nature and its complex relationship with hard times. We strive for the good times, but it is the hard times that makes us better people, and consequently more apt in reaching the good times; so I take Dan's basic tenet. It makes me think of G. B. Vico's idea that civilization goes through cycles. Together we get the idea that hard times bring about stronger people, building the good times, in which people slide into decay, beckoning in the hard times again.
Let's be fair to Dan, he ponders the idea. He seems to be mildly convinced but does not fully comply and declare that this is his theory. And I personally wondered about the measures to which hard times can become so tough that they traumatize and effectively degrade people. That idea is hardly touched upon