7 Steps in the life cycles of great powers


Sir John Bagot Glubb (1897-1987), aka Glubb Pasha learned that different empires had similar cultural changes while experiencing a life cycle in a series of stages that could overlap. He generalized about empires having seven stages of development, identifying these successive ages as follows:

1. The age of outburst (or pioneers).

2. The age of conquests.

3. The age of commerce.

4. The age of affluence.

5. The age of intellect.

6. The age of decadence.

7. The age of decline and collapse.

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Joan, I do not for a moment accept that thinking for myself--in the Catholicism I knew, pride--necessarily goes before a fall.

Societywise, it may be true in a stagnent society, where those in the lower classes are not free to replace those in the higher classes. Where there is such movement it would be true for individuals.

Are you implying something about the US of A, whose voters chose Trump? His barbs--low-energy Jeb, little Marco, etc--destroyed a complacent GOP.

Hm-mm, add that Trump was in the political lower class and rose to the political higher class.

Add too that he wrecked the Clintons' dream of a husband-wife presidency. If they had succeeded, the feat would not soon be repeated.

The Bushies might have been going for a different record--a father and two sons presidencies.

This is why so many draw reasonably accurate comparisons from Roam to the US.

There are differences though, for instance the comparison to the rise of Hitler in Germany to the rise of trump sometimes overlooks key differences, first that Hitler technically wasn't elected to his position by the people, and second our constitution is designed so (hopefully) no brutal dictator COULD take over. Those protections in the constitution are great, however I fear they might not be enough to hold in this instance. First the republicans hold ALL seats of power in the majority now, second while I am pretty sure Trump is an atheist I know his base wants a theocracy including the more mainstream republicans. I do not think the more main stream republicans WANT a dictatorship but they DO want a theocracy so they might go along with him long enough to have no way to back out again. Many republicans I think believe firmly in freedom and other platitudes they throw out so often, however IF trumps goal IS to be a dictator (as he's said many times), then by the time the republicans try to stand up to him it could be too late. IF his goal is NOT to be a dictator, well then his biggest short coming (aside from low IQ) is his outright denial of science, (anti vaxer, climate change is a conspiracy, ect), those kinds of things are a big deal yes, however if he isn't planning on a total takeover of the country in a truly brutal way, well then he will begin to loose power within 2 years as he's likely to be pretty bad at a lot of things, and even IF he does well on SOME financial issues, the biggest issues he faces aren't things he COULD change or fix, no one can (at least not within 4 or 8 years) they are design flaws within capitalism so he's unlikely to maintain power for very long.

Until you consider Trumps base...... Uneducated, they believe Trump is a messiah chosen by god,  I mean this is potentially a recipe for disaster, and since the republicans have total control to redraw the lines in their favor they could make it so a minority has an easier time holding the country hostage (trump's base supporters aren't a majority in this country). In the end its all up in the air, which is of course terrifying, add to that Trump isn't evil, he's not a demon, he's a human and a showman who is likely a very bad abusive person, BUT NO ONE IN THIS COUNTRY OR ON THE PLANET know's anything about him. THAT is the biggest problem, trump is a psychopath which isn't so much a problem (most wealthy people are psychopaths if you doubt this I'll be happy to walk through it with you) except that we don't know his motivations or goals because he is also a showman he lives a big  fancy public life with no one really close to him, everyone is an object and he doesn't let any of them close enough for reasonable analysis, and those who know him in person are likely ill equipped to understand him, and that is a dangerous position to  be in with any psychopath.

------ Just so we're clear on what I mean by that last statement, I would generally take a psychopath over a "normal" person, a psychopath if you know his motivations and goals becomes pathetically predictable, a "normal" person will always act under random emotional swings that can never be fully understood or predicted. This is summed up in the phrase "the enemy I know, vs the enemy I don't know" or "keep your friends close and your enemies closer"

so its pretty much a coin toss, we may continue the trend you've listed in the OP, or stave off destruction for a little bit, there's now way to give any good odds on either one. (scary I know) 

however just because a trend like Moores law, or the observations of Glubb hold true for a long time does not mean such trends will always be the case. Also number 6 "age of decadence" strikes me as a highly subjective metric which would make accurate measurement difficult at best, hints at a bias of the sort surmised by the phrase "hindsight is 20/20




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