How Civilizations Die

How Civilizations Die

I am reading a book entitled: How Civilizations Die: (And Why Islam is Dying Too), by David P. Goldman. I guess I have read about a half-dozen such books recently.

This is one of the most important books that I have read because it goes to the beginning of recorded time to illustrate the mechanisms of death for cultures large and small. It also describes and documents the  ways in which formerly powerful cultures are declining all around the world. It appears that similar trends in America are as old as history itself.

Goldman frequently cites Oswald Spengler, the author of The Decline of the West (Volumes 1 & 2), quoting his Universal Laws.

One such quote is Universal Law # 15: When we worship ourselves, eventually we become the god that failed.

Do you recognize modern America in this statement? Are you aware of the growth and increasing power of secular humanism with its correlated socialistic trends in our socioculture?

He also quotes Spengler’s Universal Law #16: Small civilizations perish for any number of reasons, but great civilizations die only when they no longer want to live.

Ancient Sparta was the first recorded great civilization to die because it did not produce enough children to continue to itself. The same has happened all over the world and throughout history and it is now happening throughout Western Culture. It is happening to China and Japan. Goldman judges that Islamic States have even less resistance to the destructive forces of modernity and will be especially susceptible to a similar demise.

For several possible reasons, America has been more resistant to the effects of modernity and its associated feature of declining fertility. However our fertility rate has declined steadily and is in danger of continuing to do so.

America is in grave danger of a irreversible decline due to the age-old killer of great cultures: Suicide by failure to repopulate themselves!

Goldman wrote of the great decline of Ancient Greece:

“Athens is often seen as a model for American democracy–especially by those who would like to find a secular precedent for America’s success. But Athenian democracy was voraciously imperialist. Athens died of a fatal addiction to living off the labor of others, by majority vote.”

I would argue that America is not a imperialist State, in the tradition of Athens. However it is now rapidly developing its own unique form of a “fatal addiction to living of the labor of others by majority vote”.

Based upon my readings of the history of these cultural evolutions to destruction, it would appear that the following catalysts are contributing to this unfortunate outcome. There are other factors of concern that I will not mention in this blog.

  • The rise of secular humanism and the weakening of Judeo/Christian Religious influences.
  • The increased socialization of American Life (i.e., Social Security, “Great Society” Welfare Programs, and the culturally transforming influences of socialized medicine– often called Obama-Care).
  • Modern birth-control practices.
  • America’s adoption of legalized abortions-on-demand.
  • Easy no-fault divorce laws.
  • Increased education and out-of-home employment of women.
  • Increasing standards of living for all families, with increasing taxation of the middle class.
  • Modernization in the form of technological advancements in all areas that affect matters of personal faith, morality, perseverance, and life’s goals among individuals.
  • The emergence of a “ruling class” oligarchy-like political system dedicated primarily to growing its power-base and perpetuating itself no matter short or long-term costs.

I have read that 90% of wisdom is being wise in time.

Wake-Up America!

V. Thomas Mawhinney, Ph.D., 3/3/13



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