Sunday, July 24, 2011

Time passes.


The lesson of history?

   Time passes.

       Things change.

     Civilizations at their peak present curious spectacles, believing everything but their own mortality.   
     When we admire our great cities, we find it hard to believe that they will ever crumble.   
     Every civilization begins and ends.     

The Holy Roman Empire 962–1806 AD
not to be confused with the Roman Empire
     Even this one.
Western civilization emerged in the century leading up to WWI.  Colonial imperialism and empires began to collapse following WWII, and the two superpowers emerged.  Western cultures following 1980 became progressively more secularized and ambiguous about identity and values.  Conflicts with non-western cultures (Palestine, Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Syria, ISIL, Libya, Taliban, Al-Qaeda, Bokoharam, and Russia) arise repeatedly.

It is perhaps worth reevaluating our own perspective; there's always more. (ref: a perhaps difficult read but extraordinarily enlightening)

Common causal contributors:
- Economic failure
- Moral obscuration
- Environmental exhaustion
- Overpopulation
- Natural disaster, disease
- Economic inequality, revolution
- Foreign invasion

Great Civilizations and Empires Past:
The Ottoman Empires - a
Sunni Islamic state

1299–1923 AD
The Umayyad Caliphate - second
 of the Muslim Empires
The Persian Empires
at greatest extent 

550 BC – Today (Iran)

The Han Dynasty 206 BC–220 AD

The British Empire at greatest extent 
1497–1997 AD

The Russian Empire before WWI

The Mongol Empire  1206–1368 AD

The Roman and Byzantine Empires 
510 BC – 1453 AD

Empires and cultures of
the past are gone, relegated
 to history, the common fate
of every civilization, and a
reminder, perhaps, that
the purpose of our life
 is not power or rule
or domination.

The arc of history bends toward delusion. Every hegemon thinks it is the last; all ages believe they will endure forever. In reality, of course, states rise, fall, and compete with one another along the way.  And how they do so determines the world’s fate.