The Sir John Glubb paper, The Fate of Empires.

Sir John took the trouble to give us a summary of his paper, The Fate of Empires, which you should read.

As numerous points of interest have arisen in the course of this essay, I close with a brief summary, to refresh the reader’s mind.
(a) We do not learn from history because our studies are brief and prejudiced.
(b) In a surprising manner, 250 years emerges as the average length of national greatness.
(c) This average has not varied for 3,000 years. Does it represent ten generations?
(d) The stages of the rise and fall of great nations seem to be:
The Age of Pioneers (outburst)

The Age of Conquests

The Age of Commerce

The Age of Affluence

The Age of Intellect

The Age of Decadence.
(e) Decadence is marked by:
Defensiveness

Pessimism

Materialism

Frivolity

An influx of foreigners

The Welfare State

A weakening of religion.
(f) Decadence is due to:
Too long a period of wealth and power
Selfishness
Love of money
The loss of a sense of duty.
(g) The life histories of great states are amazingly similar, and are due to internal factors.
(h) Their falls are diverse, because they are largely the result of external causes.
(i) History should be taught as the history of the human race, though of course with emphasis on the history of the student’s own country.

Thanks to my friend Dylan for sending this one my way.

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