Great Civilizations are not conquered from without until they have at the end dissolved themselves from within.S C Monahan
The founder of Dubai, Sheik Rashid, was asked about the future of his country, and he replied, “My grandfather rode a camel, my father rode a camel, I ride a Mercedes, my son rides a Land Rover, and my grandson is going to ride a Land Rover…but my great-grandson is going to have to ride a camel again. Why is that so he was asked? And his reply was, “Hard times create strong men, strong men create easy times. Easy times create weak men, weak men create difficult times.
Greatness to Greed. Societies do not like to open a dialog on the historical reality that all great empires… the Persians, the Trojans, the Egyptians, the Greeks, the Romans, and in later years, the British…all rose and perished within an approximate 240-year multi-generational timeline.
These great civilizations were not conquered by external enemies; they rotted from within. America has now passed that 240-year mark, and the rot is starting to be visible and is accelerating. We are past the Mercedes and Land Rover Years…. the camels are on the horizon.
Thomas Jefferson once quoted, “My great grandfather was a warrior so my grandfather could be a farmer so that my father could be a merchant so that I could be a scholarThomas Jefferson
In America, the greatest generation consisted of 18-year-old kids storming the beaches at “Normandy”. And now, two generations later, some 18-year-olds want to hide in safe rooms when they hear words that hurt their feelings. They also expect free stuff from the government because they think they are entitled to it.
I just finished a number of insightful and thoughtful books on this subject. One I particularly liked is, “Immoderate Greatness: Why Civilizations Fail” by William Ophuls, who diligently researched over many years, and succinctly covers in detail the histories of great civilizations, too big and powerful to fall that … collapsed. They all follow a pattern.
“Rome was one of the earth’s largest and most powerful civilizations. When started Rome was but a poor and small area. It was an example of austere virtue; then it corrupted, it spoiled, it rotted itself by all the human vices; till, little by little, it was of its own accord brought into the condition, in which Romans were neither able to endure the evils from which they suffered nor implement the moral and financial remedies needed to cure itself. (“The Punic Curse is taking hold in America”)And finally at last, came the implosion, the collapse, as the stupendous fabric of an overstretched, hollowed-out, and corrupt civilization yielded “to the pressure of its own weight.” and collapsed.
A barbarian invasion, a terrible plague, a devastating drought, a calamitous war, or some similar disaster is usually only the precipitating factor — the final push that causes the structure to topple. From Greatness to Greed. A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself within.
Today. Historians differ on what will happen to our interconnected, multi-civilization, global world. Today the largest civilizations are technologically connected as never before. We are a multi, interconnected technological planet. And so, some feel instead of a total apoplectic event; North America and South America, Europe, and the East will instead each experience gradual, yet severe traumatic collapses versus a total “catabolic” global collapse.
Periods of crisis and stability will alternate as nations descend a downward slope of declining populations, consumption, and complexity. Future generations will feed off the decayed remnants of the old industrial civilization. In yet another scholar’s work, Ariel Durant’s The Lessons of History, his thoughts are similarly succinct, on the history of the world’s greatest civilizations.
An Alternative Outcome. I want to wrap this up and suggest not a collapse of Civilization, but an alternate reality. Although we are led to believe we only have two choices for everything, the Mystics of old and the Quantum Scientists of today have finally come together. There are multiple outcomes in a quantum world. From Alpha to Omega, to multiple wrinkles in time as well.
Ian Morris’s Why the West Rules -For Now speaks to our current modern global dilemma. Morris shows how a dynamic interplay of human nature, geography, and technology has repeatedly fostered “social development” — that is, civilized complexity — along with the “paradoxes of development” that work to either degrade or destroy that complexity.
I offer that instead of a total collapse of civilization and the coming of the Camels we could collectively experience a Schrodinger quantum happening instead. We live in a quantum world of all possibilities. In 2022 we are perilously in two unnamed, non-decided worlds.
Schrodinger’s cat is both alive and collapsed at the same time. Or as Sheik Rashid would say, the Camels may appear, or they may collapse.
I will not ask you what you think will happen. None of us know for certain. I ask you instead, what outcome do you want to experience? What world will you work to manifest? Steven Charles Monahan