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Why Do Societies Give Up?

GTA Wrote: Feb 14, 2013 10:28 AM
Resources and knowledge, yes. Morality, no. Moral rules are rational rules. Earn your way. Get married before having children. Be kind and generous to others. There are many other rational, moral rules that society as a whole has abandoned. I challenge you to find a single good, strong male main character in any movie produced in the last 30 years. Men, the natural leaders in essentially all societies (including the U.S.), are portrayed in the media as fools, rapists, pedophiles, murderers, weaklings, or stoic killing automatons. Women in the media act as though casual sex is the path to prosperity and happiness, when a quick look at reality shows exactly the opposite. The clear message from the media is "take and take."

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...