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CIVILIZATIONS REVERT TO THEIR MEAN
Karl Arnold Belser
29 October 2017




I have just returned from a two week tour of the ancient Mexican civilizations in the Yucatan and central Mexico. I saw the remains of at least three consecutive stone age civilizations that were born, flourished extravagantly and then died. The archaeologist have tried to uncover the reasons for their death  which include climate change, exhaustion of resources, and overpopulation.  The peoples in all of these civilizations had extreme wealth distributions and non-humanitarian religions. These extremes are very similar to the civilizations in China, Asia, Africa and Europe before the birth of Christ.. I suspect that this is the normal state of peoples.

I wrote the following in my last post Why Nations Fail that I am becoming convinced is really true.

Looking at the very big picture, that is the history of the world, it is not clear that democracy will ever survive. Maybe extractive, nations states will be the end result of societal evolution. In this case nations would be born and die just like every other life form is born and dies. After all the law of nature is competition, survival and reproduction. There is no social justice or humanitarianism in nature. nature does not care about political correctness.

The late 20th century philosopher John Rawls in his book The Law Of Peoples points out that "peoples" are analogous to people in that they have different characters and should be basically left alone to try to survive  as long as they donut attack or disrupt other peoples. Rawls calls this kind of situation a society of peoples analogous to a society of people. Rawls thinks that the only interference between peoples might be for humanitarian reasons. He does not face the reality that the earth has finite and soon to be significantly exhausted resources. the fight for survival will probably not be a humanitarian process.

For example the article The Angry Sea Will Kill Us All describes an island in the Gilberts near New Zealand with a population of some 50,000 people that will be completely submerged as seal levels rise. New Zealand refuses to take in these very primitive people. They can't afford it. So what happens? Where do they go? Do they just die while the world looks on.

Africa is having a similar existential crisis and Europe is receiving many Africans. But in the end Europe cannot take in the billions of people that are so primitive that they cannot be part of the European economy and ethical system. Africa is the only part of the world in which population is growing out of control thanks to interference by several developed nations in the name of humanitarianism. And Europe is committing demographic suicide by unlimited immigration from Africa.

This is the situation that the world faces today as the result of globalization. The apparent trend is for nations to solidify their boundaries and limit immigration in order to survive. This is nationalism based on the common beliefs of the peoples in these nations.

Further the enormous wealth inequality distribution in the world today is historically the way it was in past civilizations over the last 10,000 years. I think that the current high level of human existence that we have today is because of the technology advances between 1870 and 1970 as Robert Gordon describes in his book The Rise and Fall of American growth. This burst of technology that has made it possible for more people to live on earth is, I think, a one time event that is not going to be repeated. I think that we are in secular stagnation for the future, just like the world was during the 10,000 years before the technology revolution happened.

I think that the society of peoples will revert to the past mean, that is a few rich people that control everything and the rest will have a much lower standard of living. And if there are too many people on earth, then this low standard of living might be very low like for past civilizations.

Further I think that the nations of the world will fragment in the attempt to survive locally. That is, the way to survive will have to be discovered and will not be dictated by a central government. This again is a reversion to the mean like what happened after the fall of the Roman Empire. I think we are seeing this fragmentation happening, The politically correct liberal world wants things to be the way they aren't or never can be again. The question for me and my family is about how to stay in the upper tier of wealth and power. This sounds bad but this is the name of the game for survival.
 
Last updated November 16, 2017
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