THE FATE OF EMPIRES
In his essay, The Fate of Empires, the diplomat and traveller Sir John Glubb presents an interesting theory about the patterns followed during the rise and fall of empires. He suggests that the life cycle of empires follows remarkable similarities. They last 250 years, or ten generations, before a new superpower rises to engulf its heritage from within. Historically, empires are defined by six ages. The age of pioneers, conquest, commerce, affluence, intellect and ending with the age of decadence. The last era is represented by several factors; the rapid spread of military, the ostentatious display of wealth, a desire to live off over-bloated states, disparity between the rich and poor, corruption and an insatiable desire for sex and violence. And following on the same pattern, whenever an empire is about to collapse the public are usually distracted by big events. In ancient Rome that would’ve been the occasional clash between gladiators and beasts at the Colosseum. In today's world this would be the FIFA World Cup. Naturally, in that environment the moral conviction ceases to exist. Without a doubt, when using history as a reference, civilisations are found to follow a predictable cycle which could be mapped back to the last 2,000 years. But man remains a complex creature, and his evolution goes deeper than a rotational sequence of historical events.