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Why Do Societies Give Up?

TexasResister64 Wrote: Feb 14, 2013 7:56 AM
One huge error--we are not experiencing strong demographic growth. The reason our aging population is expanding is that life expectancy is much longer now than in 1945. Our fertility rate is below replacement. That is the prime reason for our economic troubles--people are not forming natural families, having lots of babies, and buying lots of stuff (with grandpa & grandma's help).

Why do once-successful societies ossify and decline?

Hundreds of reasons have been adduced for the fall of Rome and the end of the Old Regime in 18th-century France. Reasons run from inflation and excessive spending to resource depletion and enemy invasion, as historians attempt to understand the sudden collapse of the Mycenaeans, the Aztecs and, apparently, the modern Greeks. In literature from Catullus to Edward Gibbon, wealth and leisure -- and who gets the most of both -- more often than poverty and exhaustion implode civilization.

One recurring theme seems consistent in Athenian literature on the eve of the city's takeover...