Do Civilizations die or do they just change?

Manfred Werner (talk · contribs) - Own work by the original uploader
Permission details
GNU head	Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled GNU Free Documentation License.
w:en:Creative Commons
attributionshare alike	This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.	
You are free:
to share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work
to remix – to adapt the work
Under the following conditions:
attribution – You must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use.
share alike – If you remix, transform, or build upon the material, you must distribute your contributions under the same or compatible license as the original.
This licensing tag was added to this file as part of the GFDL licensing update.

CC BY-SA 3.0hide terms
File:Angkor Wat W-Seite.jpg
Created: 1 August 2001
Location: 13° 24′ 45″ N, 103° 51′ 47.75″ E
Angkor Wat in Cambodia

By Annalee Newitz author of Four Lost Cities: A Secret History of the Urban Age from The Washington Post:

The idea of civilizational collapse goes back thousands of years, but each era imagines it anew, always as a form of annihilation and erasure. In the 18th century, Edward Gibbon blamed the fall of the Roman Empire on “a deluge of Barbarians” and the erosion of civic virtue. Over a century and a half later, the influential anthropologist V. Gordon Childe coined the phrase “urban revolution” to explain the rapid rise of complex, economically stratified societies over the past several thousand years. Childe, an Australian who witnessed the Soviet revolutions from afar, believed hierarchical modern civilizations were internally unstable, doomed to be toppled by worker uprisings. These days, our collapse stories focus more often on total species extinction. Environmentalists predict ecosystem wipeouts that will plunge Homo sapiens into deadly peril, while popular philosopher Nick Bostrom coined the term “existential risk” to describe the grave threat artificial intelligence represents for humanity.

But the historical record shows that reports of the end times always turned out to be wrong. “Barbarians” didn’t extinguish Rome: It still stands today, a vital and beloved city, and the cultures of its ancient empire influence populations across Europe and the Americas. Children still study Latin in school, and Silicon Valley executives quote Stoic philosophy. Elsewhere in the world, European colonialism and the slave trade left behind cultural ruins that can’t be explained away as “collapses.” They are open wounds, still smarting in the present. Over time, civilizations eventually morph into something else entirely, but they infuse future societies with their lingering traumas — as well as their hopeful ideals.

Read the rest of the article at The

Categories: World History

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: