Are were doomed to repeat history?

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by leekohler, Aug 9, 2010.

  1. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #1
    Another thread made me think about this. It was a discussion about political cycles and such.

    Could it be that we are about to destroy our civilization just like the Romans did? Do we really only progress so far until the lowest among us drag us right down to the dark ages again? Or do we create monsters to do it for us, like Al Qaeda?

    It is just my opinion that we are about to get to the point where all people are valued and treated fairly. Could it be that once we get there, we get so bored and content that we destroy it all to start all over and experience it all again just because we're bored?

    It's sad to think, but this idea has been nagging at me for a while. Are we really this stupid? Do we get to a point where we've built so much up that we need to tear it all down to be interested in life again, just like a puzzle- or do we find an entirely new challenge?

    OK, I'm the bummer for the day. But it is definitely something to think about.
     
  2. appleguy123 macrumors 603

    appleguy123

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    #2
    Yes, as they say history always repeats itself, or the way I like to look at is that the human condition doesn't significantly change no matter the time to allow different outcomes in similar situations separated by time.
    The way that I see it, religion will undermine us all after everyone is treated fairly. Radical religious zealots will say that we are sending our nation to hell; and will steal, cheat, lie, and create terror until they get their way and we are back in the dark ages. A state of being of which "God" apparantly approves.
     
  3. yayitsezekiel macrumors 6502a

    yayitsezekiel

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    #3
    Christ said he would come again amidst turmoil and when the earth was ripe with evil, not righteousness. The days we live in were talked about thousands of years ago, so I believe that as long as we don't be hypocrites and actually try to have character and actually DO the right thing, that we'll be fine. Times are going to get exceedingly rough and dangerous, but all that was talked about in the bible (book of revelations to be exact along with numerous other passages) and the doctrine and covenants in the Book of Mormon. God doesn't approve of this at all, but unfortunately due to greed, some people take his blessings for granted and just assume that he'll be there for them and they can do whatever they want. Now he knows who will really stand up for him, because those who have remained faithful and humble through these times will withstand these times. The best way to do that is to have character, and treat those around you the same you would treat yourself, and be prepared for the worst. (spiritually, along with food, water, and a little extra money)

    This is just what I believe.
     
  4. yayitsezekiel macrumors 6502a

    yayitsezekiel

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    #4
    and yeah this idea has been bugging me too...it seems humanity never learns :(
     
  5. JediZenMaster macrumors 68000

    JediZenMaster

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    #5
    I think humanity has a path that it can choose from and sadly most times people choose not only to learn from history but repeat it. With that said i think it's a cycle of Creation and then destruction. And each time i feel that societies have almost got it right but something happens at the "Eleventh Hour" that causes a choice of going down the wrong path.

    One thing i find interesting is that each society/Civilization feels that it's more advance that the one that preceded it. But i have to ask that if those societies are so "Primitive" then how comes a society that claims to be more advance falls to the same "Trappings" of the society it calls "Primitive". ;)
     
  6. hulugu macrumors 68000

    hulugu

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    #6
    "History doesn't repeat itself, but it does rhyme" —*Mark Twain.


    I don't think we're doomed to repeat history, but we will find new ways to make essentially the same mistakes. I do think the question "Are We Rome?" is a valuable one, because at one point the Roman Empire was a vast power, nascently democratic (if you weren't a slave, a women, or some unloved ethnic minority), and capable of deploying armies and engineering works to the edges of the empire. Yet, Rome fell into internal barbarism, tyranny, while bread and circuses kept the population from revolting outright.

    Of course, the fall of Rome was more complicated than that—it was also the lead pipes—but all civilizations fall. Every one. And America is no different, the Suskind's 5,000 year-leap aside. We may find ourselves eclipsed by the Asian powers, we may settle down like post-Imperial Britain, or we may enjoy another renaissance, but I doubt the later. We're simply too fundamentally awkward at this point, financially strapped, imperial-driven, and fundamentally immature to do anything but fall by the wayside.
     
  7. Gelfin macrumors 68020

    Gelfin

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    #7
    Yeah, I think we're that stupid. Empires are ultimately toxic to themselves, but is it even possible to undertake building an empire and then just call it off? Has anybody ever done that? I don't even know if it's stupid so much as just stuck.
     
  8. ranguvar macrumors 6502

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    #8
    Possibly, but I don't see it happening soon. Al-Qaeda is scary, but in the end they really don't have that much power. They are far from reaching their goal of destroying Israel and reconquering the Iberian Peninsula. The biggest risk might be a major nuclear war, but I don't see who would start / severely retaliate it.
     
  9. DylanLikesPorn macrumors 6502

    DylanLikesPorn

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    #9
    Al Qaeda, huh? The Roman empire fell not because of greed, corruption or enemies outside Rome's wall. It fell because of bureaucratic interference and Diocletian's reforms (think big government).

    You have to understand that human rights and equality came about as a result of the industrial revolution and cheap sources of energy. Without them, we'd still be living in a slave society where the many work for the privileged few. Universal equality is always increasing and I can't see it decreasing in the near future. Upward mobility brings equality and rights, and that is completely due to economics, not political leanings or ideologies.

    Huh?
     
  10. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

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    #10
    Did women's suffrage come about over the last 150-200 years solely due to economic factors?
     
  11. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #11
    Which people are you talking about? A good 70-80% of the world's population are not treated fairly, and never have been. It's a spectacle of fairness, nothing more, and severely limited in its geographical and social scope, too. Humanity has not really progressed in the last two and a half thousand years, except medically and technologically, and even those areas are strictly limited in their scope. All of us here are incredibly lucky and privileged to be living within those areas of the planet where the idea of progress is anything but a chimæra.
     
  12. Thomas Veil macrumors 68020

    Thomas Veil

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    #12
    All civilizations eventually perish, and ours will be no exception.

    Ever hear the expression "bread and circuses"? It comes from the Roman empire, and it refers to the fact that people ignored their looming downfall because they were too busy with food and entertainment.

    Today we are kept placid with junk food and junk entertainment, the nadir of the latter being the media, the blogosphere, etc., which seem to have ever-decreasing standards and which pump more pure bilge into the environment on a daily basis than Deepwater Horizon ever did.

    Yes, there is a huge contradiction going on in our civilization. At the same time some of us become increasingly aware of and involved with social justice, the very ones we turn to for help in making informed decisions have given themselves over to reality shows, vapid celebrity news and political propaganda.

    I think about that every election cycle. If a certain "populist" movement has its way, we will, this November, go back to electing people who will lead us further down the path of failure. And I always wrestle with the question of whether it's because the voters are inherently stupid or just massively disinformed. I tend to lean heavily in favor of the latter...which tells me that if our civilization falls, it'll be because the irresponsible media led the way.
     
  13. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #13
    I'm afraid I tend to lean toward the former. We are all happy to delude ourselves, and most of us are asleep at the wheel. Allowing ourselves to be led by the self-interest of the media, corporations and politicians is merely a symptom of our stupidity.
     
  14. Dagless macrumors Core

    Dagless

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    #14
    I remember watching some TV show that equated our current era to the ending era of the Roman empire, but now I don't really think that's true.

    We're too well connected now, there are too many serious advancements in society, in science, in culture. In the developed states at least it's not so easy to hide massive crime or corruption anymore. I'd imagine it still exists as our leaders follow their own agendas too. But I don't think we're going to have something so monumental that it would break our society now.

    I do imagine we'll have wars and the like. But information is addictive, we have constant access to that and I believe that is our current culture. I just don't see us losing that.
     
  15. niuniu macrumors 68020

    niuniu

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    #15
    Like Thomas said, consumerism subdues us from seeing or acting on the evil those in power do. If we were all poor and hungry and saw the same things going on in the world like we do today, we wouldn't just sit there, we'd do something about it, because we'd have nothing to lose.

    The vast majority of protesters I met during the Iraq War rallies were students. They have time and few responsibilities. Those same people once they get jobs, families and sucked completely into the social framework will be unlikely to protest should the same thing happen again.

    We will inevitably hit a point of chaos. Obama's words about China were very illuminating. He's mimicking the thoughts of the elite who know that once China and India have economic stability and the poor start coming up through the ranks they'll all want exactly what anyone else in the world 'rightly' wants - cars, big homes, good jobs, and all the toys consumerism brings.


    Just look at the pressure America with it's level of consumerism puts on the planet. Now scale that up and you have to be at breaking point. What if African nations also find stability and reach the same level.

    Overpopulation is the problem, and I really think we're at a point where we've gone too far to solve it.
     
  16. leekohler thread starter macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #16
    I was talking about western civilization. Sorry if I wasn't clear.
     
  17. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #17
    We're all globally interconnected now, didn't you get the memo?
     
  18. fivepoint macrumors 65816

    fivepoint

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    #18

    [​IMG]


    Yes. The U.S. was born out of revolution and excelled due to a strong focus on personal liberty, freedom, capitalism, free market, republican representative democracy, etc.

    Unfortunately, the prosperity/safety/freedom that this has created has led to straight-up complacency by much of the citizenry. No one, it seems, has a perspective for what it takes to maintain liberty or what role small unintrusive government plays in creating that liberty anymore.

    No one realizes that a government that tries to solve all of our problems through entitlements, big war machines, and other large spending programs will inevitably lead us into dependence. Dependence on big government to feed us, to protect us, to tell us what to eat, and to wear a seatbelt, and what colleges to go to, and what refrigerator to buy. Dependence on the government for freebies and bailouts and subsidies.

    Unfortunately these sorts of things aren't given for free, for everything we got from the government, they took something away. They took our taxes, they took our right to decide where our money goes, they took our freedom of choice, they took our right to start-up businesses in highly regulated industries.... and the next step which we're beginning to experience, will be Tyranny. Tyranny, as you can gather from the history books, is something to avoid at all costs, something that our founders tried their hardest to protect against, but which we, our legislature, our courts have been trying to subvert ever sense.

    Hopefully through movements like the Tea Party and bright individuals like yourselves, we can stop the cycle now and move the entire country back in the right direction. It's exceedingly hard because once people begin to get 'freebies' from the government, they're not likely to vote them away. It takes a whole lot more bravery and self-reliance to make the cycle go backwards... but if any country can do it, we can.

    I know I'll be doing my part. Whether through calm debate, political activism, or the inevitable revolution many years from now.
     
  19. Queso macrumors G4

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    #19
    I read a study on this in the New Scientist last year. The argument was that as a civilisation matures more of its resources become tied up in maintaining the needs of the civilisation itself. Eventually it reaches a point where all of the resources are earmarked for maintaining the status quo, which is when Mother Nature traditionally throws a spanner in the works and the whole balancing act is knocked over. Lucky civilisations emerge smaller but intact, unlucky ones perish or are conquered by external forces.

    Probably haven't explained that too well, but that was the gist. TBH I think the Western version of civilisation is on the point of being done with, but thanks to globalisation we now have Oriental successors in place and ready to smooth the transition and avoid a catastrophe. The next 100 years belong to Asia. What comes next will be anyone's guess.
     
  20. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

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    #20
    Will you wear one of those tri-cornered hats?
     
  21. leekohler thread starter macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #21
    To a point. But it's the West that seems to be the ones about to screw up massively, and the ones with the most to lose.

    That makes sense, and I think you're right. We've practically handed it to them without a shot fired.
     
  22. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #22
    Sadly, 5pt has once again confused tyranny with losing an electin,,,
     
  23. Cromulent macrumors 603

    Cromulent

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    #23
    Since when has the US been interested in free market economics? The US has and still is a protectionist nation. Sure, when things are going well everything is free market this and free market that. As soon as there is an air of depression around it becomes "Save American jobs!" and "We need more import duties!".

    You can't have your cake and eat it. You either believe in free market economics or you don't. America has proven that it doesn't.
     
  24. leekohler thread starter macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #24
    Some people never learn.

    That's for sure.
     
  25. Rt&Dzine macrumors 6502a

    Rt&Dzine

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    #25
    Actually Al Qaeda is trying to fight (in their own deluded way) the fall of Rome syndrome, which they think the west represents.
     

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