How Western civilisation could collapse

The political economist Benjamin Friedman once compared modern Western society to a stable bicycle whose wheels are kept spinning by economic growth. Should that forward-propelling motion slow or cease, the pillars that define our society – democracy, individual liberties, social tolerance and more – would begin to teeter. Our world would become an increasingly ugly place, one defined by a scramble over limited resources and a rejection of anyone outside of our immediate group. Should we find no way to get the wheels back in motion, we’d eventually face total societal collapse.

Such collapses have occurred many times in human history, and no civilisation, no matter how seemingly great, is immune to the vulnerabilities that may lead a society to its end.

Share
  • FactsWillOut

    The collapse happened in 1918. That’s when the pillars were knocked out.

    • El Martyachi

      Or, arguably, 1789.

      • FactsWillOut

        Well, then, allow me to argue:

        1918 because it was when the 3 great empires fell, and when things like communism and fascism started to fill the void they left.

        • El Martyachi

          1789 because that was the first decisive blow against the traditional order. Yes it was totally put to bed in 1918 but the ball was rolling long before. You have a more material outlook than me, probably, so on this point we’re not gonna agree, no matter what.

          • Jay Currie

            I’m going with 1918. Officer class of England, France, Germany and Russia (plus Austro-Hungary) wiped out. Genetic pool became a lot shallower. Modern Europe is the rather stunning result.

          • El Martyachi

            Yes, materially. Spiritually and culturally it was done long before.

          • FactsWillOut

            It was done in 1918.
            Egalitarianism is fine, for the French. To attempt to apply it on a cross-racial basis is insane.
            Marxism did this to us.

    • Brett_McS

      People of that era say that England was an entirely different country after WWI.

    • Etobicoke_Gladiator

      1918-1945, indeed.

  • DavidinNorthBurnaby

    Odd how Al Beebeera manages to avoid mentioning Islam./sarc

  • Jay Currie

    Sigh…If you assume “climate change” you can get just about any result, including collapse, you want.

    But I am amused at the economic stratification argument. Somehow “elites” will hoard all the wealth leaving labourers without any. They die and then the elites,deprived of labour, die too. This is simply ignoring an actual threat which is that “labour” will be replaced by AI and robots and made entirely useless. The direct substitution of capital for labour is becoming a reality. Now what?

    Rather than thinking about societal collapse, a more interesting question is how to adjust to a world without work. How are resources allocated? And what do you do if there is no scarcity?

    • FactsWillOut

      If there is no scarcity, then colonization of space becomes easy.

      So far, not one single ball bearing has been delivered to market without human labor.
      Journalists just like fear-mongering, its their stock-in-trade.
      For the most part, they are a bunch of clowns who have never set foot in a factory, or swung a hammer, and yet they think their opinions on factories and construction, etc, have some value.

      • El Martyachi

        … and just HOW LONG before there’s no scarcity? Long, methinks, especially considering the teeming mass of 3rd world humanity.

        And there’s always gonna be stuff people derive value from that can’t be done by fuckin AI and robots which means there’ll always be scarcity in some form.

        • FactsWillOut

          Yep.
          The fact is, it is governments who create scarcity, by destroying entire economic sectors, like they did with the variety-store delivery staff in Quebec, under the pretext of stopping cigarettes from being sold to kids. Thousands of low-skilled jobs, killed in one foul swoop. If goods and services become dirt cheap via automation, then the need for minimum wage laws evaporates, but by keeping minimum-wage laws, they can create hordes of dependents.
          Also, their insane environmental and bubble-wrap safety laws means it’s much harder for us 1st worlders to access the cheaper cars built by various auto-makers that use a lot of automation.
          In short, automation = good.
          Interference with free-market economics = bad.

          Also, who cares about the teeming mass of wogs?

          • El Martyachi

            Well it’s good to care about all people. Striking a balance where said caring doesn’t result in self destruction seems to be a problem.

            Government needs to relearn its place, agreed.

          • FactsWillOut

            No, it’s not good to care about all people.

            The west was, and is like a lifeboat with a few folk on it in a sea of human suffering, suffering brought about by the default human condition, which is poverty. We clawed, I say CLAWED our way out of it, but any such lifeboat cannot support the Earths population, so most will have to remain poor. The only deciding factor is will we let them claw their way to riches, and kick us out of the lifeboat, or not?

          • El Martyachi

            I still retain faint hope that the whole world can be a lifeboat, but not by continuing movement in the current direction.

          • FactsWillOut

            No, it cannot.
            There is not enough iron, oil, titanium, etc, to make the whole planet a lifeboat, unless you want to average down our standard of living with those of sub-Saharan Africans, etc.

          • El Martyachi

            So you have malthusian outlook?

          • FactsWillOut

            No. There are not enough resources in the entire universe.
            The vast majority of the earth’s population are savages, at a genetic level. To think that we can “raise” them is foolhardy at best, and suicidally insane when implemented, as you no doubt have noticed.

          • El Martyachi

            Hey man, whatever floats your boat. And we’re all pretty savage at a genetic level.

          • FactsWillOut

            No, we are not.
            There is a difference between savage, barbaric, and civilized.
            Civilization can be barbaric, but not savage.
            Conan was a barbarian, he came from a little village of barbarians, who engaged in metallurgy, etc. Savages do no such thing, except when they enslave others to do it for them. The snake cultists who wiped his village out were savages. There is only one ethnicity that built modern civilization, + a bunch of hangers-on, looters and moochers.

          • El Martyachi

            Just one material refutation, since ya brought up metallurgy.

            As for the other stuff, it really depends on how much stock one puts in modern civilization.This is one of those weird conversations where I barely know what the hell we’re talking about anymore. Time to stop.

          • El Martyachi

            This is the link I mean to post.. http://www.uh.edu/engines/epi385.htm

        • Jay Currie

          Quite right…there will always be that sort of stuff. I am encouraging my middle son to follow his passion and get really good at restoring vintage BMWs. Or to become a rare book binder. Or an HVAC guy. All things which are not easily automated and for which the heuristics are going to stump AI for quite a long time.

          But those are not jobs a lot of people even know about, much less can do. We are going to have a problem.

      • Jay Currie

        I agree on space….

        Ball bearings, not so much:

        https://youtu.be/-e-oYUZ4ZhE

    • El Martyachi

      You mean, besides cocaine and whores?

      • Jay Currie

        Well the coke is easy…but it will be tough to find whores if there is no scarcity…where’s the incentive.

  • El Martyachi
  • BillyHW

    It all started to go downhill once we let women vote.

    • FactsWillOut

      I’d say that letting broads vote just ensured that the downhill slide was irreversible, and deepened it.

  • Brett_McS

    It’s a common misunderstanding to think that gyroscopic action from the spinning wheels is key to a bicycle’s stability. It isn’t. The key is the geometry (castor) of the front steering arrangement. A lean to one side will result in the front wheel turning into the lean, thereby moving the support point back under the centre of gravity as the bicycle moves forward.

    Also, argument by analogy is stupid.

    • Justin St.Denis

      After plowing through the endless gibberish above, I finally got to your comment. You make sense! And your last point could be carved in stone for its deep truth. “Argument by analogy is stupid.” Bang on, Brett. I have always said that analogy is the comfort zone of the intellectually limited.

  • robins111

    Like a toddler, rummaging around in its diaper for chunks of shit, they are obsessing on global warming as the cause of society downfall, never looking in the mirror for a more obvious reason.

  • Norman_In_New_York

    The wounds to Western civilization over the last century were all self-inflicted. Let’s move on to the next topics.