- The systemic markers that precede collapse
- The approaching end of our current 'unlimited growth' paradigm
- Is a collapse inevitable? Or can we evolve gracefully to a new model?
- The opportunity within the coming change
What Triggers Collapse?
Many authors (Jared Diamond, Joseph Tainter, Thomas Homer-Dixon, David Hackett Fischer, Michael Grant and Peter Turchin, to name a few) have delved into the question of why civilizations decay and fail. The question of how nations/empires endure gets considerably less attention, but economic/social adaptability, the resilience of shared purpose/social cohesion, social mobility, the ability to generate reliable surpluses, secure trade routes, a professional army and navy to defend borders and trade routes, a merit-based a professional bureaucracy to collect taxes and oversee commerce, a stable form of money and competent leadership all play critical roles.
But history is replete with examples of nation-states and empires that possess all these positive attributes that still decay and collapse once critical supplies of energy and food fail, or invaders conquer essential territories or trade routes.
Can we generalize the dynamics that weaken a nation/empire to the point where collapse cannot be staved off?
The authors listed above have highlighted the following systemic dynamics…