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Sir John Glubb - The Fate of Empires and Search for Survival
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Sonsowey Offline
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Sir John Glubb - The Fate of Empires and Search for Survival
This paper has often been obliquely referenced here for pointing out that the rise of women in national politics often correlates with the fall of empires. It's available here for free, a 24-page PDF. The paper is worth reading in full, and his final summary (spoiler alert) gives a great overview of what his paper is about. Here it is:

http://www.rexresearch.com/glubb/glubb-empire.pdf

Quote:As numerous points of interest have arisen
in the course of this essay, I close with a brief
summary, to refresh the reader’s mind.
(a) We do not learn from history because
our studies are brief and prejudiced.
(b) In a surprising manner, 250 years
emerges as the average length of national
greatness.
© This average has not varied for 3,000
years. Does it represent ten generations?
(d) The stages of the rise and fall of great
nations seem to be:
The Age of Pioneers (outburst)
The Age of Conquests
The Age of Commerce
The Age of Affluence
The Age of Intellect
The Age of Decadence.
(e) Decadence is marked by:
Defensiveness
Pessimism
Materialism
Frivolity
An influx of foreigners
The Welfare State
A weakening of religion.
(f) Decadence is due to:
Too long a period of wealth and power
Selfishness
Love of money
The loss of a sense of duty.
(g) The life histories of great states are
amazingly similar, and are due to internal
factors.
(h) Their falls are diverse, because they are
largely the result of external causes.
(i) History should be taught as the history
of the human race, though of course with
emphasis on the history of the student’s own
country.

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(This post was last modified: 06-29-2015 12:59 PM by Sonsowey.)
06-29-2015 12:47 PM
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Sonsowey Offline
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RE: Sir John Glubb - The Fate of Empires and Search for Survival
The part about women in public life deserves a block-quote:

Quote:An increase in the influence of women in public life has often been associated with national decline. The later Romans complained that, although Rome ruled the world, women ruled Rome. In the tenth century, a similar tendency was observable in the Arab Empire, the women demanding admission to the professions hitherto monopolised by men. ‘What,’ wrote the contemporary historian, Ibn Bessam, ‘have the professions of clerk, tax-collector or preacher to do with women? These occupations have always been limited to men alone.’ Many women practised law, while others obtained posts as university professors. There was an agitation for the appointment of female judges, which, however, does not appear to have succeeded. Soon after this period, government and public order collapsed, and foreign invaders overran the country. The resulting increase in confusion and violence made it unsafe for women to move unescorted in the streets, with the result that this feminist movement collapsed.

The disorders following the military takeover in 861, and the loss of the empire, had played havoc with the economy. At such a moment, it might have been expected that everyone would redouble their efforts to save the country from bankruptcy, but nothing of the kind occurred. Instead, at this moment of declining trade and financial stringency, the people of Baghdad introduced a five-day week. When I first read these contemporary descriptions of tenth-century Baghdad, I could scarcely believe my eyes. I told myself that this must be a joke! The descriptions might have been taken out of The Times today. The resemblance of all the details was especially breathtaking—the break-up of the empire, the abandonment of sexual morality, the ‘pop’ singers with their guitars, the entry of women into the professions, the five-day week. I would not venture to attempt an explanation! There are so many mysteries about human life which are far beyond our comprehension.

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06-30-2015 10:06 AM
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Samseau Offline
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RE: Sir John Glubb - The Fate of Empires and Search for Survival
When an empire is young and strong, men are feared by their women, have their pick of the women, and have control of the state.

When an empire is old and dying, women are feared by their men, have their pick of the men, and have control of the state.

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06-30-2015 10:42 AM
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RE: Sir John Glubb - The Fate of Empires and Search for Survival
I just finished reading this paper, and it come with my highest recommendation. I don't have snow to quote specific relevant sections from the paper, but I will do so tomorrow.

This was published some time ago and it's refreshing to read the thoughts of an academic who is unencumbered by political correctness. He merely states facts and draws logical conclusions from those facts. This paper is a product of an era where reason superceded emotion.
06-30-2015 12:08 PM
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Sonsowey Offline
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RE: Sir John Glubb - The Fate of Empires and Search for Survival
Another bit from Glubb on how intellectualism seems to flourish just as an empire is collapsing:

Quote:There are so many things in human life which are not dreamt of in our popular philosophy. The spread of knowledge seems to be the most beneficial of human activities, and yet every period of decline is characterrised by this expansion of intellectual activity. ‘All the Athenians and strangers which were there spent their time in nothing else, but either to tell or to hear some new thing’ is the description given in the Acts of the Apostles of the decline of Greek intellectualism.

The Age of Intellect is accompanied by surprising advances in natural science. In the ninth century, for example, in the age of Mamun, the Arabs measured the circumference of the earth with remarkable accuracy. Seven centuries were to pass before Western Europe discovered that the world was not flat. Less than fifty years after the amazing scientific discoveries under Mamun, the Arab Empire collapsed. Wonderful and beneficent as was the progress of science, it did not save the empire from chaos.

The full flowering of Arab and Persian intellectualism did not occur until after their imperial and political collapse. Thereafter the intellectuals attained fresh triumphs in the academic field, but politically they became the abject servants of the often illiterate rulers. When the Mongols conquered Persia in the thirteenth century, they were themselves entirely uneducated and were obliged to depend wholly on native Persian officials to administer the country and to collect the revenue. They retained as wazeer, or Prime Minister, one Rashid alDin, a historian of international repute. Yet the Prime Minister, when speaking to the Mongol II Khan, was obliged to remain throughout the interview on his knees. At state banquets, the Prime Minister stood behind the Khan’s seat to wait upon him. If the Khan were in a good mood, he occasionally passed his wazeer a piece of food over his shoulder.

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(This post was last modified: 06-30-2015 03:52 PM by Sonsowey.)
06-30-2015 03:52 PM
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Medic42 Offline
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RE: Sir John Glubb - The Fate of Empires and Search for Survival
Sons, an interesting read, thanks for posting.

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07-02-2015 01:00 PM
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xpatplayer Offline
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RE: Sir John Glubb - The Fate of Empires and Search for Survival
It's a brilliant book, supported by historical reality. It also gives a succinct explanation of what exactly is going on around us. I'm surprised it hasn't been mentioned on this forum earlier, especially since the United States is 239 years old, very well within the range of 230-270 year lifetime of empires he mentions.
07-03-2015 03:28 PM
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Samseau Offline
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RE: Sir John Glubb - The Fate of Empires and Search for Survival
^ It's been mentioned many times on this forum in the everything else section.

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07-03-2015 06:12 PM
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Saladin Offline
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RE: Sir John Glubb - The Fate of Empires and Search for Survival
I enjoyed that read. Thanks. Definitely thought provoking.

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07-04-2015 06:00 PM
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Architekt Offline
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RE: Sir John Glubb - The Fate of Empires and Search for Survival
(06-29-2015 12:47 PM)Sonsowey Wrote:  This paper has often been obliquely referenced here for pointing out that the rise of women in national politics often correlates with the fall of empires.

In "Empires of the word: A language history of the world," there is a small mention of the correlation between women obtaining power and the civilisation falling from grace almost immediately thereafter. It isn't expanded upon much, other than to say it was only a casual link and not a causal effect (most likely to cover their own asses), but it did make me smile

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07-04-2015 11:05 PM
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RE: Sir John Glubb - The Fate of Empires and Search for Survival
(07-04-2015 11:05 PM)Architekt Wrote:  
(06-29-2015 12:47 PM)Sonsowey Wrote:  This paper has often been obliquely referenced here for pointing out that the rise of women in national politics often correlates with the fall of empires.

In "Empires of the word: A language history of the world," there is a small mention of the correlation between women obtaining power and the civilisation falling from grace almost immediately thereafter. It isn't expanded upon much, other than to say it was only a casual link and not a causal effect (most likely to cover their own asses), but it did make me smile

I've read that book. Where was it mentioned?
07-21-2015 08:26 PM
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amity Offline
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RE: Sir John Glubb - The Fate of Empires and Search for Survival
This is truly excellent. If this was used as the template for governing nations, I'm sure the world would be in a much better place right now.
Sadly, showing a document like this to almost anyone on the liberal left will most likely result in the tired old "Oh yeh sure, another document written by an old conservative hetero priveliged white male! Screw that! What we really need is more equality & diversity!"
Facepalm2
(This post was last modified: 07-22-2015 04:26 AM by amity.)
07-22-2015 04:25 AM
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RE: Sir John Glubb - The Fate of Empires and Search for Survival
(07-03-2015 03:28 PM)xpatplayer Wrote:  It's a brilliant book, supported by historical reality. It also gives a succinct explanation of what exactly is going on around us. I'm surprised it hasn't been mentioned on this forum earlier, especially since the United States is 239 years old, very well within the range of 230-270 year lifetime of empires he mentions.

Can you really consider the early years of the United States as being an empire? I wouldn't consider the US an empire until the Civil War was won, at the very earliest. It didn't become a global hegemon (Pax Americana) until after 1945.

I do agree that we are in the age of decadence that the summary suggests.

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07-22-2015 04:53 PM
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Samseau Offline
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RE: Sir John Glubb - The Fate of Empires and Search for Survival
(07-22-2015 04:53 PM)teh_skeeze Wrote:  
(07-03-2015 03:28 PM)xpatplayer Wrote:  It's a brilliant book, supported by historical reality. It also gives a succinct explanation of what exactly is going on around us. I'm surprised it hasn't been mentioned on this forum earlier, especially since the United States is 239 years old, very well within the range of 230-270 year lifetime of empires he mentions.

Can you really consider the early years of the United States as being an empire? I wouldn't consider the US an empire until the Civil War was won, at the very earliest. It didn't become a global hegemon (Pax Americana) until after 1945.

I do agree that we are in the age of decadence that the summary suggests.

America's Empire age started after WW2. Think about it: America has had a permanent military ever since.

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07-23-2015 02:10 PM
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Sonsowey Offline
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RE: Sir John Glubb - The Fate of Empires and Search for Survival
Quote:Can you really consider the early years of the United States as being an empire? I wouldn't consider the US an empire until the Civil War was won, at the very earliest. It didn't become a global hegemon (Pax Americana) until after 1945.

I do agree that we are in the age of decadence that the summary suggests.


Read the text. He clarifies that while he says "Empire" for convenience many of the civilizations he looked at were not empires in terms of having large overseas possessions, but rather were great societies.

RVF Book Club February: Julius Evola - Revolt Against the Modern World
(This post was last modified: 07-23-2015 02:20 PM by Sonsowey.)
07-23-2015 02:19 PM
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teh_skeeze Offline
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RE: Sir John Glubb - The Fate of Empires and Search for Survival
(07-23-2015 02:10 PM)Samseau Wrote:  
(07-22-2015 04:53 PM)teh_skeeze Wrote:  
(07-03-2015 03:28 PM)xpatplayer Wrote:  It's a brilliant book, supported by historical reality. It also gives a succinct explanation of what exactly is going on around us. I'm surprised it hasn't been mentioned on this forum earlier, especially since the United States is 239 years old, very well within the range of 230-270 year lifetime of empires he mentions.

Can you really consider the early years of the United States as being an empire? I wouldn't consider the US an empire until the Civil War was won, at the very earliest. It didn't become a global hegemon (Pax Americana) until after 1945.

I do agree that we are in the age of decadence that the summary suggests.

America's Empire age started after WW2. Think about it: America has had a permanent military ever since.

From a geopolitical standpoint, the Spanish-American war is when the United States became a country to be respected. It was proof that Manifest Destiny was the real deal. The two Great Wars solidified that position. Now we have the Chinese building their own canal in Central America, and we do nothing about it.

(07-23-2015 02:19 PM)Sonsowey Wrote:  Read the text. He clarifies that while he says "Empire" for convenience many of the civilizations he looked at were not empires in terms of having large overseas possessions, but rather were great societies.
That's fair, but it takes a considerable amount of time for a fledgling nation to become a cohesive unit. The Articles of Confederation was a failure. Can a society be great if it can't manage internal affairs?

Sir John Glubb Wrote:The word ‘empire’, by association with the British Empire, is visualised by some people as an organisation consisting of a homecountry in Europe and ‘colonies’ in other continents. In this essay, the term ‘empire’ is used to signify a great power, often called today a superpower.
Emphasis mine.

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(This post was last modified: 07-23-2015 05:34 PM by teh_skeeze.)
07-23-2015 05:05 PM
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