empire

Blog

The End Of Our Empire Approaches

History is clear on where we're headed
Friday, April 27, 2018, 8:01 PM

Do you have the nagging sense that our empire is in decline?

If so, don't be embarrassed by it. Historically speaking, we’re in very good company.  Far larger and longer-lived empires than ours have come and gone over the millennia. » Read more

Podcast

Daron Acemoglu: Why Nations Fail

It's what you do with what you've got
Sunday, August 7, 2016, 12:17 PM

Why do some nations rise while others wither? Why have some of the world's largest empires eventually crumbled? What are the 'best practices' that a modern nation should follow if it desires sustainable prosperity for its citizenry?

To answer these questions, we welcome MIT professor Doran Acemoglu and co-author of the book Why Nations Fail. His observations? Yes, national prosperity has some correlation to the resources available to the State, but importantly, it's determined by how those resources are put to productive -- and fair -- use. » Read more

Blog

America the Vulnerable

History warns we're sleepwalking towards collapse
Monday, May 27, 2013, 8:13 PM

For most people, the collapse of civilizations is a subject much more appetizingly viewed in the rearview mirror than straight ahead down whatever path or roadway we are on.

Jared Diamond wrote about the collapse of earlier civilizations to great acclaim and brisk sales, in a nimbus of unimpeachable respectability. The stories he told about bygone cultures gone to seed were, above all, dramatic. No reviewers or other intellectual auditors dissed him for suggesting that empires inevitably run aground on the shoals of resource depletion, population overshoot, changes in the weather, and the diminishing returns of complexity.

Yet these are exactly the same problems that industrial-technocratic societies face today, and those of us who venture to discuss them are consigned to a tin-foil-hat brigade, along with the UFO abductees and Bigfoot trackers. This is unfortunate, but completely predictable, since the sunk costs in all the stuff of daily life (freeways, malls, tract houses) are so grotesquely huge that letting go of them is strictly unthinkable. We’re stuck with a very elaborate setup that has no future, but we refuse to consider the consequences... » Read more

Podcast

John Michael Greer: If the Four Horsemen Arrive, Offer Beer

Preparing for the future with optimism
Saturday, November 10, 2012, 7:55 PM

"We have a national mythology that limits are always bad. In fact, we have a national phobia of limits," wryly observes John Michael Greer: author, historian, conservationist and proprietor of the popular weblog The Archdruid Report. "We need to get past that." » Read more