On theories of why civilizations collapse and our own times

SelfAwarePatterns

All Giza Pyramids in one shot. Русский: Все пи... (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

After my post on the Bronze Age collapse and resulting discussion, I looked at other material about the collapse of civilizations, but after doing that, realized that I have some thoughts about what might be necessary for developing a theory about why collapses happen, what areas of expertise you need to have a chance at formulating a realistic theory, and how any of it might pertain to our current civilization.

Let me be clear right from the outset that I’m pretty skeptical that there is any one reason that explains all the collapses throughout history.  Every civilization has multiple vulnerabilities.  Some civilizations rot from the inside, gradually decline and eventually fall, while others are struck down in their prime either from a sudden change in climate, or by conquest by another bigger or more advanced civilization.  Seeking a single reason may be alluring, but it ignores the complexities of…

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