In response to:

Why Do Societies Give Up?

Cepat2 Wrote: Feb 14, 2013 11:00 AM
FDR's attempt at becoming a defacto emperor so frightened the other branches of government that term limits on the Presidency were enacted in record time, with both parties adamant support. Political philosophy was, and is, much more indicative of the tendency to demagogue. Lest we forget - FDR was a devout progressive with increasingly Marxist tendencies. Lesson for us.

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...