There are lots of ways to kill off a civilization. Wars, politics, economic collapse. But what are the actual mechanics? It might be a useful thing to know whether or not we are killing ourselves off.
Ancient Rome is a good place to start. They had an advanced civilization. They had running water, sewers, flush toilets, concrete, roads, bridges, dams, an international highway system, mechanical reapers, water-powered mills, public baths, soap, banking, commerce, free trade, a legal code, a court system, science, literature, and a republican system of government. And a strong army to enforce stability and peace (Pax Romana). It wasn’t perfect, but they were on their way to modernity.
One of my favorite quotes is from Marcus Tullius Cicero, statesman, orator and writer (106-43 BCE):
Times are bad. Children no longer obey their parents, and everyone is writing a book.
If that isn’t a mark of a civilized society I don’t know what is.
But Rome collapsed. I often wonder what would have happened if it hadn’t. Could we have avoided a thousand years of the Dark Ages. Could we have been flying airplanes and driving cars in the year 1000?
What the hell happened to Rome?
To read the rest of this article, click here.