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Wednesday, 12 December 2018

The collapse of western civilization

The world seems to be in real turmoil at the moment and i try to avoid politics as much as possible on the channel but with what has been happening in France of late with the yellow vest protests, has me thinking.
Especially when the mainstream media outlets are barely covering it.
Could be seeing the collapse of an empire?
We all know something about history.
 The Mongols, the Chinese dynasties, Rome and the countless others we have studied the rise and fall of these countries and cultures.
Could western civilization be about to become the next to be consigned to the history books??
The political economist Benjamin Friedman thinks so.
He once compared modern western society to a stable bicycle whose wheels are kept spinning by economic growth.
So what happens when the wheels come off?
Let’s take a look and ask if , today, we are witnessing the fall of the west.

The west has risen to power over the centuries with the capitalist systems shared between countries creating an alliance of ideals.
 Has being on top for so long left us with a false sense hubris?
Has no one stop to ask what could happen if the momentum stops?
The founding principles of democracy the liberty of individual’s social tolerance collapsing in chaos.
Peoples of the many countries turning to violence as they grab at the last economic resources pulling ranks and targeting others outside of their immediate group.
This then leading to a total societal collapse!!
As mentioned in the introduction all civilization eventually collapse. The causes of these collapse may vary but not one civilization has been immune to the changes of time.
in the article Mr. Friedman says excluding global species ending events like an asteroid strike, nuclear winter or deadly pandemic  , we can see signs from each collapse a pattern that we could use as warnings that the west is about to follow suit, unless we heed histories lessons and change our ways.
So let’s dig a little deeper and ask if we are at a point of no return?
Today we have an advantage that civilizations of the past did not, computers. These computers are being put to use analyzing the mechanisms that can lead to local or global sustainability or collapse.
Safa Motesharrei and others have mapped the trends of ecological strain and economic stratification, the division in class and the increasing wealth gap. The ecological threats are easy for people to see and actions are taking place in an attempt to right the wrongs but the economic models are a little more complex.
He made the statement that I think many would agree with
 “Disaster comes when elites push society toward instability and eventual collapse by hoarding huge quantities of wealth and resources”  
The divisions are widening and this is making the economic situation worse.
Motesharrei and his colleagues give a scenario, where the elites push society toward instability and eventual collapse by hoarding huge quantities of wealth and resources, and leaving little or none for the average man and women. The average people vastly outnumber the elites yet support them with their labor. Eventually, the working population crashes because the portion of wealth allocated to them is not enough, this is followed by collapse of the elites due to the absence of this labor.

 This collapse is linked to the populations of an area and the resources of that areas capability to sustain a finite number of people, the more people the greater risks.
this bringing us to the idea of population control and all that goes with that, in the interests of keeping this video to a reasonable we can look at those in another video or you can check out the videos on depopulation and weather manipulation linked above.

Playing right into the hands of conspiracy theorist he goes onto say that the current political models do not have the means or the will to do this. Using climate change to govern the decisions that are needed. They say that over the next 40 years the problems will worsen significantly.
The poorest region have been earmarked as the first to collapse and just like a house cards the rest will shortly follow.
Is this, what we are seeing happening in France today?
The collapse of economies through Europe have left a large number of young, discontented, unemployed people. These desperate people migrating to the big cities in search of work are compounding the problem, bottling it into the capital cities of Europe. A festering bed from which violence sprouts.
In the worst cases pundits have said this can only lead to civil war!

There are yet more signs that we’re entering a dangerous period of change, the increasing occurrence of ‘sudden, unexpected changes in the order of world’s political structures.  
Examples of this seen with the 2008 economic crisis, the rise of isis, brexit, and the election of Donald trump.
Some draw parallels between these events and the final days of Rome, giving the example; that by the end of the 100bc the romans had spread across the Mediterranean, to the places most easily accessed by sea. They should have stopped there, but things were going to well and they felt empowered to expand to new frontiers by land. While transportation by sea was economical, however, transportation across land was slow and expensive.
All the while, they were overextending themselves and running up costs.
The empire managed to remain stable in the ensuing centuries, but repercussions for spreading themselves too thin caught up with them in the 3rd century, which was plagued by civil war and invasions. The empire tried to maintain its core lands, even as the army ate up its budget and inflation climbed ever higher as the government debased its silver currency to try to cover its mounting expenses. While some scholars cite the beginning of collapse as the year 410, when the invading Visigoths sacked the capital, that dramatic event was made possible by a downward spiral spanning more than a century. Eventually, Rome could no longer afford to prop up its heightened complexities and collapsed.  
The collapse of complex societies a book and study by Joseph Tainter. Says We should learn the lessons Rome and it history taught us. He writes; as stated in the laws of thermodynamics, it takes energy to maintain any system in a complex, ordered state – and human society is no exception. By the 3rd century, Rome was increasingly adding new things – an army double the size, a cavalry, subdivided provinces that each needed their own bureaucracies, courts and defenses – just to maintain its status quo and keep from sliding backwards. Eventually, it could no longer afford to prop up those heightened complexities. It was fiscal weakness, not war, which did the empire in.
The west has avoided collapse so far because of the development of new technologies and the use of fossil fuels, as we see the increase in the cost oil combining with the need for ever more expensive projects to protect the infrastructures of the cities from environmental problems brought on by climate change, eventually the cost will be too much.
We could stay off this collapse for a while longer with the use and development of alternate clean and cheap energy sources, but that has been a battle due to the dependency of many economies on the petro dollar.
As the collapse gathers momentum the issues begin to snowball. as things worsen in the cities the people who originally moved there to improve their economic situation will decide that it dangerous and unsafe and would most likely return to their village town of country of origin, this is problem because they would also take resources back with them and leave a shortage of cheap labor.
The waves of immigration causing more government control tighter enforcement of rules all adding to the discontent of the population. Something we are seeing today!
As this gap between the ‘haves’ and ‘have not’s widens we see splits in society. By 2050, the us and uk will have evolved into societies of two classes, where a small number of elites live a good life and there is declining well-being for the majority.”
This in turn setting up the psychological and social prerequisites for mass violence.
When localized violence does break out, or another country or group decides to invade, collapse will be difficult to avoid.
This violent demise is not a foregone conclusion we could see the west fizzle out a gradual decline and loss of influence similar to the end of the British Empire.
 This could see democratic, liberal societies fail, but allow stronger governments like china to be the winners.”
Homer Dixon closes out the article with a hopeful passage;
“Western civilization is not a lost cause, however. Using reason and science to guide decisions, paired with extraordinary leadership and exceptional goodwill, human society can progress to higher and higher levels of well-being and development, homer-Dixon says. Even as we weather the coming stresses of climate change, population growth and dropping energy returns, we can maintain our societies and better them. But that requires resisting the very natural urge, when confronted with such overwhelming pressures, to become less cooperative, less generous and less open to reason. The question is, how can we manage to preserve some kind of humane world as we make our way through these changes?”
Do you think a collapse is coming?
Are we seeing the signs of a dying empire?
Is this all fear mongering to take away more freedoms and shape us into a system that resembles China?
Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

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